When asked over the last month what she most wanted to do with my dear, at-home Dad self this summer, Thing 1 steadfastly would reply, "Watch 'Camp Rock!'"
"Uh, that takes care of the first night after school is out. Then what?"
"Watch it again and again and again and again."
At her insistence, I took a seat on the couch with her and her mound of Bop and Tiger Beat magazines to sit through a TiVo'd recording of "Camp Rock," the Disney folks summer 2008 attempt at "High School Musical" superstardom featuring the squeaky-clean Jonas Brothers.
After losing 90 minutes of my life, I can sum it up as such: disingenuous.
It was neat and sweet with a politically correct population of diverse campers chirping about letting the real you shine. Hence, a boring and as anti-rock 'n' roll as you'd expect from the Mousketeer makers.
But it could have been saved. Here are the three key elements I feel it lacked:
A scene in which the bad-boy-teen-idol-in-exile (Joe Jonas) got completely wasted on cough medicine and Krazy Glue. He staggers out to the camp entrance, transposes the letters of the welcome sign so it reads "Ramp Cock," then canoes across the lake in search of some strange at the nearby Girl Scout jamboree.
The camp director should have been played by someone with some true flip-off-authority rock 'n' roll stones. I'm thinking John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols. "It's no good being nice and young and naïve," he'd advise his bad boy nephew while quoting his real life self. "There's no good in that at all. You've got to do it all yourself, and you've gotta learn quick. And you can't look for sympathy either.” Then he'd hock a loogie in the boy's eye, head butt the snotty runt and boot his arse into a vat of that night's mystery stew.
Rather than "rebeling" against the record label making him play its crappy teen-pop songs by, well, writing his own crappy teen-pop song, the bad-boy-teen-idol-in-exile and his band (those other Jonas brothers) should have fired off an Internet-only release of the Pistols' "EMI" backed with Graham Parker's "Mercury Poisoning" and Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music, Part 3." Then they would take hostages, holding them at plastic sporkpoint until Oprah put them on a "very special" primetime edition of her pap fest. When she did, and you know she would, they would drop trou and whizz all over the Dr. Phil's wingtips.
Now, that, it rock 'n' roll, baby, and I like it.
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My Uncool Past
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