Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Cheated?

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.

camp rock promoThe 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 na├»ve," 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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  1. I totally agree.

    We have watched it so many times already that I can not get the theme song out of my head.

  2. Not a single song has stuck with me, unlike any of the HSM tunes which -- I'll admit -- are pretty catchy and even clever in spots. My brain is breathing a collective sigh.

  3. If there was no "Ramp Cock" (laughed very much out loud at that) or High School Musical or American Idol or Bill Engvall Show or Nashville Star or Air Supply or New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys or George W. Bush, we wouldn't know just how good the good things -- The Clash, Wes Anderson, West Wing, The Odd Couple, Al Gore, New York Mets, books, books, and more books -- actually are. So all hail mediocrity... It makes excellence shine a little brighter. (Or not.)

  4. God Save Felix, Oscar, Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula

  5. I laughed through that whole post. Although I didn't find the movie quite that bad, I do agree that it needed some tweaking.

    God, that was funny.

  6. This is one that I haven't been subjected to, thank goodness. And that's good for me because I absolutely can not stand the Jonas Brothers.
    Like, at all.

    You still had me cracking up despite my lack of watching. I know how Disney rolls and have suffered through enough HSM to use my imagination on Camp Rock. I think your version would kill.(The good kind of kill.)

  7. OMG! Ramp Cock! Spork point!

    I think I'm having an asthma attack from laughing so hard!

    You crack me up, dude.

    Still, I didn't think it was THAT bad. Some of the tunes were bordering on catchy. Not as catchy as HSM, though.And I should know, having had to listen to HSM about 998,999 times.

  8. I never said was bad. But it was a snoozer. My Love seemed to like it, but bear in mind that when we first meet, she was into "smooth jazz."

  9. i future cringe for the jonas bros but I eagerly await the highlights on perez Hilton 2010.

  10. You can't have been all that surprised. You get what you pay for... oh wait.

  11. They still have Bop and Teen Beat? Man, I need to build some sort of business model that relies on the poor taste of pre-teenyboppers.

    I also found Camp Rock to be *meh* at best. They should have called it "Camp Highly Synthesized Pop."

  12. Maybe I am an obstinate non-conformist (hey, perhaps that imbues me with more Johhny Rotten cred than the DVD stars), but I still haven't even boarded the High School Musical train yet.

    Love Disney animation projects, but lawsy, I wish they'd let my soon to be first graders enjoy those first rather than pushing the pop-tween culture so soon.

    Nice to see I'm not the only reluctant parent...but as Johnny Lydon says, "I've disappointed a few people..."

    So be it! ;)

    Nice to find your blog.

  13. Literal - I pay DirecTV upwards of $80/ month. Expect better crap; no compromises.

    MM - If you've got the scam, I'm willing to partner.

    Stacey - I'm glad you found this blog, too. As a mother of twins, you get twice my future empathy during the teen years. Swing by often, bring the family.

  14. You are a prize winner on my blog. Please come and give your acceptance speech.

  15. Featured on Good Mom/Bad mom on the Chronicle: http://tinyurl.com/6lwlue


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