RuPaul on Camp and How Airports Foster Social Control

RuPaul (Getty Images)

We recently spoke to RuPaul to discuss the state of camp, as discussed in a feature this week–and he told us that today’s gay youth is grievously unaware of the canon.

“In theory, it’s easier,” he told us, of the Internet’s custodial possibilities. “If that kid doesn’t know where to look for it, though… The first time I had to explain to someone young who the Pointer Sisters were, I was appalled!”

RuPaul told us that camp would survive, if in attenuated form, through a small band of torch-carriers: “If someone has that sensibility, they don’t need to be told where to look… The truth is, most people cant see beyond the face value of something. Our egos tell us to believe who we are on our driver’s license. Anything outside of that, a lot of people can’t hear it.”

The star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, whose current season debuted last night, wasn’t seeing much in the way of camp at the multiplex: RuPaul’s favorite movies of 2011 included Drive, The Descendants, Pariah, and Shame. “In this life, kiddo, you gotta have a balanced diet. You gotta have something to counter all the bullshit this society thrives on.”

To what bullshit might Ru be referring? “There’s so much more consumerism and people are so tied into the products that they buy, and for people to get you to buy these products, they say you are not really clean unless youre zestily clean.”

He discussed signs in airports indicating that passengers ought not accept packages from strangers. “But who would ever do that? It’s a way to control people–it’s a way to instill fear. It’s an old trick. It’s just like yelling fire in a crowded theater. It’s mean, but it works.”

And just like that, our time was up! RuPaul on Camp and How Airports Foster Social Control