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Why Scorn Matters

By  Ben Shapiro
DailyWire.com

This week, the Met Gala took place in New York City. The event has always been a showpiece for celebrities seeking to make a splash, from Rihanna in her Pope costume to Katy Perry dressed as a chandelier. This year’s event was designed in homage to Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “Notes on Camp.” According to Sontag, “camp” is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”

In reality, camp according to Sontag is something else: a deliberate attempt to tear down boundaries. “Camp taste,” Sontag wrote, “turns its back on the good-bad axis of ordinary aesthetic judgment.” “(H)igh culture,” Sontag acknowledged, “is basically moral.” Camp, by contrast, “is wholly aesthetic.” In fact, it “incarnates a victory of ‘style’ over ‘content,’ ‘aesthetics’ over ‘morality,’ of irony over tragedy.” It represents the “solvent of morality” and “neutralizes moral indignation, sponsors playfulness.” As Kareem Khubchandani, performance studies and queer studies professor at Tufts University, told NBC News, camp “makes profane the things that are sacred.” Sontag said something similar in her essay: Camp is a “sensibility that, among other things, converts the serious into the frivolous.”

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