For a girl who like to wear giant glitter-encrusted fruit on her head, Marina Diamandis is sure full of darkness and angst. She comes out looking like she’s about to tell everyone to put their hands up in the air and dance like they just don’t care, and then she goes into a ballad about the existential emptiness inside herself. While all the fifteen-year-old gay bois in the audience sing along in rousing unison. (They’re all wearing giant bananas on their heads.) Yes, I have been to a Marina show. It was like a bespangled fever dream of gender-fluid hormones and inner pain. That’s what makes a camp icon for the ages, kiddos. Now, I wasn’t entirely sure that the younger generation were in need of a camp icon of their own, or if a child of fifteen summers would even know what camp is. But apparently they do and they do. The kids understand very well that the inner pain that’s simpering, boring and mundane in a basic bitch who shops at Marshalls becomes a boiling, heartrending, operatic statement of tragic longing and universal suffering when the sufferer is a glitter slut from outer space. The fission between outer fabulosity and inner turmoil just makes it all – mwah! – pure art.
“Underneath it all, we’re just savages
Hidden behind shirts, ties and marriages…”
As if I needed anything to validate my lack of faith in the species. We are, all told, impenetrably dumb, desire-driven dysfunctional monkeys and the only thing we’ve got going for us is a pop song or two. But, as Marina points out, we like to think that our suits and social institutions elevate us somehow. It’s all about that veneer of civilization that makes us think we have our shit together. Shocker, we don’t have our shit together. But, again, we do have culture, which is more than most of the other animals can say for themselves, and if it doesn’t redeem us in the grand universal scheme of things, at least it makes our short and brutish lives a tiny bit more meaningful.