Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Giants Win the Pennant: A Flimsy Excuse for a List

Yes, I am an Atlanta Braves fan. Yes, I participate in the Tomahawk Chop. And, yes, it devastated me when the San Francisco Giants knocked the Braves out of the playoffs.

But, I am a Bay Area native, through and through. I grew up watching Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants baseball on television every day of the summer. My father is about as devout as one can be about the black and orange.

So, the Giants winning the world series is a big deal -- for me, for my family, and for Northern California.

When I was about 10 (my dad can probably correct me on the exact timeline), I attended a baseball day camp. The experience was okay, although I did lose a mitt at one point, but never mind that.

One of the main draws of the camp was that we got to have our pictures taken with a professional baseball player toward the end of the camp. I had my picture taken with San Francisco Giants right fielder Glenallen Hill.

Somewhere, I may even still have the picture, but the point is that I remember it happening. And, that is the clearest memory I have of camp (that and the first time I had mayonnaise).

To be up front about this, I was thinking about camp this weekend because I went through the whole Sleepaway Camp series, a trilogy of very 80s-style teen-slasher flicks.

I just wanted a way to tie everything in with the World Series. What I really want to talk about are famous, or not-so-famous, movie camps.

Here are five movie camps I wouldn’t want to attend.

Camp Crystal Lake from Friday the 13th

Anyone familiar with 80s horror should be familiar with this camp -- the first final resting place of Jason Voorhees, and the camp where his mother went on a kill-crazy rampage that was somehow about revenge and teen sex. It’s certainly not a summer camp I’d ever want to attend, but it would also be quite difficult as all of the counselors died before they could even open the camp.

Camp Chippewa from Addams Family Values

This is one of my favorite movies. Chippewa is the antithesis of what the Addams family stands for -- it’s all perkiness and pep and spirit and joy. In fact, there is so much perkiness that a subtle creepiness begins to seep into the framework of the camp. It’s as good as a brainwashing facility, except that it panders to the already converted. Luckily, Wednesday and Pugsly, in their own way, are able to bring a fresh perspective to the world of the camp.

Any of the camps from the Sleepaway Camp series

It’s not so much the camps themselves, which seem normal enough aside from some extensive bullying, but the fact so many people tend to die. And, they all tend to die at the hands of the same woman, a charming if puritanical camper/counselor with some serious identity issues. The movies aren’t great, though I enjoy them well enough, but the camps are the kinds of place I could never enjoy -- you know, for fear of dying.

The Camp from Piranha

It’s a summer camp that seems only okay. The fun is mostly limited to swimming in the lake and learning to swim in the lake and various other lake-centric activities. I suppose this wouldn’t be so bad if the camp hadn’t been built so near an army testing facility with a pool of killer mutant piranha that drains directly into the lake. Unfortunately, it has.

Kids on Fire from Jesus Camp

I’m on the record as stating that I find Jesus Camp to be the most terrifying movie ever made, mostly for the fact that it’s all true and that these are real people with real beliefs who really think I’m going to Hell and they’re going to Heaven and that those places exist. The message promoted at this camp is so far beyond anything I could agree with that there is already nothing there for me. However, I would also have to come to terms with the fact that I’d probably be burned as a heretic outright. So, there’s that, too.