But it’s, like, campy camp

It seems like special-issue editorship is a rite of passage for us SN&R staffers. When asked to oversee our annual Summer Guide, I thought, “Crap!” I said, “Sure!”

The first duty was to settle on a theme. I wondered how on earth to avoid picking something stiff and clichéd. Then I thought about how much of life is stiff and clichéd, and it helps if you have a good attitude. Someone had said, “How about summer camp—but, like, you know, camp?” And we were off and running, parsing the finer points of trash, kitsch, schlock, cheese. The essential nuances of camp culture.

I think the result is unlike any other Summer Guide you’ve seen from us. Surely, you’ll note the lavish, gawgeous fashion spreads courtesy of Calendar Editor Erin Sierchio and Art Director Don Button and be humbled by our grand and campy ambitions.

It is called a guide. It is supposed to be useful, to give you a workable sense of what’s doing around town this summer. But we’re of the belief that what’s doing is largely up to you. We want you to know you have options. You don’t have to go patriot-crazy with the home décor on Memorial Day, or buy an Airstream travel trailer for your family vacation, or make a luckless weekend getaway to the gaudier corners of Reno, or unleash a karaoke talent of biblical proportions. But you may want to do those things, in which case, well, let the guide be your guide.

And if you don’t like it, we’ll rest assured that one great thing about camp is its way of repackaging failure as success.

To your great relief, perhaps, other areas of the paper, like our award-winning, vitamin-fortified news section, remain untouched by this silliness. But stay alert for a few other theme-related morsels throughout the arts section: SN&R food critic Kate Washington’s camp-inclined Sacto burger-joint report card, my interrogation/backhanded compliment of the inherently campy Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, a willfully incomprehensive list of anticipated summer movies that register strongly on the camp detector, and other stuff I can’t really remember right now because rites of passage make me hungry and it’s time for lunch.