In some ways, the impetus for studying Dude culture is dual: I feel I’ve grown up (or down) with "dude," having first heard it from the single surfer dude in my high school and then the single surfer dude in my class at Yale (he dropped out freshman year to party with the waves). But there’s also a similar motive to that which prompted Ms. Sontag to investigate the resonances of camp. She opened her "Notes on ‘Camp’" essay with these two sentences:
"Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility—unmistakably modern, a variant of sophistication but hardly identical with it—that goes by the cult name of ‘Camp.’" (My italics.)
Similarly, Dude has been named, but has Dude—as sensibility—been adequately described? If camp is "a variant of sophistication," Dude might be called a variant of unsophistication. And yet also "hardly identical with it." In fact, it can be, when used ironically as it often is here in New York City, a sophisticated take on unsophistication.
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