Sunday, June 10, 2007

80s Music Video Sunday #26

So Benji is spending the summer as a unit head at our old summer camp, and quite frankly, I can't wait to hear all about it! Some of my greatest teenage memories are from there, whether it be hours spent happily on the softball field (proving that even though I was a girl, I could play better than most of the boys), folk dancing every evening after dinner, fighting over Fruity Pebbles during Shabbat morning breakfasts or choosing between the various "optional-mandatory" sessions (there were many sessions to choose from – attendance was mandatory but each person had the option to choose the one that sounded the most interesting, hence the name) held on Shabbat afternoons. I'll never forget the Saturday evening Havdalah ceremonies, when somehow, no matter how the weather had been all day, the days before, the days following, etc, it never ever rained, so we were always able to hold the ceremony outside, a record that held throughout five years of month-long sessions.

While I'm not really in touch with people I went to camp with (though interestingly enough, I've since made friends with people who were there around the same time as me, but whom I never met back in the day), I can still remember the good times we had and the closeness and comradery we shared, not to mention the friendly rivalries that existed between the geographical regions from which we'd each come (I remember the Texans as being, ummm, especially proud of their heritage, and being rather loud about it too! "The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day..."). Shabbat was always a special time, starting with the Friday evening services and "Kabalat shabbat", prepared each week by a different group, and special dinners, followed by a short skit (again, prepared each week by a different group) and folk dancing, where, because it was Friday night and the camp kept the shabbat laws, we danced to the sounds of our own voices singing, so as not to break shabbat by using musical instruments or recorded music. Saturdays were relaxing, with prayer services in the morning and most of the day spent at leisure, aside from the previously mentioned "optional-mandatories". Saturday evening dinners (always dairy, as I recall) were followed by the singing of quiet songs (which were often preferred, as they involved a great deal of touching because everyone put their arms around one another's shoulders as we sang, and despite the somewhat spiritual atmosphere, when it came down to it, we were still a bunch of horny teenagers looking for any excuse to make contact with the opposite sex...), the aforementioned Havdalah ceremony (which involved a great deal of hand-holding), and a veritable orgy of folk dancing.

Some of my fondest memories of the camp years were the times spent with the Israeli Scouts – our sister movement. Every year, there would be several young Israelis in camp with us, as well as a group of Scouts who traveled around the country, performing at different summer camps and other Jewish venues (performances were similar to those of the army's entertainment troupes). The Scouts were an integral part of our summer camp experience, and I always enjoyed getting to know these amazing young people who shared their culture with us. To this day, I still have an official "Scouts" bandanna, given to me by a Scout nicknamed Solo in 1984. He had been my best friend that summer, and even though I never saw him after that, I've never forgotten what a wonderful friend he was and the special friendship we shared. I've occasionally tried to look him up during my years in Israel, but so far, without any success.

If I had to pick a favorite summer – and I'd be hard-pressed to do so, but for the sake of argument, let's say I was required to do so, it would have to be the summer we lived in tents. Each tent slept two people (single sex only, so don't go getting ideas into your heads), sat on a raised platform and had a few electrical outlets (hey – it was for a whole month, AND we were American teenagers!). I shared a tent with my friend Pam, with whom I had something of a love-hate relationship, as I recall. I don't remember specifics, I just have these vague memories of the occasional disagreement. One of the things I remember most about that summer was the tent next to ours. One of its inhabitants was a guy named Craig. Craig, in addition to being a champion swimmer (I believe he trained for the Olympics), he was a huge fan of the 80s group General Public. We always knew when Craig was in his tent because we could hear General Public being played (needless to say, tent walls are not very thick...). And so, due to the rather incessant playing of this duo's music (and a minor crush on Craig), I became a fan too. I acquired a copy of "All the Rage" and the rest, as they say, is history.

General Public

I don't know when to start or when to stop
My luck's like a button
I can't stop pushing it
My head feels light
But I'm still in the dark
Seems like without tenderness there's something missing

Where is the
Where is it?

I don't know where I am but I know I don't like it
Open my mouth and out pops something spiteful
Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence

I held your hand
Rings but none on your fingers
We danced and danced
but I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you're here, but
Next night you're not
It always leaves me searching for a little

Where is the
Where is it?

Whistling in the graveyard
Calling up your girlfriend
Just trying to make you understand
You're squeezing the telephone like it was her hand
No questions (so many questions)
She's gonna catch you out boy
It all seems so underhand
Now hat she's the only thing that ever made you feel like a man, man
Madman madman
Where is the
Where is it?


rami said...

Happy (belated) Birthday :)

RR said...

Oh yeah, I remember that song- though I've never heard of the group.

Life Out East said...

Missed them completely but sounds soooo eighties. Where do you get them from? Was it your birthday? Happy birthday, hope you had a good time.