Cultural Gutter: Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?

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Over on the Cultural Gutter, I’m celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The world doesn’t need another review of the movie, so Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? is instead a mini-memoir about my first time seeing the movie, at Louisville’s Vogue Theater in 1987, what it meant to me, and how radically the movie — and that old theater — changed my outlook on life for the better .

I realized then it’s ok to be weird. Hell, it’s preferable to be weird. To want something outside of the norm or to be something outside of the norm. That being unacceptable can be perfectly acceptable. To give in to temptation. Suddenly, I wanted to be part of that world, rather than someone who joked about it. I loved it, that gaudy, glitzy procession of perversion and joy and garter belts and corsets. I didn’t have any desire to become a cross-dresser, but I certainly wanted to live the sort of life where I counted them among my friends, along with all the other strange people I was seeing. And the strange person I was becoming (or had always been). I walked away from that screening with a deep sense of identification with Susan Sarandon’s Janet, who finds herself thrust into this strange, sinful, unfamiliar world and, rather than being aghast, finds it a blast.

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