Get yer ass to see TARNATION.

What is it that StinkyLulu loved so much about Jonathan Caouette's extraordinary film TARNATION? On first glance, that seems a toughie. What's not to love? As a film, it sorta defies smartypantsiness. (Scroll down to the bottom of the October archive forAfrofuturist's succinct supersmart analysis which says the only important brainy things StinkyLu's yet seen said about the film...)

But what did StinkyLulu love so? Is it Caouette's & StinkyLulu's overlapping cultural obsessions (which include Carrie, Dolly Parton, that tv movie about Jonestown, Bernadette from Zoom, Karen Black and Sandy Dennis in Jimmy Dean, the list goes on...)? The shared investment in popculture collage as a form of autobiographical self expression? The shared familial devastation derived from the late50s/early60s overprescription of shock therapy? The shared ability to refer to themselves in the third person?

Of course StinkyLulu loved all of this but what did StinkyLu lurv so much more? It's almost impossible beyond words but it's in the way Caouette describes the inimitable Dolly Parton: "Dolly is pure hope."

StinkyLulu completely understands what Caouette's talking about with Dolly. And it's that kind of hope that StinkyLulu finds so throttling, so transcendant & constant in Caouette's Tarnation, even amidst the vertiginous whorl of emotion and archival footage that comprises the actual film. Really. It's the pure hope. For all the mental illness & abuse & desparation & fear & filth, StinkyLulu's eyes see this film as most purely about HOPE. How to find it. How to feed it. How to keep it alive. How to give it away. How to know it's there. How to hope. Even when confronted with the likes of Renee's punkin rant -- the reverberations of which are aftershocking StinkyLulu's system even still...
StinkyLulu loves the gift of hope that survives throughout Caouette's cinematic reconfiguration of autobiography as a performance genre. Now StinkyLu's hoping for a revival of the Blue Velvet musical... C'mon, Jonathan -- your fans are waiting...


Same-Sex Marriage WEDGIE -- ow!

StinkyLulu confesses to being more than a little shocked at the brutality of the first wave of reactions to the "mandate" of anti-same-sex marriage decisions has become. Michigan's governor has removed domestic partner benefits from the new contracts for state employees on December 15 even though the voters were not polled on domestic partner status.

But what really hurts StinkyLulu's heart is what's happening in the case of Jiffy & Donita where the INS (or whatever it's called these days) is now denying marriages of couples if one of the partners -- whether legally or surgically the opposite sex of their spouse -- identifies as transgender. StinkyLulu really didn't think that the Bush administration would go so far as to void existing marriages, but here it goes.

So it goes. The same-sex marriage wedge is being used to deny domestic partnership benefits even in states where the marriage amendments were promoted to draw the distinctions between marriage and civil unions. The same-sex marriage wedge is being used to diminish long-fought-for legal statuses of transgender individuals and their families. StinkyLulu now fears legally adopted children being removed from the homes of their parents because of the bans on same-sex marriage.

For all those queers who complain that gay marriage was never their issue, StinkyLulu's sorry to say that it is now. The same-sex marriage wedge threatens to become the primary strategy to delegitimize gay relationships and to make patently illegal the extension of basic civil rights protections to those perceived to be gay.