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Terrence McNally, Trailblazing Titan of American Theater, Dies From Coronavirus Complications at 81
Terrence McNally, the admired playwright and librettist who received five Tony Awards while bringing his perspective on the world to such productions as Kiss of the Spider-Woman, Master Class, Ragtime and Love! Valour! Compassion!, has died. He was 81.
McNally died Tuesday at a hospital in Sarasota, Florida, due to complications from coronavirus, publicist Matt Polk told The Hollywood Reporter. McNally battled lung cancer since the late 1990s, and the disease cost him portions of both lungs. He had lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ever since.
With 25 Broadway productions, nearly 40 plays and 10 musicals, McNally was a prolific writer whose work moved seamlessly from comedy to drama and from downtown avant-garde to the mainstream Great White Way. "He probes his characters’ deepest fears — of illness, intimacy, betrayal or death — while making them manageable for all audiences, leavening the dread with his rat-a-tat dialogue and well-timed jokes," The New York Times noted.
THE JOHN WAYNE INTERVIEW THAT CONTINUES TO OUTRAGE PEOPLE TODAY
Snopes.com cites chapter and verse of the interview published by Playboy Magazine in its May 1971 issue. In those days Playboy had a certain reputation not only for photography, but also long-form interviews that tried to get beneath the surface of the individual in question. Wayne gave them ample opportunity. One of the questions asked if Wayne felt any empathy toward Native Americans — termed Indians in those times — so often portrayed in his films as villains. Wayne's response:
"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that's what you're asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
In a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine, Wayne admitted he didn't like African-American people (or "the blacks" as he constantly called them) being in charge of anything because white people are apparently the only people who know what they're doing. As he said in the interview, "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people." He also railed against black people getting too many opportunities. He felt that "Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far," and that minorities should only get roles meant for them. Like slaves — Wayne actually claimed to be inclusive because he "had a black slave in The Alamo." To that, you might say, "well, it's a start," but honestly, it's not.
The Enduring Legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
23 years ago today, the iconic supernatural drama series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on the WB network. It was a scrappy little show based on the 1992 horror comedy film that didn’t make much of an impression critically or commercially. Who could have possibly known that this goofy teen show would go on to be one of the most influential and beloved series of the 90s and early 2000s?
When television is disposable, it relies on a reset at the end of every episode, so if you missed episodes here or there, you could simply jump back into the series without having missed anything important. It’s the basis for most procedural shows and sitcoms to this day: after all, you can watch an episode from season one or season 18 of Law & Order and still be able to follow along.
Buffy changed all of this with the invention of a season-long story arc. While its earlier seasons relied on a monster-of-the-week format, there would be an over-arching story thread, a Big Bad that would recur and wreak havoc throughout the season. These Big Bads (the Master, Angelus, Mayor Wilkins, etc.) were given a full season to develop into three-dimensional villains, which helped to raise the dramatic stakes (no pun intended) of the series.
The Mary Sue
Actor Timothy Hutton is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in 1983, leading to the cancelation of his Fox TV series 'Almost Family'
Former model Sera Johnston accused actor Timothy Hutton of raping her when she was 14 years old in 1983, BuzzFeed news reported Monday.
Later that day, Fox confirmed that Hutton's TV series "Almost Family" had been canceled.
Hutton "completely and unequivocally" denied the allegations, saying Johnston "fabricated" the story.
Stephen King tells Corey Feldman to ‘chill’ over forthcoming documentary naming Hollywood pedophiles. So Feldman invites him to the show.
Writer Stephen King told actor Corey Feldman to "chill" regarding Feldman's excitement over his forthcoming documentary, "(My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys." Feldman responded to King with an invitation to the event.
The project is set to air one time on March 9.
"In essence, drag queens are clowns. They are not transgender (or haven’t been until very, very recently). They are men, mainly gay..."
"... who make no attempt to pass as actual women, and don’t necessarily want to be women, but dress up as a caricature of a woman. Sure, some have bawdy names, and in the context of a late night gay bar, they can say some bawdy things. But they’re not really about sex at all. They’re about costume and play; their clothes and hair are exaggerated, over-the-top parodies of women’s appearance; their makeup is often cray-cray, their wigs absurd. They also reinforce, rather than undermine, gender norms in a weird, over-the-top way...."
The Toxic, Hidden History of a Black Man Castrated in a Small Texas Town
The 69-year-old white man with the goatee appeared agitated. “We don’t want you around here stirring up trouble with the Blacks,” he said, his voice getting louder.
When I told the goateed man that I simply wanted to understand what happened to McNeeley and how white and Black residents get along nearly eight decades later, he slammed his hand on the table.
“That doesn’t have anything to do with what’s happening with Blacks today,” he said. “They think because their great-great-great granddaddy was a slave that we owe them something.”
He looked across the table at a man wearing a shirt that read, “Trump 45, find your safe space snowflake.” Behind the man, a wall-mounted television was turned to Fox News.
“These Blacks don’t want to work, [they] live off handouts, and walk around with their pants hanging down to their knees,” the goateed man said. “It makes me sick.”
‘Change Has Come’: Virginia Will Be 1st Southern State to Ban LGBT Discrimination
Virginia is set to become the first Southern state to ban LGBT discrimination, after both the House and Senate approved the Virginia Values Act on Thursday.
The Washington Post reports: A sweeping LGBT-rights bill banning discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations sailed out of the Virginia Senate on a bipartisan vote Thursday. … The bill also would for the first time apply Virginia’s civil rights protections to public accommodations like restaurants and stores — not just for the LGBT community but also for racial minorities, women and religious groups. The House of Delegates was poised to approve an identical bill later Thursday. The Senate and House bills have to cross over to the opposite chamber and win passage again before Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who requested the legislation, can sign them into law. But those steps were regarded as mere technicalities by advocates cheering what they regard as landmark human rights legislation.
California pardons gay civil rights leader in new initiative
A civil rights leader who was gay and a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously pardoned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who also announced Wednesday what may be the nation's first process for forgiving those convicted under outdated laws punishing homosexual activity.
Bayard Rustin was a key organizer of the March on Washington in 1963 where King gave his seminal “I Have a Dream" speech. He also helped plan other nonviolent protests and boycotts to end racial discrimination.
Newsom pardoned Rustin for his arrest in 1953 when he was found having sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena, where he was appearing as part of a lecture tour on anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.
Rustin served 50 days in Los Angeles County jail and had to register as a sex offender before returning to his home state of New York. He died in 1987.
Newsom noted that police and prosecutors nationwide at the time used charges like vagrancy, loitering and sodomy to punish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.
I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.
Rodney Dangerfield 17-Jan-2020
Socialism Will Not Cure LGBTQ Oppression
...a lot of LGBTQ people lately have taken to the media to say that socialism is the answer to LGBTQ oppression and all I can say to that is, “Bullshit.” Every last bit of history proves otherwise. Now, I’m not arguing that socialism/communism is anti-LGBTQ, but it hasn’t been the best system for LGBTQ people in all cases. Yet, neither has capitalism. In fact, the social progress of LGBTQ rights in different countries under different systems has been so haphazard that it’s impossible to argue who has been better for LGBTQ rights. The only logical conclusion, and I know this may sound crazy to a lot of folks, is that somehow, and this is crazy, systems of economics and government don’t actually have a lot to do with social values. In fact, and I may be going out on a limb here but I’m feeling crazy, it seems that governments and economic systems reflect what society values. Woah, mindblowing ain’t it?
Camille Paglia: The Death of the Hollywood Sex Symbol (Guest Column)
Who killed the sex symbol?
It's no mystery that in the era of #MeToo, the rules of combat have changed on the sexual battlefield. Women will no longer tolerate condescending or degrading treatment that was once business as usual in the workplace or dating arena. But in this long overdue push-back against sexual coercion and exploitation, has something valuable been lost?
The sex symbol was arguably Hollywood's most brilliant artifact, propelling the young movie industry to world impact from the moment that Theda Bara flashed her coiled-snake brassiere in Cleopatra (1917). Sex was great box office. With its impudent populism, Hollywood crashed through stuffy proprieties lingering from the Victorian age and stationed itself at the bold forefront of the modern liberalization of sex. Movies were in sync with the radical new spirit of American women, who won the right to vote in 1920 and kicked up their heels throughout the flapper decade of the Roaring Twenties.
The great sex symbols of Hollywood were manufactured beings, engineered by trial and error, with the mass audience as their ultimate judge and jury. Decade by decade, the movie industry rediscovered primal archetypes that have animated myths around the world since the Stone Age. Major male sex symbols like Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier have a mesmerizing natural authority onscreen, a supranormal power of personality and density of being that transcend their roles. Like their antecedents in ancient hero sagas, they inhabit and explore physical space, whose frustrations and dangers they endure but ultimately defeat.
The female sex symbol, however, commands emotional or psychological space. Her sensual beauty is an alluring mirage, hypnotizing and sometimes paralyzing. Never entirely present, she is attuned to another reality, an extrasensory dimension to which we have no access. There is an unsettling aura of the uncanny around the major female sex symbols, who channel shadowy powers above or below the social realm.
Women in the Bible
Compared to the number of men, few women are mentioned in the Bible by name. The exact number of named and unnamed women in the Bible is somewhat uncertain because of a number of difficulties involved in calculating the total. For example, the Bible sometimes uses different names for the same woman, names in different languages can be translated differently, and some names can be used for either men or women. Professor Karla Bombach says one study produced a total of 3000-3100 names, 2900 of which are men with 170 of the total being women. However, the possibility of duplication produced the recalculation of a total of 1700 distinct personal names in the Bible with 137 of them being women. In yet another study of the Hebrew Bible only, there were a total of 1426 names with 1315 belonging to men and 111 to women. Seventy percent of the named and unnamed women in the Bible come from the Hebrew Bible.:33,34 "Despite the disparities among these different calculations, ... [it remains true that] women or women's names represent between 5.5 and 8 percent of the total [names in the Bible], a stunning reflection of the androcentric character of the Bible.":34 A study of women whose spoken words are recorded found 93, of which 49 women are named.
All Ancient Near Eastern societies were patriarchal, and the Bible is a patriarchal document, written by men from a patriarchal age. Many scholars see the primary emphasis of the Bible as reinforcing women's subordinate status. However, there are also scholars who claim there is a kind of gender blindness in the Bible as well as patriarchy. Marital laws in the Bible favored men, as did inheritance laws. There were strict laws of sexual behavior with adultery a crime punishable by stoning. A woman in ancient biblical times was always under the authority of a man and was subject to strict purity laws, both ritual and moral. However, women such as Deborah, the Shunnemite woman, and the prophetess Huldah, rise above societal limitations in their stories. The Bible contains many noted narratives of women as both victors and victims, women who change the course of events, and women who are powerless and unable to affect their own destinies.
In all three synoptic gospels, Mark, Matthew and Luke, Mary and Jesus' brothers are disowned by Jesus. The Matthew version has it as "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."  In Luke the repudiation is even stronger, there Jesus says his disciples have to hate their mothers. "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
There are hundreds of examples of women from the Bible as characters in painting, sculpture, opera and film. Historically, artistic renderings tend to reflect the changing views on women from within society more than the biblical account that mentions them.
Eve is a common subject. Art historian Mati Meyer says society's views of women are observable in the differing renderings of Eve in art over the centuries. Meyer explains: "Genesis 2–3 recounts the creation of man and the origins of evil and death; Eve, the temptress who disobeys God’s commandment, is probably the most widely discussed and portrayed figure in art." According to Mati Meyer, Eve is historically portrayed in a favorable light up through the Early Middle Ages (AD 800's), but by the Late Middle Ages (1400s) artistic interpretation of Eve becomes heavily misogynistic. Meyer sees this change as influenced by the writings of the 4th century theologian Augustine of Hippo, "who sees Eve’s sexuality as destructive to male rationality". By the seventeenth century, the Fall of man as a male-female struggle emerges, and in the eighteenth century, the perception of Eve is influenced by John Miltons Paradise Lost where Adam's free will is emphasized along with Eve's beauty. Thereafter a secular view of Eve emerges "through her transformation into a femme fatale—a compound of beauty, seductiveness and independence set to destroy the man."
Here's What Nobody Told You About Adam And Eve
Dismantling the Myth of the “Black Confederate”
Spend any amount of time talking about slavery on the internet, and you’ll eventually encounter the claim that there were “black Confederates” that fought for the South. “Over the past few decades, claims to the existence of anywhere between 500 and 100,000 black Confederate soldiers, fighting in racially integrated units, have become increasingly common,” writes historian Kevin Levin in his new book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth.
“Proponents assert that entire companies and regiments served under Robert E. Lee’s command, as well as in other theaters of war.” Look, believers say (directly or subtextually): The Confederacy can’t have been so bad for black people. Otherwise, why would they have defended it?
Levin’s book explains how this myth came about—while neatly dismantling it. We spoke recently about actual Confederates’ perspectives on black soldiers; why former “body servants” attended Confederate reunions during Jim Crow; and how the World Wide Web gave this story legs.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey apologizes for participating in blackface skit in college
Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama apologized on Thursday for participating in a racist skit that involved blackface when she was a college student.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Ivey, a Republican, said she was made aware of a taped interview that she and her then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, gave to an Auburn University student radio station when she was a student there. She said she did not remember the specifics of the skit.