The loss of Ivan Dixon is strange for me. “Noting But A Man” with Abbey Lincoln and Gloria Foster is probably one of the most influential films I’ve ever seen. The story of a black man wanting more in the South, finding some of that more in the love of a woman, then realizing that more is sometimes out of your reach, “Nothing But A Man” is often overlooked for the genius it is. Sure, everyone loves “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” and this day and age that shows a return of our fascination with snitches, it makes sense that this is the movie that most parade around. “Nothing But A Man” however, is harder to watch, gives you more at the end and stays with you like an argument with a lover.
For a writer, it would seem like it would be difficult to find a film with very little dialogue as an influence. On the contrary. I am not a word junkie. My ideal would be to use as few words as possible and have the story explode on the screen like watching a quiet scream. Abbey and Ivan showed me such a beautiful, subtle and touching interaction, intermingled with racism and desires to be better than the box the world puts around you. Gloria’s small but impactful scene as the girlfriend of Ivan’s character’s father bowls me over because he realizes that the peace he tries to get with his father will never happen with the father so he must deal with the closest person…the girlfriend. It’s ripe with the blues of smashed expectation. All set to fight, he finds no fight but an unlikely soldier in the same boat as he.
Soon after this movie, I heard Ivan went the Hollywood way and made himself more memorable in stuff like “Hogan’s Heroes” and all that, which is cool. But it will always be that simmering frustrated passionate quiet anger that pops into my head whenever I write a serious “love” scene, remembering that there is more in the room than just a man or just a woman…there is all of the baggage we carry along with us.
Actor Ivan Dixon dies at 76
Emmy nominee known for ‘Hogan’s Heroes’
By VARIETY STAFFActor, director and producer Ivan Dixon, known for his role as Sgt. Kinchloe on “Hogan’s Heroes,” died in Charlotte, N.C. on March 16 after suffering a hemorrhage. He was 76.
Dixon received an Emmy nom for the CBS Playhouse special “The Final War of Olly Winter” and appeared in films including “A Raisin in the Sun, “A Patch of Blue” and “Car Wash.”
His directorial credits include hundreds of episodic television shows such as “The Waltons,” “The Rockford Files,” “Magnum P.I.” and “Heat of the Night.” His theatrical film directing credits include “Trouble Man” and “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.”
Born in New York City, Dixon graduated North Carolina Central U. and studied drama at Western Reserve U., Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio and the American Theater Wing in New York.
He began his career on Broadway in such plays as “The Cave Dwellers” and “A Raisin in the Sun.” In addition to roles in feature films “Something of Value” and “Nothing But a Man,” he appeared on TV shows such as “Perry Mason,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Outer Limits” and “The Mod Squad.”
He was honored with four NAACP Image Awards, the National Black Theater Award and the Paul Robeson Pioneer Award from the Black American Cinema Society. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild of America, and the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, he served on numerous Directors Guild and Academy committees, boards and councils.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Berlie; a son and a daughter.
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This story is everywhere because everybody thinks it’s the weirdest thing to be stuck for two years on a toilet. I don’t think there’s anybody out there who can tell me they’ve never been stuck for a long period of time before. Seriously, if you think about it this way, it’s not so strange. I’ve been stuck in crappy relationships for two years and more before. Or I’ve been counterproductive to myself for longer than two years. Like the guy says, “after a while, you kinda get used to it”. Now, of course it’s going to take years for this lady to get her skin back but hell that’s how long it took me to get my backbone and break out of whatever horrible situation I was in. At least she gets some news coverage and a new toilet. She might want to look into a new man and family members but hey, who out there is immune from taking loved one inventory every once in a while?
Boyfriend: Phobia caused woman’s 2-year bathroom stay
“After a while, you kind of get used to it,” boyfriend says
Police say woman lived in bathroom for two years, didn’t want to leave
Her skin had grown around seat of toilet, police say; it went with her to hospital
Boyfriend says he brought her food, water, clothes in bathroom
WICHITA, Kansas (AP) — A 35-year-old woman who sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for so long that her body was stuck to the seat had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, the boyfriend said.
“She is an adult; she made her own decision,” said her boyfriend, Kory McFarren. “I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it.”
The case drew nationwide attention after Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the Ness City woman’s skin had grown around the seat in the two years she apparently was in the bathroom.
“We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital,” Whipple said. “The hospital removed it.”
McFarren, 36, said he can’t be certain how long Pam Babcock stayed in the bathroom because “time just went by so quick I can’t pinpoint how long.” He said beatings she received in her childhood caused her phobia.
“It just kind of happened one day; she went in and had been in there a little while, the next time it was a little longer. Then she got it in her head she was going to stay — like it was a safe place for her,” McFarren said.
But McFarren said she moved around in the bathroom during that time, bathed and changed into the clothes he brought her. He brought food and water to her. They had conversations and had an otherwise normal relationship — except it all happened in the bathroom.
McFarren said he finally called police February 27 after he became worried because Babcock was acting groggy — like she didn’t know what was going on, except she was awake.
What emergency responders found when they went into bathroom has left residents of this small western Kansas town buzzing, and law enforcement officials incredulous.
Police found the clothed woman sitting on the toilet, her sweat pants down to mid-thigh. She was “somewhat disoriented,” and her legs looked like they had atrophied, Whipple said.
“She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body,” Whipple said. “It is hard to imagine. … I still have a hard time imagining it myself.”
She initially refused emergency medical services, but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.
“She said that she didn’t need any help, that she was OK and did not want to leave,” he said.
Whipple said the county attorney will determine whether any charges should be filed against McFarren.
McFarren, who works at an antique store, said he has been taking care of Babcock for the 16 years they have lived together. He insisted that he tried to coax her out of the bathroom every day.
“And her reply would be, `Maybe tomorrow,”‘ Whipple said. “According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom.”
She was reported in fair condition Wednesday at a hospital in Wichita, about 150 miles southeast of Ness City. Whipple said she has refused to cooperate with medical providers or law enforcement investigators.
Babcock has an infection in her legs that has damaged her nerves, and there is a possibility she may wind up in a wheelchair, McFarren said.
James Ellis, a neighbor, said he had known the woman since she was a child, but that he had not seen her for at least six years.
“I don’t think anybody can make any sense out of it,” Ellis said.
Babcock had a tough childhood after her mother died at a young age and apparently was usually kept inside the house as she grew up, he said.
“It really doesn’t surprise me,” Ellis said. “What surprises me is somebody wasn’t called in a bit earlier.”
Okay, this has gone too far. First it was “Raisin in The Sun” and then it was “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” and now this? Listen, I like classic plays along with the rest of them but why in the name of hell are people acting like nobody writes good plays anymore? And I’m not just saying that because I write a few good ones, either. I’m even saying this for those playwrights I don’t know and for my peeps I got frienvy for who have some moderate success (though nothing matching these proportions). If you really want to do something lovely, attach an unknown play to the front of one of these revivals. You know like how they do concerts? Get an opener. For crying out loud.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie will star in the first Broadway revival of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” which will be produced by Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment in the summer.
The first preview is scheduled for mid-July, in advance of an early August opening. No theater has been named, and no cast members outside of Arie have been chosen.
Often described as a choreopoem, the play presents the stories of seven women of color from the African Diaspora. Shirley Jo Finney will direct, and three-time Tony winner Hinton Battle will choreograph.
In summer 1976, the Obie-winning play had a three-month run off-Broadway at the Public Theater and then moved to Broadway, where it ran for nearly two years. It was nominated for the Tony for best play, and Trazana Beverley won a Tony for best featured actress in a play.
“For Colored Girls” was remounted off-Broadway at American Place Theatre in summer 2000, but this will be its first revival on the Main Stem.
I hesitate to even post things this crazy says or writes because she’s like one of those medieval monsters that feeds off of any attention you give her. I’d rather watch a remake of “Candyman” with Morris Chestnutt (and if you know me, you KNOW how torturous I deem that) than hear one word this nutjob says. I hope she stands in the way when some astro star hits Earth. Why is she all of a sudden an expert on “classy”? This is the broad that called the 9/11 widows “bitches”! I wish somebody would “Drop Squad” her. I hope they use her head for opening night at the soon to be evacuated Yankee Stadium.
HILLARY: STAND BY SOME OTHER MAN
March 5, 2008
The mainstream media said she was finished, but our brave Hillary soldiered on to wallop B. Hussein Obama in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island Tuesday night. I don’t know what the MSM is so upset about– we let them pick the Republican nominee. Did they want to pick the Democratic nominee, too?
Not only that, but after some toothsome appearances on various madcap comedy shows this past week — “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night With David Letterman,” “Hardball With Chris Matthews” — Hillary’s “likability” quotient is soaring! According to the latest CNN/CBS News poll, she’s just been upgraded from “Utterly Loathsome” to “Execrable.”
The percentage of registered voters who would rather disembowel themselves with a wooden spoon than vote for Hillary has just slipped below the magical 50 percent mark. We’re surging, Hillary! If you want to be even more likable, you should go on “The View.” Next to those four harpies, you seem almost agreeable.
Now that Hillary has won three primaries in a row, it’s time for Obama to do the classy thing and withdraw from the race. (Obama won Vermont, but that was earlier in the day. Exit polls indicate he took the black vote. Literally. There was just the one.)
Imagine how proud Michelle Obama would be of her country if that happened! But Obama probably won’t do the classy thing, despite claiming to be a “new” kind of politician and rejecting the politics of division.
If Hillary is serious about becoming president, she’s got to make some changes. I say this as a Hillary supporter and strong opponent of divorce. Hillary: You’ve got to divorce Bill. You’ve already fired one campaign manager. Now it’s time to get rid of your No. 1 buzz-killer.
Not only is the media’s group-lie about Bill Clinton being a “rock star” over, but — one can hope — the use of the excruciatingly stupid phrase “rock star” to refer to wonky politicians is over. It’s become such a cliche that music critics have begun referring to actual rock stars as “leading Democratic contenders.”
Liberals believe, often accurately, that if they say the same thing over and over again 1 billion times, people will believe it: “Bush lied, kids died,” “We’ve lost in Iraq,” “Reagan is stupid,” “Bush is stupid,” “Republicans are stupid,” “Global warming is destroying the planet,” “Gloria Steinem is good-looking” and — their most provably false assertion — “Bill Clinton is the most talented politician of his generation.”
In a period of just a few short months last year, “news” articles in The New York Times cooed — I mean “said” — the following about Bill Clinton:
– “Elvis is here, Clinton version. Having Bill Clinton campaign for you, as Mr. Ford learns, is a mixed blessing. You are bolstered standing next to this outsized Democrat, but still seem puny by comparison.”
– “Mr. Clinton is one Oscar-worthy supporting actor who can sometimes upstage his leading lady simply by breathing.”
– “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been trying to capture Bill Clinton’s old political magic and lay claim to his legacy and popularity.”
– Tony Blair’s charisma “ranks second only to Bill Clinton’s.”
Not to be a stickler, but Bill Clinton is the guy who could never get as much as 50 percent of the country to vote for him. And that was in two presidential elections that the Republicans basically sat out (as they are doing this year).
It was also in elections held before the country realized “Elvis” Clinton was molesting the help. If Bill Clinton is the Democrats’ idea of Elvis, somebody should tell them he’s playing to half-empty houses.
Besides the joy liberals take in lying generally, they have massive Reagan envy. Despite having informed us the requisite 1 billion times that Reagan was a dunce, Americans adored him, and still do.
Democrats wanted one of their presidents to be adored, too — and not just for being assassinated. But they only seemed able to produce laughable incompetents like Jimmy Carter.
So no matter how preposterous it was, liberals just kept telling us that the chubby kid with the big red nose whose greatest moment on the football field involved a wind instrument was “Elvis.” According to Nexis, that appellation has been applied to Clinton approximately 1,000 times. In print, that is. There’s no telling how many drunken cocktail waitresses have whispered it in Clinton’s ear during late-night elevator assignations.
You can stop lying for the voters now, Hillary. This is me, Ann Coulter, your supporter.
This charade of a marriage has gone on long enough. Even if you were stupid enough to marry him back in the ’70s, Bill is just so over, girlfriend. He can’t even get Holiday Inn cocktail waitresses anymore. Last I heard, he was hitting on the Motel 6 housekeeping staff.
You’re too good for him, Hillary. Obama has now denounced and rejected Louis Farrakhan. It’s time for you to denounce and reject Bill Clinton.
Obama excites voters by offering to be the first black president. You’ve got a chance to make history by becoming the first divorcee to win the White House.
I’ve been away for a minute (like I have fans where you check for me or anything) because NYC winters are giving me the blues. I am not built for this anymore, I don’t think. Los Angeles made my blood thin. If my chunky thighs aren’t enough to block the numbing cold, then I don’t know what is. What’s the point of having meat on your thighs if they don’t protect you? I miss my car. I miss DRIVING to the grocery store and not lugging food on the subway. Don’t get me wrong, I have deep love for NYC. I just can’t be plus 33 here anymore. There might be a baby in me and Scott’s future and curse be damned if I ride the subway with her. I’ll not have my man wind up in Riker’s for murder just because some idiot elbowed me on the train. True story: crazy chubby man asks woman with toddler if he can have her seat because his back is bad. Then he tries to kick game to her. Sigh.
Enough complaining. It’s sunny…and cold.
I had this revelation the other day. Well, I’ve had lots but this one is one that I want to write about. I was telling Scott about how I used to watch “The Breakfast Club” every day when I was about 15. My dad taped it for me from HBO when we didn’t have it and it became one of my best friends. Me, the kids and a big bowl of frosted Shredded wheat…that was my good time. I’m a Tootie (black girl with experiences beyond 40 ounces, incarcerated family members, shouting matches and a good afternoon with NWA blaring from the speakers. A Tootie can enjoy these things just as much as she enjoys Duran Duran, world travel, sushi and white people. Thanks, Marcella! Did I leave anything out?). So my Tootie membership explains why me and the kids in detention spent a lot of time together.
But that’s not the revelation. I’ve always been a Tootie.
My revelation is kind of like that play “Six Characters in Search of An Author” by Luigi Pirandello. Short summary: Six characters insist on being given life and state their case. My revelation is that those characters from “The Breakfast Club” are totally variations of me in different relationships. Check it:
Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy): The Recluse: a misfit and self-described “compulsive liar”. Okay that was me from perhaps 15-16 with a break and then coming back around to into at 19 and then 27. To all those boys during that span of time, I wasn’t really a liar. But I was totally into wearing all black, woe is me type deal,insisting that I was ALWAYS different from everyone else. I had to be. That was my identity. And the boys I dated really didn’t help much. Not that you’re supposed to I guess. If you aren’t The One for someone, I don’t suppose you want to invest time into telling somebody that they are needlessly suffering.
Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez): The Athlete: a varsity wrestler. Okay that “you’ve got to win” speech he gives totally was the pressure I felt when I dated a few high pressure guys. It wasn’t really me that they dated but more my writing potential. I had several mini-breakdowns (french fries with gravy nights) and never felt good enough personally so I became defensive and didn’t want to do anything.
Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall): The Brain: a nerd. Ah, this one I hadn’t seen in a while. Middle school. Not allowed to date. Had major life-will-end-if-I-can’t-wear-his-starter-jacket crushes. Except all I could do was just be smart. I didn’t really fit in during those times because I was in the smart group. Boys don’t like nerds…men might but boys don’t! Cool factor at an all time low. Except there were a few boys from the other side of the bookcase that made me stick with it. Lloyd West was one. Super poor, super cool, super funny. Encouraged me not to mess with the wrong group of kids, namely his friends. He died after high school. Shot by his cousin. So thank you, Lloyd. Your protection meant a lot.
Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald): The Princess: a wealthy, popular and spoiled girl. Okay I only had this for a brief time and you can eliminate wealthy. Ninth grade. My mom was big on me doing extra curricular activities during the summer and one of them was my four summer at the Detroit Council of the Arts Summer Youth Program. Now, in ninth grade, I had breasts already. I had a body, actually. Hourglass early. The first summer, it was terribly uncomfortable. I hated swimming suits and danced in t shirts with my tights and leotards. Second summer? Boys weren’t so bad. I couldn’t have boys calling me so I was literally like a Pink Lady every time I walked up to the building with my friend Brandy and her sister Tory. We couldn’t beat the boys away. I had boys mad at me for driving them crazy. I could care less. I would yawn when they snuck and called me (sorry, Mom. Not giving a boy your phone number in ninth grade is unreasonable. But you didn’t catch me for like three years so at least admire my craft work), begging and pleading for us to go out. It was a game. And then I started meeting older boys and my hormones made me crazy and I was obsessed and it was all bad. But for a brief moment, I was cocky. Good times. Didn’t last long.
John Bender (Judd Nelson): The Rebel: a troublemaker who continually causes problems at school. Okay, not at school because I would have totally been killed and buried by my parents BUT I did act out. Eli Elliott. Eli made me want to rebel. I thought he and I would get married (until he told me I could do the “writing thing” for a few years and then would have to stop so we could have kids. No, he wasn’t six years old. He was 17!). He wasn’t my “first” but I wish he had been. Eli set a precedence for a relationship that would take me ten plus years to get again. He loved me. He did anything for me. He wanted to talk to me on the phone. He would borrow a car to see me when he didn’t have one. He wanted me at his Sports Awards Dinner as his girl. He gave me attention no boy ever had. So it was almost worth it when he and I were making out in my house and my dad walked in and I thought I was going to be murdered. Eli ran out. My dad left and promised to be back. In the interim, I called all my friends and started giving my stuff away because my dad was obviously coming back to shoot me. When he did come back, he was silent. We got in the car. We drove. I imagined being on a milk carton. We pulled up in front of a restaurant. I ordered a burger as my last meal. My dad said, “If you get pregnant, you will break my heart.” I cried harder than any time I ever have in my life short of my father’s funeral. That was the end of my rebel yell. I could not sacrifice my dad’s love for a boyman’s love. And I didn’t have to. Eli stayed. Eli played by the rules to get back in the good graces. The rebel period and it’s make up years weren’t what killed our relationship. It was the fact that he was okay to let me go my senior year when he went off to college. In his mind, he was doing the right thing. In my mind, he had given up on us. My heart broke and I never wanted to be with him again. You see, too many people will doubt your relationship, but once one of you does something to indicate doubt, there seems to be no point. I forgot that lesson around 25 - 33. I convinced myself that doubt and questions were fine. Talking is fine. But doubt creates a scenario of unsafe feelings, of arguing for the “pro-relationship”, of anything blowing in and down goes your house of cards. Eli regretted it for years. Even trying to see me again at 27. It was too late then. I had gone back being Allison.
So it’s funny how a movie can tap into yourselves, even before you meet all of them. Hopefully I’m another character now. Not even in that movie. I’m aiming for Angelina Jolie in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” I’m ready for taking care of home, saving the world, adventures with my homegirls and appreciating my hot man.
Cue the music: “Don’t you…forget about me….don’t don’t don’t don’t….”