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April 1966

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Captain Ahab is Dead; Long Live Bob Dylan or Are The Beatles Really the Andrew Sisters in Drag?



Tom Wolfe, the first Man-Who-Writes-Like-A-Girl is a symbol of the final surrender of the male to the female. Wolfe, who writes in precisely the same style as a Vassar girl dashing off a long, breathless, chatty, inchoate, gushy, italicized Gee-Whiz-Wow letter to her best friend at Radcliffe just had to come on the scene. If there wasn't a Tom Wolfe (Whoooeee!) we would have had to invent him, and maybe we did at that. He is the first literary product of the Great Role Reversal and the Girl. Worship Cult to become really prominent, and he won't be the last. Even his foppish, exaggerated dress-orange suits, white ties, pageboy bob - fit the times almost too neatly to be true. - The 1960s could very well go down in history as the decade in which the new religion of Girl Worship came into full flower. And the most significant, saddest, and funniest result of this fantastic mid-20th Century Cult Of The Girl are the countless males who are now showing their total devotion to the Girl Cult by physically and psychologically aping them. The homosexual, of course, has always been with us, but the new Girl-Man is something else again, a kind of neuter who really isn't interested in other men, but whose great adoring, worshipful eyes follow the New Goddesses everywhere. No wonder Wolfe's most deeply felt piece is a gushy, rapturous paean to someone named Baby Jane Holtzer. He writes about her in exactly the same terms as a schoolgirl confessing her crush on the tall blonde Prom Queen who sits next to her in the study hall. The word "Crush" is crucial here, and the New Man has crushes on these razor-thin, bony beauties; certainly not loves. It is not easy for a thirty-five-year-old to have a crush in the pure sense of the phrase; giddy, imbecile, simpering, rapturous - and fleeting - but the New Man is really just a perpetual twelve-year-old at heart, if he has one, that is. . .


Copyright: 1966 PS Magazine

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April 1966
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April 1964
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Courtesy: Gene Bergmann