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Libertardian introduces CH readers to Herman Wouk, adding to our “Great Men On [X]” series,
‘“Pretty girls are just girls, Margie, you see. That’s what finally emerges. The most immoral slut among them, even a dumb roundheels like Imogene, at heart just wants a fellow and a nest and clothes and furniture. What’s more, they tend to be stupider than other girls, because being pretty makes life too easy for them. The day they sprout those charming breasts, they usually turn off their brains, and just bob along on the tide of attention and fun that starts up. Then after a while they’re twenty-five and have to start thinking again. Because by that time the breasts are beginning to droop and the fuss is dying down. Of course by then it’s too late, like as not. They’re empty-headed fools, they can’t read, they can’t talk, they can’t think, their emotions have been gutted by random sleeping around, and their lives are a shambles—”
Marjorie said, “You’re a cruel hound, do you know? A cruel hound.”’
Cruel to be kind.
Sadly every iteration of technological progress unlocks a new level of potential mental illness. Here’s Herman Wouk again with a rant from sixty (!) years ago:
“Being an actress (or a model, same damn nonsense) has become to the average American girl what being a knight in armor was to Don Quixote. It’s a process that’s going on all over the country, this addling of girls’ brains. … Nothing can stop it, until our civilization changes. Year after year troops of Marjorie Morningstars will converge on Hollywood and Broadway to be seduced, raped, perverted, prostituted, or—if they’re lucky like you—to merely tangle up in fornication for a couple of years and then go home to marry the druggist’s son or the doctor or the real estate man. I say you’re lucky because I’ve been a little more interesting and amusing, I’m sure, than the usual show-business deflowerer. It’s generally some asinine chorus boy or actor, or lecherous third assistant stage manager, who does the job. Or a producer, if a girl’s really worth bothering with. Or maybe a musician, or a phony Village writer needing a bath and a haircut. Some idle joker, anyway, who stays up late and has a lot of time on his hands for fooling around with the Morningstars.”
The attention whoring technologies of social media have opened possibilities for mental and emotional disorders like HPD to far more women than filmmaking ever did. It’s mass scale “addling” with even less payoff than casting couch opportunism.