Page 413 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                393

              Excerpt from Avery Willard’s “Men of Leather” essay in the 1965 Guild Press booklet

              “The part that Marlon Brando created in The Wild One has had an incalculable influ-
              ence on the Leather world. His contempt for the square world, his scorn..., his love for
              the thrills of the moment, for life at its highest pitch—these became holy virtues in
              the eyes of boys and men who found in this way of life more excitement and meaning
              than in their own humdrum, monotonous, repetitious existence. All of his gestures,
              originally meant to be cruel and loutish, became, in the eyes of a million restless boys,
              the actions of a hero. In Leather and its rites, the Leather men find an escape from the
              marshmallow-soft, cloyingly sweet, TV, synthetic, deodorized, almost dehumanized
              everyday way of life promoted by this age. In Leather, with its sensuous touch and
              smell, they have found a symbol which helps them escape from the over-feminized
              present into a past where men of strength and muscle, power and determination....
              were admired and emulated. Through Leather, a small but intensely dedicated band
              of men are trying to capture and preserve the value of innate virility, and by doing
              so they could very well be performing an important service for us all.” ©Guild Press

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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