Dharma Beats @ Vestal Virgins

An Overleague Cosmic Game Report

July 4, 2001

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Boys Playing With Girls

An older man I didn't know, who had come in with [John Clellon] Holmes, interjected, "Celine is such a cynic though, and his attitude toward women is terrible. [He says] 'Women are all housemaids at heart.' "

"Oh well," Jack [Kerouac] began, "[Celine] knows what women are, really, and what they're for."

"What are they for Jack?" Holmes egged him on.

"Well, women, they're children. Just big beautiful children, that's all."


"They're inferior then? You agree with Celine?" the older man wanted to know.

"Nah! Not inferior! Are children inferior? They're beautiful. I love 'em."

from Nobody's Wife by Joan Haverty (Kerouac)

The tension between the boys club known as the Beat Generation and the women associated with those boys has become well-documented. The Beat boys are variously labeled as misogynistic and homosexual thereby establishing a stereotype of gender exclusion.

The chroniclers of the women's movement inside the Beat Generation have demonstrated that, like the male stereotypes, the women of the Beat generation are difficult to typecast. Joyce Johnson's Minor Characters, Carolyn Cassady's Off the Road and Joan Haverty's Nobody's Wife are just three examples of reports by different types of women associated with the men of the Beat vortex in the 1950s.

Johnson had an eight month love affair with Jack Kerouac just before and after fame came crashing in on him. She is a writer and editor who went on to get married, have a child and become successful in her literary career. Carolyn Cassady was Neal Cassady's second wife. Cassady attempted to lead the most "conventional" life; she spent the 1950s raising three children and coping with the various traumas promulgated by her husband. Joan Haverty was Kerouac's second wife and mother of the daughter he disavowed, Jan Kerouac. Haverty got married again, had twins and seems to have lived a somewhat solitary, isolated life. She died in 1990.

John Clellon Holmes provided a taxonomy of the roles women could assume in the 1950s: "wife, mother, spinster, courtesan, whore, [and] ballbreaker." In her essay, "Muses or Maestros? Women of the Beat Generation" (1997), Angela D. Baccala wryly points out, "The Beat women somehow shrugged off the first three." But as the three examples given above indicate, many Beat women were wives and mothers.

Despite some of the revisionism that attempts to completely centralize the women associated with the Beats, the irony in the title of Johnson's memoir (Minor Characters) suggests a prevailing attitude. Calling these women "muses" is like winning the "Miss Congeniality Award" at a beauty contest. In addition to chronicled evidence, which is not always reliable, there is our basic or common intuition that suggests women did have a profound impact on the boys of the Beat Generation.

The result of this particular cosmic baseball game affirms the truth of the notion that women played a significant and important part in their interaction with and influence on the men of the Beat Generation. In keeping with this season's theme of re-emergent matrifocality, the Vestal Virgins, the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of interesting women outplayed the Dharma Beats, the CBA's team of Beat Generation personalities, primarily because of the strong arm of Virgin pitcher Sylvia Plath, the game's Most Cosmic Player (MCP).

NOTE: The Dharma Roses, a cosmic baseball team of women associated, in one way or another, with the Beat Generation was active in the Underleague during Seasons 1999-2000. Click for more info.


Virgins Win, 4-2


Woodsox 2001 Roster

Capitalists 2001 Roster




Cosmic Games Index

Selected Game Data

Homeruns   John Clellon Holmes
Triples   Charles Plymell
Doubles   Lucien Carr, Lissa Roche
Stolen Bases   None
Caught Stealing   None
Double Plays   Beats-1; Virgins-2
Errors   Beats-1 (Lucien Carr- dropped ball)
Left-on-Base   Beats-3; Virgins-6

Game Most Cosmic Player

Sylvia Plath

Umpires    Susan Atkins, Tanya Harding, Charles Van Dorn
Time   2 hours 45 minutes
Attendance   33,704
Weather   Hot, Humid 94o F.
Official Scorer   Joan Haverty

Simulation   118

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Cosmic Overleague Cosmic Game Report- Beats @ Virgins
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/7dbvv01.html
Published: July 4, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com