A lot of publications are earnestly making the scene these days, but not for very long. They hitch a ride with passing fads; when the fads run out of gas, they do too. One new monthly, Cheetah, has a better chance of survival because it covers all the current fads without being overly rapturous about them. It is, in fact, quite often acidly funny about them, which is calculated to turn hippies off but to turn other sorts of readers on. Unlike hippies, Cheetah people know their way around. Chairman of the Board Matty Simmons is a graduate of the Diners' Club, which he helped found; he put out its house publication, Signature, as well. Editor Lawrence Dietz, who has only three years left to scorn people over 30, freelanced for Sunday-newspaper magazines. Managing Editor Joel Boxer is only 23, but has had three months' training on the Wall Street Journal. "People over 30 either hate Cheetah or don't understand it," says Simmons, 41, saying what is expected of him. "People under 30 flip over it."
Free-Floating Libido. In the four issues that have appeared to date, one article examines the phenomenon of moviemaking at U.C.L.A. and speculates that many of the students turn to movies because they have found the literary life too strenuous. "Hunched over a Movieola like some anchoritic lama at his prayer wheel," says the piece, "the moviemaker imagines the medium an ideal outlet for free-floating artiness or supererogatory libidinousness. There was in fact at least one instance in which a director became so enamored of his leading lady that he wrote a nude love scene into the script and then played the male lead himself: ars gratia concupiscentis."
Another Cheetah contributor had the inventiveness to answer some of those lurid personal ads in the hippie newspaper, the East Village Other. For example: Man, 24, with insatiable appetite for sex, desires meeting uninhibited females for mutual satisfaction. No scruples. Am novice in Arts, but eager to learn. Modern wife consents. Call Ernie, (212) 265-3599. 9 a.m. to 11 p.m." The first time the writer called, all that she could hear was a child squalling loudly in the background and a harassed male voice that shouted, "Could you call me back in a few minutes?" When she did, he was all caution. "This may get you mad, but you'll have to give me your phone number and I'll call you back. I meanwellyou sound just fine, and I can tell it's all right, so I'll tell you something. I get a lot of calls from crackpots and curiosity seekers . . ." The result, as it was with all the other ardent seekers of love partners she called, was nil, and they wondered about what kind of hang-up it was that made her call.