Thursday, October 07, 2004

ULA Four-Year Anniversary!

ULA fans take note: Tomorrow, October 8th, marks four years since the founding of the infamous Underground Literary Alliance by six zeen writers during a crazy drunken revelrous weekend in Hoboken, New Jersey. That was when we signed the Protest against the awarding of a Guggenheim grant to a super-wealthy writer, and in so doing kicked off the ULA rebellion.

To mark the occasion I'm taking tomorrow off from this blog. (No "McSweeney's Saga" this week, sorry!)

I want to express my appreciation to ULAers past and present for the effort they've put into this crazy project. That this disorganized organization has survived four years amid the tumultuous riots and brickbats of the literary mob has been astounding.

We're essayists, publishers, poets, novelists, actors, ranters, musicians, comedians, and cartoonists. We have all the tools to achieve our goal of rescuing literature. Our writings, drawings, publications, and performances are clear, fun, energetic, upbeat, and genuine-- the real voice of America now. Our membership contains larger-than-life characters. The names alone say it all: Wild Bill; Urban Hermitt; Wred Fright; Crazy Carl; Jessica Disobedience. We represent the best alternative to the staid stereotype of the "literary person." For excitement, no other writers come close. (Those who pretend they do are frauds.)

Our ideas are new and can beat anybody's. We're aligned with history in the new millennium. The stars are with us! Cracks are showing in the concrete walls of the media monopolies. Change is coming to literature, the ULA at the forefront. No other lit group is better positioned for it, with better cred.

We stress our "D-I-Y" background. We know we have to build our movement, our literature, ourselves. It's an adventure and a challenge.

In everything we do we strive to be on the side of right, have brought to the lit scene the clean breeze of honesty. It's been a great struggle but it's also been fun. The craziest wildest barn-burning days of the ULA are yet to come!


Marissa Ranello said...

Four years of fascinating wildly unique voices. Kudos guys, for making a signifigant commitment to literature.

Keep on Goin'

Anonymous said...

Congrats, ULA and Karl!

I've been there since (near) the beginning and I'm always impressed by your sanity, sanguinity, and so-whaticisms. Long may you rave!

Tim Hall

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Karl!

I am sure this will be the ULA's year for proving what really goes on at Area 51.

Bill Walton

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Karl!

I am sure this will be the ULA's year for proving what really goes on at Area 51.

Bill Walton

Jeff Potter said...


It takes all of us to make this happen. The lowest of the low are going to break this thing on thru!

Thanks, Karl, for that reviving description of who we are that you posted further down a few days ago: We are intentionally the Underdogs, the Ignored. Because that's what the Public is!

This isn't just our anniversary personally: the ULA is promoting a literary breakthru for everyday readers everywhere. We've shot down the Millionaires and given the Regular Guy a chance like he hasn't had in decades. So this is going to be a big year for everyone. If we bust a Populist, Candid, Everyday Voice on thru, it won't be just us who benefit. Heck, we'll be lucky not to go broke. We *might* end up at minimum wage. ITS THE READERS WHO REALLY BENEFIT!

So Happy Birthday ULA! I'm glad to be here.

How often do we get a chance to be where it's at? On the cutting edge? Well, I suppose whenever one is willing. It's always there. And it's always interesting. But right here in literature is where it's needed BAD these days. The King Art! It's in trouble, and needs a shot in the arm. That's what we're doing!

Our first national catalog launch is coming up in a few hold on!


Anonymous said...

I heard a spaceship pass over my house a couple days ago. Most likely this was connected to a government experiment, but it's still possible that the ULA was somehow involved.

Jeff Potter said...

People said it wouldn't last! HA!


They said it wouldn't work, that nothing would come of it.


Some nellies jumped ship, in the past and even the present. Some say that King alienates people. But look who's holding steady! --The lowliest and wackiest. And look how far we've come! Sure, it's like herding cats---wildcats---but these wildcats have a vision! When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. We're total pros.


The best is yet to come!

Anonymous said...

Here's a happy birthday gift to you, ULA...
A very creepy website about puppets.

On this site a German dude dances passionately with life-sized puppets. There is a Michael Jackson puppet telling what the German guy does with him!

Click on the Union Jack for full effect...

Jeff Potter said...

Yeah, I'm launching a national catalog this month to start the ULA's 4th year in style...

What it is is the Out Your Backdoor Catazeen. I'll be presenting all the ULA zeens and books in addition to a wide variety of choice, rare media on all sorts of DIY topics that aren't often seen by the trade. The Catazeen is a combination catalog & magazine, cast as issue #10 of my zeen. This new critter is not to be confused with magalogs, which are crass. It's a general interest mag that'll kick butt in its own right. It'll go out to the remaining hundreds of quality indy bookstores nationwide (fascinating jaded tradebook buyers left and right) in addition it'll go to thousands of subscribers, previous customers and newstands. Check out the vibe at if you're interested. After the Catazeen launch I'll be telemarketing the land to clinch the deal. Time for hardball, people! The pro undergrounders are now warmed up and are leaving the dugout....

3:AM said...


Though it's only really remarkable when you reach double-figures ;-)

Anonymous said...

Spirit Woes

We Stumble Blindly
through Hallucinations
of the dead
and hope for


they are not
disappointed, nor
watching us

This is by Marissa Ranello. This is bad poetry. It is representative of all the rest bad Bukowski imitators that populate the underground.

I would admit as well all the bad Pynchon imitators that populate the MFA crowd.

The point is you can not be an artist and be indistinguishable from thousands of other "artists." You can not be an artist and be merely an imitator of a greater artist.

There is no room for mediocrity.

Bill Walton

King said...

Strange coming from you, Walton, one who in his remarks on this blog defines mediocrity. You have yet to post any comment with a shred of verve or life-- anything that in any way entertains; it's just sour lifeless plodding along. Indeed, there's more energy and life in the very short Ranello poem you posted than in the entirety of your remarks. Who are you a bad imitation of?

(You do typify the view of the establishment toward young outsider writers-- one reason why young writers of awkward rockin' verve and energy are never found, only the paint-by-the-numbers always-inside-the-lines plodders like yourself.)

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