More and more I'll be communicating less by e-mail and more through this blog.
1.) MEMBERSHIP. It's time for the ULA to begin adding new members, which we haven't done in a while. In future posts I'll discuss what the ULA is about.
2.) COMPLAINTS. The ULA needs a way to handle complaints from inside and outside the ULA. I know people have them! I'm going to ask J.D. Finch to tackle this assignment, when he's able. As one of our newer members, he's not as fixed in his thinking as some of us; is more objective and more approachable, with no past baggage. The ULA needs an ambassador to the outside world-- and maybe also at times a mediator within the organization. (I haven't the temperament for the role; others not the inclination.) Earlier in the year I became involved in a dispute between two ULAers-- this was a mistake. We need a grievance procedure. What we don't need are dissatisfied members keeping their dissatisfaction to themselves.
3.) ATTITUDE. That said, the ULA doesn't exist in a vacuum. We treat other lit people the way they treat us. We have no hidden agendas. We were founded by Midwesterners who are completely upfront. We accept everyone at face value, giving individuals the benefit of the doubt. We do ask to be treated with respect!
The disrespect given the ULA is absurd, especially when it comes from those not among the Elect. The disrespecters hurt no one but themselves, because this organization is NOT going away. Our short history shows we only grow stronger. We feed on the animosity, snubs, and scorn given to us, which confirm the justice of our cause-- which is to open up the lit system, level the playing field on which writers compete, encourage writers, value their role, give them leverage, and reduce the hierarchies of the intellectual world which are rigged to honor and insulate not originality and talent but instead dishonesty, corruption, and incompetence.
4.) CHANGE. As the lit-world is changing, so must the ULA constantly change. It can't be tied to any one person or group of persons but has to stand independently as an ongoing movement.
Anyone who thinks I'm the ULA is wrong. Anyone who thinks Steve Kostecke or Jeff Potter is the ULA is wrong. The ULA belongs to those who join it, who believe in its principles and are willing to help. We want a flow of members and talents, a diversity of faces and voices passing through the framework we've created. The main requirement: BOLDNESS; an unwillingness to grovel before stone idols and false gods, be they rules, conglomerates, academics, experts; authority of any kind and authorities of any fashion.
5.) REASON. "Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick, Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury Do I take part."
The Underground Literary Alliance values reason. We honor and embody it. At the same time we're radical. Our key members are hard core. Our message is unstoppable. We need writers, artists, and performers who believe in that message-- who believe in the urgency potency necessity of the written word, the future of literature.