Thursday, February 17, 2005

McSweeney's Cult Expansion

Some folks in the general lit world are hyper about Dave Eggers's latest tactic (826NYC) to recruit more unknowing young people into the Church of the Dave. In the critics' thinking, it's unfair for McSweeney's to offer book contracts to teenagers when many qualified adult writers are shut out by the current publishing system.

Since ULA writers aren't part of the system, and aren't exactly bouncing manuscripts at the Eggers publishing empire, I don't see how this concerns us. We're not opposed to everything this clown does-- no matter how evil and corrupt he truly is.

Or-- if McSweeney's wants to make blundering moves to enhance their tax-shelter status, what's that to us?

The truth is that the McSweeney's group long ago became tiresome. We're running out of things even to mock. The next step for them is to build their own version of Neverland Ranch. Ho hum.

The image the McSweeney's people project, and have always projected, is extremely bland. The very first issue was oppressively nerdy. That they're mutating into hapless church-like social workers is in line with their development. It's hardly the image of folks who pretend to be "rock n' roll."

The ULA by contrast has never claimed to be trendy or "hip." We're the opposite; society's outcasts and rejects. I'm beginning to question whether the demi-puppet writers who've grouped themselves around McSweeney's are the "cool kids" either. They keep telling themselves over and over relentlessly how hip they are-- these bright-eyed eager-beaver rule-following "A" student ladder climbers-- maybe because they fear they're not. It's why they posture and parade safely among themselves but forever avoid the ULA. They'd be quickly revealed to be frauds.

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