We've seen the past two weeks what patient negotiation achieves for the ULA: NOTHING. Maybe we'll eventually get careful correction to the false attack made on us. I wouldn't count on it. We should've instead made noise about the matter-- real noise-- ULA style.
Meanwhile, I was "negotiating" quietly to get ULA books into an indy bookstore. The managers set as a condition-- a condition!-- that we sign a "peace treaty" with McSweeney's. This was what's required to receive minimal treatment accorded other book people for doing nothing.
Most don't recall that the ULA's Slush Pile was kept out of indy bookstores like Atomic Books after our "Wet Firecracker" protest against McSweeney's. Some people in the lit-world have problems with free speech.
Our problem with McSweeney's, for those who are interested, is only that the whole phenomenon from the beginning was a lie, in the pose circulated by The New Yorker and themselves of their independence-- when the mag was already working tightly with congloms like Simon and Schuster; the congloms it's now totally in bed with. No matter! To clueless lit-folk all that matters is the lie-- to the extent that even publications like Punk Planet bought into the phony stance and lavishly profiled "The Dave" for his supposed DIY cred. A scam from beginning to end, which brainless acolytes continue to buy.
There's a great scene in the movie "Viva Zapata" where Zapata (Brando) explains to a moderate politician the facts of life. He holds a rifle on the man and takes his watch. Then he hands his rifle to the man and gives him his watch back. "There!" he tells him. "Now you can have your watch back. But without that," he says, pointing to the rifle, "never!"
The moral is: have leverage before negotiating. We'll negotiate when we've captured "Mexico City" and the lit world is ours. Everything the ULA has achieved-- our press clippings and our profile in the lit world-- has been achieved through fighting for it. This is the only way we'll ever get a break. By making noise!
If the ULA is going to become a polite team of negotiators, I'll step off the train now, because I'll then know it'll never go anyplace.