Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ULA Membership

Our membership stands currently at 36-- a good, manageable number. We've paused here for just a few weeks as we prepare for the year's events and take stock of where we're going as an organization. We have a great number of sympathizers. We'll likely this year grow to 50 without difficulty. Much beyond that would make us unwieldy-- until we further raise our profile and strengthen the ULA machine, so that we can adequately promote people.

We've expanded the pool of places from which we draw candidates for ULA membership. At first we allowed in only those who'd signed our original Protest against the Guggenheim-- our starting point as an organization; our Notice that we'd walked off the reservation: our Declaration of rebellion against the mainstream. Then, for a while, we considered only zeensters. Now we look for good underground talent everyplace.

There are two somewhat-opposed dynamics at work in the ULA.
1.) We seek to unite unconnected overlooked writers (and others like illustrators and performers with connections to a broad definition of "literature").
2.) At the same time we MUST maintain our uniqueness-- our difference from other lit-groups and writers. To want to be in any way like standard yuppie demi-puppet writers would be suicide.

In possible members we look for several things. Among them:
A. ) Talent-- though talent isn't enough. Some former ULAers were brought in solely for their talent, and proved a disappointment; were incapable of fitting into a team concept.
B.) Spirit of Rebellion. Moderate writers are everyplace-- found on every street corner. We seek those not satisfied with things as they are, who want to change literature and the culture.
C.) Commitment-- eagerness to be part of, and work for, the ULA team. (And patience with what we're doing!)
D.) Personality.
E.) Understanding of ULA Philosophy.

There are individuals we can aid and promote to some extent without their joining the ULA team. In members we think first of what's best for the ULA. As we grow, those we're able to bring "officially" into the ULA will increase. Many are under consideration. Each ULAer is free to recommend candidates for the team. (Though at the moment I'm behind on info mailings!-- one of the motivations behind this e-mail.) Right now we have large and growing interest by people in the message and organization of the ULA.

The Underground Literary Alliance has been hard to get into and out of. The six who left did so voluntarily. All those on our membership roll have aided the ULA cause in some way, some greatly, even if they're presently silent. Some have talents we've yet to adequately utilize-- which doesn't mean we never will. We need to make quick moves-- quicker than we've been doing-- but we're still early in the chess game.

Finally, this isn't an organization where we exist only to serve you or others. We're no one's slaves. We want not minions or dependents, but equals. We offer a framework for writers and others to work within; a set-up that allows undergrounders to help themselves through working to strengthen the ULA.

15 comments:

frantic said...

sounds like a cult! are you guys moonies or something? that's my theory. you are moonies. either that or scientologists. elron hubbard also thought there was a big conspiracy to keep his pulp novels from being recognized as works of genius. he also took a lot of speed and thought that his body was infested with the tiny corpses of space aliens killed in a distant galaxy millions of years ago.

i bet those dead space aliens all want to join ula, too. don't let them in, though. they are probably too talented and would make the existing members feel uncomfortable by contrast.

King said...

There already IS a cult in the lit-world-- McSweeney's-- centered around a cult figure. One is enough. Again, the ULA is a DIY group of equals.

frantic said...

gosh, you are so in love with that publication! it must be all you ever think about.

i find mcsweeny's disgusting myself, will not read it again, never touch it at the newstand, and don't give a flying fuck what the people behind it are doing.

but clearly you guys are totally fascinated with it! maybe all you feisty individualists should to marry that timothy mcsweeny character. i guess it would be a group marriage. maybe you could get reverand moon to conduct it!

King said...

What-- in the way you're fascinated with us?
Your steadfast stupidity, "Frantic," is truly saddening. You're unable to see the world as it is, with any complexity; unable to make the simplest discriminations, and so latch onto easy yet inaccurate analogies in your desperation to discredit the ULA. Or maybe you seek only to find a view of the lit-world which fits your mental limitations.
Even we don't deny the existence of the McSweeney's gang. Only one willfully stupid would try to. I was uncomfortably reminded recently, as I stated, that those people are still around, no matter how much the glow which once attached to their movement is now fading.
Tell me, "Frantic," what would you have the ULA do? HOW in your thoughts should we structure our organization? What steps should we take to ensure our continued growth and rough unity? Should we be less tightly structured? More? Are these thoughts which can ever play upon your simplistic mind?
Should we abandon the project? What would this mean for ULAers as writers? What would it mean for the state of literature itself? Would it say that no change in the art and its process is possible-- that literature's role in the culture will continue to stagnate? That all hope of renewal is gone?
Do you ever view literature through a broad view, as part of a historical process-- as a living and adapting entity?
It seems to me that TWO choices have arisen in the lit-world in the last five years: the mock-renewal of lit from the inside represented by McSweeney's; and the real difference of the ULA.
The "Frantics" of the world are not even a choice; they're inward-dwelling thumbsuckers who want to clutch their vanishing view of literature tightly as they play irrelevantly in their sandbox.
p.s. Better analogies to the ULA are available than the one presented by our stupidly anonymous friend. I'll present them in an upcoming post, "Superheroes of the ULA."

frantic said...

if scientology can't remove the tiny corpses of space aliens that are clinging to your body and making your life miserable, what can?

you don't have an alternative? then you a weenie. therefore, scientology is most excellent!

i like the way you think, king. i really do. it's a tight little racket you have going. somebody called it loserpalooza. maybe you should, like, get that trademarked or something.

King said...

Your inability to think is amazing. Perhaps, as some have suggested, you're an eight-year old playing on his computer screen; still trying to make sense of a world of vague colors and impressions encircling you.
All you really have to know: The ULA are the good guys.

frantic said...

someone who has regressed your level of paranoid fantasy has naught, nada, fuck all, zilch to say about the capacity of anyone else to think.

King said...

Facts aren't fantasy.
The truth is that you refuse to think-- why you avoid all the points that have been made by the ULA.
You can start by addressing the questions I asked on this thread-- but that would require you to engage your brain, of which you're not capable.
So keep with your cute phrases-- "zilch, nada"-- which don't address a thing but are an escape from reality.
(Something inside that fog of confusion inside your head must be engaged, or you wouldn't still be reading and posting.)

frantic said...

there are scores of excellent writers and publications, and countless blogs by people who read them and champion the stuff they like and are sarcastic about the stuff they don't like. anyone with the slightest interest in literature knows this. i am not going to elucidate the obvious by making lists that would hopelessly inadequate to the task.

the fact that they don't drop everything to make you and your friends famous is, to be sure, a great injustice.

i am sorry that the world is not organized to the advantage of your ego. that said, you should definitely continue playing in your little sandbox here, and putting money into the pockets of the kinkos people.

- Leopold said...

Frantic, it's nice to have you actually responding to us! However, I think the issue here is not that 'countless bloggers, etc...' (who you seem to support and are doing essentially the same stuff as us who, for some reason, you hate) aren't 'promoting us' (I dare you to find where we have complained about that) - in fact you'll find the ULA made up of members doing those very things. You seem to have appeared here when the Galley Cat thing started and made a comment about Ed Rants in some obscure part of this blog. Yet the issue here isn't that 'they don't want to promote us', as you say, it's that they made false and careless accusations against the ULA. They have failed, under obvious evidence that they were wrong, to respond or retract these accusations. Maybe you should reconsider the integrity of some of your heros.

Finally, none of us like putting money into ubiquitous corporations like Kinkos, but your statement seems to ascribe to the fact that because something is carefully handmade by the artist it is of inferior quality to something mass produced by machines & an entire system of middle men. Frankly, our playbox if pretty fuckin fun to hang out in. We're not snobs and invite you to play, but sometimes we do things that the 'grown-ups' don't approve of. If you're scared to let go of their hand, we understand, it's not easy for anybody - and none of us have come into the ULA lightly. But there are people out here doing things their own way, despite all the derision from the playbox sidelines.

frantic said...

i have no interest in joining you in the sandbox -- because reading the poetry and fiction makes me think it's more like a kitty litter box.

but you guys go right ahead. have fun!

- Leopold said...

Back to the shit analogies again. Too bad. Can't say we didn't try with you. You don't see any of us trolling nameless on other blogs, making empty remarks that are about as clever and deep as yesterday's Archie comic.

For someone who claims to be so digusted with what we do, you sure hang around a lot. The biggest whining on this site is from you about us. But you're too shy to come out from behind the tree, frannie, too unsure of yourself to put yourself out here - instead you just make bitter remarks about the kids having fun from behind your tree where nobody sees or cares about you. If you ever do get over your social problems, we'll still be here.

frantic said...

okay! have a good time!

you should be (and at some level there is no doubt that you are) flattered by getting any attention at all from anyone but each other. don't let it go to your heads though. there is a reason various people who come around here make fecal jokes, and it has to do with the quality of your work.

- Leopold said...

The defense refers to its previous post and rests its case.

frantic said...

interesting. you'd be as hopeless as a lawyer as you would as a writer. my, i am surprised.