And it's been one for a long time-- the eagerness for opponents and even some members to identify the Underground Literary Alliance with one person-- myself-- which is an inaccurate way of looking at things. (They're obviously stuck in McSweeney's-type thinking.)
The last two or three years, Steve Kostecke and Jeff Potter have been every bit as important in developing the ULA. They've had as much say as myself in decisions that have been made. Yet, because I'm more public, because I'm noisier, people still want to think I call the shots for the thing-- to the extent that some think all they have to do is get me on their side-- by catering to my supposed ego-- and they'll be able to derail the ULA! I have to tell them that I can't do anything without the consent of the team.
That I've somehow "conned" people into joining the ULA for my own benefit is the most ridiculous idea. In truth, over the last five years the ULA has often felt like a weight around my neck preventing me from getting on with my life and doing other things. I've stayed interested in it because I KNOW its potential-- have known it from the very beginning before we'd done anything. The huge void in the literary scene waiting to be filled seemed obvious to me. Now that we've begun filling that void; now that we've established a strong team and are on our way to greater things, I'm able to maintain my enthusiasm.
Believe me, I've tried to develop other personalities, to push others out front, beginning with our first "Zeen Elvis" candidate. At one point Michael Jackman was as out front as myself, as much a spokesman (he's more personable and at least as articulate about ULA ideas), but at the moment he prefers to take a back seat and allow others to do the pulling.
My hope is that by the end of the year we'll have developed an array of noteworthy ULA leaders, so that I can step back and vanish amid the team, to busy myself with behind-the-scenes membership recruiting-- and maybe even do some serious writing for a change, instead of just making blog noise!