Thursday, July 28, 2005


It's funny that NEWspapers and NEWsmagazines will deliberately not cover that which is truly new in the lit-world, instead set on reporting forever on the same-old same-old of literature's status quo.

The power of the conglomerates?

To all the anonymous fakes who lurk on this blog: Know this, that we put on in Philly as exciting a reading as ever's been seen. (Ask objective observers like Jackie Corley who were there about it.) Know also that you yourself show us nothing, have nothing-- why you're anonymous, of course. I get tired of your nonsense, if you want to know the truth, because I know you're all bluff. There isn't a writer among your entire privileged world who can stand against good undergrounders. Doubt it? Again, pick up the thrown gauntlet. Answer our challenge to debate us and read against us in any kind of venue. Drag out your fossilized icons-- Joyce Carol Oates and Charles Baxter, or Rick Moody, all covered in the Atlantic's big special Fiction issue (they give their own poets like Billy Collins little notice)-- and put those icons against us as a start. Back up your words. Or are you afraid the dust-covered icons represent a failed and tired past? (I've seen Oates, Baxter, and Moody of course all read, at different times, before, and they're all purely awful. They give literature NOTHING, present to the public not one iota of energy and excitement, only complacent smugness, and in Moody's case, the worst kind of self-deluded smarminess. We're talking about REAL self-delusion, backed by huge sums of unearned money and tons of ill-deserved promotion. The underground's performers, like those who appeared at the Medusa, aren't at all deluded-- they know how good they truly are; Walsh, Brady Russell, Mike Grover, Natalie Felix, and company, because they've proved it time and again, as they proved for us when they rocked the house.)

We ask only for the fakes to step out of the way and let the representatives of our nation's true literature take the stage. That's all.


lukewarm monopoly coffee said...

Your majesty-

A few humble rejoinders:

1. "It's funny that NEWspapers and NEWsmagazines will deliberately not cover that which is truly new in the lit-world, instead set on reporting forever on the same-old same-old of literature's status quo."

Here are a few of theories about why your event was ignored by the NEWSpapers and NEWSmagazines:

a) They didn't think a collection of un- or self-published writers that no one has heard of merited media coverage.

b) Quaking in their boots, they feared that exposing the world to the ULA reveille would undermine the very foundation of their bourgeoise lives and therefor they consciously, deliberately decided--in a hastily convened editorial meeting no doubt--to squelch this clarion call to literary revolution (and a piece of "the stage") by ignoring it. Fortunately for each of the demi-puppets, every paper acted exactly the same way (or did they have a big conference call?--the plot thickens),

Hmmmmmm. Let's see, Occam's Razor sez: #1.

2. "To all the anonymous fakes who lurk on this blog: Know this, that we put on in Philly as exciting a reading as ever's been seen."

I think more than a handful of people have to actually see something for it to be "as exciting a reading as ever's been seen."

3. "We're talking about REAL self-delusion, . . ."

I defer to your knowledge on self-delusion, your highness. You are the master, the Don Quixote of contemporary literature.

4. "The underground's performers, like those who appeared at the Medusa, aren't at all deluded-- they know how good they truly are; Walsh, Brady Russell, Mike Grover, Natalie Felix, and company . . .)"


No really. Congratulations. I'm glad you guys are doing something productive in addition to sitting around bitching about how unfair the corporatized lit world is, etc. Your motives could be better--(that desperate yearning for a piece of the stage bit was priceless, but more revealing of an attention-grubbing narcissist than a revolutionary do-gooder. That said, you certainly have the *heart* of a writer).

But just because you say something is true doesn't make it so, and when your statements are demonstrably false, ("this is the most important literary event since Ginsberg read "Howl" or "there's a media conspiracy against the ULA") you don't inspire a lot of confidence in your words, let alone your sanity.

And one more thing: lukewarm monopoly coffee does not "spill over [people's] faces"--we might dribble down a chin, or spill on someone's lap, but I assure you I do not "spill over faces". Has it occured to you that sloppy writing like that might be the reason an ossified Joyce Carol Oates could have driven her car all the way to the back of the Medusa bar without hitting one starved, beat-up, growling-howling one-eyed dog during the most important literary event in 50 years?

-lukewarm monopoly coffee

PS King, I'll always love you for introducing me to the phrase "growling howling." It's better than anything Jack London ever wrote, and that guy knew a lot about dogs!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the lurkers, but I've never posted until today.

King Wenclas, you are a punk-ass bitch of a rare order. Please, for the sake of your movement, delete this post. It's so fucking needy I want to give you a tampon. Jesus Christ, get a grip on yourself, man.

The newsmagazines and newsweeklys didn't cover your li'l reading. Why, just the other day, while paging through People, I saw the big write-up they did of Joyce Carol Oates's latest reading. Charles Baxter! A week doesn't go by where I'm not bombarded by his name.

The truth is, the only time I ever read anything gossipy about Rick Moody is on THIS FUCKING BLOG. You want to suck Dave Eggers's cock or something? It sure seems like it.

And don't give me this, "Boy, you're so cute, McSweeneyite," because this isn't meant to be cute or clever. It's meant as fucking contempt. God, you make me sick. You actually make me want to vomit. And I actually agree, politically, with everything you say. What I do about it, though, is volunteer my time for groups I view as working for progressive social change, support companies that don't shit all over everybody, and try to live the life of a responsible and humane adult. I also lived in Mexico for a while, working in an orphanage.

You, however, are a piece of shit. You are actually part of the problem. So egomaniacal, so fucking nasty, so completely unworthy of anyone's attention but the bootlicks who actually think you know anything....

Fuck it. I'm stopping now. I'm never reading this blog again. What was kind of fun in an abstract sense (the blog of a guy who actually thought he was at the center of a revolutionary movement) has slowly and necrotically become vomitous (the blog of a sick, deluded, intellectually barbarous piss face who it is growingly clear is the center of nothing, and knows it, and is either on the verge of killing himself or shooting up a boring literary reading).

God, that feels better. Any other anonymice or whatever the fuck these steaming gobs of dick puke call us want to chime in? Please. Let's all renounce "Attacking the Demi-Puppets" with a great blast of invective and leave the fucks where they began: Nowhere, with no readers.

With malice,
A former prowler

Dust-Covered Icon said...

Here's a contest we can have:

How about we all publish our work and then see who the public likes better? We could base the winner on, I don't know, sales or something! I mean, people (a.k.a. The People) wouldn't part with their hard-earned money for stuff they didn't care about, would they? Or we could just base the winner on another of Noah's surveys. No, the first idea definitely makes the most sense. Or are you scared to step up to the plate?

Ready, Set, Go!

BradyDale said...

Well, that sales contest idea isn't so bad if you did it in a way that tried to neutralize marketing and name recognition.
Say... you had three writers all read and then sell very similar looking 'zines in the back of the show?
Or even just working one table out in a public place (so you can neutralize going to one or another's turf) for a few weekends in a row?
Or selling a group of zines from a website that put pseudonyms on all the books and allowed the readers to write reviews of the zines on there...
Hey! That would be hot! Any of you so called big shot writers willing to submit to that? Three big shots versus three ULA'ers.
The rules...

- One website.

- All new material. Something similar... say, all novellas or all literary nonfiction or all short story collections.

- Similar price.

- Roughly uniform formatting and production values. All done by the same person.

- The public can't know which work is ULA and which is Mainstream until the contest is over.

- Length of contest negotiable.

What do you think of that?

the MP said...

There are consequences to intellectual hatred, there are consquences to class sponsored censorship, there are consequences to selling out to the machine, there are consequences to facism, there are consequences to cruelty, there are consequences to deliberated indifference toward those whose creativity may save a country's spirit.
The ULA is only part of these consequences that will be visited upon small minded petty thugs like yourselves and we are legion! While you probably don't number more than thirteen or so-- its only the dank dark quarters of the catacombs you inhabit blinds you into thinking you have security in numbers. Consider very seriously your next deluded move or mealy mouthings knowing you've only a short time left before the inevitable reckoning. The Muse and her sisters are not like the jealous god you worship and sacrafice to, but she and they surely annihilate liars and fools without another word.

The Failed And Tired Past said...

Consequences for lacking a sense of humor too, apparently.

Lest you miss the point, there probably isn't going to be any debate, or contest, or science project or survey or poll. Sorry. No contest other than the one that we're all involved in everyday, of fighting to embody the values we value and to have those values prevail in the culture.

As for the failed and tired past, with which the ULA seems to have only a passing familiarity, the muses (they were all sisters) didn't really annihilate people, though when the misguided and ill-advised would challenge them to stupid contests and invariably lose, the girls would do things like turn them into birds, or pluck their feathers to make crowns.

But maybe you're right, and the past is played out. Long live the Generation of Last Week.

the MP said...

Now we're cook'n'with gas.
Annihilation of the ego, wrong views, identification with the carrots one is unbecomingly or becomingly chasing. The Muses are truly representative of the Imagination. The Creative response is always like what you're hinting at and as my "humours" (no different than any body else's in fact-- just in the mix!) are flowing onto revealing if you read with discernment and not preemptive judgement: trasformation not destruction, its just from the fool's or lying mind's point of view it would seem and feel like annihilation. The law of the consevation of Energy.
Like Chuang-Tze sez:
fame is the beginning of shame.
gain (especially delusion) is the beginning of loss, etc.
Ideologies, beliefs: read everything you can that's in print by Krishnamurti to get a handle on that Totentanza! Just a gentle reminder. Heart and head together: Shin. In the Qabaalistic sense, in the Taoist sense. Ideogram? A heart with an eye inside it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
King said...

It's good to know we can still be provocative on occasion.
I didn't expect much from the local monopoly papers, to be honest (I know much about what they're about, having witnessed the 1995 Detroit newspaper strike)-- but have to point out their failures all the same.
Part of the problem is that they exist in an insulated bubble, deliberately staying uninformed about new cultural happenings unless such happenings are tepid and safe.
Check out the large Melissa Dribben feature article the Philadelphia Inquirer did a few months ago on a new free lit-mag called Philadelphia Stories produced by a couple bourgeois housewife types with funds from wealthy acquaintances. Reading the hype, one would think the mag offered something dramatically different-- or at least dramatic. No, sorry-- merely more second-rate MFA stylings; More oF the sAme. The reader not stirred or challenged in any way. (As, say, the readers of this blog have been stirred.)
Meanwhile, while the ULA was getting covered in large articles in world newspapers as far away as Glasgow, Scotland, appearing even in the NY Times a couple times, and frequently in NYC's top gossip column (speaking about gossip), the on-their-toes journalists at the local monopoly paper had never, until a few weeks ago, even heard of us! Our problem-- or theirs?
The ULA is VERY different, in attitude, structure, and goals, from anything else in the lit-biz. Those who fail to notice in the long run hurt only themselves.

King said...

Regarding cultural values: Hasn't the literary establishment proven again and again their lack of them? Did we attack Rick Moody for no reason? Or was not his hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar?
What "values" does the lit-establishment crowd embody, I'd like to know?
Excuse me, but wasn't that Harper's editor Lewis Lapham discredited again in the recent Roman Polanski/Vanity Fair fiasco? Where was your "values" crowd when Harper's was engaging-- more than once-- in plagiarism?
My experience with the status quo tells me only that they're lifelong careerists who lack ALL principle in their ruthless drive to get ahead; people for whom truth has little meaning.

Jeff Potter said...

Ha... that "NEWS" piece got em going, King!

And, good retorts, Frank! --People, you really have to hear Frank ranting his work out of the blue from a tabletop in a wild Philly bar. He's great! Especially when he tumbles off and takes out a bunch of patrons right at the end of the tirade. They don't make em like him anymore---one of a kind! The ULA way!

OK, the problem with the first Lukewarm theory is that the cat's outta the bag. The ULA has actually gotten tons of hot press. We are in fact a group that the media agrees is wild and interesting and which has contributed important innovation unlike others. Once again: no one else bothered to bust the rich elites for taking grants. Never once. I mean, The Boston Globe, at any rate, said they are waiting to see what we come up with next. I suspect that if the last reading happened in Boston that the Globe would've showed up. I mean, I think they meant it. And, sure, we're just a buncha jokes. Who've done things others haven't and already gotten lots of attention for it. So when we do something in Philly it really is in fact on their radar of significance. Who knows why they didn't cover it but they're the ones who are remiss. Egg's on them. Sure, they have to weigh it with the other news items of the day and I suspect they don't have much feel for literary action, but "literary upstarts and muckrakers" make a fair news-hook---except if the lit-section editor is friends with those getting raked. Their face is even eggier. Oh well! We'll see how it plays out. If you weren't there, you weren't. I personally have never tended events based on projected ticket sales, then going to the biggest ones. I mostly consider if they have anything relevant to offer.

As for the Screaming Fruitcake: Never Mind the Artists, have fun with your progressive volunteering, kid, you must be a piece-a-work to be around! Whew! Me, I'll be busy selling wild lit.

And as for Quality Contests, I'm game for any kind of comparison of Our Work against Theirs. Oh yeah! Even if it goes against us---the reviewer will out. To go truly head to head in some way. I'd just LOVE to see it happen. It's a shot at the title. But you know they don't let that happen. A rule's a rule. Same for boxers as for anyone. Why else is boxing interesting? Anyway, as long as they include a few quotes from each work in the fight! But really they don't have to. Or, as long as they're consistent with their other reviewing---a known fancy-lad reviewer is going to have readers who know they love what he hates. Like, that velvet-hatchet piece in the Believer---he declares how Jack's writing is so lame, but did include a clip which for some readers might've helped put the lie to the claim. It really is a case of Worlds Collide. The new is not recognizable to many. But if it GETS OUT that's cool. Anyway, I think we'd win. We'd win in the neighborhoods, too---put out card tables---Wild Bill sold 2000 of his "Texas Gang" in Austin at a card table. It's a start. Well, we'll see---a contest of some kind will take shape. I'm getting titles onto some store shelves, that's for sure. But that's not much in the book game---shelfspace is a TINY step. The gamemasters of the literary scene know that. Still, it's something. It might start sparking up, given the name recognition we've built. It just might work... There is indeed a contest.

But overall the complaints we're getting are SO NAIVE AND TIRED. Why can't we get any trenchfighters to come up against us?

Jeff Potter's bruised prostate said...

Keep Howlin' and Growlin' Boys. You've got the literary establishment on the run. First, ten people in the Medusa bar, tomorrow the WORLD!!!!!!!


King said...

Well, we have some of them provoked, anyway. But we need to do a lot more-- should be on the attack far more than we are now.
There's nothing to the lit-establishment and their writers, as I've said. Absolutely nothing. I've seen them up close. Many (Jon Franzen comes to mind) are stooges who know little about the world they live in. They know their own ineptitude also-- why they refuse to debate us.
Put enough pressure on the tottering house of cards and it'll come tumbling down.

King said...

A final word about press: History shows they're consistently wrong. We can remember that the 20's Paris crowd of Joyce, Stein, Pound,, had been ignored for many years.
For most of the Fifties, no one was covering the happenings of the Beat crowd-- all the ink was going to now-forgotten works like "Man in the Grey Flannel Suit."
All we can do is give journalists the opportunity to be current and relevant-- to see the future. They'll either grab the opportunity or they won't. It won't affect what we're doing. This campaign goes on.
What was it that Bukowski said about Jack Saunders: "He endures"?

Bryan Guski said...

Another long-silent reader here. And allow me to be frank, in my first comment, and I imagine others may have had the same experience. No, Wenclas, it was not the reputation of the mighty ULA that drew me here, but rather, I searched for something else and came up here. Why do I return? Not for the stunning prose, not for the revolution, not for the links to (in 75% of the cases, thus far) some truly awful writing. I return because of the same sickness that plagues a lot of us. I'm fascinated by a trainwreck. Namely, you. But your narcissism, delusion, bitterness, and total lack of any sense of reality has finally caused me to break my silence.

Now, it wasn't very nice of me to characterize ULA writing as awful. And usually I wouldn't do it. Not having any remarkable talent is not a crime to be punished for. As a matter of fact, it's quite a positive for people to express themselves through one medium or another, even if they don't have the ability to make a living at it. However, Mr. Wenclas and the more vocal members of the ULA (at least) are so repugnant, perhaps pleasantries have to put aside.

Examples? Michael Grover is an AWFUL poet. I know he isn't a member, but when Wenclas describes him as a bright light of the underground, to me it simply establishes that anyone that submits to him and his ridiculous organization will be praised. You prove yourself to be nothing more than a politician, not a definer of taste. Why is MD Grover so awful? Let's start. "Torn (4 Karah)". "I could go a rant about corporate control.
Of everything and everybody.
Yes they are plotting
To kill us all slowly.
I’d rather write about when she laughs or smiles
Rays of sunshine burst out of her mouth." Is this a joke? Will someone honestly defend this as groundbreaking--or fuck groundbreaking--acceptably mediocre poetry?!?!? It's horseshit. It's middle school English project poetry, AT BEST.

Or, hmm, "Hyrda." "Bush steals another four years.
Corporate propaganda media machine
Has the right to remain silent." And at the end, HE ACTUALLY USES THE WORD SHEEPLE!!!!!!! Y'know, for PEOPLE!!! The last time I heard that one it was from a 15 year old in a Cure t-shirt in 1993. You could also check out "Spring in America", featured on the ULA site itself, for another example of this hack's utter lack of talent. ULA or no ULA, poetry as bad this will NEVER be featured anywhere other than the dresser drawer of its author. Unless, of course, a despotic politician like Wenclas adds this poor sucker's dreams to form the base of his own power.

Jack Saunders. Now, I don't know about Grover, but Wenclas talks about the coup of having this man in the fold like he just finished masturbating to him. Saunders is prolific. You're right. Do you know what that means? It means "he writes alot." He is also, despite admirably continuing to pursue his passion without reward, a colossal bore. I'm sorry. And why do you ALWAYS bring up Bukowski when talking about this man? You talk about revolution, new ideas, of "demi-puppets", back scratchers and cliques holding on to the past, but whenever possible, you name drop over and over. Bukowski liked Saunders. I debated Plimpton! An assistant editor at New Criterion responded to my emails! (Personally, I'm glad he could take the time away from pleasing their 11 readers, but I digress). You name drop those you respect, but you also name drop the people you claim to dismiss. I've heard Moody's name more frequently on this blog than anywhere else, at any time, ever.

I don't care about Rick Moody. I'm not interested in his books. But sorry, Wenclas, I, like most others, don't give a shit about Wred Fright, "Crazy Carl" or "Wild Bill" either. Fright is a joke. His writing is worthless. His "wildness" is the stuff of bad L.A. sketch comedy put on by talentless kids trying to hit it big. The difference? He's from fucking Ohio, and even L.A. hacks wouldn't pull out the masked wrestler bit after checking that the calendar did not, in fact, read 1983. And by the way, there's nothing revolutionary about writing about a garage band. Everybody who liked or likes punk and ever put a pencil to paper once in their life has done that. And yours is not exceptional.

Steve K.'s travel writing in Korea was not awful, it's just nothing worth talking about. It's alright; forgettable, but alright. It is far from the level of travel writing I would ever consider purchasing. It's pure blog material.

"Crazy Carl" is not very crazy, or interesting to read. His "crazy" remembrances of the trip to the ULA show were completely dull--a show which, I concur, from the pictures, looks to have been attended by the participants, a couple friends, and a bartender...I've seen the Medusa when it's full, and it certainly wasn't. Just sort of sounded like a fat guy and an idiot from Ohio who rearranges the letters in his name in a car together. Crazy.

The writing of the ULA is not exceptional. That isn't the ONLY reason it won't be picked up by major publishers. You're right about the croneyism, you're right about the MFA culture, you're right about the professionalization of writing. So, no, you're lack of exceptional talent isn't the only reason you're not getting published. But it is a reason, one that would exist still if all the other roadblocks magically disappeared.

And, of course, the worst thing about all of this isn't the sad dreams of the associates and underlings, but Wenclas himself. Wenclas is what makes the unaffiliated, like me, despise this whole foolish group instead of just feeling sorry (silently) for dreams doomed to not being realized. Wenclas is a thug, a petty dictator, and an idiot. He is a talentless writer, more than many of the rest of you, who when writing about his job at the Detroit-Windsor border crossing, actually, as a grown man, employs the old trick of the run-on sentence that includes many details tangents and no punctuation to speak of that most "writers" might have tried when it seemed so novel when they were in a sophomore creative writing class but now is just hackneyed i'm sure you agree don't you agree yes i thought you did isn't this clever.

Wenclas believes that "crashing" readings actually accomplishes something simply because, on occasion, that fact will be reported. That somehow this furthers the ULA's goals. Dear King, I could run on to a baseball diamond in the middle of a game with clown makeup and no pants and be "mentioned" by a newspaper, but if me dream is to then be signed as the center fielder, I haven't really fucking accomplished anything.

I am not an apologist or reader of most mainstream publishing. I don't come here on their behalf, though the conspiracies pop in your deluded mind whenever a word of criticism comes your way. I come only to tell you that you're not only a thug, but an old one, Wenclas. Grow up. I've seen you, you're not a child. You may play the dress up games of a child, surely--what look is it, by the way, a 40's vagrant? You bully, but you accomplish nothing with it. Karl Wenclas, Wred Fright, & MD Grover books will never be coming to a book store near me, because no one's interested. You're NOT ANY GOOD. I'm sorry. If Franzen and Moody and Eggers and stories about being a tree or eating a candy bar aren't good enough to satisfy, then somebody else is going to have to inspire a nation of non-readers to read. Because it sure as shit isn't going to be the swill you're selling.

And I cannot help but laugh out loud at the fact that this entire revolution takes place on a fucking Blogspot account. Precious.

jimmy the hyena said...

I don't believe you. I don't believe that your name is really Bryan Gusky. I don't believe that you are actually a disinterested party who is expressing his personal miscontent. I don't care if the works of the ULA might be what is called bad writing. I just know that I hate people like you and I'll do what I can to make sure that you pay for your sins. This means neocon america. YOU and your sort made it possible; take responsibilty for it bitches. Die with it when it dies.

jimmy the hyena said...

the fact that you're a brit pretending to be american makes it that much worse. Where will they be outsourcing this disinformation next. Hell you might even be a bollywoodian!

Patrick @ LitVision said...

Some of you recent posters have really been busting veins in your necks while venting your supposedly disinterested hatred of the ULA...but at the same time it's obvious that you're watching us very closely. I won't read anything into that, except that the ULA strikes something inside you that you find difficult to deal with, so you reject us with all the pathetic, mean force you can muster.

To Bryan above: what the hell's your problem with Wred Fright?? It's laughable reading what you wrote. Wred's a super nice guy and thousands of people have enjoyed his stuff over the years. Wred Fright (and Crazy Carl) represent the FUN side of the ULA. Aren't fun, humor and excitement needed in literature?

JDF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan Guski said...

Hyena: It's guys like you that really make me wonder. Is it possible that a group of people, from all walks of life, from all parts of the country come together due to a shared interest or obsession, but also by some miracle share the same mental illness? I think I prefer to let you belive that I'm the president of a major publishing house, or a CIA operative charged with the deadly serious task of infiltrating the Blogger account of zine writers who don't like a guy who wrote about an Ice Storm, or whatever.

But sadly, the truth is my name is as listed, believe it or not. The idea of hearing your unbearably stupid lingo of "anonymice" forced my hand. But, as you so ominously put it, you go ahead and make sure I pay for my sins, Jimmy. Please, go ahead and do that. By the way, for future reference, being a "neo-con" is to subscribe to a particular political philosophy, and is not defined disliking your writing. I feel that was necessary, because you clearly don't seem to have a handle on what the word means. But bring me my justice, hyena. I'm a little thick, does that mean you're a-gonna KILL ME?

Patrick: I pick on Wred Fright (a.) because if he is FDW on this blog, he lashes out at critics as much as anyone, criticizes the "establishment" writers while proclaiming the glory of ULA's, cough, "genius." and (b.) anyone who gets involved with a thug like Wenclas is going to have to get it as well as dish it.

Is he a nice guy? Good. His "comedy" sucks. If he wasn't involved with such garbage people, I would clap politely and keep my mouth shut. As I said, not having any meaningful amount of talent is not a crime. It shouldn't prevent people from writing or performing if they get something out of it. But when they take on this Warriors-for-Christ crusader persona--"we will burn down all false idols, we are the answer for this and all generations!"-- they're gift is getting to hear what people really think of them.

J.D.: I haven't read your stuff, and although I may, I probably won't. Batting 0-for-100 with ULA's "brilliant" material has left me with no faith that I'll enjoy any of it. And I find your response humourous. You talk about Bellow, Eggers, Bukowski, Roth, etc. I'm not talking about them. I'm not talking about how long Franzen is going to be remembered. I couldn't care less: as I mentioned, the only time I even have to think about Moody and Franzen is when you discuss them like they were your high school ex-girlfriends on this site.

I'm not talking about them. I'm not talking about Ginsburg's poetry and the fact it didn't rhyme, or whatever your point was. I'm talking about YOUR writing. I'm talking about what you're offering. That's a conversation the ULA can't handle, because it offers, on the whole, a pretty sad collection of writing that ranges from the mediocre to the bad.

But instead of dealing with that fact, instead of dealing with the fact that this collection of people--despite giving themselves titles and a oh-so-scary organization name--are not remarkable writers, you always steer the conversation back to the fact that McSweeney's is too precious and boring. Fine. I get it. Good job. Let's get our focus back for a second: your ALTERNATIVE is NOT GOOD. Is that clear enough? Your organization, supposedly anyway, exists not only to insult mainstream writers, but to replace their drivel with your timeless masterpieces. Or, if you wouldn't go that far (although some of you pretty much do, including our favorite dictator, Wenclas), you would at least argue that their useless literature should be replaced by your useful variety.

Well, I'm sorry. Your writing isn't very good. It isn't very useful. I'd send a story about being a tree or a candy bar to the recycling bin too, but WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE QUALITY OF YOUR WRITING? Forget piddling little New Yorker magazine hangers-on for a moment, and be self-reflective. Most short fiction in those magazines won't even be finished by the reader, let alone stand the test of time. Fine. That doesn't make your alternative any more worthwhile. I've read it. I'd love an alternative to the MFA crowd, and am sad to report to you that you ain't it.

By the way, you're right, JD. You didn't use the word loser or asshole even once. Well, okay, once, when pointing out you didn't use them. You don't fall into those cliches do you? No, you just spell my name incorrectly, lean on the crutch of your ULA lingo--lit and never literature, zeen and never zine, anonymice, etc. Not too mention all the metaphors about "self-made deserts" and husks blown away and whatever else bad writers think is clever. You see, we all have our own cliches, you certainly have yours. You act exactly the way one would imagine a bad underground writer would act.

I'm not a writer. I don't aspire to be remembered in the literary world, I don't exist "on its margins" to take your phrase. I don't care if Moody or Franzen are remembered, and except, in the long term, they most likely will not be. But neither will Wenclas, Grover, Fright, Simonelli, Finch, or (gasp!!!!!!!!) Saunders. As a matter of fact, they'll be remembered far, far less.

Why? It is not only because the literary establishment is an MFA & New York clique, although that's true and sad. It is ALSO because your writing--not every writer without publishing access, not every self-published writer of prose of poetry--but YOUR writing, the ULA's product, is NOT WORTH REMEMBERING. It's garbage, read in a basement bar one summer afternoon in 2005 in front of friends and a bartender. A "revolution" that was not televised, not newspaperized, not magazine-ized, and not remembered. And then it was over. Period.

You are all right on one point, however. I may not post again. Try not to cry. In your minds, you'll see my "literature castle" crumbling (I didn't know they could do that, by the way). Or perhaps you'll imagine me with my hair pulled out, after being up all night, lacing a cinderblock around my leg and throwing myself into the ocean, the last words on my lips "ULA!!!!!", absolutely overcome by your power. But I'll give you the truth, just in case you care to hear it. I found this website by accident, searching for something unrelated on Google. I read it for a few weeks, because the spectacle of a deluded, dictatorial thug can hold someone's interest temporarily.

But now I'm bored. I'll take my leave not because the CIA recalled me, not because I got a page from the secret headquarters of America's literary establishment to hold an emergency meeting, but because I'm tired of you.

But then again, you must be VERRRRY used to that.

jimmy the hyena said...

Punishment shall come to you. It will not come from me it will come from the world your lies made possible. If you were not desperately seeking to escape this terrible punishment you would not have come here. I am not going to save you. I'm going to watch your world go down in blood and flames on television.

Anonymous said...

“What I do about it, though, is volunteer my time for groups I view as working for progressive social change, support companies that don't shit all over everybody, and try to live the life of a responsible and humane adult. I also lived in Mexico for a while, working in an orphanage.”

“Any other anonymice or whatever the fuck these steaming gobs of dick puke call us want to chime in? Please.”

Well, that’s a bit much isn’t it?

Why would Caspar Milquetoast travel all the way to Mexico to teach Latinos English?

Kind of hard to piece this one together. Help me, please.

On a more serious note, can you confirm that the ULA plans to issue a series of Literary Puppet trading cards, similar in spirit to the Operation Iraqi Freedom deck issued by Sturmfuehrer Franks and friends?

The version I’ve heard has several different teams, made up of current zombies such as player-manager Dave Eggers and club owner Rick Moody, along with seasoned lackies such as John Updike. Then there are the puppets of seasons past, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sonntag and George Plimpton, able to mount a serious challenge from the grave with bitchy remarks, insider tactics, well-placed reviews, and of course, the hallmark of the species -- god-awful boring writing.

Sources say each card has statistics on the back, such as book sales, career highlights and key transgressions. I’ve heard you’re even issuing a card for Eggers's bat boy Tom Bissell!

Please let me know if the rumours are true, and where I can place my advance order.

PS. One more question. Above you have referred to the Inquirer as a newspaper. What evidence do you have to support this claim?

I believe it is a sport section.

Jeff Potter said...


Hey, what about me? I put out some detailed responses but get no clever retort. Sigh. Maybe it's because I didn't bite on the "bad writing" canard. I was remiss in one big way which I'll get to momentarily, which you might find worthwhile...

In the meantime, your posts make me wonder a little about your sourcing---I'm not sure where you're getting your impressions or your reading samples. I personally suggest the Writings section of the website for ULA writing samples. But maybe you've already browsed there. If you don't like the samples there from Jack and Wild Bill and friends, well, fine.

I note that Wred and FDW aren't the same. Not in style or in any other way. FDW is cosmically baroque. And Wred is a punk rocker and funny punk writer. Wred doesn't blog much, but his work is available at (chunks of Crazy Carl's is there, too). Oh, and they're all at that Writing link above, too, where you can see how different they are.

I don't know where you get your cliche about King being a thug. Because of his challenges and heckling at readings? Because he persists in criticizing the elites?

I wouldn't worry about the Hyena's security measures in any overt way. I suspect he's referring to street-karma. He's familiar with it. As his novel "Security" indicates, all a street person has to do is watch and see what goes around. They're not the ones on the airplanes that get hijacked. Jimmy has pretty good radar, too. (The foil hat helps.)

Lastly: as always with our critics (and I hope this isn't my own cliche, if it is, it's a relevant one) you never give us a single example of anything positive. OK, we suck. They suck. Who does NOT suck for YOU? In the end, it's the only question that matters and the ONLY way your remarks stand a chance of reaching out to ANYONE. Saying that writers are bad, even giving examples of weakness in their work: it's nothing. It's our own lives we're saving here. And we share what we find with others. That's why it's working. I personally know quite a few people who Jack Saunders has impacted their lives forever. He WILL be remembered, certainly. I'm wondering about YOU. Where are you coming from, man? Who are your heroes? Which writers changed your life yesterday and today? Where do you see hope for the next phase? Who are you betting on? Yeah, not only do we show where the action is (telling is nothing), we're going for it, we're staking our claims, we're busting our butts to make it happen, as all serious projects AND BLOG POSTS require. C'mon, step up to the plate, Bryan. --Who are your heroes, why, and where to next?

Desmond said...

here's a post; a relative supporter.

(some of what i'm typing below has probably been said many a time, but i've not been able to read everything regarding ULA.)

why the ULA is important:

whether or not the writing is good (i'm am still novice to ULA writing having only read some Cicero a little Wild Bill and Saunders and Jackman), what they are doing is progressive. During the 19th century= the French Impressionists, when all those "educated" painters of the day were getting all those Prix de Rome, the Impressionists were renting out little storefronts across from prize parties showing off their original shit while being scoffed at (cliche baby!), and other than damn art historians who the hell cares about Jean-Leon Gerome's paintings?

The way I see it, homies, is that regardless if the writing is good or not, it's damn good to know that people actually do care about literature and are actively out there pushing in the new. The ULA may be like part of the first wave, the Initial Warners or whatever (or, singly, people who just feel it in the soul or whatever who intrinsically distaste contemporary stuff), so the next wave will come in and join up with ULA and so on. Not necessarily join the ULA but be fired up by their independent shit and push it out there. That's kinda the way it works anyways with new art movements. It's been a hundred years, a bit longer actually, it's about to change. Within the next 5-15 years literature's face will not be the same.

And regarding King's disruptions at readings such as Moody's or whoever, if you don't like the way he/they do it (farting out air from balloons), that's fine you don't like it, but as Roy Jones Jr. said in a post-fight interview, "you have to box a fighter and fight a boxer".

And one more thought:

I'd rather read someone like Jack Saunders instead of Eggers because at least Saunders is being honest. Rather sit and drink at a bar (a couple a guinness's or some mcsorley's or smithwicks or harp, or pabst) and talk to him rather than drink a martini.

PS my brother's dog is having her first period, she's fucking dripping blood everywhere, it's been going on for two weeks.

King said...

I just want to comment here about the "thug" comment-- which shows the hysterical nature of our enemies. What am I accused of doing? Getting pushed around by cops and security when trying to protest the National Book Awards? Thuggish behavior, surely! Asking questions at a Rick Moody reading-- then being cut off (with security everyplace) and threatened with permanent banning from-- a PUBLIC library!? Why the hysteria?
Let's see-- the ULA attended a Housing Works reading-- and were thrown out for asking questions of the readers during the break-- no hijinks-- then outside, as we were standing around chatting with a couple local NYC poets, one of us-- Leah Smith-- had her camera grabbed away for merely snapping a photo of a (drunk) Tom Beller. Our mere presence initiated hysteria that evening.
But then there's the initial crash, yes, at KGB-- it must've been filled with much violence, by the way folks reacted to it and remembered it.
Sorry, but our ten minute theater consisted of some inappropriate laughing and clapping, in the midst of absolute silence, and the popping of a balloon-- which sent the church-service parishioners into hysterics. (I got a little vocal also when the sudience, those lovers of free speech, demanded we be thrown out.)
The only violence was outside when some preppy jock type tried to push Michael Jackman, who merely stood and smiled at him.
In all those cases, we saw what we see here-- emotional overreaction.
The question is: why?
It must be that there is some truth in our message, in what we say; truth which strikes deep into some writers' assumptions, the premises of their artistic lives. The "violence" they see is inside their own heads-- because to them, existing in a complacent, unquestioning mentality, the ULA message truly is violent. They react to it as if it were revolutionary.
None of us ULAers are very good writers, apparently, according to the standards of our vociferous critics, yet we're fulfilling the first task of any writer, which is to communicate.
The ULA site and this blog are communicating something: Why else are you reading it, and reacting with such volume of words and energy to what we say?
(Our latest critic has studied us well-- by his own actions, HE at least finds this movement-- this literary rebellion-- important. It occupies a good part of his spare time. If we can get his attention, we can gain the attention of the rest of society. Anyway, we'll keep trying.)

King said...

To ULAers and other undergrounders: I hope you all realize that the abuse we receive comes with the territory. It's part of sticking our necks out and daring to make noise in this corrupt society. We should worry when people DON'T react in this way. When everyone begins to give us approval, and pats us on the back, and tells us what we're doing is okay, THEN we'll know we've been co-opted by the mainstream and have lost any edge and potency.
History shows there hasn't been dynamic change without a lot of outraged screaming against it; choruses of denunciations.
Re Grover: It's funny, isn't it, that when he read his poems at our show they were the hit of the evening. How could this possibly be? Could it be there's a dynamic involved, between the words, the audience, and the poet's voice-- that the poems suddenly come alive when pronounced in the right way, with passion, truth, and energy? The nature of art is mysterious. I don't look for answers to it among the constipated and the brainwashed.
Underground poets and prosists are roots writers in that they capture the excitement literature once held for people, as far back as Homer's day. If through undergrounders we can find ways to bring literature alive (it's been dead in this society for decades), then we'll jump eagerly at such opportunities. All I know is that what MDG does IS art. I can't explain it.
The problem with our most recent fan is that his outlook is very rigid. He's unable to look outside the box his mind is contained in-- and so is completely unable to understand good underground writing, which is far more accessible to the man on the street than to those with pretensions of literary training.
I give nothing the character says credence, because I see starkly his limitations.
For instance, because he doesn't pay attention to Rick Moody, in his solipsistic viewpoint he believes no one does. Yet I didn't create Moody, or give him his reputation, or manufacture his many awards, positions, essays, and so on. I objectively recognize that he is right now the most visible voice and symbol of the literary establishment. I criticize him for this reason. Our friend doesn't see Moody judging book awards, or penning opening essays about literature for fiction issues of glossy magazines. That doesn't mean he's not doing so! Who else do we target? The person who is not being highlighted in The Believer, or not penning the Atlantic's literature essay? I deal with the lit-world as it exists in reality, as it's visible in front of our eyes-- not inside some disgruntled establishment-wannabes head.
Similarly, the ULA goes after McSweeney's for sound, objective reasons. No other group of writers the past five years has been so represented as being the future of literature-- and what's more, portrayed as independent, which is false. The ULA has the need to show ourselves as the true alternative-- the genuine article-- and we have to expose the fake article to do this.
We've sought to present ourselves as the alternative to McSweeney's-- as the "Anti-McSweeney's," if you will. In no other field or endeavor would this throw people. In the marketplace of literary ideas, after all, they're our competition. How else should we treat them?
Re various "losers" comments about us. Say what you will, but we're already part of literary history, as the ton of press write-ups about us testifies. Even the NY Times acknowledged our lit site. Gee! for a bunch of nobodies and idiots, we must be doing something right.
Finally, I look around my own blog and can't find those run-on sentences our fan refers to. Could it be I wrote that essay that way NOT because I was following someone's model, or as a way to impress people, but because it was how I expressed my anger of the moment at my workplace? I wrote the thing, after all, on my job, no place else, on a tiny desk, with water dripping from the ceiling, in a furious burst of a rant on the back of a piece of scrap paper. The way that essay came out is the way it came out-- nothing manufactured about it. If you don't like it, "Fan," I'm sorry, but it doesn't quite represent the entire body of my writing.
The fact is that I've proved I can follow the rules of the mainstream-- I wrote for various lit-journals in the 90's, and even for the snobby rag Bookforum in 2000. The question is why I would WANT to write that way-- to conform my words, images, and ideas into a narrow corridor, as I was forced to every time I accepted such an assignment. The writers I admire are not the well-trained pets in such publications, but the dynamic literary gods to be found in zeendom or at open mics-- I'll include in that category James Nowlan (most of all-- the guy's a genius), Wild Bill, Jack Saunders, Wred Fright, Crazy Carl, Frank Walsh, Joe Pachinko, Urban Hermitt, Emerson Dameron, Mike Jackman, Steve Kostecke, and, well, just about every writer I recruited into the ULA. I'm a fan of such writers, which is why I spend my energy trying to give them a smidgen of attention in this noisy society.

MDG said...

Mr. Gursky, first off you probably are an agent. Second writing is relative. One mans shit is another man's gold. I know I swore to stay out of this but I have to put my two cents in. If you don't like my writing fine. Everyone has an oppinion. The fact is that I don't do this to please anyone but myself. You don't know me, you don't know anything about me. Let me tell you this someone once told me of Amiri Baraka (Who you probably hate too seeing he was a major influence to my poorly written dribble.) that you never truly experienced Baraka, until you have seen him perform his Poems. That is the school that I come from, and I am very good at what I do. If you just wanna sit in a library or something and read some stuffy Poetry don't read me. If you really want to live in the word then come on. Oh and if you think you can do better bring it! I have too many people attacking me to pay attention to it right now. I'm just living life. If people like you don't like me then I'm doing something right. Covert Poetics!-X-Iled

the MP said...

Come to think of it, it would be fun to be Wred Fright. In fact maybe I am him. Just like I could be Sparticus. Even being Wred Fright I'd envy myself for being a consummate bloke, the easy going ink in the eye of the snobs (an escapee from a Marx Brother movie who runs rings around clueless squares of High Society and their scruples). Even if I wasn't him I'd wish I could write with his open ended gaga gonzo aplomb that comes through a window left open in Barbie's Playhouse burning the midnight oil at both ends. Spying and snatching up Barbie's crotchless panties and throwing them out the same window he came in to Crazy Karl Robinson waiting below who's pissing on the pink flaminco and mirror balls of the Playhouse's plastic lawn. Maybe I'm Crazy Carl besides and Wred Fright or maybe niether especially if I disturb the Roman guards and have the chance to walk around the chicken coop with a crazy hardon fat and smoking like a rastsfarian doobie or better yet being Wred have an intelligence equal to my sense of humor as he (and which one you're wondering?)stealthily snags Ken's dicarded cockring off the kitchen table and silently buries it deep in the tub of lowfat creamcheese to be found in the doll-refridgerator then leaves heading into the night with his pal(s) toward a Holy Toledo.


Maybe happiness is the problem
spawn of some core mismanagement
survives us and more to the point
survives them, their pinched lethal
covetousness bonds the herd of go-
getters, hollow sounding titles
stacked to the ceiling blocks the view
from the only window of the garden
and its long winded trees and clip
the servants where we wake on the side
board all the while worshipping what
holds us down as an experiment
in sacrifice they would gauge how fear
and terror work hand in hand at the bell.


King said...

The worrisome thing about this discussion is that wrestling masks are tres' 1983. And that Wred Fright (not to mention myself) might not be accepted by the trendoids and fashionistas in L.A.!
It puts the whole debate in perspective, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

King makes an excellent point. Wrestling masks are timeless. As timeless as the literature of the ULA.

MDG said...

Yeah those luchadore masks. Yes!

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