A few years ago novelist Jonathan Franzen, who'd received a huge advance for his Corrections book, accepted taxpayer money from the National Endowment for the Arts. The money was intended for writing expenses. Not needing it, he spent the money on the artwork of a friend. The grant had been made to him by a panel chaired by Rick Moody, another friend. This is fact. Not one cent was ever returned by Franzen to taxpayers.
If anything, Franzen was rewarded. Or at least, business went on as usual. An unremarkable writer and mediocre thinker, Franzen has a feature essay in the current issue of the New Yorker. He remains an approved and applauded icon of the literary establishment. There is no sanction, scarcely an ounce of pressure, against this, due to the conformity of the literary world.
We spoke up against Franzen's grant when he received it. Everything we said was true.
In 2004, to a New York Times reporter, Jonathan Franzen accused the ULA of attacking him anonymously. This was revealed to be false. Franzen has never apologized to us. Because he's wealthy and powerful, he doesn't have to.
Franzen's misdeeds are documented fact. In comparison, what are mine? Being out-of-fashion? Popping a balloon?
(This post is an example of the kind of thing denounced as "vicious" and "violent" by the ULA's opponents. All it does is tell the truth.)