Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The U N D E R G R O U N D L I T E R A R Y A L L I A N C E Challenges

Jason Shinder

Philip Lopate

Mark Doty

Rick Moody

To read against us at Columbia University on April 17th,
inside or outside
on stage or a sidewalk or a lawn
(or at a time and place of their choosing)
to see WHO are the true inheritors of the Beat movement,
WHO can "Howl,"
WHO has the poetic and rhetorical chops,
WHO are the advocates of free expression
the word uncensored and open to all.
WE CHALLENGE them to meet us April 17th
with words not security guards
in an atmosphere of amity and equality
replacing hierarchy, bureaucracy, and snobbery.

The ghost of Ginsberg would have it no other way.


King said...

"Ballad of the Pet Shop" continued:

Hide is what they're wont to do
Shinder, Lopate, Doty, and Moody
About free speech they haven't a clue:
Shinder, Lopate, Doty, and Moody!

(Can be performed in various ways, including fast-paced shouted-out Kingston Trio folk-style.)

Goombah-Goombah said...

Well, since Shinder has cancer, Doty isn't a fan of the Beats, and Moody and Lopate aren't poets, I'll look forward to your outraged proclamation of de facto victory when none of them respond to your poetry read-off challenge. Your research is impeccable as always, Wenclas...

Patrick @ LitVision said...

Hey goombah! I'm very sorry to hear about Mr. Shinder's illness, but if he's well enough to read inside on a stage, isn't he well enough to read outside with the, uh, mob? And if Doty ain't a fan of the Beats, as you say, and if Moody & Lopate aren't poets (no argument there!), then WHY THE HELL ARE THEY READING AT THE COLUMBIA HOWL 50 EVENT???

King, funny you should mention Kingston and trio, because i'm hearing Bob Marley and his ladies singing the Pet Shop Ballad, reggae style!

CHALLENGE! Absolutely right! Do you think any of those clowns will accept? To Rick Moody in particular, you've been in the ULA firing line for a long time, and deservedly so. Here's your chance to fire back, Rick. Use your greatest asset...NO, not your money, Rick, use your words! Engage the ULA upstarts face to face!

Free the Beats! ULA Howl Protest Page

Goombah-Goombah said...

It's possible to understand and appreciate Howl and its importance to history and literary freedom and not be a huge fan of the Beats. "Howl" and "Kaddish" are great poems, but Ginsburg was not a real great poet much of the time. Just my opinion, of course. Anyway, they're not going to accept, and I think you all know that. They're going to ignore you. I think you know that too. So here we go again on another ULA ride through fantasyland, wherein you're oppressed and the Beats are enchained and you're the true representatives blah blah blah blah. Hey, I thought 2005 was going to be your big year? Guess not, huh? Let me guess: 2006 is really going to be your big year. And it will all start with the REFUSAL of the ARISTOCRATS to ACCEPT the ULA CHALLENGE!!!! Ho-hum.

- Leopold said...

No matter what you think of the ULA, surely this organization is more deserving of the connection with HOWL than that rotting band of sheriff's men. Clearly, the four mentioned are far from reprsentative of the beats, or beat movement. You pretty much say so yourself, but then are complicit with it.

Moody, et al can 'appreciate' the beats all they want. But when it comes to throwing a celebration of the 50th anniversary, where THEY read their own stuff, it's not about appreciation, it's about co-option. If they were serious about the beat movement, if they believed in it, they'd choose one of the thousand better choices of poets for this celebration. Instead we get the same stodgy corrupt names up there. It doesn't have to be the ULA, but it sure as hell ain't moody, lopate, doty or shinder.

Patrick @ LitVision said...

Such a pessimistic attitude, Goombah. I'll disagree with you about Ginsberg, he was a great poet with staying power who inspired a ton of writers. As for Moody & co, it's their opportunity to accept the ULA's challenge. If any one of them steps off that elevated stage onto ULA terra firma, and reads against any one of our ranks, they'll have the chance to BEAT us (pun intended) face to face.

As to our "big year," as you put it, i personally don't operate under those terms, because it limits the scope of our societal role.

Bryan Guski said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bryan Guski said...

Jesus, you guys fucking suck.

But "Ballad of the Pet Shop" ranks up there with the ads in the back of my last TV Guide.

It's been a long time. My name is not Tim Hall (do you realize one of your sycophant followers has dedicated a website to this mystery?). I was told by a friend who still actually reads these blogs from time to time that my name still comes up 8 months after our brief tryst.

And now, to leave your company for another year or so, off to find something more worthwhile on the internet than this site (like porno, of pop up ads). Lovingly, Tim Hall...whoops, I meant Bryan. Damn.

Brooklyn Frank said...

One suggestion: let THEM choose the judge. That way, they might actually show up, plus if you can convince a judge of their choosing that you guys are better, that would REALLY be something.

-Frank Marcopolos
Formerly of The Whirligig

King said...

System; conformity; hypocrisy; pose
Shinder, Lopate, Doty, and Moody
Everything Allen Ginsberg opposed!
Shinder, Lopate, Doty, and Moody.

King said...

You know, while they're at it, I think they should recruit billionare poet-heiress Louise Gluck, fake bohemian David Berman, and wine-taster Jay McInerney for this event.
If they're going to degrade Allen Ginsberg's reputation by the phoniness of their event, they may as well go all the way!
(p.s. I forget to add, when opening this blog to comments, that spam will be deleted. No more fake names, Goombah. Aren't fake poets enough? Thanks.)

- Leopold said...

I think that's a good policy, KW. I half expect all comments to disappear when the anonymice's cover of cowardice disappears. Too bad.

Matthew Ryan Vincent said...

What the hell. So angry.

- Leopold said...

Um, who's your comment direct at, Matthew? The only really angry post I see here is by 'bryan' 'gusky'.

Jeff Potter said...

Goombah mockingly says we think our big 2006 will launch with being refused. No, it'll start with an ACTION at a reading. Out on the steps, wherever. It'll be fun! It'll add content and context to their phony event. Who cares what they do. They can help make it more fun by joining in, by responding, by shouting back. Or not. The ULA is still going to throw down a good time and THAT's the launch.

chilly charlie said...

Tim Hall also appears to be posting as "Goombah-Goombah." Anyhow, I wish the ULA luck with this and their other endeavors. Give 'em hell! --Charles

Fabricio said...

I come with security guards-

The guarding is done by the insecure, their future and present half a paycheck or one toothache away from the gutter.

Largely black proletarians, the wretched of the earth with growling stomaches and a badge without healthcare or a prayer.

Ginsberg, in today's world, would march with us.

Jeff Potter said...

Fresh Aire's Terry Gross interviewed the Squid-Whale movie guy today.

She wondered how kids can confidently develop their own views when they are raised in families where the (divorced) parents are arts people and intellectuals---as in the movie's family. --They're around such strong arts views from their parents all the time that it would be hard to go your own way.


She meant to say "raised in families with careerists and apparachiks"!

Anyone raised around real art or intellect has only ever been shown how to think for themselves. Independence is one of the main values they've seen.

"KNOW THYSELF"---what else is there, baby?

True arts and lit parents work hardest of all to help themselves and their children and everyone else discover how to BE FREE, TO BE THEMSELVES!

No need to mention copycatting or opinion. Unless you're discussing drones of some kind. Obviously kids imitate but that's just childhood development and has no bearing on art or intellect per se. The effect that art has on people is liberation or it's not art.

Handbag Express said...

Hello, just dropped in to checkout your blog and also introduce our Grand Opening for ****. We offer the ultimate superb selection of handbags, purses, wallet, backpacks, with the highest quality and the absolute lowest prices and that's a promise.
We extend our invitation for you to stop on by and check our website out at : **www.HandbagExpress.Com** Thank you and have a great day!

True that said...

Somehow I can't imagine Ginsberg begging a bunch of poets he didn't like to pay attention to him. Can you?

You guys are pathetic.

True that said...

PS And you'd think a guy who shut down comments on his blog just because he consistently lost every argument that anyone ever bothered to engage him in might be a bit embarassed to suggest that he's an "advocate of free expression." Unless of course he was just a grandstanding, attention-starved hypocrite.

Just thought I'd make the point before the true champion of uncensored debate shuts things down again. The better to hear himself howling growling into the wind.

King said...

At least I can post under my own name!
Think about this: We're taking on the literary establishment-- as, yes, the Beats did in their day. One way for them to shut us down is to flood us with anonymous attacks-- as they've done. Idiot demi-puppets like you are content to sit there anonymously attacking us. You're nothing more than the demi-puppets in The Tempest-- shadows without substance.
That you won't use your name proves the weakness of your argument.
Am I stopping free debate and expression on this blog???
No way.
What I am asking for-- as the ULA has asked for from its very beginning-- is simple honesty.
Why are you incapable of this??
Do you impute some power or authority to the ULA that we don't have? We're the poorest writers group in this society, with miniscule resources. we're debating protesting this Howl thing-- but don't even know how we'd get there, because our Philly chapter is broke; our transportation fund is empty.
If we could give our names, as we did without hesitation, from the very beginning of our campaign, taking on forces many many times more powerful than us-- then what's your excuse?
Get a backbone and THEN enter this discussion.
One would think, after the Frey and JT Leroy fiascos, that honesty would be in vogue.
I guess not.

King said...

p.s. There comes a point when anonymous attacks become a form of censorship.
What's the intent of those posting anonymously on this blog?
Isn't it to shut us up?
Our intent, on the other hand, is to invite open and honest debate with the rulers of the lit world.
We've always been open to our opponents-- while hoping for even a shred of integrity from them.
We invited them to attend our July Philly reading; to debate us and heckle us. A couple folks did. It was all to the good.
The games and attacks we endured last year, virtually all of them done in skulking, dishonest fashion, show where these demi-puppets stand on the question of free expression.
They ultimately have the resources (and the numbers of flunkies) to shut this blog done, as they did, because I'm a man of limited time and energy with which to respond to them; to shut our entire campaign down. Is this their goal?
Isn't the ULA trying to do inject SOME competition and dissent into a conformist lit world?
Our ideas and writers are different from the pack.
We fight for a place in the debate over the direction of literature-- to spark such debate.
We demand a voice. In a democratic society, we're entitled to it.
Sorry, aristocrats and your stooges. Our fight continues and will continue, on-line or off, come hell or high water. Haven't you figured that out yet?

True that said...

To say that anyone but you has the power to shut down your blog is exactly the kind of self-pitying lie that the whole paranoid cesspool called the ULA is built on. It's simply false. Transparently so. But your fighters for truth won't say that will they?

You call it free expression when people agree with you, and skulking attacks when they don't. THere's not much difference in the posts themselves. You just happen to know who's behind some anonymous names ("chilly charlie", "king", "fabricio") and don't know who's behind others.

You're not 'taking on literature', not 'fighting' anything. You're writing a dopey blog. The ULA has had no effect at all, anywhere, yet. You don't get to claim any props for a battle you've only imagined you've joined.

King said...

We've had an effect on you!
You've sat down and created a phony blog just to be able to post here.
Why is that??
The fact is that every revolution, every kind of change, has to start someplace-- often with the tiniest baby steps.
All the greatest movements, in fact, throughout history, were regarded at their beginnings as jokes; were mocked,or attacked, or silenced, for years before they achieved the change they were after.
Why the resistance to change from you?
Why does a contrary viewpoint bother you so much?
These are questions you should ask yourself.

True that said...

You have to comment on posts from days ago just to get the last word? That's almost the most pathetic thing I've seen from you King, which would be saying quite a bit. But I'll answer your questions.

Yes, many revolutionary movements have, I suppose, started with the tiniest baby steps, as you so eloquently and originally put it.

But it doesn't follow logically that every thing that starts with "the tiniest baby steps" will become a great revolution. In fact, most things that are regarded as jokes at their inception remain jokes all their short lives. Or else they become tiresome, endlessly repetitive, self-pitying, meanspirited bores. Hmm, I wonder which will be the fate of the ULA?

King said...

We'll find out!
(Does the prospect that we'll succeed, "False," worry you?)

Ricky Joe Sanchez said...

We have to give King and Co. the credit for making a platform. That is only fair regardless of what you believe about the talent of the writers in the ULA. Fresh to the scene I gotta ask...Is this "True That" character part of the show or for real?

M.D.G. said...

I see my old friend Mr. Gusky's still around. Very nice to see you sir. I'm sure you'll have something to say about my poetry. You know King you are not much different from the corporations that you oppose. You ignore the real talent out there and and take some mediocre half wit, and try to convince the world that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. You shun individual though, much like the corporations do. Shame on you King, shame on you.

Ricky Joe Sanchez said...

Have a beer.

alberthaanstra said...

Hello friend. Thanks for having me on your great blog today. Blogger should be happy to have you on board! Do you need free debt consolidation? Well, look no further. I help you for free my friend. I have tried and tested all sites But, the best was So, let me help you. Fill in the form today for free. And be debt free. Get credit repair today!