Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sheep of the Literary World

The ULA Blacklisted.

Lit folk refuse to link with us because we, the most powerless of writers, have somehow become "bullies" capable of pushing around truly powerful millionaires and their armies of lackeys. Lit characters friendly to me in the past are suddenly aghast at things I've said. Pure phoniness. Another accuses me of not being open-minded, yet declines to exchange links to share each other's ideas.

The truth is that these people are terrified of upsetting the powers-that-be in the literary world-- patrician barons like Eggers and Moody-- by acknowledging our existence in anyway publicly. Word has come down from on high. Like the jellyfish they are, these icons of integrity have complied.

63 comments:

Chief said...

No one is "aghast". That's such a profound mis-characterization of the neglect the ULA "suffers" from it makes me worry about your mental health.

People, wherever they happen to be seated on the literary totem pole, aren't interested in the ULA because the majority of the writers you've fielded as examples of "real" talent, and "Genuine" subversiveness, flat out suck.

Jack Saunders, I'm sorry to say, is one of the most boring writers I've ever read. He seems like a nice old guy, like he has lots of personal integrity, loves his family, etc. But as a writer, he'd be better off writing stereo instructions. The fact that you keep propping up this blandest of scribblers as a "hero" of the underground, King, makes the rest of what you say sound ludicrous.

I've left you alone, not out of fear or revulsion, but out of pity.

If you genuinely believe that what you and the rest of the ULA are up to from a writing standpoint is "revolutionary" then there's very little hope that you'll ever produce anything worth reading.

In any event, the only reason anyone has ever paid the slightest attention to you and the ULA is that you're such a loudmouth. Take away your bullhorn and what've you got--Jack Saunders' boring books.

That's why people ignore you: when pressured to come up with the literary goods all you have to show us is the man behind the curtain.

Jeff Potter said...

OK, you've typed quite a bit thus far, so I have to lay my usual two bits on you regarding your type of "criticism."

Why not put ONE shred of substance to your words and SHOW us why JS books are boring.

It makes you look bad and irrelevant when you violate the ol' "show don't tell" rule of writing. I mean, you give us nothing.

Then (oooh, I know I ask a lot!) give us an example of a writer who is NOT boring, at least in part.

Please use quotes (as brief as you like) for both.

Feel free to go even FURTHER and suggest a writer who is maybe even just on the teeny tiny start of being revolutionary (you type like you have a sense of it).

By the way, did you know that JS gets raves from some darn hard-nosed writers of renown? And gets great hate-mail, too? Weird for someone who's never been seriously reviewed.

Here's a link to some blurbs that Jack has received for his work. Have you ever seen anything like them for a writer who has NEVER been reviewed beyond the zeen-world? I defy you to give me an example!

http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/jack/BLURBS.HTM

Jeff Potter said...

PS: I'm not denying your experience that JS was boring. I'm just demanding that you put your remark into ANY kind of context so that ANY reader could get some meaning from such a remark. Otherwise can't you see that it's a worthless thing to say? Heck, you could even let us know who you are! --If that might lend meaning. It usually does. Since you start out with a fake name you're probably afraid. That's a bad start, don't you think? If a fearful person finds a writer boring, a normal person may well find them to be interesting. Right? Your standards already aren't normal. Normal people aren't afraid, by the way. --JP

Marissa Ranello said...

I'm confused...Didn't everyone know that "Chief" was Tim Hall?

Chief said...

I'm not Tim Hall.

Now I have to buy a Tim Hall book to find out if being compared with him is an insult or a back-handed compliment.

The pseudonym allows me to be a little more honest than I might otherwise be if I posted under my real name. I don't want my inbox cluttered with hate-mail, or for various bloggers I've offended to post nasty reviews of my book on Amazon (all of which have happened when I've blogged under my real name).

It may lack courage and integrity to hide behind a blogging persona, but it also spares me numerous headaches.

King said...

Recall, "Chief," that the anonymous attack reviews on Amazon, as exposed in the NY Times in January 2004, were from Dave Eggers. The ULA was falsely accused of such behavior but exonerated. (We're still waiting for Jonathan Franzen's apology.)
This episode is one reason for my principle of no anonymous posters. Anonymity allows for the kind of gutless attacks you describe.
Thank you.

King said...

Re the ULA's neglect.
Yes, the current monolithic literary world filled with the brainwashed is completely closed-minded regarding someone like Jack Saunders, a more original and intelligent writer than anyone in the mainstream. We'll give you that.
But what's your explanation for ignoring the CLMP expose, up at the "Monday Report" archives at the main www.literaryrevolution.com site?

Chief said...

King,

I think the ULA has some noble aims, and agree that the "Literary-Industrial Complex" presents the majority of writers with nothing but misery.

I also think, however, that you guys are wrongly focused upon attacking Academia/serious-lit when the problem lies more with the recent corporatization of the publishing world.

When huge global companies life Time-Warner and GE start buying up the publishing houses, publishers are suddenly obliged not just to turn a profit, but to turn massive profits, otherwise stockholders will pitch a fit.

Books, in order to be published and adequately promoted, have to be blockbusters nowadays, just like films. Therefore, publishers have become extremely-risk averse, and tend to look askance at manuscripts that don't conform to the blockbuster formula.

Also, like Hollywood, a writer has to put as much, if not more energy into selling his or her novel as he does into actually writing it. By this I mean, if you want to get published by a big house, you have to think about how that house is likely to market your book.

Writers shouldn't have to do that. Writers shouldn't have to slave over their books for two or three years, and then write their own blurbs. Marketing is a job for the salesmen, not the artists.

At any rate, if you can't lower yourself to the unpleasant job of being your own PR firm, then it's unlikely that an agent or a publisher is going to take you on.

It's the commodification of the arts that's the problem, not out-of-touch, eggheady professor types in their ivory towers.

Anyway, I liked it when you guys attacked Moody's guggenheim grant. Not because I dislike Rick Moody, or consider him a fat-cat (honestly, Rick Moody is probably just a bystander in all this. Updike got a guggenheim, Cheever got a guggenheim--Moody was probably just thinking, "another feather in my cap" which doesn't strike me as all that bad) but because you guys managed to shed a hard, thoughtful light on what the point of such grants really is: Rick Moody doesn't actualy need the money--he's not struggling, so wouldn't the grant go to better use if it was awarded to someone who actually needs it?

An excellent point: everyone I know agrees with you on this.

Attacking well meaning academics, however, strikes me as pulling out the carpet from under your own feet.

Academics are your natural allies. Phillip Lopate, and the little I know about him, if you presented your case to him, would probably help you guys.

I think the ULA could probably recruit thousands of published authors to your cause if you focused your goals on the bigger prize: the complete takedown of big commercial publishing.

It's all infighting, what you're doing, and naturallly, no-one's interested in that.

If you guys were solidly committed, in a concrete, disciplined way, to unifying serious writers who put art ahead of money (and there are so many of them out there)and taking it to the doors of big commercial houses, then I would join you on the front line in heartbeat. But as it is, you guys have rendered yourselves toothless by deriding semi-talented writers just because their famous, and not seriously attacking the system which props them up.

Lenin would weep with shame at the pathetic state of your "revolution".

Marissa Ranello said...

I've come to the conclusion that bad writers come to this blog to write about themselves in third person. They'll do anything to get someone to buy their book. "If I say my own name incessantly, search engine rankings will increase!"

Chief, c'mon..."Jack Saunders, I'm sorry to say, is one of the most boring writers I've ever read. He seems like a nice old guy, like he has lots of personal integrity, loves his family, etc." - I heard this from a Hall reading. If you're not him, you most certainly lick the guy's balls a lot - and Noah's too I might add. You seem to enjoy commenting on his blog.

It's ridiculous. Just stop the games already. What's with all the fucking pirck waving on this blog? Your dick's are short - just like your book sales. Put 'em away boys!

Chief said...

What if I said "your cunt is loose--just like your command of the english language"?

You'd be pretty fucking offended, wouldn't you?

Don't bring my genitallia into any discussion, unless you yourself are willing to have yours critiqued.

Sloppy? Wet? Stinky?

See what I mean? That old feminist saw about guys fighting over their respective penis sizes is so worn out--almost as worn out as your vagina.

jimmy the hyena said...

But I bet you got a real nice tight juicy booty on you chief!

King said...

Tne problem with the program you advocate, "Chief," is that it doesn't work.
Aren't there other literary organizations manned by good liberal people who espouse the ideas you do, yet aren't changing anything?
Doesn't Rick Moody himself criticize blockbusters and the like?
The problem is that your kind of writers are too invested in the System to change it.
You're invested in it from, yes, the feeder MFA programs, which among other sins, create an artificial oversupply of writers which lessens our value and bargaining power.
Everybody apparently agrees, now, that our Moody Protest was a good thing. At the time, of the 300 good liberal committed literary folk we sent the protest to, not one signed it. NOT ONE.
You can talk all you want about change, but will you show it?
How many writers would sign such a Protest today?
How many made noise about the CLMP matter? Where is Rick Moody about that?
Demonstrate by your actions, instead of your hostility, that you're on our side and we'll be more amenable to what you say.
(You won't even put your own name on this blog! How likely would you be to put it o n a petition against the most powerful literary figures in America?)

King said...

(p.s. Phillip Lopate, establishment attack dog, publicly attacked the ULA, underground writers without health care!, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, in a rant he gave from the Miller Hall stage. Sorry, but that guy is already bought and paid for.)

Chief said...

sorry jimmy,

I wish I had a nice tight juicy booty, but, the sad reality is, I've got a flat, saggy, legs-straight-into-my-lower-back white man's disaster.

jimmy the hyena said...

damn chief! Sounds like you need to go down to the YMCA and get that booty into shape!

Noah Cicero said...

I HAVE YOU LINKED, IF YOU HIT MAUD NEWTON ON MY BLOG, IT GOES HERE.

Chief said...

King,

I would never put my name on a petition against Rick Moody because in my estitmation, he's not the problem.

(Additionally, I don't think he's that bad a writer. The Ice Storm has its moments).

What I would do, were I conducting a "literary" revolution, would be to identify all the parent companies of all the major publishing houses. Show everybody who's really pulling the strings at Harper-Collins and Knopf and FSG, etc.

Then I would appeal to writers of all stripes, successful and unsuccessful, published and non-published, talented and not, to consider what it means to lend their names and their reputations to organizations that (a) pollute the drinking water in Nigeria (b) undercut legislation to raise the minimum wage (c) (enter your favorite corporate crime here) (d) etc, and ask, point blank, had you intended, when you were pouring your lifesblood into your novel, to tacitly support these global rapists?

I would keep harping on this point, over and over again, organising protests at every literary event in town in which I distributed leaflets asking this simple questiong: do you, writers and readers and critics really want to lend aid and comfort to Corporate America?

I would plead with all writers to stop accepting corporate bloodmoney, appealing both to their consciences and their latent sense of heroism (trust me: all writers want to be heroes) and ask them to sever all ties with their corporate masters.

This would be a definite boon to the smaller houses, who have no corporate affiliations/aspirations. Suddenly, well-respected writers of every genre and level of talent would be submitting their manuscripts to small firms like arcade and Soft skull.

What would be left of the mainstream: scabs.

I've got more, but you get the general idea. My plan doesn't involve alienating successful writers just because they're successful. My plan involves seperating artists who don't mind supporting corporate evil from those who do. Simple, effective, and to the point.

Chief said...

Harper-Collins is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Accept a book-contract from Rupert Murdoch, and you reinforce FOX news, Bill O'REilly, etc.

Unless you're a right-wing asswipe, you probably don't want to support Murdoch's media empire. Allowing Harper-Collins to make money off your emotional/artistic sweat is tantamount to saying, "I don't care how rotten these fuckers are, I just want to get paid."

Artists, unless they are slimeball assholes, should care how rotten their employers are.

In the real world, we all have to work for assholes. Creating Art, on the other hand, is for ourselves and whoever happens to enjoy what we create. You don't HAVE to create art for assholes, Jimmy. It's optional.

King said...

Yes, but the writers we criticize are embedded with those conglomerates you speak about-- notably, the McSweeney's gang.
If that's your strategy, "Chief," do it. Write a Monday Report on it for us (or read Tom Hendricks's write-ups about corporate monopoly on our site). You'll have to do it under your own name.
(Let Mr. Moody denounce the monied takeover of CLMP and we'll feel more friendly toward him.)

Pat_King said...

Grace,

Karl has explained time and again that he doesn't want anonymous posts on the blog.....what's there to get?

And don't give me the "but I'll get hate mail" line either. If we want to debate you, we'll do it here, where everyone can see.

Jeff Potter said...

Chief, you've posted your exact same "Jack is boring. You guys are doing it wrong" post here before. Funny.

I like the part of recruiting "thousands of published authors"---aaaaiiiieeee! Haven't we said we're elitists?

I also like "well-meaning academics." And that it's not academia that's the problem, it's corporations. That's rich!

Sounds like you need to be in charge of your *own activist campaign*, Chief and show us how it's done! : )

It's all so familiar.

The flipping out about genders...next we'll get psyche-analysis, eh? : )

Chief, we're not heavy-handed. We're subtle, deft, quick-moving. The years it's taken us to get a book out are like seconds compared to the stodginess of professors. The challenge is a nifty blend. We haven't attacked all academics. The real ones don't mind sharing, don't mind having their role limited. Don't worry about us, Chief!

...And by all means, watch out for the hate mail.

Ya know, Chief, when you're really onto something hate mail is good. It comes from the right people. It reveals their total lameness. Like the Jack blurbs link I posted. You gotta have the slams to heighten the praise. How many writers get both the range of slams and praise that Jack gets? I weep with pride. He's got Abbey, Buk, Willeford on his side. And a bunch of bitter academics railing at him. Who wouldn't be happy? Hate mail is a test. You fail it, don't you.

Jeff Potter said...

PS: No, no, the "mental health" indicator is there, too. So we're all set, Chief. Good call, Marissa! : )

Chief said...

Wasn't anyone paying attention?

King hasn't deleted any of my criticisms, hasn't really called me names. Instead, he offered me the opportunity to submit an article/editorial to the Monday Report on the very reasonable condition that I do so under my real name.

(I must regretfully decline the offer, King, but only for the time being. I promise you that, eventually, once my current workload eases up, I will sit down and write that article. When that'll be, I can't say)

It was a very diplomatic and even handed treatment of my criticisms, hand has given me hope that even old dog like King can learn new tricks.

Bow to your king.

Marissa Ranello said...

It's always the same tired-ass comments . All I hear is: blah blah blah if I were a member of this group I would... blah blah blah blah blah.

Instead of wasting your time criticizing us - do something. Find a wack of "reputable" writers and fucking do something.

You know, if you spent as much time creating art as you did on this blog - you might have something relevant to say every now and then.

Pat_King said...

When and where have they been deleted?

Victor Schwartzman said...

I do like Jack Saunders' work, what I have seen of it.

Pat_King said...

Nah....I'm pretty positive that if a message is deleted, there will be a spot where the post had been saying, "message deleted by administrator" or something very similar to that.....I don't see one of those on here.

Pat_King said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Victor Schwartzman said...

And now having read all of these comments, and being what appears to be a semi-member of the ULA in some eyes:
King deserves more credit than some have given him on this blog. He gave Chief a reasonable offer, and Chief responded reasonably, as far as I can see.
Chief wants to be anonymous due to hate mail? Anonymous is never my style, but I can sure appreciate the hate mail part.
I'm completely new to this type of dialoguing, and find it intruiging. Cyberghosts talking to cyberghosts, instead of real people in the same room.
About Chief's points, etc:
Frankly, the problem is pretty much everything. The multinational conglomerates controlling so much publishing, with a sole approach to bottom line art--art for profit--dragging everything down to an 'it's only entertainment level'. If the world was not so screwed up, that might be almost tolerated. But in the way our world is, not to address social and political issues in writing is, for me, a crime. An ethical crime.
I do not agree that MFAs manufacture too many writers. I think the more writers, the better.
The problem is not mor writers, but what is being written.
However, that said, academics often seem to promote crap. So much 'academic' poetry is about the poet's navel. So much of it has to do with anything 'controversial', i.e. real life beyond 'love' and 'how pretty the sky is'. And, yes, I do suggest that the writing academics feed directly into the multinationals, just as the science academics feed into the military-industrial complex.
It can be a real waste of time, though, to attack individual writers, because that is often ignoring the forest to go after the trees. The mainstream can write off attacks on Moody fairly easily. What they can not write off is the apparent lack of an income test for recipients of NEA and Guggenheim grants--but, unfortunately, I am not aware of anyone attacking them on that basis.
As for Chief's comments about other groups attacking the Guggenheims and NEAs, maybe there are such groups, but I am not aware of them.

Victor Schwartzman said...

Ugh. Sorry for a typo. I meant to write that academics promote nothing controversial, not anything controversial. Just to make that clear.

M.D.G. said...

Boy that King he sure does whip up a mean batch of Kool-Aid.

Pat_King said...

Well, yes, if Karl actually did what you described, that would match the description of an elitist. Again, no evidence on this thread that he actually deleted anything you said. Plus, time and again, when presented with evidence of Karl's "hate mail" (as I was recently by a fellow ULAer) I see no evidence of anything except a guy asking questions.......

Maybe not as politely as you might like but impolite questions do not equal hate mail.

Though, when I think about it now, I'm glad you're here. It's nice to know that the ULA isn't the only place where you can find great hyperbole in this world of polite and holy (shhh...quiet....) literary debate.

Ah, yes, but take us toward the surreal....this is wonderful.

M.D.G. said...

I would like to say that Jimmy Grace seems to know Karl without knowing him. His description is pretty accurate with the drinking and all. Plus I will testify that his blog posts have disapeared from this from this blog. Always the ones that bitch the loudest about censorship that you have to watch. Wasn't the subject of this blog blacklisting? As someone that knew Karl and was a member of the ULA for a while I will honestly say that Mr. Grace is right again. He is not that interested in promoting artists.

M.D.G. said...

I said I was a former member Jimmy.

jimmy the hyena said...

Hey MDG aren't you still a former member? You'll always be a former member no? Or you could say I was formerly a member that'd be good maybe but I was a former member, don't know bout that.

King said...

I HAVE been deleting "Grace"'s posts, as I said I would, because he admitted he was posting under a fake name and couldn't answer questions about his obviously fake identity.
The business about wanting his e-mail is bogus. As usual, the person is being disingenuous.
What does an e-mail prove? I get anonymous/fake e-mails all the time. ("Hate" mail, I guess, but I seldom read it.)
What I'm trying to avoid is hate mail on this blog, mainly because it's a big time-waster.
Skeptics of the ULA will point out our lack of consistent progress, then use my time with endless questions, attacks, and the like.
Right now I'm gearing up for future ULA actions.
I'm not going to spend my time disproving endless sniping and nitpicking, whether from Miller Genuine or anyone else. I plan to SHOW that the ULA is vital; the strategy sound.
I have no rpoblem with debates-- I've certainly engaged in enough of them. The history of the comments on this blog alone proves this-- but some people know they can derail me by stealing my time, which right now is a precious commodity to me.
Which means: as we get closer to our new events, I'll likely shut down the comments again, temporarily, so I can focus my energies more efficiently.
Is this censorship?
Censorship depends on context, doesn't it?
I have no power in this society. That you who criticize me don't attack the exclusionary practices of those who DO wield institutional power-- a lot of it (catalog all the boards Mr. Moody has sat on and sits on sometime) are being dishonest.
The rules for this blog were stated by me when I reallowed comments-- NO anonymous spam.
If you want to make continual misstatements of fact, as poet Grover does, under your own name, feel free.

King said...

(It's a sign of the ULA's vitality that people are so interested in what we're doing. Not dead yet, I guess. Stay tuned, because a lot of excitement is ahead.)

Victor Schwartzman said...

Three points to add to this interesting dialogue.

First, and this will end up being relevant... I tried posting something before and the blog thingee wouldn't let me. It took half an hour for me to figure out that I first had to sign in with my own blog (and not on this page, I had to go to the sign up page). Then I would be listed under my own name.

If you keep reading I will get back to why this is relevant:

a) As a current ULA member I can say that Jimmy/Chief/Tim/Irving? seems to not understand (or, pretend to not understand) how the ULA is structured and what it is all about when he (she? it?) writes we are not publishing enough. The role of King in particular is not to publish. It is to advocate. Yes, I do not always agree with his style of advocacy. I can and do argue (this post being one example). But as an American/Canadian, true to my mixed heritage, I argue strongly and then feel guilty and apologize.

Guess which country contributes to which?

But...King and the Philly crowd's role is to stir things up, advocate on behalf of underground writers, etc. It is not to publish stuff. That is the role of the excellent ULA web site and the excellent literary adventures blog. It is unfair to attack King about not publishing--more on how this is probably a deliberate diversionary tactic, below.

B) Chief/Jimmy/Tim/Orson Welles' F is For Fake/Whomever. Personally I see no signs of comments being deleted, and I do not think that is King's style. However, here is something to note. I found Chief's snarky writing style fun. I tried to locate him. I ended up at his blog, which has no personal information on it (unlike virtually all other blogs I've seen), including no email address. I ended up leaving a comment on one of his blog posts, as a way of contacting him. To date, no response. Because I liked his style, and the ULA is more open than he thinks, I invited him to write a review for the ULA book review blog.

I find it hard to believe a person chooses to be unavailable and anonymous, including using pseudonyms, simply because he receives otherwise a lot of hate mail (and, why, perchance, does he receive such hate email, anyway?). If he doesn't want to read the hate mail, all he has to do is hit the delete button.

I can make strong comments, but I always post with my name behind it. I've had some hate mail, actually hate male. But should you not be prepared for the heat if you walk into that ol' kitchen? Some people in the ULA (and elsewhere) don't like my opinions, but they always know who made them.

I have not heard back from Chief/Jimmy/Tim/Golum/RupertMurdoch yet. So there is no way to reach him really except through this blog, which he obviously reads.

So, Chief: if you are really 'Chief', and in the military, my offer to run a review by you of a book on the ULA book review blog stands--we are strong enough to run stuff from anyone, even people who don't like us.

However, if you are a weenie coward who likes to blast people without leaving a paper trail, without the ethical courage to give opinions with your name behind them, then you are, in my humble opinion, a provocateur jerk schmuck, and the offer is withdrawn. (Already the Canuck in me wants to apologize for name calling, but not this time.)

c) Tim, Chief, Jimmy, plus Pat and MSG and LSMFT and whomever: I wonder if you realize how petty and insular and parochial some of this debate sounds like to someone who does not live in Philly, much less the US. From an outside the US perspective, it feels like a lot of self-involved backstabbing, more fit for academics (oops, I apologize) than people truly interested in and involved with writing (oops, apologize again, I have a cousin with tenure).

My point, from up above, is how, at 61, my computer skills are limited. In terms of this debate, it also means I have limited access to all the personal crap going on down in the US, and know only what I read online. From my lofty position up here, pretty much out of it yes, there appears little difference between all the mainstream backstabbing and all the underground backstabbing.

People are starving in the US. Bush started a war based on lies. Breathing the air poisons you. I think King in particular would totally agree with me in saying: don't we all have something better to do? (I mention King a few times because he is the focus of attacks.)

This is relevant because this whole series of blog posts is about 'blacklisting' the ULA (which I don't think happens, it's more like we're ignored, which yes is a form of blacklisting but not conscious--blacklisting implies a conscious list, whereas being ignored implies just that) because of political points we make.

Instead of arguing why we may be ignored (by people who have a vested interested in the current grant system, for example), bloggers like Chief want to subvert our energy into silly, personal issues. Just like, to a degree (King won't agree with this) attacks on individuals like Moody target the trees instead of the forest.

The left always eat the left, and the dinner is not tasty. This is why the mainstream laughs at us. It is so easy to keep us in our tiny little corner. Thank god for the internet!!

To give an example of how pointless these personal interchanges are, how un-important these self-important issues are, I have tried Googling Tim Hall to find out who this guy is. From up here, I don't have a clue (in so many ways, yes, go ahead and say it :)). His website lists a little history, but nothing about him and the ULA. In fact, when I googled to try and find the history of the ULA and some of other writers, I found nada also.

I.e., there is no way to even know about it unless you're in Philly or New York. So, especially from the perspective of another country, just how important is it?

Let us not be diverted by attacks on Jack Saunders (whose work I have liked, and now I feel a real obligation to read much more of his stuff, and you should too!) and other individuals. This is a classic tactic to take our eye off the ball.

The Canadian in me wants to apologize for the length of this post, but the my American side says bite me.

King said...

p.s. MGD should know about my drinking. We spent a lot of hours drinking at Philly places like Moriarty's ("The Moriarty's Society" was a club I organized) and McGlinchey's. I'll give him that one-- though I can't say that MGD was drinking milk!

Victor Schwartzman said...

Despite the huge post I just made, and my apologies, I needed to make one point.

I didn't buy Chief's argument about the corporations simply because he is anonymous. I didn't buy he leaflets and works hard, because he is anonymous. It is hard not to believe he wrote that to try and give himself some credibility.

But yes, of course, multinational corporations are very much part of the problem.

jimmy grace said...

My comments aren't spam. I critique the points raised by Wenclas on this blog. I do that at all sorts of blogs. That's what comments sections in blogs are all about. As for stealing his time, whatever. King doesn't have to answer me. It probably steals more of his time to delete arguments he doesn't like. If debate proves the ULA's vitality, why would he waste his time deleting debate?

And quick, before he deletes this, here are my answers for the millionth fucking time about my identity. I make art under the name Jimmy Grace, part of the Arms Akimbo collective in Oakland California. It's true that Grace isn't my real last name, the way "King" isn't King Wenclas's first name. I don't have much of an internet trail because I don't own a computer - I post from a computer where I work, and at Internet cafes sometime. I don't have a fucking website dedicated to my art, because I don't give a fuck about websites. I have a blog about books I hate and anyone can comment on it and argue with me whenever they fucking want. That's how you can reach me, if you want to reach me. I don't give my e-mail address to the ULA because King has a proud history of harrassing people they disagree with - ask Handler or S.Elliott or a million other artists.

That doesn't make me Tim Hall, or King's mother, or any other evil figure. And you don't have to be a friend of King's to know he drinks - you could read his lameass "drunk poem," for instance.

You think I'm an asshole, that's your call. But if you delete my arguments as part of a call for free expression and the coming together of nonmainstream artists, then that's bullshit. And it's also blacklisting.

And yeah, I understand that Wenclas and the ULA aren't the same thing. But if your director of publicity isn't mentioning the work that you do, and instead spends time complaining about Rick Moody, then your publicity director is doing a lousy job.

Marissa Ranello said...

And you care...why?

chilly charlie said...

He cares because he's TIM HALL and has an OBSESSION about your group, that's why. Read his "chief" blog and you'll see that he went off his psychotropic meds recently.

it must suck being the main focus of this deeply disturbed man. But shame on those of you who don't see it for what it is, and what he has in mind for you.

chilly charlie said...

KING: you banned Jimmy Grace a week ago. Why do you censor me, and let his inflammatory crap stay here?

M.D.G. said...

True I was not drinking milk. But I can drink and control myself and I can moderate myself. These things are important. I damn sure was not drinking Kool-Aid.

Marissa Ranello said...

Suggestion: Unless we're referring to their books or their written work, I say that anyone who uses Tim or Noah's name on this blog should have their comment deleted. Call it censorship, call it whatever you want - I call it good taste.

Chief said...

To all and sundry,

I should have known better than to disparage the quality of Saunder's writing here, where he's considered a saint of the literary underground.

It was very short sighted on my part--mea culpa.

This is not to say that I don't actually feel that way. My apology isn't for dislking the Jack's books--it's for making a deliberately contentious point in a milieu in which it could never be well received.

Basically, I feel like I just poked my head into a madrass in Pakistan and shouted, "Allah is for queers!"

I shouldn't have done that. Whether you guys believe me or not, I'm a better guy than that. It was a mistake (fuelled largely by drunkeness) and it will not happen again.

That said, I'm officially withdrawing my offer to write for the Monday Box, as the culture of the ULA is obviously not for me.

Good luck

Chief

Marissa Ranello said...

Who said you weren't entitled to dislike Saunders' writing?

My question is this "Chief": Why aren't you writing to Harper-Collins and Knopf and FSG? Why don't you critique their writers? Why focus on Saunders?

jimmy grace said...

Oh, for God's sake, Marissa. This is King Wenclas's blog. He's the publicity director for the ULA. The arguments here are going to be about the ULA. I'm arguing on another blog about R.Crumb's artwork, and I like to visit a right-wing Christian site pretty regularly to mock Christ. I do it because I'm bored at work and because I think it's fun. If poor, victimized King can't take insults, he shouldn't dish them out.

The topic was blacklisting. King claims that the ULA has been blacklisted because everyone's afraid of his controversial ideas. That's bullshit. If he promoted good writers they'd link to him. But if he's just going to sit around calling Eggers a racist, Moody a rich asshole, Lopate a pawn, etc. etc. etc., he's just going to get arguments.

Which he'll then delete. You know, so we don't steal his precious time. Not because he's a drunken coward with no genuine principles.

Marissa Ranello said...

Did you log into the wrong blogger account Grace? I was talking to Chief.

jimmy grace said...

Yeah, well, I was talking to you.

Nice with the blogger account joke, though. Anyone who doesn't like the ULA must be the same guy running through a bunch of disguises as part of a big conspiracy. So tired.

Marissa Ranello said...

It's happened on several occasions. Nothing surprises me anymore. A lot of nobodies that think they're somebodies come here to exercise their Multiple Personality Disorder.

Victor Schwartzman said...

Hmmm. I'm not paranoid, but I am curious.

"Chief" has a blog with no email listed and no biography.

"Jimmy Grace" has a blog with no email listed and no biography.

"Chilly Charlie" has no blog, much less an email.

"Chief", "Jimmy Grace" and "Chilly Charlie" all have the same writing style.

I am not paranoid, but be warned that I am contacting Mulder and Scully about this right away.

Victor Schwartzman said...

Mulder and Scully have used their shoe phone to call in. Some of their information is new only to me. So, be amused at my expense (so many other people are!).

But there if there is a newer reader here, even newer than me, the following could be useful.

Mulder and Scully report that the only Google reference to Arms Akimbo in Oakland is, in fact, a statement by "Chilly Charlie" in this blog. There is no listing in Google I found for Arms Akimbo as an organization.

I clicked on the Arms Akimbo blog reference in Google. I got to an earlier posting on this blog. What I found was, as more informed readers of this blog than I would know, "Charlie" arguing with "Jimmy", stating there was no Google reference to Arms Akimbo.

The posts were written in a very similar style.

Mulder and Scully also reported that the posts came one after the other, which was very odd, because normally blog posts are interrupted with the postings of other people. It is very unusual to have two people debating back and forth, with no interruptions from a third person.

It was, Mulder and Scully report, eerily like reading the same person argue with himself. Kinda like Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve, only it wasn't as crazy. But it was a lot funnier.

So. "Jimmy Grace", please help this poor Canadian-American lousy writer and generally confused person. Please provide the street address, web site address, email address or phone number of the Arms Akimbo Collective, or anyone in it. That should be very easy to do, and resolve this entire problem, including whether or not you are Clark Kent using a secret identify. Or, was that Superman using a secret identity? Or you do dress up and pretend you are Joanne Woodward?

Ditto, "Chilly Charlie".
The same goes for "Chief".

Frankly, reading these posts has been some of the best fiction I've read in a while, short, of course, of Jack Saunders'.

Mulder and Scully signing off.

Marissa Ranello said...

Exactly Victor. This has happened before and it's usually the same stooges over and over again.

Victor Schwartzman said...

Thanks Marissa. Ironically, I just clicked on your name. Loved your blog title. However, there was nothing on the blog, and no email address. However, you listed yourself as being from Saskatchewan, which may go a ways towards explaining it.

On the other hand, the multiple personality disorder situation this blog attracts could be far worse than Mulder and Scully believed. I am starting to wonder if this lengthy series of posts comes from just two or three people, maybe all in the same body (which, based on photographs I have seen on certain internet websites, apparently can happen.

I liked your writing style and wanted to invite you to review a book for the ULA book review blog.

If you are an actual person, you can click on my name. I do post an email address.

Victor Schwartzman said...

To probably conclude this thread, which certainly took its own path, I can now confirm that Marissa is a real person. However, that may not be true of most of the other people who have posted here, who may be one person.

For what it is worth, the best policy about Chief/Jimmy/Chilly/Tim, apart from taking up a collection to purchase him medication, is to IGNORE HIM and MAKE FUN OF HIM.

He wants to be taken seriously. He will only keep returning if he gets a serious response. If he is ignored, or made fun of, he's unlikely to return.

By the way, Tim's own website offers very little about him, and no email link.

The whole thing is pretty sad, especially if he's Dave Eggers and not even Tim. Talk about identity crisis.

Jeff Potter said...

Fast forwarding in this thread I see "Chief" apologizing for making pointless remarks about Jack Saunders. What's up with this person? No one said he couldn't lay into JS as hard as he liked. I don't know as anyone took him to task but me. And I only did so in terms of his METHOD. I showed that he used no method. I said that if he wanted to say something about JS that saying he's "boring" doesn't count. In terms of all criticism, we say Bring it on. One of the ULA's points is that there isn't enough decent criticism today. It's careerism and mood pieces instead. I gave "Chief" the easy tips for criticism. Set, setting, context, contrast. "Chief" could've satisfied the basics in maybe even one sentence, but instead wimped out and chose to use cleverness for pain not gain (ouch).

We are also open to criticism of our group. We don't automatically say "So start your own group." If someone says Here's what's been tried elsewhere to save work and get more done, maybe it would work for you, we'd consider it (and may already have). Or even better "Here's what I'm doing and how it's working." Those are great to get. But, hey, we consider anything. We end up saying "SYOG" so often because, well, we get nagged from the same people saying the same things, for one thing. And we've shown how their approaches don't/won't work before. At the same time we welcome their participation, their inclusion in the big game. We might not use their ideas ourselves but we'd love to see more folks out there taking their shot at doing something.

BTW, one of our early manifestos complained about the professionalization of writing. I'm not sure that says it best---the state of lit today is not pro at all. It doesn't deliver. It's *careerist.* That's why it's so useful to turn the lessons of the Soviets back onto our own system. I don't think our system has accepted its own level of ticketpunching yet. It needs help. We're here to oblige.

jimmy grace said...

Oh, for fuck's sake.

People genuinely interested in Arms Akimbo can find us on the web or on walls in the Bay Area. Sorry if Google doesn't carry our tax codes - we're a small bunch of visual artists,not a worldwide corporation.

The postal address is 912 Cole Stn #331 SF CA 94117. I'll tell Litt to expect hate mail in about a week.

And yeah, you can mock me or ignore me - in fact, that's all you guys have done. You've never addressed the quality of your own artists. You've never addressed how mocking Rick Moody is a major step towards revolution. You've never addressed how corporate involvement in the arts is inevitable for artists who want to make a living. You'd rather delete me or post long paranoid theories on how everybody who disagrees with the ULA is one guy - you know, because there's NO WAY more than one person could have the slightest problem with you.

King said...

Can you point to ONE post on any blog under the Grace name before you began posting here?
Your books blog was begun after you began posting here.
The question is WHY you're here.
What's your objective?
Why do you target one blog among the hundreds which are out there?
Why don't you say anything about the mainstream?
Why has your focus (and the focus of too many) been poor abused Rick Moody. (Scion of wealth who wields great power in the literary world, whether at Yaddo, Paris Review, Young Lions, and countless other organizations and foundations.)
Is he responsible for his father?
Tell me if I'm wrong, but Rick seems to have accepted all the privilege his father (as an international banker at the highest level of capitalists) could give him; from education to connections to a house on Fisher's Island. Rick has accepted everything a corrupt system part of an increasingly corrupt nation could hand him-- yes, including all the grant money this egregious hog could take.
"He pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird."
The objective of those who post anonymously here is what it's always been: to silence this rare tiny voice speaking out against the corruption of the literary mainstream. Yes, it is censorship, what you're attempting. Our kind of writers have no place in the approved literary world; no standing, no resources, no platform. This campaign was designed to create one-- but always, as with anyone who tries to make change, we face the onslaught of reactionaries.
Reactionaries are the bane of every revolution. They tried to strangle this movement in its crib.
They're still trying to stop, divide, or squelch it.
(p.s. Where did you obtain your "Handler" information. It's wrong. I suggest you check the posts on this blog about the matter, whenever that debate took place. Have you been speaking to the wrong people, "Grace." Why do you idnetify with them so strongly??? Could you possibly BE one of them?
One thing we know about anonymous posters; one FACT which was proved by of all places the NY Times-- and that's that Dave Eggers was outed in January 2004 as posting anonymous comments against the ULA.
There you have it.
We'll accept your apology.)

King said...

(AGAIN, I want no fake identities of any kind posting here. If it continues I'll shut down the comments on this blog, whose purpose is simply a forum for me to post ideas about the ULA; information about our friends and enemies. The Comments are gravy.
Thanks.)

jimmy grace said...

I post all over the place, wherever my fucking opinions lead me. Most blogs don't require any registration, so I don't register. It doesn't make any fucking sense to me that finding my name elsewhere would prove anything to you. I've even agreed with you sometimes!

The topic here was blacklisting, and I addressed it. And yeah, I'm not giving you my real last name. How is that "censorship?" How am I preventing anyone from saying anything? I'm participating in a discussion. If you want to shut down the discussion, you go right ahead. I'd think a publicity director would love it when there's 60 comments on a blog entry, but apparently that's "censorship."

Nice to know that you now think I'm Eggers (who I've insulted on this blog). I guess that's a step up from Tim Hall. As for Handler, he gave a reading last week from your letters. I was at the reading because a poet friend of mine - yeah, one of the poets who talked about you once - was reading too.

Why would Handler make up a letter? Why would a gazillion selling writer attack an organization nobody cares about by pretending you were writing him? Isn't the obvious explanation that you insulted him - like you insult every other mainstream writer who pops into your head?

Personally I don't give a fuck about the mainstream. I think Handler's an arrogant idiot. But I don't think attacking him constitutes a revolution. I put art up on the wall - art I believe in. I think you ought to do the same thing - that's my opinion. I posted this opinion on a blog. Do you have any questions?

King said...

??? But I didn't send Handler any letters. As I pointed out on this blog. I asked him for the envelope, postmark, etc., of the one he had published in the Ruminator. He couldn't do it.
We're obviously dealing with some very mendacious people-- of which you seem to be one.
Goodbye.