Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Battle of Ideas

The ULA campaign is a battle of ideas. For an organization like ours without any resources, it's the one area where we can compete straight up with anyone in the literary world, and win. Our Do-It-Yourself philosophy is the foundation of our battle plan.

We've won most of the debates we've engaged in-- won them in such striking fashion that our opponents were left psychically battered. Our ideas, our authenticity, our credibility, against the rotten tottering literary structure of today, can't be defeated.

Our message and our name are currently repressed by those who control the flow of ideas concerning literature. We're like an off-stage character, never mentioned but present in everything said. This was evident in the facile interview Robert Birnbaum did with Rick Moody last year (www.themorningnews.org/archives/birnbaum_v/rick_moody.php).

The attempt to pre-empt conflict; the defensiveness about Jonathan Lethem's grant; the need to give Moody a patina of street cred, was due to us.

When you repress an idea or emotion, it bursts forth later stronger and more important than before. Such is nature's law. This will happen with our literary movement and with our arguments.

The strength of an idea is gauged by the opposition it generates. You don't abandon your ideas at the first sign of reaction. Not against a hurricane wave of reaction. Instead you push them home.

Are ULA ideas valid? I believe so, or I wouldn't have spent six years promoting them.

1 comment:

King said...

p.s. It's curious how those most aghast at us seek to rip-off ULA style. (The substance-- exposes of corruption-- of course are beyond them.)
Note the recent "Smackdown" between two establishment pet authors; moderated by someone resembling George Plimpton!
People seem to want the ULA without the ULA.
The ways of co-optation.