Monday, February 19, 2007

About "Jimmy Grace"

About the new ULA Monday Report at

The blunders "Jimmy Grace" made are many. I've already touched on a few of them on this blog. He was an obvious fake from the beginning.

1.) The hostility toward us from this supposed underground artist (who confused "DYI" with DIY) was baffling. Our campaign has always been well accepted by genuine undergrounders of all kinds. We have in our ranks such folks; artists, musicians, and actors.

2.) "Grace" claimed a group of Oakland poets scorned us, but couldn't name them. In fact, we've been well accepted by Bay area poets and writers. I've been on good terms with local icons like Violet Jones and Aaron Cometbus. Among the key underground poets of the area are Christopher Robin and Joe Pachinko. They both happen to be ULA members, and are totally supportive of our campaign. WHO then was "Grace" talking about? There is one group of writers in the Bay area who both know about us and scorn us: the McSweeney's Gang.

3.) "Grace" kept claiming that nobody cared about the Paris Review, about the CIA in literature, about the doings of literary Insiders. Yet he knew of the personalities involved. The Francine Prose matter was just one example. She's an Insider's Insider yet unknown by the rest of society. I doubt if anyone in the ULA outside myself had ever heard of her. Yet this supposed graphic artist Jimmy Grace quickly weighed in with an opinion of her, and about similar matters.

4.) From the beginning, "Grace" went out of his way to insist he was "not a writer." He emphasized this again and again. "I'm not a writer!" He wanted this clearly and specifically known. Why? Obviously, as he knows a lot about books and the literary world, he's done some writing. (And not just on this blog!) The ULA contains many undergrounders who, as I said, are artists, musicians, actors, and also writers. This anonymous poster Grace didn't want to be associated with the word "writer." Why not? Sherlock Holmes would figure it was because he was one.
"The Visitor": A Movie circa 1940, in black and white.
Setting: A neutral country in Europe.
NARRATIVE: A stranger comes into town. He looks like a German, and speaks with a German accent. "I'm not a German!" he insists, before anyone asks him. "I'm Swiss. Swiss! Not German!"
Soon enough tanks are rolling in; the Gestapo taking up positions. The stranger appears among the worried townfolk. "I assure you! I have nothing to do with them. Now tell me where the town's firearms are hidden."
By the end of the movie of course he's goose-stepping around the town square in full Nazi regalia, the insignia of a colonel on his lapels. The townspeople might complain about this, but they're already in concentration camps or dead.
5.) "Jimmy Grace" mentioned he attended a reading in San Francisco at which Daniel Handler was putting down myself and the Underground Literary Alliance. Grace also strongly backed Handler's discredited version of the fake letter matter (check this blog's archives), all evidence to the contrary. On this blog he's been an outspoken supporter of the guy. A little checking shows that Daniel Handler and Stephen Elliott are the best of friends; that Elliott has not only been at Handler's recent readings, at a place called the Make-Out Room, but hosted them. (Most recently January 8th, but also at other times.) This makes a second direct connection between "Jimmy Grace" and Stephen Elliott. The cause for "Grace"'s postings here is now obvious. All other points and questions about "Jimmy Grace" and his actions are now explained.


Jeff Potter (of said...

"Jimmy Grace" was hiding, but not very hard. He enjoyed giving clues: He's a Bay Area person doing this pop sex tour. So I googled it easily. There are several performers, mostly dancers and singers. Then there's Stephen Elliott, a Bay writer who's tied at the hip with major ULA opponents. Bingo! There's your "Jimmy Grace"!

The big deal is that he's the little guy behind LitPAC---a lobby cultivating rich writers to bribe politicians!

That's his idea of a rival vision!

"Jimmy" and his pals are ghosts who are against public debate. It's all about political insiderism for them. He's from the wrong side of the tracks, as King Wenclas mentions in today's MR. So why doesn't he stand up for the little guys who are aiming at the top of the heap?

Is giving money to politicians the answer for literature?

Man, that's loony toons! It's just fun'n'games for rich writers.

It makes more sense now that "Jimmy" thinks you can "just do your art" and change things from within. Maybe even get hired by a bigshot, as he posted.

And it makes sense why he was hiding. He wouldn't want his masters to know he was engaging us. Or maybe they gave him the rules. The Dave said, "You can hassle them but it has to be in secret, like I do!" When literatis deal with us candidly we get press and they don't like that. But "Jimmy" couldn't resist giving us examples of how his niche-marketed "give the people what they want" system works better than our challenging approach.

Yet "Jimmy" has been eager to say that today's big-name writers are terrible. Would the donor writers who fund LitPAC appreciate that view?

We say that niche marketing (via things like sex tours) isn't enough. And that working from within isn't enough. The scene needs independents at the top, plain and simple. Why can't those who disagree with us just come right out with it?

I wouldn't mind an indy method that uses both insider and outsider approaches together. But who's not willing to work together?

The secrecy angle that the Eggers gang keeps leaning on reminds me of Paris Review's CIA connections. Can anything good come of it?

They ALL really do need to decloak and come out of the closet and in from the cold.

Anonymous said...

Funny post and it sounds very plausible, so does Jeff's info, though I really don't know enough about SE to say for sure. I've seen his book and his blog/site and have read a little about him elsewhere. I must say, though, that at the time I thought he seemed pretty innocuous and not like an insider-lackey (I should also point out that JG hasn't disagreed with everything you've said), and if he is JG here, that seems, well, weird. SE's the writer writing about abusive parents--had problems like that himself, no? If so, his behaving ridiculously--and in my opinion harmfully--here would be unfortunate. Going on his writings, he seems to have experienced a lot of pain in his life; causing others pain isn't the best way to react to that.

But, King, you ask for attacks with the title of this blog--as I've said to you before! Consider changing the title and making this place more about promoting YOU and less about attacking THEM. I think your actions and writings here have shown the social irrelevancy of mainstream publishing today; you need to take your own thesis to heart more and start ignoring the socially irrelevant.

That movie tidbit is hilarious. I'm forever telling nasty-behaving illogical people (especially on the web) who declare they are or aren't something that I look at what people show much more than at what people say. I could declare I'm the leader of Bulgaria all I want, but simply declaring that won't make me so. I wish more people would understand this. Sadly, many believe what comes out of mouths simply because it comes out of mouths.

But I still can't understand why some people waste so much time attacking here. Many of you seem to be struggling financially and are also struggling to be heard; only sadists kick the already-downtrodden. These people often claim the ULA are nobodies, but in my opinion their defensive actions show they feel threatened by those supposed nobodies, so maybe those supposed nobodies really aren't nobodies.

fdw said...

Enjoyable comment post, Fran. And admirably reasoned.
I comment here(yr on target 'bout financial, time- management, profile-- commenting here for me gives an opportunity to philosophize, muse, aesthetitize about literature and emphatically poetry, and keep up the good fight.
Looking to post my poetry too, especially following the event here on the 25th-- have any suggestions that you might like to see?

jimmy grace said...

Wow. And to think I thought everybody just got drunk and ranted on President’s Day. I hardly know where to begin with this shit. Not only are you deadass wrong, but your whole “investigation” only proves my previous points.

I’m not Stephen Elliott. My name’s Jimmy. Grace isn’t my real last name, for the billionth time, but it’s the name I make art under. I’m part of Arms Akimbo. Sorry if we don’t have enough of a web presence (though it’s there if you really look) but we don’t have the time or means for web bullshit. We make art and put it on walls. Come on over to Oakland and you’ll see ‘em. Some of us came along with the sex tour show - which is still happening. I’m sure Stephen Elliott hardly has time to comment on your blog - he teaches at Stanford, for Chrissakes - but I’m stuck with a dayjob where I kill time commenting on blogs.

Anyway, to reply to King’s points:
1. I’m sure your campaign has its supporters. But it has plenty of detractors. Your own “ranks” seem to shift around a lot as people quit on you. So I can’t imagine “hostility” being “baffling.” (And yeah, I made a typo with DIY, whatever. Even a poseur knows DIY.)

2. You can’t swing a cat in Oakland without hitting a poet. Some of them I know and they don’t like what you do. I didn’t want to name them because you have a rep for attacking people. (Wow, I wonder how you got that rep?)

3. Francine Prose is famous. Not Stephen King famous, but famous if you read the New York Times or Harpers or a million other magazines. I do. I don’t read the Paris Review, though I’ve seen it from time to time and think it’s fucking boring. I also don’t know anybody who gives a shit about it, and judging from all the attention you’ve gotten for your own campaign against it, neither do you.

4. I say I’m not a writer because I’m not. If commenting on a fucking blog counts as being a writer then I’m a vocalist too because I sing along with the radio. I kept saying I wasn’t a writer because you kept saying I was.

(Interlude: Nice Nazi metaphor, sort of like your AIDS metaphor. Show me the millions who’ve been slaughtered by mainstream lit and you’ll have a fucking point.)

5. Yep, I went to a reading where a friend of mine performed his poetry. DH read too - some letters he said he got from you. DH is an asshole (and you can quote that to any politician you want) but I don’t see why he’d make up letters from a group practically nobody’s heard of. You have a proud rep of crashing readings, confronting bigwigs and writing letters of complaint. You say some chicks who work at Conde Nast are “the enemy” and post pictures of them online. I drew my own conclusions. I only brought up the matter because we were arguing about your tactics, which are well-established even if you didn’t write them.

But mostly your entire “investigation” just proves you’d rather search out “enemies” - who must be powerful bigwigs - than promote art. (I’m sure Christopher Robin loves all the hype you’ve given him on this blog and in your “reports.” Oh, wait.) I’ve said over and over you can delete my comments or ignore me. You say you want debate. But you don’t want debate - you want to crap on anyone who disagrees with you. It messes with your world that a guy you don’t know, who’s not Moody-Eggers-Snickett-Foer-Franzen-Prose-Plimpton-CIA, might yank your chain, so you spent all this time creepily googling, trying to prove I’m somebody I’m not, instead of participating in an argument. That’s incredibly fucked-up. It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so fucking stalkerish.

And the grand irony, breeders and queers: Elliott is a writer who only proves my point. He’s had a crummy life. He writes well about real life. And yet you’d like to hate him because he hangs with McSweeneys. You don’t care about his art - only about whether he’s indy enough for you. That’s fucking elitist. And there you go: King obsesses over “enemies,” real or not, that nobody else gives a shit about, and calls it revolution. I call it bullshit. And for that I get to be part of the conspiracy against you.

Oh, and SE has a web site - why don’t you contact him for his comment? Or would that spoil the paranoid fantasy?

Anonymous said...

Hiya, fdw, and thanks for the nice words. I'm not sure if you meant your third paragraph toward me or King/the ULA (or both of us), but I don't live near Pennsylvania and I can't travel much anymore for various reasons. Unless events come near me, I can't go to them, which really does help make my life a bore. Oh well.

But you could put up a website or a blog and post samples of your writing there, as long as you're not worried about "first rights," which publishers can be anal pains in the asses about. Putting up websites is what many writers do today, it's become somewhat mandatory, especially for independent not-traditionally published writers. I'm pretty much a recluse, I never wanted a web presence, I resisted getting the internet for years because I'm not crazy about excessive technology and am forever trying to simplify my life. But as a writer I don't know what I would have done without the web all these years--probably no one would know about me or my work otherwise. Not that many people do, but I guess being read on the web is better than not being read at all...I think.

Anyway, good luck to everyone at the reading,


King said...

Elliott: There was only one sex tour happening at the time you said. We know Stephen Elliott was on it. We also know he attends readings of Daniel Handler. (Who has never produced one shred of evidence about the phony letters.)
"Grace" admits he was on the tour and at the Handler reading. But who is he? (Btw, to say Francine Prose is famous is to contradict the argument you've been making about the importance/relevance of the literati.)
Who has had reason to relentlessly post here against us and our ideas?
A mysterious unnamed non-writer supposed graphic artist, who has shown not one shred of evidence that he exists? (He uses computers on his job, but has pointed to not one example of his art on-line.)
OR, Stephen Elliott, good friend of Handler, Eggers, and Moody?

King said...

This is actually a good test of the character and integrity of Mr. Elliott. He may as well just say who he is, then confront us and our ideas under his own identity. It would be too simple.
I'd like to ask him why he sucks up to such an extent to very rich writers of no character or integrity.
I'd like Stephen Elliott, who we have nothing against, to suggest to his friend Rick Moody that Moody give the ill-gotten grant
money back; to tell Moody to stop being a pig.
You know, from the very beginning of the ULA's existence we were attacked by what I call demi-puppets: cowardly anonymous mice. All we've done is defend ourselves, our actions, and our ideas. As we've done here. Yes, it is surprising that the Eggers Gang would spend so much time attacking us, trying to discredit us, a collection of broke writers. But they've done exactly that.
While we were engaging Grace/Elliott on this blog, his good friend Daniel Handler sent me an e-mail with some wacked-out accusation which I took as a threat. They ARE watching what we do and what we say. I don't know why-- probably the whole vendetta mentality which has been with Dave Eggers and his acolytes from the beginning.

jimmy the hyena said...

apparently there's an art gallery in Chicago with the name of "Arms Akimbo"
is this where you got the name "Grace"? It's really not very clever using something like that in your cover story. But then you teach at Stanford and we don't so you've got to believe you're smarter than us.

Jeff Potter (of said...

We outted you, Stephen, because, firstly, you wanted us to, and secondly "set and setting" matter. It adds to the debate. It adds more than you know. It's a cowardly debate when you don't include yourself in it.

We don't hate you, just think you're misguided. Conflicted. At some level anyway.

We lay the cards on the table. There's our noisy approach meant to get attention for truly indy art. Then we show yours as well: secret sniping, hobnobbing with bigshots, writing to a micro-niche, and bribing politicians to somehow support "progressive" lit.

Obviously we'll engage anyone who even tries to offer ideas even if they're doing it as secret spooks. It's just amazing how often we find out who really is stalking us that it truly does add *a huge amount* to the discussion. We don't hit paydirt every time, of course. "Ranger West" proved to be just a quirky lad.

You've said you don't like how things are run so you "just do your art"---and, look!, your tour is popular! it works! Meritocracy triumphs, or at least has a chance to end up with a job, as you say. This is what you've contrasted to our approach. Well, we've now shown several other aspects to your approach. We'll see whose method is best in the end.

But ours is the inclusive method! We're not the ones who are hiding! Everyone would get more readers and better authors would be discovered and uplifted if there was more candor. The Dave doesn't have to be paranoid. He has a lot to offer. But he'd be better off if he included zeensters and gave some props to the totally indy writers out there. You, too, Stephen! I accept your kind of work and sex-tour as a niche-winner. I give you your props. Why can't you say the bigger game deserves a better shake? That's no threat to your niche. Isn't it obvious those fatcat writers should've given back their grants/awards and said the money really should go to the starving writers out there? Isn't there some part of our activism you can go along with? (And, please, quit it with the "creepy"---we're totally up front. We'd be happy with a few good, clean shots at a debate podium. You can't get any squeakier clean than that. The Hyena is even on a leash, or maybe that's an eletric tether.)

You say that Handler and Moody are lame writers---why not put your name on the line and say Moody should give back the taxpayer cash?

We don't have to make this stuff up. That's the best part.

jimmy grace said...

You work your paranoid thing, honey.

I remember when I was Tim Hall.

Did you ask Stephen Elliott? Naw, didn't think so.

jimmy grace said...

You work your paranoid thing, honey.

I remember when I was Tim Hall.

Did you ask Stephen Elliott? Naw, didn't think so.

fdw said...

Did you?

fdw said...

Thanks for the counter complement, Fran.
For a hermit you certainly look/ read sopisticatedly!
We've been (ULA)talking up developing an essay blog linked to the homepage-- would be interesting and take some o' the-steam- being- left- off- here and let it power another perhaps more "proper" injun.

Anonymous said...

I found that Gallery listing too. For almost an hour last night I searched through google using "art" and "arms akimbo" and several other variations and could find no other reference to that expression, except for what it's used for physically, the splayed-arms description--there are a gazillion listings for that! But I'll keep checking.

"Sorry if we don’t have enough of a web presence (though it’s there if you really look)"

--I think this is a dodge. People have claimed something about you and provided support for the claim. If you're so offended because you're really not SE and the AA web presence is there because the group really exists, post a link to a web reference. It's very easy, takes a few moments, less time than you've spent writing on this blog. And don't you wanna show the ULA how wrong they are about you? Post that link.

Either way it doesn't matter to me; I'm just curious about what's going on now. I do think this whole thing is weird. You claim you aren't a writer yet overall must have spent hours and hours writing here at a blog about writing and writers. Why would a nonwriter do that? It's bizarre, as has been pointed out before.

But if you really aren't a writer, then maybe it's understandable if your voice comes out sounding as if you're one because you don't know how to write too well so can't write as "I'm not a writer" effectively enough. But again, I've worked in publishing and I also spent years as a freelance editor; I usually know a writer's voice when I hear one. And you sound like a writer to me. So then I'm left with possibilities like a writer who doesn't know he's a writer (maybe he's schizophrenic, or maybe he's a budding writer and doesn't yet realize it), or maybe a writer who's claiming not to be a writer and is probably trying to NOT sound like a writer, but can't cut it, maybe because he's not a good enough writer. You may not be SE, but maybe you're one of the ULA-hating writers.

Again, why not clear this up? You could email King and reveal more of your artist's identity on the condition that he doesn't publicly post that information. Of course I can't speak for him, but I'm pretty sure he would honor something like that (if you sounded sincere) and post here saying he was wrong without going into specifics. Frankly, I think your repeated statements about a fear of having your artist's identity attacked by the ULA are ridiculous. If you really are an artist, either verbal or visual or both, and cannot bear the thought of being criticized by the ubercritical, you better never release your work publicly. I can be just as uncrazy about criticism as the next artist, but that criticism shit comes with being an artist. Christ, it comes with being a HUMAN. An artist can control criticism on her own territory, but she can't control the rest of the world's territory. Unlike the ULA seems to be, I don't have a problem with artists working and web writing under pseudonyms, as long as artists CONSISTENTLY use the same one. Why can't you reveal the artist's name you work under? It doesn't have to be your real name. If you work under the Jimmy Grace name and claim a web presence for a group you belong to, then why is it hard to find any web-presence info for you?

Also, you act as if you're a nobody visual artist--why would the ULA then bother you if they knew your real artist's identity? They spend most of their attack time on the bigwigs. A few not-bigwig writers have spent time attacking the ULA here; to my knowledge (because I've since checked those writers places), the ULA hasn't spent any time attacking them outside responding to their specific attacks here. That you write here so much, don't you read here too, can't you see all this?

"You work your paranoid thing, honey.

I remember when I was Tim Hall."

--Making fun of people for being concerned and confused about identities on the web, which is KNOWN for anonymous, cloaked presences, is ridiculous, especially when you yourself are writing while cloaked. You shouldn't blame people for sometimes being confused in a confusing-by-design environment.

I'm not part of the ULA, so I'm not holding the stuff here against you because you haven't attacked me. I'm just trying to understand. So help me out: what's the deal?

Anonymous said...

I come from a very gregarious family, which of course has influenced me; when I'm out in society, I'm very outgoing and communicative. I'm antisociety though, so don't like being out in it and don't go out in it too often--that's where the hermit part comes in. I'm both introverted (the larger part of me) and extroverted (the smaller part). I admit I'm conflicted and contain too many opposing qualities for comfort sometimes....

The essay blog's a really cool idea! Making any place more multidimensional is usually a positive thing, as long as people don't lose control and help create too much entropy. I have this problem sometimes too; writing especially can be extremely time- and energy-draining.

jimmy grace said...

Oh yeah, I'll give more ammo to your King. He's showed so much honor in his behavior.

Look, I've been trying to debate the ideas on this blog. I don't have to prove who I fucking am. You're the one hurling accusations around. You don't want to debate, fine with me. But the obsessive enemy search is fucking absurd.

I think it's probably King's strategy, come to think of it: when someone doesn't agree with him, he attacks the source and then gets to claim that he's the victim. No wonder none of your critics stick around - or many of your own members.

Anonymous said...

He's NOT "my KING." I'm not a member here; I think the basic points they make are sound, but my style and emphasis is usually very different. I follow what the ULA are doing and very occasionally comment. I've disagreed with this place on several things and a few things about the ULA continue to bother me, which I've gone into here before, not once has King attacked me. I spoke with him once years ago through email--no attacks. He's more reasonable than some people make out; I just think he and the ULA need to chill out sometimes. People shouldn't go on the attack 90% of the time. That eats insides out and ultimately becomes unproductive.

But some attacks on the publishing world today and too many of the writers inside it are more than deserved; those attacks have become mandatory because in my opinion society is fucking collapsing and taking the rest of the planet with it, and every fucking thing humans do is likely contributing to that collapse, including the many writers writing today who have not one fucking relevant constructive thoughtful useful thing to say about life and society. Waste paper and therefore waste trees is all they do, and I consider that criminal.

I'm not an "art is life" type artist. Art can be fun, and though it's a part of modern life, to me life is still life and art is art, and human life would probably go on without art. Animals don't need art and humans are animals. However, while humans don't need art to survive basically as animals, it seems that human society needs art to survive. If humans want to live in "civilized" societies and lead productive happy personal lives, artists are needed. I think they used to be a check on problematic human behavior, both governmental and public. Yet since the advent of modern mechanized publishing, most artists have totally abrogated that check-on-problematic behavior aspect and have become only about their own egos and the "I only want to be heard" mantra. What's the fucking point in being heard if your ideas don't affect the world? You might as well stand in front of your bathroom mirror and do your art.

I don't only blame the shitty state of the publishing/art world today on publishers, I also blame it on writers and artists. As a whole group, they've made themselves superfluous to society. No wonder so many get shitted on now.

But I've gone far away from my main points in this thread, one of which is: why not address what I've said and ASKED? My posts gave you several outs, and you've just ignored all of them--that dodging again. You now sound like you hate this place in an unreasonable fashion, so why the fuck are you HERE all the time? I realized a long time ago that only a masochistic fool hangs around people she hates. Or a troublemaker. Or both.

King said...

The difference between the two camps is stark.
From the beginning the ULA has operated up front and out in the open; answering questions, as we do here, and conducting our Protests under our own identities.
From the other side we've seen a fake letter with a big "X" on it; Eggers posting anonymously against us on Amazon; crank calls to Page Six and a young writer over a killed story issue; and the endless anonymous posts on this blog. (I've also received a lot of anonymous unsigned hate snail mail-- I know it comes with the territoty.)
We represent honesty in literature-- a novel concept-- and in our exposure of corruption have always operated as honestly and transparently as possible.
The behavior of the other side is consistent with that of pampered millionaires. It's sad that they've drawn Stephen Elliott into their web.
It's too bad that he can't see that these people are outright pigs, such as Moody, who wants everything, all the grants,all the positions on panels, writing all the forewords-- even for small press books-- while the thousands of other writers in this country, many who write better than he does-- none with his integrity questions-- are left scarcely with crumbs. But then, they don't have Moody's pedigree.
The vendetta, we see, from Elliott's actions, is being conducted against the ULA.
Why? Our very existence bothers these people, because we're the genuine article.
Their mendacity is exceeded only by their stupidity.
"Grace" attacks me for not having e-mailed Stephen Elliott. But how would he know this if he wasn't sharing Elliott's brain???
(I don't need to e-mail SE, when I speak to him here. We know his best buddy Handler reads this blog. I'm likely to get as straight an answer from SE as from his Grace persona.)
No, caught dead to rights.
Btw, some contradictory thinking about this blog. People tell me I spend too much time attacking people (actually defending the ULA). But tons of positive promotional stuff about the ULA and its writers is available at the rest of the web site. Chris Robin has a nice profile there. He's also featured regularly at both the ULA's Review blog and Adventures (fiction and poetry) blog.
People say they want this kind of thing. But I suspect you folks aren't reading it.

Jeff Potter (of said...

As I said, we challenge people on the issues. Who they are and what they do is part of that. C'mon, writers stand up for their views all the time. I mean, why put your name on anything if you're worried about it.

Our attacking Moody has amounted to saying that because he's rich he should give back his taxpayer grant. That's just straightforward.

Come on, you want to come out with it. You use your sex-tour as your example of your method and your success. Why not add your LitPAC to it?

Maybe nichification IS the answer, the future. I don't buy it. Maybe you can show us how it would work with the LitPAC, why that's better than noise-making and protests and unaffiliated publishing.

Are you so sure that the literati boss's rule of "challenge the ULA only from secrecy" is the best idea?

The only thing you have to wave around is Handler's fake letter. No one else has said, "Yeah, that King has harrassed me, too!"

Bissell was bold enough to be up front about his criticism. Like you (your persona, I mean), he agreed with us that the bigshots were lame, but said we had nothing to offer---then quoted some pretty interesting stuff from a couple of our writers. We pressed him back on it. The Believer got a good exchange out of it. Come on, go on the record with it!

jimmy grace said...

If King e-mailed SE he'd say he wasn't me. It's because he isn't. Maybe you HAVE e-mailed him - but haven't posted it, you know, like all those threats you get, wanting to destroy the ULA, that you don't post because you're such a decent chap. The kind who writes a report about a writer's father.

I'm glad Fran's had a nice time talking with King - clearly this isn't always the case. As for Fran's questions, they're basically "Why don't you prove who you are?" and "Why are you here, anyway?" My answers are "Because King tends to attack people he doesn't like" and "because I'm bored at work and like debating." I debate on a Catholic blog, too - but they don't hit below the belt and claim I'm really the Antichrist.

Clearly King likes to stifle debate. He doesn't want to talk about ideas - he wants to demonize anyone who disagrees with him. You're right, I guess that should be clear from the title of his blog. Anyone who faults anything from the ULA is a status-quo loving McSweeneys gang Moody kissass. Throw out anyone anonymous! Decide that the non-anonymous participants are evil liars! Rage and rage and listen to your own voice echo! Way to go!

Anonymous said...

...I think you're being horseshitty about your own behavior: sometimes you debate here, but oftentimes you attack in either content or tone. You've now admitted you like being contrary at blogs; I guess I was correct in my last post about a troublemaking tendency, which is unfortunate because you've made good points before.

But it's like this to me: this place is a virtual living room of the ULA, or at least is a member of the ULA's virtual living room (just like my places are my virtual living rooms, and so on for the next person). And you spend a lot of time here sounding hostile while implying the ULA is paranoid/pathological-sounding. If you are who you say you are, an unknown, and aren't any of the people the ULA has implied you are, then they've not been in YOUR living room behaving hostile to YOU, you've been in THEIR living room behaving hostile to THEM. Who is the pathological-sounding one in that scenario--don't you see how this may look to others?

It makes more sense to me that the ULA actually HAVE been in your living room being hostile to you or have criticized your work elsewhere; in other words, it does sound like you've been on their critical hit-list, like you're a published writer they've criticized. If so, why can't you just admit you are but don't want to give out your artist's name? Why keep up the pretense that you're just a nobody? To me, you're really sounding like that German in the movie description: repeatedly saying one thing while repeatedly showing another.

Whatever the case, this isn't my fight. I've tried addressing both (seeming) sides (for all I know, you're all one side--how can I really disprove or even confirm this, being the cloaked web and all, I'm not stupid, I habitually trust no one, I'm an extremely cynical person and what goes on here sometimes in the comment sections just sounds weird--and I DON'T MEAN TO ACCUSE ANYONE, I just don't fully understand what's going on and find the sometimes incessant bickering tiring), but the overall situation seemingly hasn't improved. So I guess I wasted my effort.

I've written too much on this already. I leave this place to whatever happens.

LongIslandNation said...

Which Catholic blogs do you recommend?

fdw said...

Fran this is exactly what these agent provocateurs (to put it kindly) are trying to day-- sounds like they've succeeded in yourcase. But yr vim and verve is admirable.
However there's nothing cloaked about the ULA posts, these "spooks" you're pointing out are the ANONYMOUS posters here.
Otherwise there isn't two sides it seems to be 'cos of the smoke and mirrors-- deliberate confusion caused by even bigger cowards and mountebanks/blag' guards behind the puppets.
Bottomline is that literature is important in this society-- the Establishment doesn't want the demracracy to know about.
Some of these characters are child abusers, for chris' sake!

Anonymous said...

I've written a lot here today and felt tired while writing my last post; didn't mean to give the impression that I'm stopping reading here--no. No one has convinced me to do that. I have the same opinion of the ULA I've always had. Nothing that has happened today has changed that. I just doubt everything and have had doubt about here before--shit, I doubt my own places too and my own self. Don't take my last post too personally. I'm an incessant doubter and always consider all possibilities; I have a background in science and have been skeptical and cynical since childhood.

I only meant I don't want to keep responding about this thread's topic. I also don't like "flame wars." Once in a while they can be funny, but too much flaming gives me migraines. There's often a lot of flaming here, which is partly why I comment only once in a while.

Now, I must get off the computer.

Take care,


King said...

To add a quick point:
I could easily shut off the Comments section and do just my regular posts, which would save me much time. I've done this on occasion. The fact that people seem to read these discussions is the main reason I keep them going.
I'm certainly not afraid of debate.
We've been trying to get anyone from the literary establishment to debate us, since we debated Plimpton and his team. No one will.
I'm also available to debate any writer at any time (depending on my work schedule). I've met plenty of writers in local saloons and discussed current literature. (Even Neal Pollack, for instance.)
I've never hid from anybody.
How can you know that we're for real?
Visit Philly sometime and you can meet us. We're genuine.
(One reason we went up to NYC recently was to give anyone who wanted to the opportunity to meet us; to see we're very average people, albeit literary revolutionaries.)
p.s. Stephen, ask yourself why your friends Moody and Eggers, who wield real power in the literary scene, unlike the ULA, don't ever debate. Why the double standard?
Why do you have such a problem with a collection of ex-zeen writers but say not one word about your fairly corrupt buddies?
Let's put things into context. We have some of the most affluent writers of our time going against an organization which was created to represent the interests of underdog writers.
By their behavior the Overdogs affirm everything we believe about them.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...


You're not Stephen Elliott. You don't write like him.

A rather rudimentary (and incredibly quick) google search for "Oakland" and "Arms Akimbo" brings up The Boys with Arms Akimbo:

Anonymous AIDS activists, grafitti artists, Oakland.

Huh. Fits you to a T. Took about five minutes. Didn't involve a moment of self-delusion.

What do you know?


Anonymous said...

...You're awfully dogmatic and certain. Maybe you know something about all this others here don't? You've ragged on the ULA before and keep mocking King's writing elsewhere. I personally think you've been here anonymously before and had ironically thought of you yesterday as a possibility in this, and here you show up....

I've punched in the text from your post--where the hell is the page with that specific info? Post a LINK. This is the web. Posting a link takes a few seconds. Why the difficulty and stubbornness on this issue? Google is maze-like in size. I'm getting back hundreds of thousands of entries. If you want people to find a specific page linked by google, indicate what the fucking page is.

Never mind, I'll post some since others seemingly have so much difficulty.

I searched California in the google Arms Akimbo string last night but couldn't find anything. But after inserting Oakland and other stuff now, I found these pages

which mention The Boys With Arms Akimbo. Apparently, they're a gay artist group--could this be why JG wouldn't reveal himself, is he gay but is not out or something? That might explain some of the secretive behavior here, which behavior would be understandable considering how homophobic society is. But how the hell could anyone have guessed all this? It would have been nice if JG had supplied the FULL name of the art group.

By the way, earlier today I looked at a bunch of Elliot's writing, like over at Huffington Post, and I agree that his voice doesn't sound like Grace's voice here. However, Elliot's a writer, so it's possible he or whoever could write in another voice. There's no proof that this JG person is who he says he is; someone could know about TBWAA and could be using that to give the JG persona an identity.... Anymore speculation like this on my part, and Hollywood will be soliciting me to write new X-Files episodes.

I don't fucking know what's going on. But if JG isn't a writer, I still think his hanging here so much and screaming about this place is bizarre. And here I am posting again when I said I didn't want to. Pathetic.

I'm convinced the web brings out the inherently insane behavior in humanity. I must stop spending so much time trying to make sense of the insanity.

fdw said...

If Dow Lame's getting into this now we know SE is DG for sure, again!

Anonymous said...

Oops, one more thing: a google of "activists arms akimbo" brings up several links on only the first google page for both Arms Akimbo and Boys With Arms Akimbo.

See this page:

"Boys with Arms Akimbo is an anonymous activist group in San Francisco that sees itself as the driving force behind an international movement against censorship and hostility towards homosexuals. Since 1989 they have been distributing xerox posters with excerpts from sex education books and other sources under the motto "Sex is . . just sex." The Boys rely heavily on Dadaist principles, and their posters have been seen in more than 30 American and European cities as well as in Tel Aviv."

If he really is who he says he is, I still wish JG would post an honest-sounding nonconfrontational explanation for why he spends so much time behaving hostile here, but given what that group does, then his secrecy here is understandable. I apologize if I've stressed him with my doubts and posts if he had been telling the truth.

Peace, everyone, and good goddamn night!


Jeff Potter (of said...

One can be a writer AND enjoy their grafitti. Have fun on the tour, Jimmy! Good luck with the fund-raising!

King said...

Sorry, it makes no sense whatsoever that a person with Arms Akimbo would be so obsessed with the ULA, and with me in particular. He's been calling me "a drunk," using the stance of the Handler/Eggers crowd, in the same way the anonymous person who mutilated my wikipedia entry did.
People don't do these things without reason. Maybe someone from Akimbo happened to be on the same sex tour, and at the same Handler reading, as was Stephen Elliott.
Which of the two is likely to hold animus toward the ULA?
The reasons for Elliott are overwhelming.
How did "Grace" otherwise even know about us? (I asked him several times how he found out about this blog.)
There is a final clincher, of course: The Dog that Didn't Bark.
The question isn't whether I e-mailed Stephen Elliott-- but why he didn't e-mail me or the ULA as soon as he heard about this? (No doubt whatever that he heard-- his best friend Daniel Handler doesn't hesitate to e-mail me.)
To anyone who believes "Grace" isn't Elliott: I have some property on Detroit's beautiful Zug Island I'd like to sell you.

King said...

I'd like to ask Stephen directly about the quote of his at the end of my Report. He says right there that the corridors of literature are the province of the very rich. He feels strange to have stumbled into this world.
This quote of his bolsters much of what the ULA has long been saying.

jimmy grace said...

Arms Akimbo evolved from Boy with Arms Akimbo and its sister Girl With Arms Akimbo (which I said on this very blog). The original groups were gay activists in the 1980 and over time we've become something else. Looks like somebody without an axe to grind found us pretty easily. Whatayaknow.

I've explained a million times why I post here and elsewhere, and I appreciate an invitation to fly across country at my own expense, but I don't have that kind of dough. I thought this blog was a way to debate without airfare, but apparently it's a living room.

I was talking this over with a friend last night and he said, "Dude, it sounds like they just don't want to tussle." I respect that - lots of artists just want to do the work and not bicker. If King's art is accusing his "enemies" then it's fine if he doesn't want any debate, I guess. I thought tussling was the point of blogs - it sure is on political ones - but clearly here it's all about throwing mud and not getting any in return. King's obsession with everyone identifing themselves is clearly because he wants to go after them in their own arenas rather than your own. (I can just imagine his comments if Akimbo had a blog.) Even when I identified myself you decided I couldn't possibly be that person. But what the fuck would it matter if I were Damien Hurst? I thought you wanted to argue ideas. But I think I see it now. You just want a list of enemies, the better to fire up your troops. That explains why you claim outrageous things and then, when called on it, retreat. "The CIA controls lit!" "Oh, really, where's the evidence?" "Um, it's in my inbox, but I don't want to post it, and you must be a corporate zombie." "Jimmy is Stephen Elliott!" "Oh, really, why don't you ask him?" "Oh, that's too easy, and besides, the Eggers gang is threatening me and you must be Stephen Elliott to even bring it up."

You're right. It is art - it's performance art. I just got fooled into thinking it was debate. You don't want to tussle.

jimmy grace said...

PS The fantasy that the bigwigs are watching your every move has no evidence, either. Or is that part of your private e-mail stash that you won't reveal even though you're an upfront, open guy? Oh no, sorry, I'm debating. Very sorry. You're just performing.

King said...

Posting under a fake identity isn't debating, Elliott. That's absurd.
You want to have your cake and eat it too. You wish to be free to attack and slur me without end-- yes, has been pointed out, you've been posting here a long time-- with no accountability. Which leaves you free to pick apart every potential or possible flaw to the ULA, without suffering even a smidgen of criticism yourself.
A debate means meeting on some equality of footing.
Of course, that's not what your crowd is about.
You're published writers with massive resources and access to media attention.
We're writers without connections, credentials, or resources. ALL we have is our ability to make noise-- which is what we're doing.
Our movement is in fact very dada-esque. It's beyond my comprehension that someone himself allegedly from a dada group would get hyper over the actions we've conducted over the last several years.
Debate? You want debate, you fraud?
Debate is all we've asked for when we've crashed readings, whether at KGB, Housing Works, at the Philadelphia Free Library when I was cut off and threatened with being banned from the library permanently for trying to debate your friend Hiram F Moody III.
Curious, isn't it, that an underground activist would be so hostile toward us-- and on the side of pretentious phony millionaires.
Why is all responsibility for answering questions on us-- the lowliest writers around-- and not on the fatcats?
The simple fact is that the literary world today is filled with phonies who love to posture as outsiders without taking one action or saying one disagreeable word against the corrupt cultural system to help bring it down.

jimmy grace said...

Crashing readings is debate? Oh, I didn't realize. I thought it was dada performance art. I got thrown out of a gallery once for talking loudly about the bullshit on the wall, but I didn't think I was a revolutionary.

But hey, maybe you're right King. I'd post all sorts of rage on a McSweeneys blog but they don't have one, and even though I've called all the writers you hate terrible names, I can understand that's not enough participation for you. So in the spirit of helping you find enemies, rather than debate - because clearly the enemies thing is what you prefer - here's something I found while googling Handler (you know, my "best friend.") Here's the bullshit he's up to:

And now you can rage about it. It's right up your alley! You're welcome!

King said...

Keep it coming. I understand you need to show that you're not Elliott. (The easiest way would be to establish your own identity-- but you can't do that!)
Here's a significant point.
IF "Grace" actually were an underground activist, that would be the saddest statement of all; that he has wasted all this time trying to discredit fellow undergrounders. Completely senseless. The Dadaists believed in provoking the bourgeoisie-- the powers-that-be-- which is exactly what we're doing.
Who are you provoking with your posts? The establishment? Or not those completely opposed to it?
Revolution? Yes, we aim to turn the current literary world on its head; to shake things out and start over. To end its seemingly unredeemable corruption. It's a worthy cause. I'd think any undergrounder would fully support it. (Or even Stephen Elliott himself.)

jimmy grace said...

Dude, that's the difference between us: I don't think bickering on a blog is revolutionary. I don't think I'm provoking anybody. I try to make things happen with my art. During my boring job I just like to do whatever.

Who are you provoking with your blog? You claim everybody reads it but the comments sure don't show it. You got me, you got Joyce, you got a couple of friends, and when you open it to anonymous people you get maybe two more.

And no, I'm not Stephen Elliott. You could prove that yourself by contacting him...but that'd spoil your performance.

King said...

What, and take his (your) word for it?
You're a fictional character, Jimmy Grace, and that's how I'll treat you.
You like to slide right by everyone's points.
Here's another.
"Boys with Arms Akimbo" seems to have been around for decades. What are they doing? They same thing they did many years ago? Posting flyers on walls? THAT has an impact?
I did such things when I was younger. But I ask-- by what right to you tell me I can't try a different strategy to shake things up? To try to influence this culture a bit?
We decided at the ULA's founding to strike at the heart of the beast-- at the wealthy Insiders and plutocrats who control the culture. (Such as the takeover of CLMP by the wealthy elite.) It's a strategy worth trying. Does it work? The system, we're discovering, is fundamentally corrupt-- worse than we thought. We've been searching for one honest man in the ranks of the establishment and have yet to find that person. (Alas, Stephen Elliott obviously isn't him.)
We have made some noise, shaken up some folks-- sent shock waves through the corrupt empire of today's literature once or twice. We may do it again. I don't see a lot there, frankly. Spineless jellyfish, for the most part-- terrified of the ULA and our ideas, your protests against the notion to the contrary. Closed-minded and terrified.
Resolutely unwilling to come out of hiding, as both of you are.
After our Sunday show we'll see if we can bring the mice out of hiding, maybe throw some light on the rats and the cockroaches.
Stay tuned-- this campaign is far from over.

jimmy grace said...

"what right to you tell me I can't try a different strategy to shake things up?"

You're so fucking delusional. Nobody's telling you you can't do any shit you want. Nobody's shutting you down. Nobody's destroying your organization. Nobody's denying your right to dissent. Nobody's doing anything to you. I think your tactics are bullshit and won't work. I say so because I want to, it's a free country and I have a boring job.

Arms Akimbo puts up art in public places that thousands of people see. Back in the 80s (when I wasn't in it) Boy/Girl with Arms Akimbo put queer politics on the map. That's why I think the method of making art works. You just like to sit around blogging about bigwigs and pretend that your enemies surround you, when in real life I'm not Stephen Elliott and the bigwigs don't care about you and nobody gives a shit.

King said...

Just as long as we know where we stand, Elliott. I'll continue making noise. I suggest you get used to it.

jimmy grace said...

Dude, I am used to it. The outrageous paranoid claims, the lack of evidence, and then you're off with another "Harrumph." You used to think Arms Akimbo was fake and now you admit it's real....but of course I'm still Tim Hall. I mean, Stephen Elliott.

jimmy grace said...

Dude, I am used to it. The outrageous paranoid claims, the lack of evidence, and then you're off with another "Harrumph." You used to think Arms Akimbo was fake and now you admit it's real....but of course I'm still Tim Hall. I mean, Stephen Elliott.

King said...

There's no doubt you're Stephen Elliott. There's no one else you can be. You've not otherwise credibly explained your motivation.
Latest point: your eagerness to see what kind of crowd we get. Pride/confidence about the matter because of course you put on shows yourself, which I assume are fairly successful.
The bottom line remains the same. You make your way by sucking up to mendacious rich people. You don't have the backbone to post here under your own identity. You don't respect yourself, really. You're in conflict because inside yourself you realize you're a phony. Being confronted with the genuine article is too much for you to take. Why else are you here, day after day?
You want me and the ULA to go away. But Stephen, we're not going away.
Allow that to drive you crazy.

jimmy grace said...

Drive me crazy? How would that manifest itself? Would I begin to think that anyone who disagreed with me was part of a movement trying desperately to crush me? Would I think that arts collectives wouldn't exist even when there was evidence that they didn't? Would I think strangers online were longterm enemies despite evidence to the contrary? Would I confront bigwigs by refusing to e-mail them to confirm my conspiracy theories? Would I think that attracting a crowd at an arts event means sucking up to rich people?

King said...

Grace, you're confusing the two halves of your brain again. How do you know I haven't e-mailed Stephen Elliott? Perhaps I have.
Again, you don't have the backbone to post here under your real identity-- which tells me you don't really believe what you're saying.
(Say hi to Eggers, Handler, and Company.)

jimmy grace said...

Well, if you have, why not post his response? (Funny how you keep the privacy of all these people who are trying to destroy you via e-mail, but reprint a polite letter from some poetry chick.)

Dude, if I hung with the bigwigs I'd be too busy hating myself to post here. Nope, I'm just Jimmy Grace, with Arms Akimbo, who you can't find in the first five minutes on Google and so you think is some movie star. Dream on.

King said...

??? You're losing it, Elliot.

jimmy grace said...

No, honey, you're losing it: the argument.

Your claims that I'm Stephen Elliott are:

1. There's no such thing as Arms Akimbo on the web. (This point has been disproven.)

2. I said I was touring with a queer tour, and you found it. And so is Stephen Elliott. (This point is clear.)

3. I saw Handler read, and so did Stephen Elliott. (This point counts for nothing.)

4. I disagree with some of your strategies, Elliott probably does. (You have no idea.)

5. Stephen Elliott knows Dave Eggers. (Um, whatever.)

Now, you could contact Elliott, who's still on tour, and ask him for a response. Maybe you have. Maybe you're scared to post the response because it's probably something like, "Who? No. Sorry." Or maybe you already know you'd get a response like that. Meanwhile, better Googlers have found my collective and are of the opinion that I don't write like SE. But no, no, no, that doesn't fit with your unproven, easy-to-disprove paranoia.

Jooky said...

Man oh man, y'all are some boring, obsessed losers (who can't write for an audience that is anything more than other boring, obsessed losers).

Seriously, you "investigated" this "Jimmy Grace" guy?