Monday, February 26, 2007

ULA Redone

Almost overnight the Underground Literary Alliance has become a more streamlined organization. Those who remained have earned or re-earned their colors in this outfit. Our conversations among ourselves show we're a more united, more committed, more eager bunch.

We'll use this opportunity to streamline the ULA vehicle a bit further-- in the coming few weeks will be asking member supporters to affirm their support. Those who remain will want to be here.

We're well set-up to move ahead-- are in a better position than we've been in months. The Guardian mention emphasizes to us that we have a role to play in this culture. We'll live up to it, as we did yesterday at our event. NO ONE in the literary world is more exciting than us.

This is an organization for the self-motivated. No one is going to pat you on the head and treat you like an invalid. We're from the DIY movement. The ULA provides a name, a framework, and a focal point. Members have freedom to pursue underground noisemaking and creative acts within that framework. At the same time, don't expect to tell me how to act or behave. That's not what the ULA is about.

Our requirement is simple-- that you promote the umbrella name along with your own projects. It's a two-way street. We don't want just names on a list.

Some of us in the outfit have strong voices, but there is no boss. I'm no one's boss-- I don't want the responsibility of being anyone's boss. I'm not going to order members to get along with each other, for instance. I'm busy enough. We want no servants or bosses, only equals.
(Which means, I'm no one's servant.)
(Which means, no wimps allowed. We're a thundering wolf pack.)

The more you do for the ULA and the ULA campaign, the bigger voice you'll have in the outfit. We expect or hope ULAers "earn their colors" in the outfit, through activism; through active battles with proponents of mainstream lit, on-line, or debates in public. We want our members to advocate for US, to be on our side. Our opponents have enough voices, enough attention, enough connections, enough flunkies and lawyers and mouthpieces, to advocate for them, for their failings toward literature, and for their moldy ideas. We're writers without power in this society, underdogs, going up against some of the most powerful individuals in America. This is the context in which we operate. I hope people remember this.

We're creating an alternative literature. We've made slow but unstoppable progress. Our new ULA Press books are finally out. We put on exciting shows and actions and will be doing more of this. The future of literature is there for the taking and we're ready to fight for it.

1 comment:

King said...

It sometimes surprises me how emotionally involved people get with this project, which I think distinguishes us from other writers groups.
One thing people should keep in mind is that this is a team. To some extent we need to think and operate as a team. The idea of having separate "wings" was always untenable. Fortunately, that's now over. A latent schism in the team has been resolved.
We don't need to think alike, but we should have knowledge of the ULA's history, its accomplishments, its tactics over the years, what its goals are and what needs to be done to reach them. Doing nothing is not a strategy. Making baby steps, or doing what everyone else does, is hardly one either.
As with any team, individuals can be talented in themselves, but, for various reasons, not a good fit for a team concept, where solidarity is important.
This society trains people too much to be individualists, while at the same time sapping many of them of the will or desire to question the status quo-- things as they are in literature now. Or, such questioning becomes frightening to them. It's a strange combination: conformist individualists.