Thursday, February 22, 2007

Unique ULA

The Guardian recognition of the Underground Literary Alliance blows the whistle on our opponents who claim nobody cares about what we're doing. (Nobody?) In truth we're shaking the American literary world to its foundations, striking a sword through the heart of the beast, and will continue until we slay the dragon. We're a broad-based lit-group with a wide variety of writers who are representative of American society today. Completely unlike our two rivals, "Church of the Undead" (The Eggers Gang) and n+1 (boy, is that an exciting designation for a literary movement) who consist chiefly of rich people, prepsters, and Ivy Leaguers, with a smattering of others who've relentlessly proved their obedience to the mainstream by absolute subservience or conformity.

Which of the three movements will prevail?

We have the least resources, connections, credentials, and are scorned and hated by demi-puppets and Overdogs alike who control much of the print media.

BUT, in many ways we're better positioned. How would you rather be viewed? As "smart" like the n+1ers? One conveys images of cardigan sweaters and tennis courts. As pretentiously self-important narcissistic Columbia grads like the evil McSweeneyites? Or as rebels, brigands, outlaws, and pirates, like those of us in the ULA? The attacks you see against us are based on pure envy. The fakers know we're the real thing.

Meanwhile, the literary mainstream has thrown away opportunities. In other times, before our nation's intellectuals had turned into obedient pod people, there would have been a scramble to follow up on the CIA-in-Literature revelations. Today, in 2007, the literati are ignorant, complacent, or afraid. They leave the field wide open for us-- they leave room for we lowly renegades to square off against secrecy and corruption. They give us the opportunity to prove our fearlessness and integrity. We'll take it.


jimmy grace said...

"Meanwhile, across the Atlantic resides the daddy of all online magazines, McSweeney's. It now has as many detractors as loyal readers, but still seems to have the edge on young pretenders, the particularly user-hostile Underground Literary Alliance ] and the smart n+1 magazine."

Yep, that's really the kind of press that every artist dreams of. User-hostile pretender.

King said...

For now, I'll take it. Rather edgy. Better that than being portrayed as pussies. The world I grew up in and have lived in all my life isn't a place of tea and crumpets. It's time to bring some reality into a dusty and lifeless literary scene. Oh we're hostile! Heavens! Yes, the world is not a pretty place; it's full of charlatans and thieves. Only art-- literature-- can remake it. It needs to be carried by strong voices of unflinching commitment and energy.

fdw said...

the use of the British parlance:
"the edge on" means "a leg up" or inclusively remember set theory in mathematics "on" : has more young pretenders /than/ the other two apposites to "Meanwhile across the Atlantic...
Of course it's ambigiguous (dry humour)but you've also bent the punctuation a bit to suit yr own purpose.
Readers shld go to the link in King's Blog post from a few days ago and decide for themselves either way and not trust an anonymouth in any case.

fdw said...

We went into places no one else
could picture at our feet the edge
lapped like stray dogs or an ocean
as if at our command despite/ evidence
of the absence of the sacred we/ knew
by observing a forced silence we/ might
pass under the gaze of the/ watchers
and into the sunlight, though often
not allowed to return to our beds
and sleeping children until dawn
shook off the sharpened blades at/ our
throats and we began to imagine we
had placed them there in a fit of/ despair,
of abandon, but never more than/ once.


Jeff Potter (of said...

I liked its "lowest of the low" flair. No other "underground" link mentioned included a bit of a slam but for us! ...Just right.

But then the author had to wreck things by apologizing and clarifying down in his comments section that he only meant our website (which was obvious) and that he had found quality content there.

fdw said...

(their course is hard to trace
as that of birds in the sky)

Let the lines be drawn across the dimensions
wide enough for children to play and learn
the open hearted ways of life once more
and all who understand thus should venture forth,
where the five elements are liberated, pure
seeking space and light within without time
but written down sharp to a point of reproach
for those who choose a narrow, death like course,
who can’t keep themselves satisfied in their holes
making good on some effort for their parts to join
in effect our human family just this side of
sublime life on a living earth but instead are those
most likely cowered behind systems and weapons
in order to bend the innocent to some end--

Oh, that my poetic powers might perfected soar
render this machine into wine to quench the poor.

West View, 7.07.03

King said...

(FDW of course will appear at our show Sunday.)

King said...

One should also keep in mind the context within which we operate.
This is a society cleaving in half between rich and poor. I've read numerous articles about the disappearing middle class and the rise of superrich.
The same phenomenon is happening in the lit world.
Our competitors have a thousand times the resources and connections that we do.
The deck is stacked against us from the strat-- yet we're asked to compete on THEIR terms. It's like being in a fight with a giant three times your size, and someone on the sidelines is constantly yelling at you, "Play by the rules. Play by the rules!"
If you ever are fortunate enough to get a blow in, immediate sympathy for the unthinking giant. The contest is halted to give him time to recover. Handkerchiefs brought out. "Is he okay?"
Faces of scorn meanwhile toward you. Faces of hate. "Look, you hurt his feelings!"
The aristocrats of course will always sympathize with their own kind-- while encouraging you to be crushed. Exactly what happened during the French Revolution. The aristocrats encouraged treason within their borders against the democrats, and armies from outside to enter to restore their privileges. Revolution facing reaction from all sides.
Change is always unsettling, especially to those on top!
Do underground writers have a shot without making noise?
Is there any avenue for a Bill Blackolive to display to society his original writing? (Incomprehensible to your standard east coast editor preppy.)
No, all roads are closed.
We then have to create our own openings into the culture. We have to blow throguh the barriers with explosive language our own path.
So sorry if the explosions make noise, disturbing pristine sensibilities.