PANIC AMONG THE LITERATI
The irony about the lit-world's blocking of the Underground Literary Alliance is that we're the answer for literature's problems. We're representative of the general public. We offer an energetic avenue for connecting literature back to that public.
The answer WON'T be found at $85+ admission fee conglomerate book expos where panelists like Princeton professors and upper-class Brits who helped create the problem are going to try to analyze before a select RSVP audience what went wrong. It's like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales speaking about what went wrong at the Justice Department under his watch.
Book review organization the National Book Critics Circle meanwhile, which is utterly upper-bourgeois, thoroughly UN-representative of the kind of writers and readers they should want, broadens its scope with babysteps like adding onto their board the likes of lit-blogger Lizzie Skurnick, a Yale grad. Their salvation, their outreach, consists of reaching out to Yale grads! This is like trying to escape from a locked room by adding another closed door.
The literati, in all their panic of vanishing book review newspaper pages because nobody reads them, instinctively know the solution to their difficulties. It's why we're seeing a parade of ULA-like substitutes appearing suddenly, from dead guy Roberto Bolano to corporate ranter Chuck Palooka to the ex-zinester dishwasher character. It's as if media types looking for writing that's new, different, and exciting are telling their staffs, "Get me somebody who's like the ULA!"
The policy, of course, is A.B.T.U. Anybody But The ULA.
Underground Literary Alliance.
The NBCC is only too happy to promote instead the big monopolies, including the Rupert Murdoch empire. Murdoch's gang at Fox News coined the phrase "Fair and Balanced." I'm going to ask the NBCC to be fair and balanced and give the ULA the same kind of coverage they give Monopolistic Murdoch. I offer them an interview by phone or e-mail with a leading ULAer-- someone like ULA author Wred Fright, who's not only one of our long-time leading members, but also has a book out. I'll send NBCC my e-mail and we can set this up.
The only way to balance the monopolists is to give coverage to ANTI-monopolists, and right now in the book biz the ULA is it.