Friday, July 13, 2007


Frank Walsh has already mentioned this, in a comment on the previous post, but I have to weigh in also.

WHILE LISTENING last night to the rebroadcast of my radio appearance (can be found at, I was struck by how crisp and clear Carla Spataro's voice is throughout, while mine seems to come through a cloud, or from a far echoed distance. When I raised the volume of my voice-- as I did several times to a significant extent-- the result, on tape, is no different than when I'd been speaking normally. What is that about?

It's obvious that the engineer or producer was turning down the volume of my voice, while Carla's was turned up throughout. I guess the thinking behind this is some kind of equalization or levelling the playing field-- the real outcome however is to UNlevel the playing field with a bizarre flattening of my voice, variations in degree and tone wiped out. (Matching, ironically, the nonstop homogenization seen in writing programs.) The producers did not present the truth of the encounter-- what the discussion in the studio was really like. They altered the effect and the meaning of what took place. The result to be found by those who listen to the show is a false presentation of what actually occurred.

This is not made up. I have a very loud voice, especially when I get animated. Listen to the tape, where Carla, when talking normally, now appears every bit as loud as me-- and much clearer.

Further stacking of the deck is found not just with those callers to the show put on the air, but with the host herself, who near the end jumped into the discussion on the other side with some unreal comments. The ULA, which has no power whatsoever-- is frankly in a constant struggle for survival-- is somehow EXCLUDING well-hyped wealthy author Jeffrey Eugenides, whose every book is published and financed by a huge conglomerate. Reality is turned on its head.

Shouldn't Eugenides voice be heard-- the exclusive view of the top 1% of our culture? It IS being heard, and many more like it, everywhere, in every mass media forum, while underground voices, the ULA's and others, are shut out. This is the reality. Yet, suddenly, amazingly, we become the excluders in the minds of the overdogs.

As bizarre were the comments of one of the callers, "Monte." He insisted that we can make no judgements about the state of literature now. Ultimately, through his perspective, we can really make no judgements about anything. (Golly, maybe Bush is a good President after all? Far be it for us to say.) Maybe today's approved authors today really are great, though their novels appear mediocre and stir nobody, shaking nobody's soul. They have the proper number of pages, and fully enough words to them. They're impressively presented between thick and glowing covers. Who's to say they're not great? In fact, by Monte's thinking, we can't say. Someone 200 years from now will decide.

By this sophistry, Dostoevsky is no better than A.S. Byatt.

Being a ULAer means being tied down like Gulliver by the mediocrities of today's literary world. When on stray occasions we're allowed to have a voice in a forum, the event is strictly controlled, making sure we don't come across too well. The shaky literary establishment must be protected, or it'll fall apart.

There are too many barriers for the underground writer to begin with and the system erects more of them.

Here's a Newsflash for the literary establishment: Stack the deck against us, rig the game, alter our voices, and we'll still win the argument. Blacklist after blacklist can unofficially occur. Barrier after barrier after barrier can go up and will go up to try to halt our progress but we'll plow through them propelled by truth and talent, by the fact that we're today's real literature.

Being an underground writer means being psychologically beat up by the system again and again and again and again and again. It means your head and your heart stabbed by long knives, run through, not once, but continually, for years. A Prometheus would understand the treatment.

Being underground means facing an establishment with no scruples and no conscience fighting ruthlessly to keep every ill-gotten inch of its turf. It means facing army after army of CGI-style demi-puppets-- yet, despite all, continuing on. Not giving up. Staying committed to one's principles.

You the reader of this blog, or the listener of the radio show who's just discovered us, has the opportunity to see and hear the Underground Literary Alliance LIVE unhindered by studio trickery, free from all muzzles and handcuffs, next week, at Red Emmas in Baltimore on July 17th; Germ Books at 2005 Frankford here in Philly the 18th, and July 19th at Freebird Books in Brooklyn New York. For details about these and other Wred Fright/Crazy Carl readings go to:


Anonymous said...

Ugh, I wanted to listen to it, now it sounds like it'll make me too upset. I can't stand that unfairly edited radio/TV interview crap. During them it seems like it's always the same side being shitted on, and then my blood pressure shoots up like a rocket.

I think radio as a whole has been corrupted by big business, like practically all other media in The Bush Age Of Unreason. If you don't have big bucks and can't buy the station (or show), you're screwed. Being heard today in a fair venue is becoming impossible. And the stations that exist and maintain their existence, no matter how small they may be, if you search hard enough, you'll often find they're backed by questionable big-business entities, whom they must answer to, whether for advertising dollars, salaries, whatever. They're also governed by technical federal-government FCC and other decrees; the state of "free" speech in this country has become a joke.

Do you have a written transcript of the show? At least I could more easily ignore the nasty comments and slant from the station....

"The ULA, which has no power whatsoever-- is frankly in a constant struggle for survival-- is somehow EXCLUDING well-hyped wealthy author Jeffrey Eugenides, whose every book is published and financed by a huge conglomerate."

--This is the most ridiculous thing, a good example of The Bush Age Of Unreason.

Brooklyn Frank said...

Dude, you might be overreacting here. Sometimes radio stations use Dynamics Processing to keep the highs from being too high and the lows from being too low, and also to achieve a certain kind of tone that they like. This can also be done when they mix down the audio into MP3 format for use on the podcast.

But regardless, I think you came off really well, and in stark contrast to the typical kind of lit-person shpiel that Carla used. The contrast was clear and striking.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Wred Fright said...

Hi King!
Thanks for the plug on the ULA Book tour. We'll be at Red Emma's not Atomic in Baltimore though. Here's the entire tour schedule:
Wred Fright will be reading from The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, and Crazy Carl Robinson will be reading from Fat On The Vine on the Underground Literary America tour! All the shows are free!
Tuesday, July 17, 7 p.m.: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse (800 St. Paul, Baltimore, Maryland 21202) with Sean Stewart of Thoughtworm.
Wednesday, July 18, 7 p.m.: Germ Books (2005 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125) with Frank Walsh, King Wenclas, and Eric "Jellyboy the Clown" Broomfield of the Underground Literary Alliance, and David Talento.
Thursday, July 19, 7 p.m.: Freebird Books and Goods (123 Columbia St., Brooklyn/New York City, New York 11231) with Mike Faloon of Go Metric.
Friday, July 20, 9 p.m.: bela dubby (13321 Madison Ave., Lakewood/Cleveland, Ohio 44107) with The Balomai Brothers and The Dad Of Rock.
Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m.: Quimby's Bookstore (1854 W. North Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60622) with Grant Schreiber of Judas Goat Quarterly.
Monday, July 23, 7 p.m.: Joseph-Beth Booksellers (SouthSide Works, 2705 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203) with Karen Lillis, author of the new novel The Second Elizabeth.
If we're in your neck of the woods, please come on out and say howdy!

fdw said...

I've never heard that kind of quality of tone and volume on any other Radio Times over the years and I've listened to very good number of them. Being acquainted with theater sound systems in younger days (at the high school, at Wilkes College, at Drexel, at Temple) and sound boards-- 8 channel up to 32 channel-- at the club I managed for three years in Florida with its live bands three or four times a week. And also have seen sound engineers at work at WXPN when on the air late at night with crazy punk artists a good number of times especially when Tea With Tom was on in the early 80's and Spoken word Hour was happening every Saturday in the seventies. I know what's going on I know who was doing what and why. I've had it with the passive agression of the bourzghees here. I will not apologize for their nonsense and cultural genocide on every level, their hidden agendas, their promotion of fear, guilt, mediocrity, censorship, bait-and- switch. I am from a working class driven to the edge of extinction. And I denounce the self-censoring civil manners and even the heart felt sympathy or love of its enemies programed into its collective "conscience" by the bosses and gangsters who run the system and pick our underground literary "livers" like the vulture does to Prometheus. This is the way for me it's going down this is what happened and happens to us every day. And this is what the record will say when the place of the ULA in this civil- war is remembered and wrighted in the near future,
Gravitas! on the 40th anniversary of the Newark rebellion, and that of old Detroit, July 1967. By the way.