If the ULA has proved nothing else in the six-plus years of its existence, it's that the literary world is thoroughly corrupt. We have exciting arguments and talented writers-- yet because of our ideas, contrary to those of the entrenched literary scene, we're by-and-large blackballed. Noteworthy that my recent radio appearance was the first time our ideas have been aired publicly since February 2001, when we debated George Plimpton and his staff in one of the most exciting events American literature has ever seen. It's not that we don't have the goods. We've always had the goods-- ideas, and the writers to back up those ideas. We've been shut out because of our whistle-blowing.
The problem is this society's Cult of the Lie. There is no ethos of integrity in America today. Everything-- EVERYTHING-- is subordinated to career and to personal gain.
An example of this is what has happened to the sport of bicycling. David Walsh's new book From Lance to Landis builds an overwhelming case that superstar Lance Armstrong all these years has been cheating. If this is so, what does this say about Armstrong's public persona, presenting himself as an example of virtue? This psychotic has no problem living a total lie. It's how things are done, you see. As bad are the armies of enablers in the cycling scene, who know he's a fraud yet turn the other way for the sake of their jobs and the business world of cycling. Meanwhile, those who have spoken out, like Greg LeMond, are hurt because of their honesty. This is reprehensible and has a lot to say about the rottenness of the American character. The only remaining question is whether that character has always been that rotten.
The same thing goes for the lit scene. The ULA's exposes of corruption are dismissed as something quirky, of little meaning. We the whistle blowers are ostracized, while corrupt frauds without conscience have done nothing but gain.
The pursuit of truth-- entwined with the pursuit of art-- gives life meaning. I wouldn't have altered my behavior with the ULA one iota, because I know our campaign has been right. As William Holden says in "The Wild Bunch": "I wouldn't have it any other way."