Monday, August 13, 2007

Bourgeois Prisms

The biggest mistake many observers and opponents of the ULA make is to view it, and view me, through prisms which give them a distorted sense of reality. They view us in terms of their own situation-- as Michael Signorelli does from the perspective of the huge monopoly which employs him. Because things are equaled on the playing field of the Internet, he believes they're equal in the playing field of life. This breeds the idea, as exhibited on the radio show I was recently on, that the ULA, an organization without resources, could somehow restrict the opportunity of a Jeffrey Eugenides, who's had every opportunity.

Another prism is used by bourgeois writers who like what we're doing, then see the group according to what they think a writers group SHOULD be like, or according to what they want us to be, based on their own needs.

The ULA is a radical lit group originally meant to consist of literary activists with a DIY mentality. This meant from the start those writers who'd already burnt their bridges to the mainstream; who'd already abandoned all hope of status quo literary success; who were for the most part totally alienated by this society and its culture; who for the most part had already lost everything and had nothing left to lose. The lowest of the low. Among writers, the hardest core of the hard core.

When we've swayed from these principles we've been burned.

The ULA isn't for everybody. Those who've joined and fit in have earned their colors. They've fit in with the pack of rabid dogs which is this team. There are no writers in America like us, which is our strength.


greywater said...

Every guerilla movement seems to be overflowing with an abundant amount of unrealistic dreamers. While every revolution, whether it be political or literature based, needs to have a dream, too many dreamers give the movement an overall lack of direction. What little I know about the ULA and its daily operations seems to suggest that a few of you guys sacrifice a whole hell of a lot in trying to get a certain viewpoint across. The viewpoint, even if it is closely aligned with the view of other members, often either gets attacked or misrepresented. This then leads to the guys who work their asses off feeling a bit dejected. That dejection is a source for despair and serves as a counterproductive tool in slowing down the ULA. The group of guys, like yourself, cannot actually win, because as soon as you make a decision that is controversy or hampers someone else’s dream about the ULA you are viewed as being totalitarian. The thing is the ULA is at WAR! And war demands some totalitarian concessions to guide the movement onwards. My least favorite President ever is currently shoving his right wing will down our throats and I hate it because it is against everything I stand for, but my favorite President of all time (FDR) also circumvented the rules and brought socialist ideas to America, which I adore! My point is you gave birth to the ULA and if it needs discipline or a revision of goals then you and those like you who are always willing to advance the cause should do as you see fit. Those against you will always most likely be against you, but those who are with you need to actually truly be with you! Purge the ULA! Not for the sake of purge but for the sake of progression! Like you said some people fit others do not, good luck in keeping the ULA focused KING! I for one admire your dedication and courage! Viva ULA!!!

Jeff Potter (of said...

My take on the ULA is that it's for doers who've been doing and who want a chance to do more, bigger. There's no room in the ULA, in my view, for those who want to tell other ULAers what to do. We collaborate. We are unbossable. We listen plenty, though. We all have our own projects and we blend them and cooperate with them as we see fit. We're many voices that are definitely louder together. That's the point, as I see it.

In the past, we've had members who were peeved when others didn't do what they wanted---that was weird and out of bounds---yet I did give those members their props FOR WHAT THEY DID. Some of them had their own areas where they showed initiative---great. But I don't think any of us even budged an inch when they started trying to tell us what to do. We only laughed. Can you imagine!?

Of course it takes ego! We're standing up here, we're taking a stand, we're making noise, we're showing off, we're aiming for the center ring, we're entertainers, performers, we have nerve, we look around and see something missing and dare to step up and say it ourselves, someone has to! We take on all comers. If someone beats us fair and square we admit it. We love talent! We have the best, weirdest, most confident relations with our enemies that I've seen. We don't cut ourselves off. We hope they're worthy! We realize we all need to rise to the occasion and we wish them as much luck as we wish ourselves! If someone did what we're attempting better than we could do it, it would save us a lot of work! I'd be happy to advocate for anyone who could do what needs to be done. First writer to pop the bubble that our culture is stuck in right now wins! It's a race! You know what a race is, don't you? C'mon! Step right up!

Jeff Potter (of said...

Dang, I paddled a sea kayak yesterday 12 miles against the wind. The last 2 hours were against a 25mph wind. In big seas, whitecaps. But they were gorgeous seas. Captivating. It was hard to even move my upper paddle blade against the wind much less make the lower one move the boat. One mistake, likely death. I thought it would take me hours. I'd gone tenting for several days among the Straits of Mackinaw islands. (A gorgeous area where many have died.) When I paddled outbound in mellow weather it took me 2 hours to make that one big crossing. How did I paddle back on my return in only 2 hours against such crazy wind and waves? I didn't have a watch, I had no idea how long it took til I had made it to shore. I think it was because I had paddled like a desperate person. Which I was. Yet I had to stay relaxed and pace myself. It was actually quite enjoyable. Very. Thrilling. The boat leaped and exploded thru the waves. Solid waves hit me in the chest over and over. It was a gorgeous blue sky day. I found myself singing and shouting out loud. I'm not a real big Indian buff, but I've come to admire their style more over the years. I found myself chanting like a wild Indian as I paddled. That chanting might have evolved due to such occasions of exertion---I don't go to pow-wows or anything---I just started doing it. I tell ya, I was real happy to make it. I wasn't really trained or ready---it was just an opportunity that I had to seize. It was a foolish thing to do. Now I'm back!

King said...

We've never purged anyone from this outfit. Some have purged themselves.
I wasn't talking about a purge, but about who we'll bring into this outfit, a question we'll have to be facing soon. The main thing is entering no disruptive force, so we can continue our progress.
We actually have a tight group at the moment. The trick will be to expand and maintain harmony at the same time. No too-big egos. We have enough writers-- we need rebels. Undergrounders. The team comes first.