AN ANONYMOUS poster on this blog questioned whether the literary establishment fears the literary rebellion.
The truth is that every action of theirs shows they're terrified of it. The panic we've faced has been palpable-- as on the radio show I did last year in Philadelphia. The host and the callers ascribed to the rebels untold powers we didn't have. We were going to shut out the Ivy Leaguers! US! We rag-tag rebels living in poverty. Heavens! Dangerous!
We received the same reaction in 2006, at Columbia's Miller Hall, from the Overdogs on stage. It was hilarious, really. These prestigious, much lauded writers, going into sudden unhinged hysterics as soon as I said one word under my breath: "Hypocrisy." Phillip Lopate stood, flummoxed and flustered, hand shaking, pointing, putting aside his prepared remarks to denounce us from the stage.
Fearful? The lit establishment? They're terrified! Petrified that their cozy world of corruption and insularity might be shaken by mere words, ideas, voices-- which is all the rebellion has for weapons. THEY control the institutions of literature-- the big money corporations, universities, foundations. Yet we're confident while they're frightened.
Frightened? Yes! Why else have I been so isolated?
I have a bit of a name-- received ample press attention when the ULA was at the peak of their activity. Yet has there been any effort to utilize that name? Have I received one offer to write one scrap of opinion for anybody? Not one! It might be too dangerous an opportunity to let a literary revolutionary speak.
Legions of line-ups of fearful little puppets, whispering beneath their strings. . . .
(Plimpton the only Overdog who wasn't fearful.)
Where have been the Overdogs willing to debate myself, or my recent allies in the ULA? (The radio debate last year, I faced a biased host, a stacked-deck of hostile callers, and a turned-down microphone, yet won anyway.)
The main portion of the literary blogosphere has blacklisted me. Scan all the bigger names and try to find any links to me. Gawker recently pointed to a post of mine-- but made certain not to mention my name.
Using the planetary analogy from Literary Mystery's "Plutocracy USA," I'm a prisoner on a tiny planet in a faraway corner of the literary galaxy. That's what you're visiting right now, you know. An isolated little corner of the lit scene. Haven't you noticed? I'm under quarantine. The situation has been arranged so that I'll be no further trouble to the powers that be. I dwell on a far, desolate planet, depopulated-- which is what central Detroit feels like. Allowing the noisemaking, the articles, the attention the rebels received a few years ago is acknowledged far and wide by the mandarins as having been a mistake.
Ah, but what if by chance I should someday escape from exile on Planet XYZ? What then?