Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boycott: The Game

It'll be interesting to see if the boycott against the Underground Literary Alliance continues now that I'm no longer active in the organization.

How do I know there's a boycott?

A.) When NO lit-bloggers address major stories like the ULA uncovering the Paris Review/CIA link; or the Howl protest at Columbia-- only one of the most exciting literary events EVER, which I'm told created great word-of-mouth buzz in New York-- then there might be a boycott ongoing.

B.) When no major lit-bloggers will link to this blog; few lit-bloggers, period, beyond the unknowing or the extremely brave.

C.) A lit-blogger actually said, "We're not supposed to pay anymore attention to King Wenclas, but. . . ." !!


This is how the game is played:

1.) I try to come up with something interesting or provocative that lit-people want to talk about but know they can't.

2.) They-- the literary gossips especially-- sit anally at their desks in front of their computers testing how much they can take while holding in their eagerness to type.
(I'm told several New York media people have expired at their desks-- exploded into tiny pieces actually-- while playing this game during the ULA's Howl Protest.)
Possible Reactions to this Post:

"Boycott? That's like so-o-o-o silly, that's just like so-o-o paranoid, you asshole."

"Let me point out to you, Wenclas, that when you flit around alienating everybody, as you've done rather exhaustively these lo so many last several years, then I'd rather think you rather precipated this rather predictable, if-you-will, treatment."

"There is no boycott! Do you hear me? NOT A BOYCOTT. No boycott."

"Quit whining! You're always whining! Everything you've ever done you're forever whining!"

"Go back to your basement and your job at Burger King. Nobody wants you, you no-talent hack. I wish you'd just die!"


FDW said...

Yes there certainly is.
Indications are that its widespead and always has been.
Specifically waiting for a guy to call back or better yet waiting for a telegram from this guy at the train depot who was supposed to meet me, us-- he was the one who set up the appointment and the resons for it,
It took a lot of effort and time and forgoing other appointments with "friends" in order to meet him.
But all I'm doing is waiting, there is actually no train at all it turns out.
I go out of the depot and go home and I'm wating, a few days pass, and I go about my business giving him the benefit of the doubt, trying to tolerate my own say professionalism tho it has occurs to me that tho this guy might be a nice guy he is not a showing me any professionalism in return.
Out of the blue a telegram arrives from him wherein he blames me for not meeting him at the appointed time at the appointed depot says the deal and promises he made at the begiing is off because he never recieved the telegram from me that he in fact he told me he'd send to me and that now he;s off the hook and fuck how it looks to my friends tho he is aware I put them out too in the process of defering to him and the benefits to me and my friends in doing so. And that that's to blame for him deciding now that he hasn't the time or inclination even to explain his actions or attitude because me and by association my friends are slackers and only concerned about ourselves.
We'll I'm still waiting for his explanation as I have given him the benefit of the doubt.
He knows this and he'll pplay this to feel he's on the high ground and ispart of something bigger and important a member of the club because he was told that this kind of behavior is to be expected from an apocalyptic bunch like me and my friends. And if he's learned one thing it's that people like me and my friends can't be trusted.
This is actually happening right now and I'm really pissed!
But it gives no option but to do the right thing and continue to do so no matter how absurd it seems to the "insiders".

I do take issue, King, with yr. use of the word "boycott". I think it's not the right word under the circumstances based on the meaning and application of it.
But will explain later.

Anonymous said...


jimmy grace said...

What's the difference between a boycott and a bunch of people not liking you?

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that what you call the System is corrupt. What I don’t understand is why that should surprise you. You are not a child. History teaches us that the abuse of power is basically what power is for. When and if you get any power, you'll abuse it, too. If you don't think you will, you're in good company: the people currently abusing it swore they wouldn't abuse it, either. That's how they got it. That's how it got them.

Stefan Beck only meant you well when he wrote: “[I]s society ‘hierarchical’?–then I say to you, Climb! Climb! Surely you can dismantle the System better from the inside.”

Such correspondents as Beck and Toast engage you in good faith; they give you good advice. Why brush it aside by snarling that you don’t speak French? A moment’s clicking will reveal that ressentiment “is a sense of resentment and hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one's frustration, an assignation of blame for one's frustration. The sense of weakness or inferiority and perhaps jealousy in the face of the ‘cause’ generates a rejecting/justifying value system, or morality, which attacks or denies the perceived source of one's frustration. The ego creates an enemy, to insulate itself from culpability.”

I don’t expect you to believe that about yourself, brother, but can’t you imagine—even for a moment—why someone else might believe it about you? or are all who disagree with your high opinion of yourself reducible to these easy caricatures: “the preppy-girl Yale grad,” “the logical lit-blogger in bow-tie,” “the literary totalitarian,” “the punk pseudo-rebel publishing flunkie,” “the trust fund ex-debutante McSweeneyite snob”?

Does it really take a conspiracy to hold you down? Are your powers that wondrous and strange? Are you really the "Uncrowned King of American Literature, whose outspoken words and contentious activities have made him feared and blacklisted"? Are you really “[t]he most notorious rebel writer in America [...] the most exciting literary promoter around”? Liebling said: God gives a writer one of two gifts, talent or confidence. Cromwell said: Think it possible you may be mistaken.

Best wishes, believe it or not,
from Anonymous #2.

John said...

What lit-blogger are you referring to in point C?

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

I've worked in bureaucracies, back in the day, and I can tell you that change NEVER comes from the inside-- not unless it's pushed very hard first by outside forces.
There is something called the bureaucratic mentality-- which the literary game is steeped in.
Here's the bottom line about the rest of the comments. (Not Frank's of course, which is a fascinating story.)
I'm one guy in this monstrous field known as literature. I engage in some mild criticisms of the powers-that-be. (Is "preppy-girl" all that harsh, really?)
And some people can't stand it!
One guy out there criticizing the mainstream-- granted, not always fairly, but then, I'm only one guy against a demi-puppet army.
Let's stifle that one guy.
The question is whether you can tolerate criticism.
It used to be called free speech. Something not often exhibited amid such widespread conformity.
p.s. The lit-blogger could be anybody. A composite, probably. It's satire. It's supposed to be a stereotype.
p.p.s. I've been waiting for years for the lit system to change "from within." I don't see it happening.
The 300 non-signers against what many of them agreed privately was egregious behavior was one of several signs that change ain't coming from within. I wish this were not the case.

jimmy grace said...

Who the fuck is "stifling" you? People who post comments here? That's called debate. People who don't invite you to write for the New Yorker? That's called people who don't like you, and as you spend a lot of time calling them assholes, that's not surprising. There's no "boycott" against you or anybody cutting off your right to free speech. You're just not getting as much attention as you want. Boo fucking hoo.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

You'll have to admit that the pods are concerned that I'm not becoming one of them!
Yes, let's change things "from within," shall we?
Re FDW. His post reminds me I've been delinquent in mailing him some ULA material. Maybe subconsciously I've been thinking I can resolve differences with the ULA's publishing guy. Nah, not likely.
Probably I just haven't felt like the hike through Detroit's bitter weather to the post office to mail the stuff. Now that the weather is breaking, the successful outcome of this matter is in sight.
New posts are up, by the way, on just about all of my other blogs.
Worth examining. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I engage in some mild criticisms of the powers-that-be. (Is "preppy-girl" all that harsh, really?) And some people can't stand it!" -- KW.

It's not that I can't stand you, brother. Who ever said you were harsh? I said your us-and-them caricatures were “easy.” Here I am, standing you. I can stand you on one leg.

I don’t want to stifle you. Grow and grow.

My question is: How small does a man have to feel in his secret heart to call himself “King”?

— #2.

Tom Hendricks said...

King is talking about literature that is not safe, sanitized and predictable. That upsets - that makes waves, that causes people to attack him rather than resolve the situation of bad literature.
Everything you charge Karl with, I've been charged when I oppose abuses in the arts, and advocate change. The response is so predictable. Defend the boredom at any cost.
Well boredom, sameness and fear of anything really new has had its day.

Anonymous said...

No one is charging Karl with anything, Mr. Hendricks. I don't believe Karl has a charge. He seems to be a dead battery.

Here is an old, safe, predictable, boring idea: "I am the most gifted person in the world. I have supernatural powers. But I can’t succeed because there’s a vast conspiracy. Everyone is out to get me. And I’m the only one who can see it. The rest of you are fools."

Why don’t you just write a great book? Everyone likes great books. That would probably do the trick. You can write a great book, can’t you?—or isn’t that one of your supernatural powers?

But who needs actual books when you can just go on jabbering about "literature," whatever that means. Good luck smashing the system, dude. I hope you smash it up real good.

michael said...

Bill Knott was all over the CIA stor on his blog. Doesn't that count?

I'd've said something, but i had always supposed so; & assumed that any intelligent reader would not have to be told.


King said...

Great books? This blog is a great book.
The point of my four-parts series at my Happy Lit blog is that we have no way of knowing which great books are being published and which aren't.
To its credit, the ULA Press has already published some exciting, very different novels, by Wred Fright, James Nowlan, and Crazy Carl Robinson.
I've also pointed out here Lawrence Richette's excellent new novel.
One thing we know for certain: one doesn't change anything by putting tape over one's mouth and crawling into a shell.
Have you read it?

Anonymous said...

I'm not inclined to investigate Richette because your past recommendations haven't done anything for me. Unlike many of your detractors, I earned this resistance: I spent unrecoverable moments of my life reading some Fright, some Nowlan, and some Robinson. Christ, what a mess. Their qualities that could justly be described as "exciting" or "very different" elude me. But never mind all that. Your assertion that "[t]his blog is a great book" tells me what I came here to learn.
And now, back to whatever it is I do.

FDW said...

anonymice, rougues, countrymatters:
give your cells a chance to change, don't foolow men who don't put you in your place and who tell you they will change things for you or use a word like change as if it were athing itself when words have been bent backwards by the stroking of too much!
Make for yourself a decision for yourself and go on over to :

and feel at liberty to buy and read for yourself some of the best damned writers in the American hemisphere!

And check out The UNholy Sideshow DVD DIY horror movie over on der dat spot too!

Tom Hendricks said...

"Just write a great book"? How about a golden age of literature. It's already been done in zines - Karl likes to call them like they're pronounced Zeens. Either way the ULA and zinesters have done that.
See and search the members of the Musea Zine Hall Of Fame
Writing great is the least of it. The problem is not with Karl, or his personality. That's a cheap shot. The problem is the industry he challenges and that resorts to personality attacks instead of debate, let alone any self criticism.
Writing great is a problem when no mainstream will publish anything but safe, poor work. Then quality keeps you from being published. And the results is what we have now - a golden age of nothing in mainstream lit.

Anonymous said...

Good point - the blogger of ATTACKING THE DEMI-PUPPETS never results to personal attacks.

King said...

I've been provocative, sure. I've always backed this with ideas and logical arguments.
The problem is that some folks view exposing the intrinsic corruption of the literary world, when giving specific uncorrected examples (Moody, Franzen, as a "personal" attack. Well, I guess. But in that case the whistle blower can't go after anyone, can he? It might be construed as a "personal attack."

Tom Hendricks said...

Everyone should attack bad writing.