ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon has pointed out how greatly National Basketball Association playoffs ratings are up right now. He attributes this to star Miami Heat player Lebron James turning himself into a controversial figure. Now no longer a bland nice guy, Lebron has become the kind of personality one loves or hates. Strong emotion generated.
This is exactly what the Underground Literary Alliance had going for it ten years ago. The ULA was polarizing. That, indeed, was its strategy. Its weak point was that many of its own members couldn't see this-- even at the beginning. After our Amato Opera House show, the culmination of six weeks of activity and controversy, we were briefly the talk of literary New York. Page Six stories on us lay ahead. The road was wide open for us to become a major player-- yet even then we were cracking apart internally. When we should have been staging more events in both New York and Philly, we instead spent our time bickering. The very prospect of success, for a few of us, was intimidating.
This, with what began as a kickass team of ultimate underground zeen writers. The bravest of the brave; craziest of the crazy. Today there are no writers around with one-tenth our energy and daring. Though a road into the culture could be opened again, it takes personalities willing to accept a blizzard of criticism, to jump boldly into the spotlight. In these timid and enervated times that's no longer a possibility.