Monday, October 10, 2011



MUCH has been made of the book and movie “Moneyball,” about the Oakland Athletics baseball team ten years ago trying to compete with the mighty New York Yankees.

Ho hum. No biggie.

Examine instead the history of the Underground Literary Alliance.

The Oakland A’s were members of an exclusive club. They already had a seat at the table. Their budget was one-fourth or one-fifth that of the Yankees.

The ULA’s budget was 1/1000th or less than that of our competitors. We clashed with ultra-powerful ultra-rich hyper-millionaires like Dave Eggers and Daniel Handler, and with the monopolies that backed them. We had no credentials, no connections, no money, and no standing.

Yet we achieved great publicity, presented larger-than-life personalities, and sent vibrations of change through the Monolith. We panicked many at Official Lit’s highest levels. We were the most exciting phenomenon that’d happened in the literary world in decades, as evidenced by our shows and protests—historic events like our debate with The Paris Review at CBGB’s in 2001, or our crash of a “Howl” celebration at Columbia University five years later. History the literary establishment doesn’t want you to know. Our every appearance created buzz. We weren’t just underdogs. We were under-under-under-underdogs. Explosively radical to the max.

Where’s the movie?

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