Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Programming Update

It seems I burned out my little el cheapo Netbook while writing on it at my place during this past weekend's 100-degree heat wave. I have no air-conditioning. I was working up two new e-books. Oh well! Looks like I'm taken out of the ballgame-- which I haven't really been in of late anyway.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Descent Into Mindlessness


When last seen on the topic, I was engaged in a short debate at a post at the literary hipster site HTML Giant when my hapless opponents quickly scampered for cover. Though the post received 233 comments-- most in a day or two before I jumped in-- said post was quickly taken down from the site's list of "Popular Posts." HTML Giant is as committed to free and open debate as is the rest of the literary establishment-- which means, not very committed to it at all.

The subject of the debate was the embrace by today's so-called literary intellectuals of nonsense.

Later, at HTML Giant came another post which proved my points. Here:

Andrew James Weatherhead gives his self-referential take on a post at another hipster site, Montevidayo. The post he celebrates, "Influence=Deformation Zone," by aptly named Joyelle McSweeney, is loaded with Academy Speak. "Gender," "patrilineage," "heterosexist," "reproductive futurism," "linear notions of temporality," and so on. Joyelle McSweeney is clearly a person unable to think other than in the code words she ingested in the university.

Would anyone who'd not been through university indoctrination think and speak in this manner?

What passes for ideas from her, is a rejection of reality. Joyelle scorns "reproductive futurism," apparently not understanding that every living organism on this planet reproduces itself-- all life is reproduction; nature is reproduction-- without reproduction there is no future. As "sexist," oppressive, etc., as reproduction is, there's no way to do away with it and have any existence.

For those who live in a world of nonsense it doesn't matter.

The next step is to reject the law of causation: "that what comes before causes what comes after." Causation is not only an inescapable part of our world, and likely of the entire universe, but it's also the essential foundation of the tale; the story. The fundamental basis and justification for what's become known as literature.

What happens next? McSweeney, Weatherhead, and their ilk don't want to know.

It's part of a philosophy of intentional ignorance. Which explains a lot. Our programmed intellectuals have been trained not to notice much of anything, even when it concerns themselves. So, college students compile enormous personal debts, the cost of education continually rises, all the while campuses expand around them, gleaming new buildings on all sides, purchases of more real estate by the institutions, pushing out, in many cases, such as at U of Penn and Columbia, long-time ethnic neighborhoods. Our intellectuals who are paying so much for the privilege of becoming intellectuals can make no connection. No links acceptable. After all, that would be to accept causation, patrilineage, etc., and that won't do.

This is called, in layman's terms, being a sucker.

Much the same can be said about the current debt crisis, about which their generation will become, necessarily, the Bag Holders. (Boomers are only beginning to retire. Americans are living longer than ever. The demographics are inescapable. But-- do our young intellectuals really want to live in the real world? No signs of it.)

Andrew James Weatherhead applauds Joyelle McSweeney's rejection of "traditional ideas lineage." How far do they wish to take that? Will they reject sentences? The alphabet? Language?

"Influence should be open to be whatever you want it to be--"

Yet when you examine their stated influences, they're always influences approved by the literary establishment at that particular point of time, from Agamben to Sebald to Robbe-Grillet to Roberto Bolano. (Bolano was ignored by U.S. intellectuals until he died and one of the major book conglomerates began publishing and hyping his work. Our herd of pseudo-intellectuals quickly got in line.)

An American writers group, the Underground Literary Alliance-- whose literary influences came from an entirely different source-- found throughout its existence that U.S. literature's pseudo-intellectuals weren't at all as open as they pretend. The ULA instead was the target of their attacks, including from leading lit-hipster figures and leading lit-hipster pseudo-intellectual publications like The Believer. The ULA's activist campaign began in 2001 with a full-page article in the Village Voice titled "Start Making Sense." Pseudo-Intellectuals may be open to many things. Making sense is scarcely one of them.

What literary hipsters, especially of the pseudo-intellectual variety, are about is pose. The pose is all.

Joyelle McSweeny calls for thinking outside structures and strictures. Yet, McSweeney made sure to acquire her proper hierarchical degrees from the proper linear educational system, from giant institutions which, um, are structures which set down a great many strictures, including about literature. So did Andrew James Weatherhead, no doubt. As did likely most if not all of the entire lit-hipster crowd.

Are they intellectual frauds?

They appear to be pets of the current literary system, following, in linear fashion, all the rules, step-by-step. They exist within a cage yet assure themselves that they're free. The actual structure and production of literature, from overpriced writing programs to government/non-profit funding to the giant book conglomerates isn't a concern. This multi-layered system isn't addressed. It's hardly looked at. When you have the sense of an ant, such a notion is incomprehensible.

Joyelle's much-applauded essay, which starts from a point of nonsense, can go in only one direction, linear or not. It devolves into incomprehensible jargon:

"I use a term for this mutagenic zone; stealing a phrase from the Swedish poet Aase Berg, I call it the deformation zone. Translation is the ultimate manifestation of Art’s deformation zone, for entering yourself in Art’s mutagenic properties, for being entered and altered and destroyed, if necessary, by Art’s rogatives. Translation is anachronistic, it happens in real time and across time; it happensbackwards; it changes he who takes and he who gives; no boundaries can stand up to this innundation; everything is rendered a membrane by translation. Translation is bio-identical to Art’s influence, spreads and eats and leaks more tets, more Art. It makes too many versions, breeds new hybrid languages, and obscures priority. . . ."

And so on. It reads like the scrawl of a severely brain-damaged person.

Situation hopeless.

(NOTE: Joyelle McSweeney has a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard, a graduate degree from Oxford University, and an MFA from Iowa. She teaches English at Notre Dame University. Andrew Weatherhead is an MFA student at the New School.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saving American Writers


The fate of Eric aka Jellyboy-- and as much or moreso of poet Frank D. Walsh-- illustrates the need for ways to protect and defend American underground writers, and to archive their work.

Most mainstream writers won't acknowledge that the underground variety even exists as a unique type. System writers come from, or are co-opted into, a narrow world, and insist that their bounded space is all there is.

Standard writer organizations, such as PEN American Center, are elitist and privileged, solely unto themselves, and so for our purposes are useless.

I'd love to be proven wrong about that, but don't think it will happen.

One path is to outcompete the mainstream. Extremely difficult given the circumstances, but not impossible.

Another way is to do some of the things a one-time underground writers group engaged in, including advocacy and the exposing of system corruption. As we've seen, at least some writing has been saved; the fact, the existence, the histories of a few great American folk writers recorded.

At the moment my first task is to save myself!

You can aid in this by purchasing Ten Pop Stories for 99 cents at:

Amazon's Kindle store at http://www.amazon.com/

or as a Nook Book at http://www.bn.com/

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jelly Boy Writing!

Here's the link to what I believe is the only writing of Jelly Boy the Clown (Eric Broomfield) available on line, or maybe anyplace:


Publisher Jeff Potter promises that proceeds will go to Jelly's enormous hospital bills.

Get your copy now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Literary Police State II

Security by King Wenclas

This was in January 2007, in front of the Times's previous headquarters. I'm told they've since moved into more exclusive digs.

The fortress-like structure rose before us like a heartless monolith of power. We were there to make those who dominate news in this country aware of the plight of underground writers. That had been ever the purpose and cause of our now-destroyed organization, the Underground Literary Alliance. We set up a zeen table on the public sidewalk and began handing out flyers to Times editors and writers entering and exiting the fortress.

Soon enough, someone dimed us out. Security thugs ran out and began pushing us around. The zeen table was tossed into the street, zeens flying. I wrestled the zeen box away from the head thug. I don't know if the New York Times' precious liberal journalists looked on, from inside the doors or from above.

THE TRUTH about the New York Times is that it's the center of system power. It dominates intellectual debate, and the dissemination of ideas. It's the representative and embodiment of hierarchy. Its members, despite the pristine gloss they place over themselves, are among this society's most privileged. Many, if not most, of them are Ivy Leaguers. They're from a very UNrepresentative sliver of America. They feign to speak about America, yet know little about much of it. As the January 2007 incident in front of their building illustrates, they don't want to know.

(For authentic all-American DIY writing, purchase the new e-zeen Ten Pop Stories, now available for a ridiculously low price at Amazon's Kindle Store as well as at http://www.bn.com/.)

Literary Police State

Wen2177-R2-033-15 by King Wenclas.
Here's a photo of Jelly Boy-- currently fighting for his life in a NYC hospital-- and the editor of this blog during the ULA's January 2007 excursion to Manhattan. If I look glum, and am holding the box of zeens under my arm rather tightly, it's because this photo was taken shortly after the ULA and its sidewalk zeen table were thrown into the street by New York Times security people.

Yes! The precious and hallowed New York Times, which the elite bourgeois class continually gushes over. They do so because the New York Times is the center of their privilege and power.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Help Save Jelly Boy!

Jelly Boy by King Wenclas
Here's another shot of Jelly Boy (Eric Broomfield) in Manhattan, from January of 2007 when he participated in an excursion to the Imperial City by the Underground Literary Alliance. Jelly is currently fighting for his life after a Queens fire.

Here's a better temporary link for donations, from the Nassau Chainsaw site:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spotting the Pseudo-Intellectual


The Pseudo-Intellectual talks on and on using jargon and incomprehensible thought. If you call the person on it, introducing sense into the conversation, the pseudo-intellectual vanishes.

Another word for "pseudo-intellectual" is "bullshit artist."

Nearly 100 years ago the world lost an entire generation of intellectuals to the trenches of war. Madness. Currently we've lost a generation of intellectuals to the madness of the academy, which has filled their heads with nonsense.

Case in point is the literary hipster site, HTML Giant, which has become a home of pseudo-intellectualizing.

Recently I jumped into a hectic discussion about "Pop" literary ideas. I joined the discussion for obvious reasons, as I'm promoting the idea of Pop lit. The original post was by an HTML Giant regular named M. Kitchell, and referenced in particular pseudo-intellectuals Robbe-Grillet and the well-known literary character Tao Lin. The minute I began to ask embarrassing questions, the discussion dwindled, then halted. I'm sure I came across as someone from another planet.

You'll find the post and discussion here:


As there are a great many comments, 230 in all, you may want to read the newest posts first (choose that option), because I added my remarks fairly late.

The few who attempted to answer my questions escaped so quickly that I never got in many other points-- including about Martin Heidegger, well-known Nazi philosopher and con artist. I could point to on-line essays which argue that Heidegger was a Nazi through and through, in his person and his thought. The thing about Heidegger though is that no one can be sure exactly what he was talking about. He was the Pseudo-Intellectual par excellence. He likely didn't know what he was talking about himself, but was the ultimate bullshit artist, to the extent of b.s.'ing himself out of trouble at the end of the Second World War. The ultimate weasel-- yet his nonsensical ideas have been adopted by American universities and are a major cause of the decline of our nation's intellectual thought.

I'm sure most of the writers and readers at HTML Giant retain sense and intelligence-- or will be able to someday find some. However, Part II of this examination leaves room for doubt. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More About Jelly Boy

Wen2177-R2-E005 by King Wenclas
Here's a link from Nassau Chainsaw for info about Eric Broomfield aka Jelly Boy the Clown, along with a link to donate toward his medical bills--
(Jelly is shown in NYC in '07. He's on the right of the photo, along with Frank D. Walsh on the left and another ULAer.)

Friday, July 08, 2011

More ULAer Bad News


As if Steve Kostecke's death wasn't bad enough. . . .

I've just received word about two other great ULAers. (Underground Literary Alliance, which was a phenomenon from 2001 through 2007 but lately has been inactive.)

First, that poet Frank D. Walsh, a modern day Francois Villon, is living in a flophouse, I believe in New York City, and has lost or had stolen his precious cache of manuscripts. Unbelievably dynamic poems, some of the best written anywhere the past fifteen years. Most aren't anywhere online.

Second, young beat writer and carny performer Eric Broomfield, aka Jellyboy the Clown, who accompanied me on my walk into the Den of the Privileged during the ULA's 2006 Columbia University "Howl" protest, was trapped in a house fire in Queens. As of earlier this week he was on life support.

Unbelievable. I've been talking for years about the conditions in which many talented underground writers exist in this country. These latest incidents exemplify this.

As of now I have no other details, hospital, etc., but hope to attain some.

Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible. . . .

Monday, July 04, 2011

Film Critic Bias?

SEE! Cardboard cutouts of famous literary people!
SEE! A static camera, misfired jokes, uneven acting and recycled themes!
SEE! Kathy Bates playing Gertrude Stein as-- Kathy Bates!

Yes, I'm talking about the well-hyped Woody Allen flick, "Midnight in Paris." It's a nice little movie, I guess. But-- A-minus or Four-Star reviews? Something's going on here.

For much of the film, "Midnight in Paris" plays like a classic movie "Bomb." At times it's so bad it's embarrassing. Star Owen Wilson has no discernible personality or talent. He spends the time either moping about himself or waving his hands around. Through his characters Woody Allen declaims about how wonderful Paris is, but other than a moment or two, he doesn't make us feel it. Throughout he uses Gunsmoke-era TV camera setups. Any other director would be hammered for this and for the lethargic pace. The realization hits that Woody never advanced as a director. (If anything he's gone backward.) He's not a director. He's a writer-comedian who directs.

The film is surely no better than the recent "Atlas Shrugged" movie which was savagely attacked by film critics. But then, this one is by Woody Allen. One of them. The movie takes place among the smug and the affluent, a privileged class of dilettantes able to float above the hectic drama of the world.

For sensing the Twenties, I'd recommend the several literary memoirs about the period from the likes of John Glassco and Robert McAlmon. Or rent a movie from the Eighties called "The Moderns."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Wise Men II

As a reader, I enjoy escaping into novels from the 1940's and 50's written by the likes of Isaac Asimov and James Gould Cozzens, because they think and see the world with strict clarity and logic. This is a stark difference from the postmodern insanity of now. One learns nothing from today's novelists, because they know nothing themselves.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Wise Men

I've been reading one of the novels in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Great literature-- the Foundation saga is great literature-- gives one insights about how to view one's world. I'm struck by Asimov's tops-down viewpoint, which assumes hierarchies and competing intelligent rulers who run those hierarches.

There's no question that this is the viewpoint of those who run the American empire. It has been the prevailing operating philosophy since World War II, when the nation was led-- some would say taken over-- by several of the most intelligent Americans who ever lived. George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Kennan were among their number. Above them all sat the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As in an Asimovian universe, these wise men, in order to keep our planet from evil and chaos, the violence, madness, and destruction everywhere around them, constructed the American machine which for over sixty years has been the planet's dominant force.

Who runs the machine now?

Thinking of today's figures as characters from an Asimov novel, our Presidents, be they Obama or the younger Bush, are a tad too young, energetic, and callow to be much more than dynamic front men. True decisions are not made by any one man or woman, but through a consensus of men and women who follow the outlines of the plan which the Seldon-like FDR put into place. Surface power is granted to a First Foundation, which is then closely watched by a Second Foundation. If the plan gets too far off course, they then move to put it back in line. (1963? 1974?)

When one understands the immense importance of monetary policy and the financial system, then it's easy to think that America runs with a dual leadership. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is at least as influential as the President in what the future of our civilization looks like, because he provides the life-sustaining blood-- the lubricant of money without which nothing will work.

I thought of this while hearing about Alan Greenspan's strong criticisms of current Fed Chair Ben Bernancke. Bernancke has foolishly pumped too much money into the system-- the consequences have only begun to be played out. Whatever one thinks of Greenspan, he kept the American imperial system operating in one piece through many crises over two decades. Strangely enough, Greenspan was once a protege of Ayn Rand, an Asimov-like novelist.