The dispute between the remnants of the Underground Literary Alliance, and the Insider lit-crowd of Dave Eggers and Tom Bissell, is not just a matter of distortions, inequalities, power, or respect. There were and remain firm artistic differences between the two camps. The McSweeney’s/Eggers style at its core is postmodern, bourgeois, and exclusionary, with the flavor of elitism and privilege. The unstated message: “We are the In crowd.”
The Underground Literary Alliance, in history and fact, represents a populist alternative.