Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Another Quickly Fading Literary Touchstone

ALSO THROUGH as a touchstone for the lit-world is McSweeney's. Its present editor Eli Somebody, a fourth-rate Dave Eggers impersonator, relates on their site how he wanted me to sign an "agreement to disagree"-- whatever that means. (It was presented to me as a peace treaty.) Eli sounds severely disappointed I didn't crash his Philadelphia reading. I didn't realize my appearances were in such demand. I should have business cards made: "Lit-Readings Crashed-- by Appointment Only."

Those who want to see me and the ULA in action will have to attend the July 16th Jack Saunders event in Philly.


Anonymous said...

Dear King,
Where exactly on the McSweeney's site is this supposed plea to agree to disagree? When did you and Mr. Someboy correspond? When was this peace treaty offered you by McSweeney's? Why do you think anyone there gives a flying fuck what you think, beyond a quiet grief at how moronic and mean-spirited you are and how often you splash decent people with bile? Why do you insist on lying so much? How do you not apprehend Occam's Razor as the explanation for why no one responds to you, i.e., the reason people do not respond to your world-shaking posts is not because you're victorious but because you're a stinking tar baby utterly uninterested in actual discussion? When will you realize that how seriously one is taken is directly commensurate to the intelligence of what they say? Why do you suppose no one stops to talk to crazy people in the street? When will you admit that you're a fucking parasite? Finally, why did you allow people to post here anonymously again?

Adam Hardin said...

Speaking of fading literary touchstones: The Paris Review. I have never seen a magazine go into a nose-dive like the Paris Review, and it was not just after Plimpton's Death, but years before his death when the old man forgot who real writers were, and what real writing was. Plimpton became a parody of himself that he often played well in movie cameos. Mr. LIT ER A CHURE.

- Leopold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
- Leopold said...

1) Anonymous posting didn't stop anonymous posts anyway as hogpokits and frannie have shown. The very lit bloggers you say don't respond to us because we're crazy and hateful still have time, apparently, to register anonymous accounts to throw their own bile our way. The only true way to fight anonymity is to refuse it ourselves. We use our real names. In the short time I have been with the ULA I have yet to see one of these 'decent people' make any real attempt to understand the ULA or even attempt to argue our points. Surely petty dismissal and childish mockery, which is all they seem to have, is just as, if not more so, bileful...

2) if you're against anonymous posting, why did you not post under your account?

3) I deleted the above post because I made a goof by not reading King's post properly. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

It's fun and, I'm sure, ego-satisfying for you to imagine that the people responding to you here are the people you attack. I'm sorry to say that, in my case, it is not so. I look at what you say and can independently conclude that you're nasty, dishonest pieces of work with nothing to contribute. I am the people you guys claim to represent, in other words. I read what you say, and I don't want to buy. In fact, if I had a receipt, I'd want a fucking refund. So: to recap. I'm not against anonymous posts. I do not see how anonymity--particularly when, if I told you my name, I'm quite sure no one but my family and girlfriend would recognize it--somehow overrules the logic and/or sincerity of what I'm saying. I don't even come here that often, only as doldrums dictate. Is a revolution still a revolution if nobody notices? Good luck finding out! Can't wait to read the ULA's books, by the way. Oh, wait--yes I can.

Anonymous said...

By the way: I know how transparently you all feed off of confrontation, as it's the only thing that gives you any little burp of validation. So here's my prediction: These two (now three) posts of mine will lead to a dogpile of posts under this King post. When there is no confrontation, there are very few posts. So consider this: If I were one of your Foerian/Moodyian/Eggersian/Maudian/Galley Catian/Paris Reviewian/McLemeean comrades-in-arms enemies, and I were really engaged in this ridiculous "battle" you believe you're engaged in, I would never, ever respond to any of your attacks, as it only feeds the pathetic little bonfire burning in your nutsacks. King speaks of outmaneuvering the demipuppets all the time. But, looked at from this perspective, could it be that you've already been checkmated? A fight will never start, after all, if one side refuses to fire. The other option is a massacre. King clearly believes to be delivering one now. And yet, and yet . . . what's happened, boys and girls? Any demi casualties? Any real damage, other than some hurt feelings? That's some war! Okay. I'm going to leave now. Pile on, and show the world your unique blend of nasty impotence....

- Leopold said...

Well, that touched a nerve in you, didn't it? Obviously, you are not beyond bile yourself.

For the record, I don't claim to represent anybody. Nor do I spend much time attacking individuals. It's not my style. I'm more frustrated with systems.

Frankly, I don't think you're going to get a refund for something you haven't paid for and have spent more time being negative about than participating in. You can decide to not like our politics but when you talk of wanting a refund, of us being empty revolutionariest, etc... I honestly wonder how much ULA writing you have read. Ultimately, this is a fight to have our work get the chance to at lease be validated by the general public. The current routes to publication are clogged with inbreeders, the priviledged and sycophants.

I'm sure it's ego-satisfying for you to pick whatever point in the current debate is the middle ground and say 'hey, i'm impartial, i've looked at both sides!' but that is hardly productive. Why don't you (as a person you claim we claim to represent) tell us about what you've done to help 'the people we represent' lately?

Nobody but your family and your girlfriend would know your name because you post anonymously. This isn't intended as an insult, but posting with a real name would give you SOME credibility. At least show you STAND BEHIND what you say. Are you a writer? A casual reader? Nobody knows who the hell I am either. That doesn't stop me from posting my real name.

I don't always agree with everything King or the ULA says or does, but from what I've seen, they are the only group out there even TRYING to amend the current situation. If you don't like us, why post? If you think we're the crazy person in the streets that nobody dares talk to, why are you talking to us?

Finally, we may be crazy, but no more so than someone who hasn't 'paid' for anything running into a store and demanding a refund.

Anonymous said...

You seem like a good & reasonable guy. Many of your fellow ULAers, alas, do not. I post because I care about literature and I'm interested in others who care too. I post what I do because I believe thugs should be called thugs and bullies should be opposed. I'm sure a number of people in the literary world are assholes. Some of the people who work down at the Subway are assholes too. It's the inhuman sweeping tone here that I take issue with, not the politics. The hell of it is, I don't really believe even King believes half the stuff he writes. He lies an awful lot. I had to post today because he's lying about McSweeney's. I enjoy much of the stuff on its website. I like humorous writing, and some of it is wonderfully funny. I do not take this as the sum total of the literary world today, however. Anyway, nothing on the McSweeney's site has ever mentioned the ULA. I don't know their personal motives, obviously, but I can't imagine anyone there thinks about the ULA beyond, "Ew, the ULA." And so King's talk of peace offerings is just preposterous. It's all to boost his ego. The entire organization, I often think, exists to make King feel better about himself. He is, after all, a man who thinks being mentioned by people he detests is a victory. Who often recounts turning away from the big time in the early 1990s when he was publishing in . . . Open City. Wow, King! Tell us more! So, Leo: props to you for being a stand-up guy, but know that you can't be part of a group that traffics in some hideous slander and then say, "Hey, we're all different here." You're a part of its intellectual chicanery whether you want to be or not. As for my motives, all I can say is that I also take home animals when I find them hurting in the street. Take that however you will (I'm certain it sounds condescending) but know that I'm no bile thrower. I just care about ideas and honesty and shit myself with anger when I see obvious prevaricators wrap themselves with the flag of truth.
Peace and blessings,

Anonymous said...

The whole "I'd want a refund" thing was a figure of speech, not a literal demand.

- Leopold said...

Yes, I realize it's a figure of speech, but as a metaphor for making your point I was pointing out it's failings.

King isn't lying, here is an excerpt from the McSweeney's site:

"The McSweeney's reading at Molly's Bookstore on Sunday, June 5, had many things in common with the Doan incident. First of all, it took place near a street with railroad tracks. Second of all, the beginning was abrupt, almost violent, and, for a time, no party was entirely sure where they stood. Seeing that Philadelphia native Karl Wenclas wasn't into my idea of showing up and signing an Agreement to Disagree (thus insuring Molly's a spot in the next Oxford collection of American literary anecdotes), I wasn't really sure what to expect. So I busied myself assembling the new McSweeney's texts into small display towers like the bestsellers at Barnes and Noble, or the cans of Goya Black Beans at the Cousin's Supermarket on Fifth at Cecil B. Moore."

it is from this page, about 1/4 the way down: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/events/mcsweeneystournotes.html

Bam-Bam (please don't call me Leo, by the way. I hate that name), you make a lot of good points and of all the people who post here, you're the only one who even attempts to engage us and call us on the fine points of our arguments (as opposed to incessant scatological references and precious ULA 'mock' sites). It's to your credit and don't think that other ULAers don't notice it as well. The ULA is full of intelligent, passionate people. I'm willing to stake my good name on that.

As to picking sides, yes I can be part of the ULA and say we're all different here, because we all have different approaches and levels of involvement, but we all see a problem with the current system and are working to change it. When there is a problem with something and on one side you have people blithely ignoring it, sucking up to the root problem, and writing such hard-hitting cultural commentary like 'AN EPISODE OF STAR TREK TEDIOUSLY WRITTEN FOR AN AUDIENCE ENTIRELY COMPOSED OF REMOTE AMAZON TRIBESMEN.', and on the other passionate people dedicated to fixing the problems who shout out, put themselves up front and - hey, maybe shoot their mouth off sometimes or hurt people's feelings - I'm going to have to side with the people at least making an effort.

As for McSweeneys, I can't speak with much authority on the subject because I can't even FIND one up here. However, I think the main beef against it is not that the writing is bad, but that it's so terribly precious.

The ULA isn't against humour - Check out Wred Fright's work or mine (I suggest The Chocolate Milk Challenge). Tim Hall's work can be quite funny as well. McSweeneys is all so terribly cute and ruthlessly uncontroversial, that for us to see it held up as great, enduring literature is maddening for people who actually care about literature and its potential. Let's not forget that the heavily backed mag was awarded 'Best Zine'. COME ON! That is slander of the worst degree to the THOUSANDS of people on the underground putting out intelligent, alternative work that matters and has something to say. Work they get no pay for, no grants, no write-ups in New Yorker or interviews by Amy Benfer published in Salon.

I think, if you go through our beefs, essentially laid out on our website, that we do have actual issues, that we have a right to be irrate and call people on it. I think we sometimes we get bogged down too much in fighting the equally no-name sycophants - it's had to avoid, because, whether you agree with me here or not, I think they like it just as much. But this Fall the ULA is going to be putting forth some amazing work. If you want to see what we OFFERING, other than just our criticisms, that might be a counter more appropriate to your tastes. Give us a try.

Anonymous said...

Leopold (sorry),
I will happily check out your work. Thank you for the invitation. I read the McSweeney's link. Notice two things: That that was not from anyone involved in McSweeney's, only the host of a McSweeney's event. The person who wrote it owns a bookstore. McSweeney's did not offer any peace treaty, the bookstore guy did. This is incredibly sloppy, trickily associative, and utterly dishonest of King. And sure, McSweeney's may be precious sometimes, but have you read Stephen Elliott's work? Happy Baby, especially. Published by McSweeney's and incredibly gritty and powerful. I bet you'd like it. The guy grew up in an orphanage and now teaches at Stanford. Or how about William Vollmann's Rising Up and Rising Down, a book no publisher would touch? But McSweeney's published that too. It's like an atlas of world misery, a caring and fierce and magisterial book--one of the most important and significant books of our time, I would say. Read that? You still want to call McSweeney's precious? The world is big and diverse and confusing, filled with people whose motives are complicated. I'm a liberal (yes, Noah Cicero, I'm a liberal--kill me know) and so I believe that most people truly are well-intentioned. I also think most people can get lost within their good intentions. Too often here I see clearly well-intentioned people too easily giving in to hate. Most writers, whether underground or Simon-and-Schuster-published or what have you, just want to do their work. *Their* work, whatever work they feel they have to do. If you believe the system is broken, so be it. A good way to show how would be to publish great work yourselves. You say you're on the verge of doing so. Okay. This does not mean that everything the system publishes is shitty. It's that kind of pointless ad hominem attack that dishonors your cause. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I'm really, really going now.

- Leopold said...


Well, what do you think of the fact that the bookstore in mentioned refuse to carry our work unless we made peace with McSweeney's now, lo-and-behold, they get published in the magazine that they WILL carry.

What happened to fair access for writers? If the system is broken so be it? No, we're writers and we would love it if we could JUST care about our work, but that would mean acceptence of a system that cares only about connections and not about quality of work. That would mean callously accepting that hundreds of excellent writers (not just us) are just going to languish and be walked over by the powerful with connections. But we should just accept that, right? Because writer's just just care about writing, right? Sounds a lot like opiate of the masses stuff to me.

It's fair to point out that King wrongly attributed that article to the editor, but it's also fair to point out that you failed to find the article King was mentioning yourself and called him a liar for it.

I think you'll find a lot of ULAers are disgusted with 'liberalism' because they are much further left than people who actually claim to be liberals. Liberalism has become a badge more than a set of beliefs and has become very disingenous. It's become the thing priviledge people wear to say 'we care' while not really acting to effect real change: 'Oh those poor poor! We must do something to save them. Oh, and another glass of champagne, Marty.'

The modern day 'liberal' applies for and accepts $40,000 grants for poor writers whilst living luxuriously on an island mansion. You'll have to forgive us for attacking liberalism if that's the sort of 'good alternative' they're offering against conservatism.

I also belive people are truly well intentioned, but I don't support people who SAY they are truly well intentioned, BELIEVE they are truly well intentioned but don't actually BEHAVE in accordance with what they say. Calling oneself a liberal (I'm not referring to you here, Bam-bam) does not automatically give you a pass on actually ACTING like someone who cares about fairness and equality and making sacrifices to acheive it.)

Take care, it's rough out there.

Adam Hardin said...

Rising Up and Rising Down "feels" like one of the most significant books of our time because it is 3,500 pages. Holding it in your hand, the weight, and mass, feels like a masterpiece.

What it is? It is a rambling, google-assembled dissertation on the history of violence that includes a "moral calculus" for determining when violence is appropriate.

So I ask somebody write "World" a book which should top out at over 75,000 pages, and include the history of all humanity.



Anonymous said...

Mr. Hardin,
Williamm T. Vollmann almost killed himself in the Arctic, almost killed himself in Afghanistan, personally rescued a sex slave in Cambodia, and has bravely and ceaselessly marched out into the world's worst places to find out for himself the evil in the hearts of men. Google-assembled? You know nothing if you can say that with a straight face. I agree the book is way too fucking long, but what are you going to do? So is the Anatomy of Melancholy. I'm just glad the book exists. Ever think that maybe it's not supposed to read all at once? That maybe some books are for the long haul, a lifetime of checking into and out of? Can you imaging writing a book like that, a book that took that much time? Vollmann may be crazy, but he's interesting. Blowing him off as a postmodern hack blows your cover as a know-nothing philistine.

I think it's pretty shitty of the bookstore not to stock your books. I also think you reap what you sow, and maybe if you guys put some thought into your attacks, you would not find yourself blackballed. But nonetheless, I agree that it ain't right. I agree that Rick Moody was a dick for accepting that award, most likely, but then again I don't know his personal finances, and neither do you. I know some rich kids, and family money is a tricky thing, much of it tied up in unaccessible accounts and much of it, of course, long gone after the house on the island is paid for. (My family was rich, rich as Croesus, long, long ago. It was gone by the time I was born. But we had a big fucking house!) And yes, I called King a liar, and I was right. Yes, the "guest blog" thing mentions the ULA, and had I looked harder I would have found it. The fact remains: King was full of shit. If I were King or Jeff Potter, I would now wet my pants and call for a retraction. You reap what you sow.

Re: connections. I mentioned Stephen Elliott before. As I said, he grew up in an orphanage, and his work was originally published by tiny independent houses. Because he's so good, his work gradually found an audience. I don't think orphanages are good places to make a lot of literary connections. People get through, is the point. Not everyone, but plenty do. They do so by keeping the faith, writing well, and not growing bitter. I said before I sense in you a decency, and I appreciate that. But your group is rotten. Please, Leopold, don't drink the Kool-Aid, and keep on keepin' on.


Anonymous said...

"When there is a problem with something and on one side you have people blithely ignoring it, sucking up to the root problem..."

So who's root are you sucking, Leopold? Bam-Bam was absolutely correct to call King a liar, because he is one. He said "It's [McSweeney's] present editor... relates on their site how he wanted me to sign an 'agreement to disagree' - whatever that means." But that's not true. And King knows it's not true. The graph right after the one you cited refers to Eli Horowitz by name. He's clearly someone other than the first-person autor of the short article. Any kindergartener who read that article could tell that the agreement wasn't offered by Eli Horowitz.

So is King illiterate? Or a liar? Or both? You say that King "wrongly attributed the article to the editor" as if it was an honest misreading of the website. But from King's post we can see that this isn't even the first he heard of the offer. He says himself that "(It was presented to me as a peace treaty.)" That's not in the article. So who presented it to him that way? He knew exactly who did and did not make the offer, and misrepresented it, to the ULA and everyone else, in a way that would make him look way more important than he is.

And you just line up to defend him. Because you don't mind being lied to, as long as it's by someone "on your side"? - whatever that means. Because for all the ULA's talk about telling the truth and attacking the corrupt literary world, you guys are just the flip side of the same coin. A little club devoted to special pleading, scratching each other's backs and looking for a way to get your foot in the door without writing anything that anyone wants to read.


P.S. Independant bookstores will do anything to make enough money to survive. I'm sure if they thought anyone wanted to buy your work, they'd stock it.

- Leopold said...

Family money is a tricky thing? You can't expect that to be a reasonable argument! Ask Noah Cicero how many family houses he has, bought and paid for! How much does King have tied up in accounts 'he just can't access.' How many ULAers were born in big houses?

Moody then spent the grant money to buy overpriced art from his friends! This is the sort of trickle down Liberals always promise those on the bottom. Just like the publishing 'oh, keep trying. People DO get through...'

I'm not sure if you intend your patronizing to be well-meaning, but it is not taken as such. Yes, I am a decent person and I can spot a decent cause run by motivated, decent and, believe it or not, REASONABLE people when I see them. You attack Jeff Potter but I have found him to be one of the most reasonable and open minded members of the ULA. I've seen the playing field and I can smell what is truly 'rotten'.

And calling King a liar without backing it up is no less foolish than what you accuse us of. Do stop and consider that, if you reap what you sow, why places like McSweenys, moody, et al have arisen the wrath of groups like the ULA. If fighting to open up the literary world makes us full of shit, so be it. It's better than being a phoney.

- Leopold said...

'wild goose' - killer name. Any relation to Frantic Moose?

Did I defend him? I merely pointed out that he wrongly attributed the article while pointing out that Bam-Bam was equally incorrect for calling him a liar about THE ENTIRE POST when he obviously spent no time looking for the quote. It took me two minutes to find. I think this represents the amount of sincerity and time our detractors put into their argument before attacking our cause. See, they don't have to do research because they've already made up their minds.

If you'd been following this blog you'd know that King had previously been offered the Peace Treaty as an ultimatum by the book store for putting the books in that store.

I wonder what makes you lot so vitriolic? You've failed to prove any case for King being a 'liar'. At best he could be called on to be a better fact-checker, but it is just a blog after all. Are you prepared to hold all the lit-bloggers and demi-puppets to the same standard you hold us? I'd ask you to go through their blogs and judge the veracity of their statements about the ULA, but I know you've already made up your mind.

Your accusations that I am a blind follower are weak and completely unsubstantiated. They roll of like water, much like the literature of the people you spring to defend.

P.S. to you too: If indie bookstores will do anything to stay alive, would that not include pushing out little underground books to prevent bigger books pulling their support (or, alternatively, pulling offers to publish their workers on their website.)?

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Leopold. I did not say he was a liar about the entire post. I said he was lying about McSweeney's Eli Horowitz offering him a peace treaty. I said he was a liar because I know McSweeney's editors do not post on the McSweeney's website public statements. I did not need to check that because I know what McSweeney's does and does not publish. So let's review: King Wenclas says that Eli Horowitz offered him a peace treaty. This is at best wrong and at worst a lie. I'm gonna say it's a lie. I point out that this is not true. Further evidence reveals it is not true. Yet I am in the wrong, in your view. My goodwill toward you is rapidly evaporating. Actually, my willingness to post is rapidly evaporating. And W.G. is of course absolutely right: If that store in Philly thought it could sell ULA zeens, I'm sure they would. My posts and arguing to the contrary, the ULA is not really as important as you seem to think it is. Neither, for that matter, is McSweeney's, or Rick Moody (who didn't buy art with his Guggeneheim by the way--that was Franzen, or at least that's King's version of it--and the Guggenheim foundation is a private organization, not a government organization, which makes another ULA argument that Rick Moody is stealing tax payers' money equally false). Truth, guys! If you're its defenders, I'd hate to see its assailers.
The Bam

- Leopold said...

oh heavens! Your goodwill towards me is rapidly evapourating! Well, I better just change what I believe then.

You're claims to 'previous' wealth, to 'knowing what mcsweenys publishes and doesn't publish' paints you far from someone 'we represent' and very much as someone who came to this site with a pre-fab opinion of us.

Your knee-jerk interpretation of King's post was also wrong, at worst a lie. Hold yourself to the same standards.

And for the record, I did not mention anything about the Guggenheim.

Anonymous said...

But King is a liar about "THE ENTIRE POST." The first three sentences I've already debunked (more on that below) and the rest takes those lies as its premise. "Eli sounds disappointed...", when clearly Eli wasn't the one writing the article.

The fact that I don't regularly follow this post is, I think, to my credit given the level of thinking and writing you and the other clubhouse kids demonstrate. The fact that the "Peace Treaty" was offered previously BY THE BOOKSTORE, and that you all knew that, proves not only that King is a self-aggrandizing liar when he claims that it was offered by McSweeney's present editor , but that all his cronies reading the post knew he was lying. And that he knew you would all know he was lying. And that he knew none of you would call him on it, which none of you have.

"At best he could be called on to be a better fact-checker"? Are you joking, or do you just like being treated like an imbecile by your king? And you claim that my suggestions that you're a blind follower are unsubstantiated? Well, you've just substantiated them, comrade.

As for your postscript, your question isn't really quite clear (see above about the level of thinking and writing in this neck of the woods) but you seem to think that "big books" (by which I can only imagine you mean big publishing houses, unless you're more creative or delusional than I've given you credit for) support bookstores, which is not the case. Again, the bookstores are just trying to get by like everyone else - if they thought your work would help them do it, they'd sell it (or at least they'd try).

Anonymous said...

No, you didn't mention anything about the Guggenheim. You were just wrong about everything else. I also didn't admit to "previous" wealth. Quotes like that indicate a direct antecedent. This is called paying attention. It's called thought. It's occasionally called honesty. Writing is a kind of thought. Yours is bad because the thought is bad. I wish I could live on your Bizarro world, where you can be wrong but it's okay because you're not really, and the other side stinks, and it's okay to throw out wildly unsubstantiated claims while pretending to be the Truth and Justice squad, but when you get called on it, hey, don't mind us, it's only a fucking blog, jeez, but I can't live on Bizarro world, I have to live on earth, where facts actually sort of mean something, where complications that affect and disrupt my world view constantly accrue, where I am forced oftentimes to revise my opinions and rethink my positions. It's hard work, sometimes, being a human being on earth. I hope someday you'll come down and join me. In the meantime, have fun up there.
You Know Who

- Leopold said...

3 things and I'm done:

1) BB, you strike me as a particularly arrogant person the way you dole out 'goodwill' and 'praise' and insinuate you alone have the power to judge who (or what) is 'human.' The quality of your posts tell me you think of yourself as someone who knows it all and believes anyone who doesn't share your beliefs is delusional. There's little use continuing make my points over and over with someone who feels their unbiased platform is a perch high above all others. When I do try to be fair, you give out the 'aren't you such a good boy' treatment. You love to play the role of unbiased observer much beyond your ability to act it, sir.

2) Anyone who follows this blog would know what King meant in his post. You only have to go back a month to see the original post to which this references. You only have to search for a few mere seconds to find what he was referring to. All the evidence is at hand for anyone to see and judge. So, you can claim King is an idiot (which you'd love to claim) and just lets evidence of his 'lies' lie about in PLAIN view of everyone, or you can piece together from the previous information what he was actually saying. Most of the lies you see are just your interpretations based on omission of evidence.

You can see lies if you want, but I think the evidence does not stack up for you. You will disagree, of course, but that's all you do. At worst you could say he blatantly lied about the post being by Eli Whoever, but with a simple search (which the bastions of truth and integrity you claim to be couldn't even be bothered to do) anyone can see it was a mistake. The fact that you have to strain so hard to turn this into 'evidence' of lies shows how wobbly your platform is in the first place.

3) yes, it's only a blog. You are the ones making a huge deal out the posts here, correct, incorrect or otherwise. Again, I don't see you holding other blogs up to your insurmountable standard.

Anonymous said...

I'm almost done too.

When I see civility and reasonableness, I react in kind. When I see mindmeld groupthink and sophistry, I get irritated. No, it's probably not my place to get so irritated. I can see that what I wrote crossed the line into personal attack, and bothered you. I don't like spreading bad vibes. Good people can disagree with each other.

Now, then. If it's not my place to dress you down, how, then, is it your place to call people the things your group does? We can all hope to hold each other to the same high standards, but neither McSweeney's nor Maud Newton nor whoever publishes lists of "The Most Ridiculous Literary Figures," spreads accusations of corruption, and then says, "We're just having fun." Because bad vibes are not fun, as I think we've both established here today. The ULA is unfortunately one big Bad Vibe writ large. If you want to be in a group that engages in such careless hatred (and it is careless, and it is hatred), okay. But you can't blame people for wanting to throw it back in your face.

As unpatronizingly and non-arrogantly as I can manage to be (I know, it's hard), I wish you a good day.


Anonymous said...

Not me. I'm down with bad vibes when bad vibes are called for, but maybe I'm just that kind of goose. To wit:

Leopold, you ignorant slut,

"Insurmountable standard"? Simply telling the truth? The more evidence you cite, the clearer it is that King didn't make a mistake. The previous post about the "peace treaty" makes it clear that this was the bookstore managers' condition, not a McSweeney editor's. And now your defense is that it's such an obvious lie, in PLAIN view, that it couldn't possibly be a lie, because no one's that stupid? Well, the evidence says different.

The fact that you don't make an argument, but just suggest vaguely that damning evidence actually exonerates your hero, if I would only put the pieces together, is exactly the kind of conformist intellectual dishonesty that seems to pass for independent thinking in your group.

You seemed upset at the suggestion that you were a blind follower, but you're actually even more of a bitch than that. You see exactly what's going on but choose to ignore it. You would rather be lied to than stand on your own. Not me.

And your last gasp is certainly the most pathetic, that you don't see me holding other blogs to such high standards as telling the simple truth. The implication being: they lie just as much as we do, so leave us alone! A fine credo for "the controversial cultural watchdog group, Underground Literary Alliance".

In contradiction to one of your earlier posts, Leopold, it looks like you can be both full of shit and a phony.

Noah Cicero said...

"Seeing that Philadelphia native Karl Wenclas wasn't into my idea of showing up and signing an Agreement to Disagree."
Eli somebody.

That's from the McSweeney's site.

I found that in less than one minute using google.

Anonymous said...

No you don't, Noah. Dear Leader has failed. It's not Eli who says that, it's Matt Schwartz, the guy who wrote the post on the McSweeney's website. Eli Horowitz is not the author. Learn how to fucking read, or Google, or tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you just say "full of shit" and "phony" and another one of these mouth-bretahers crawls out from under a rock.

Thanks to the anonymous poster who broke this all down for Special Cadet Cicero. For all the insults hurled at anonymous posters, it seems they do a better job of explaining things than Noah's usual handlers. Not only can't he comprehend a simple article, he also didn't get what was going on from the context of the previous 24 posts.

No wonder you all have so much trouble reading more difficult fiction. Adam Hardin has already denounced all long books as postmodern tricks. And now this. It seems Noah's always treated as a 'special' case in ULA-land (a.k.a. Dumbfuckistan), so I'll try to go slow here.

Noah. Dear. You're a moron. But King's a liar. We all know you just don't get it. But he knows what he's doing, and he's making up stories to tell you and all your friends. Fake stories. To make himself look big.

Not nice.

Now go sleepy sleep.

Anonymous said...

The Demi-Puppets Victorious (Again)

The proof of the truth of what we say is in the silence of our opponents.

We've engaged in many debates and have won every one, big-time. I sometimes think I should let the other side score a few points now and then to keep them in the game.

In truth, those who represent the ULA have nothing to say, can only stand frozen in place in the face of unstoppable ongoing greatness.

(To nonaligned observers: It's easy to see who's won the argument. The ULA continues on with the same stale ways of thoughts and modes of operation while history laughs at them. The Demi-Puppets carry the power of ideas. History will judge our shows and books THIS year as the most noteworthy literary happenings of the day, because they mark literature's ongoing resistance to thuggery. The Demi-Puppets are creating a record, presenting our case, fighting off assholes. The ULA is presenting theirs-- the weakness of theirs-- now through their silence.)

But I'll admit that even I'm surprised at the feebleness of these people. No doubt this is the first challenge they've seen-- EVER-- to their way of thinking. "What do we do? What do we say?" the ULA jellyfish murmur fearfully among themselves as they huddle behind desks in their Youngstown and Philadelphia apartments.

M said...

The hist'ry is right here. I don't see why Karl would lie about something as stupid as this, he's a pretty upfront guy. That's not his style. Confrontational, yes. Liar? No.

Anyone who actually follows this blog will remember This blog, where Karl is refering to Molly's bookstore, and making peace with McSweeney's

M said...

By the way, that "Demi-Puppets Victorious (Again)" comment was particularly lame.

Do you dare to have an original thought? Or will you continue to copy and paste everything Wenclas has said?

Noah Cicero said...

You're right that is the wrong person. It's Matt Schwartz. Damn man, I'm sorry.

It looks more like Karl made a mistake then lied.

This lying shit is really lame.

honesty I don't know what is this all about. Just reading through and googled and found that. it seems like your screaming the word moron over and over like Bill O'Reilly screaming "shut up" over and over and over again.

The point of the post was that there was something on the McSweeney's site about signing an "agreement to disgree."

Grumpy Old Bookman spelled some guy's name wrong last week, how come there aren't thirty posts by you guys on his blog telling him he's an asshole and shit? His Terry Teachout post is the one I'm talking about. I better see thirty posts there by tomorrow or it can be considered that you have lost the arguement once again.

And Bam Bam you still have to answer some questions, don't you?

Anonymous said...

You fucking pussies! You accuse people of the most hideous corruption, tar people with labels of scum and plagiarism, mouth off and mouth off about the Truth, throw accusations every which way, and then, when it comes back at you in one tenth of the intensity you heave it out there en masse . . .

it was a mistake. leave us alone, bill o'reilly. come on.

Making a spelling mistake and trumpeting a peace offering that was never made by the person who is claimed to have made it are fourteen galaxies apart.

And it wasn't "lame" to cut'n'paste Karl's post, it was illustrative, you see, of the kind of demagoguery and baseless posturing you ULAers engage in.

Wenclas! We demand a retraction! You should resign! We're not going to shut up about this!

You see? Real irritating, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Okay, okay. Some people can't be helped.

You guys wanna be running dogs for your King, go ahead. "He's a pretty upfront guy. That's not his style..." "It looks more like Karl made a mistake then [sic] lied." Can't you at least hear what bitches you sound like? And other people misspell things, so what's the big deal if he changed the facts around to make it sound like someone outside of the mickey mouse club gives a fuck about him? Leave our daddy alone!

You guys clearly have the King's dick so far down your throats that you can't see his calculating mendacity for what it is. You run to see who can humiliate themselves the most, first. But that's okay. That's okay.

You seem happy. Being an apparatchik at least gives you something to be. It saves you from being all alone out there, in the wide, wild world, on your own two feet, thinking for yourself.

And the Wild Goose flies...

Anonymous said...

Noah, as ever your atrocious grammer are illuminating. You wrote:

It looks more like Karl made a mistake then lied.

This lying shit is really lame.

honesty I don't know what is this all about.

You meant:

It looks more like Karl made a mistake, then lied.

This lying shit is really lame.

honesty: I don't know what is this all about.

Anonymous said...

And yeah, "your atrocious grammer are illuminating" is ironical.

- Leopold said...

Making a lot of noise and making the same EXTREMELY TENOUS points over and over isn't the equivalent of winning the argument.

None of you have enough faith in yourself or your arguments to put forward your real names. Nor have you explained what you are doing, as opposed to us, that is of such benefit to literature. In fact, you don't even have your own blogs to do the things you accuse King of doing, so you do it here. It seems like all of you were just waiting around with baited breath for anonymous posting to come back.

Either you don't understand the arguments we make, or refuse to consider them, repeating over and over the parts that you think make your point when they are hilariously pathetic. Lying? Come on, you can do better than that. You accuse us of bile while you throw around the words pussy, bitch, liar, full of shit...at attached to the most flimsy argument known to elementry school children the world over.

We can take criticism, but please find something more substantive than 'lying' on a post about 50 words long that you can only support by taking out of context and putting words in King's mouth when he isn't here to explain himself. If you could see all the things you say attached to your real names, you wouldn't be so proud of yourselves.

Noah Cicero said...

that is really lame.

J.D. Finch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the MP said...

McSweeney's did want KK to sign a pact and wanted a picture of it too. It has occured to us too that there is in fact a third person a go between involved who is looking for favors, prestige from the Machine or whatever. It has occured to us too as it is obvious that Bam- Bam
and the other roper whatever know what the story is. Bam Bam's first vituperative kind of is a Freudian slip when he refers to the bookstore owner guy in reference to Molly's Bookstore. Bam Bam then proceeds to persuade, assuage, manipulate, and most importantly co-opt Leonard and Adam and even Noah to set them up (deludedly so)
for the real purpose of his entry into the fray: to confuse, confound, and latch onto like a Gila Monster Karl's slip up (which was probably brought on by the fact that Karl is constantly trying hard not to blow the cover of his informants and really tries to show integrity and professionalism as regards ULA's antagonists when he can, of course the Overdogs are another story rightfully). As for the Bookstore in question it is in cahoots with the McSweeney's machine especially the 215 Festival (an orgy of backslapping and ladder climbing incestuousness that annually walks all over our city). The underground writers and poets in Philadelphia are not included for the most part and only those who are apprenticed to the local nepotism anyway are and they are few and far between. Otherwise the Festival is an invasion of NY hacks and precocious posturing whores. It is a real insult to Philadelphia and deliberate despite whatever else one might think The proprietor in question has exhibited a narrowness of mind, an enforcement of views that raise up a style of writing and recitation that can only be refered to as the dreaded Iowan School while intentionally censoring, undercutting, and blacklisting (with the help of friends say at the Philly Voice website and its ilk) any other undergrounder which covers a lot of young and coincidentally minority (tho they do have their "token(s)")poets and writers who don't play ball with them or won't fit the Literary Establishment Factory formula they push. And for decades! As for Occam's razor Bam Bam it is part and parcel of the Liberal Fallacy that you're using such reasonable sounding allusions to wit to hide and obscure the hedonistic indifference and "silent treatment" so in vogue among your know toward those you know to be a threat. Gives an air of being above it all to your righteousness. What you call intention is really motive and you don't as a Liberal think people are well intentioned its just a way of putting them below your self. In fact you hate the people don't you. As you're leaning towrd mere sentimentality in your tastes betrays. Real emotions, conviction, naturalness disturb you like any other gangster. You are not a bad writer tho in fact fairly excellent. Appreciate that.

Noah Cicero said...

Bam Bam and Wild Goose, you guys are just lame.

Eggers, Foer, and Moody books are just lame.

MFA programs are lame also.

People who reduce themselves to spell checkers or grammar checkers are just lame.

A short play

(A man named Bob goes into his job at the office late one day. His boss Frank comes up to him)

Frank: Bob, you're late again.
Bob: Sorry boss my grandma died.
Frank: Bob, both of your grandma's died last month.
Bob: No, like my step dad's mom. She died.
Frank: Yeah, Bob.
Bob: No, I'm totally serious, my step dad's mom died, I have two more grandma's too.
Frank: Two more?
Bob: Yeah, and they are both really sick, and might die at any time.

That's what you lamos sound like.

Anonymous said...

Hey--whose turn was it to watch Noah? I think he got into the Captain Morgan's and shoe polish again.

Anonymous said...

Hey--whose turn was it to watch Noah? I think he got into the Captain Morgan's and shoe polish again.

Wild Goose

Jeff Potter said...

Bam-Bam and fellow Mouse---Store people, are ya? Eli in sheep's clothing? King's post sure touched a nerve, either way. It's no coincidence you've shown up now---kinda tips your hand. But, but, but...if Eli wasn't behind the Truce Offer, let him come out and say so! How about that? He doesn't need AnonyMousey lackeys to do it. Maybe King misread the blog-post, maybe he wasn't so far off... Let us wait and see FROM REAL PEOPLE.

When Scaredy-Cat slandered King/me we immediately called her on it, in our names, as being the party(s) maligned. See how it works? She made a mistake, but when she offered to apologize and DIDN'T that gets us mad. Moreover, there was no truth behind her moronic smear. But there may well be behind King's move! We shall see! (Ghosty whiners notwithstanding.)

It's hilarious to see you guys still going on and on with the "hard work pays off but maybe not for everyone" and the "you hate all MFAers" routine. Oh, it is to laugh!

We PROVE that the MFA system is a racket, that it's fixed, that it's unabashedly nepotistic and byzantine. We shout that the heavy reliance on such an embarrassingly weak system is behind the slump in American lit in recent decades. But we don't deny that there is occasional talent in MFA-land. Sure, a few squeak thru. Moody's 3,000 "natural readers of lit journals" may well be pleased by the product of their system---but who could know, the criticism isn't open or strong enough yet. (What's the real mood on campus, people? Can anyone say? Or do they all fear for their jobs, their tiny little dreams?) We're looking for bigger work, work that will have legs and impact. We keep raising the bar like no one else will dare to. We're also opening the gates. Let them have their cake, their precious coterie readers, their occasional brief flashes, we're going for bigger game. We're taking it to the streets.

It's not a zero-sum game, kids. You can have your 3,000!!! We're putting big ole additions onto this here house. A big pole barn is going up back. We're hauling a doublewide alongside and leaving it there. There goes the neighborhood! Call it an eyesore if you like but like the millions nationwide who do the same: we need the space!

Anonymous said...

Whenever I worry myself sleepless over what the McEggers crew is doing, I think to myself, "What Would Bicycles Locked To Poles do? Then I dig into Speak, Commentary while reading The Bellybutton Fiasco and cross-referencing it with the Neal Pollack Anthology of Literature. If I'm really worried I just open McSweeneys Issue 16 and soothe myself with the pocket comb that comes inside.

Then I remember that everything is bullshit, the truth is a lie, people just need to "chill out" and "shut the fuck up", and BE COOL, because anybody who aspires to higher things, who calls bullshit for what it is, who believes that literary fiction sales are plummeting in this country because readers are smarter than the clever authors--they know the fix is in--is a fucking NAZI, maaaaan...

But then I realize that it doesn't matter, because as Mr. Moody said, the only audience for literary fiction is 3,000 people, and we want to keep it that way, so shut the fuck up and leave us alone!!! I'm going to go read a novel about a rooster walking across the country.

Paragraph that not make sense know I. Care not fuck.

King Wenclas said...

For the record: I have a statement in writing from Jonathan Franzen saying he spent the NEA money on the artwork of a friend. Visit me in Philly sometime and you can see it.
Re: the Guggenheim. That's tax-SHELTERED money-- a huge pool of money from a wealthy family on which no taxes is ever collected. As these pools of money exist all over the place, the difference has to be made up by working grunts like you and me.
The Guggenheim family believed in charity and philanthropy. From an immigrant background, their intent, in creating the foundation, was to help struggling talented folks from lower-class backgrounds. At the notion that their money is going instead to the son of hyper-wealthy Old Money WASP bankers (the very people who discriminated against them back in the day, and caused families like the Guggenheims to have to build their own hotels, resorts, clubs, etc., at which to socialize) the Guggenhiems who worked for and made the money must be rolling in their graves.
Re Bam Bam. For an objective observer he sure seems obsessed with the ULA, and knows a lot of our history. Someone who hides behind a false identity, and misrepresents himself, is hardly an authority on who is or isn't lying.
Whatever else one can say about me, I didn't promise time and again, as Galley Cat has done privately (care to see the e-mails?) to post a correction, and then never do so!
Re the "peace treaty." That the idea was not approved by McSweeney's (if not come from them) is absurd on the face of it.
I'll concede that the purpose may have been as a way for Schwartz to ingratiate himself with the McSweeney's people-- which has been his goal for a long time. It's a short-sighted way of operating-- jumping on a bandwagon that stalled some time ago, on which the wheels are wobbly and likely to start falling off.
No doubt the ULA, as Frank indicates, has its work cut out for it in Philadelphia, which is still dominated by the presence of the book monopolies. (And so, "alternative" papers do cover stories on the latest well-hyped conglomerate book offerings, becoming mere extensions of the establishment machine.)
Will they cover a true alternative?
Does anyone want a choice?
Isn't all the noise being posted against the ULA here from people who can't stand the presence of different ideas-- who can't abide the notion that some people might actually DISAGREE? Gasp! A novel concept in the status quo lit realm.
Anyway, occasionally I'll allow anonymous comments just to make sure these people are still reading-- and still cowardly.
Have a good day!