East coast yupsters criticizing ULA writing probably at the same time listen to Bruce Springsteen on their stereos. (He was always popular with prep-types searching for a sense of reality.) Yet the ULA offers with writing what "The Boss" did with music. Listen to his "Rosalita" and see how Springsteen has substituted for slickness, polish, and musical rules and training-- musical "taste"-- his brand of immediacy, authenticity, and passion.
For Springsteen, rough grittiness, the expression of his background and life, IS the music-- not lilting harmonies and carefully placed exactly-hit notes.
No one argues that Springsteen isn't an important pop culture phenomenon. Well-schooled intellectualized rock critics have gushed over his relevance for decades. Yet these same kind of intellectuals close their minds to the true diverse roots-lit stylings and happenings of the Underground Literary Alliance.
What's striking about the ULA, in its appearances, publications, and its fan site, is how DIFFERENT it looks and sounds from mainstream literature. We're strikingly simple, strikingly "pop," strikingly real, strikingly new.
Lit critics who fail to awaken to the new zeitgeist will ultimately marginalize themselves. They appear to us already as obsolete dinosaurs, slow-thinking and heavy of foot, placidly munching weeds and cabbage while the world dynamically changes around them.