Friday, October 06, 2006

Distorting the Message

The only way demi-puppet defenders of the established castle can cope with the Underground Literary Alliance is to distort our protests into flimsy straw men which they're then able to knock over.

This happens again and again-- most notably in Bruno Maddox's Black Book Magazine article on us which was riddled with falsehoods-- such as the idea that George Plimpton "beckoned us into" the literary realm, when the truth is that we beckoned HIM into our show, at an open-bar press conference paid for by us. Old Literary Lion George was merely courageous enough, (unlike younger members of his peer group since) to meet us to exchange words and ideas. Or maybe he couldn't turn down a free offer. (He and his staff left the venue like whipped pups, but that's another matter.)

Demi-puppets now can only distort. And so, our protests buttressed by facts, arguments, and position papers filled with evidence-- as with our "Howl" action-- are dismissed as "drunken heckling." THEY engage in name-calling and personal attacks; not us.

The most blatant example of distortion was in a 3/18/2004 article by Edward Keenan on the site. He portrays our questions about Ben Greenman's "tree" story as being about simply that. (Or, as a lit-blogger also distorted, the story supposedly wasn't "transgressive" enough.)

Yet what we were asking for when we visited a big Insider event at Housing Works in January 2003 was a discussion about the looming war. We gave the tree story as an example of irrelevance-- at a time when our society was facing a much larger event; something certainly more meaningful to write about. Going to war-- a mighty, tragic thing with enormous implications which need to be thought about before the irreversible step is made. A step which has to be addressed by the society's "best and brightest"-- which used to mean, society's writers. In his piece, Edward Keenan mentions none of this-- though he had access to our own write-ups of that night.

Can anyone today argue that our concern wasn't right-- that THEN was the time to organize noise about the war, instead of behaving like unconcerned aristocrats at a ball?

The sad part of it all is that they're still at the ball, quaintly snickering or gushing over the foppish silliness of a John Hodgman while the Deluge awaits outside. . . .

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