Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Rival League


PEOPLE HAVE QUESTIONED whether the ULA is anti-business, based on our attacks on the monopolistic business that is literature today.

We're not at all anti-business. We're creating a new way for writers to conduct business, that's all, drawing from DIY philosophy. OUR business will have no skyscraper hierarchies; no well-bred overpaid Morgan Entrekins in posh offices making decisions for and about writers who dangle helplessly like puppets outside his office window.

Morgan stares at statistical sheets. Outside, a feeble voice: "Please publish me!" Entrekin hears nothing.

By not looking for America's authentic voices, the book corporations narrow their choices to a list of manufactured homogenized writers who in background and training are basically the same.

The Underground Literary Alliance is designed to compete with them. We're an upstart league. "ULA; ULA!" Our league will rise or fall based on the quality of our product; the players on the field.

A Question: Who's presenting the authentic voice of America now; the book giants, or us?

The giants hand people mainly the inauthentic sound of a well-screened sliver of 10% of the population. Everything else belongs to us; writers working traveling struggling and surviving amid the populace.

Do we really want imitation wit (more a half-wit) John Hodgman representing our culture? Really? Is there substance to his work? Reality? Humanity? Doesn't his book fall apart into meaningless pieces after the first amused look at it?

Writers like Hodgman aren't even a pimple on the ass of North American life. They represent themselves; a tiny secluded McSweeneyite clique of witty literati congregated at a table at the front of an exclusive cafe; sitting in a sound-proof room with heavy drapes over the windows shutting out the merest glimpse of streets and life. Isolated; preserved; preening; destined only to be museum pieces.

COMING SOON is a novel by one of the ULA's own humorists: Wred Fright. His novel is about the adventures of a Falstaffian cast of characters in a Midwestern rock band. The humor is broader than Hodgman's. It represents the broadness, the noise, the insanity, the hilarity of contemporary American life.

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