Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Pomo Con

In a eulogy to David Foster Wallace in Harpers, Zadie Smith refers to "pomo relativity" as she and other esteemed commentators gush over DFW's writings. It all comes across like Keith Gessen defending global warming-- hysteria and bluff contradicted by the real world.

This is the point: to pomo thinkers, reality is what they say it is. It's all relative; i.e., made-up.

DFW produced an outpouring of verbiage and was a very sensitive guy, but he was no literary artist. He literally had nothing to say, in that the end of his thoughts was: nothing. Like the solipsistic ruminations of his character on a diving board, his art ends in a void. Is this what the public wants from its writers? Pomo lit is a dead end, a sad waste of effort. The worst period of American literature. It consist of armies of expensively trained writers who like Foster Wallace expend gargantuan numbers of words saying nothing.

How do they get away with it? As their writings are largely incomprehensible, but LOOK impressive at first glance, readers assume they are. That the reader gets nothing from it is his own fault! (So it's thought.) Perhaps a tiny Elect does get something from it-- the pomo gang themselves. A circular argument. "WE are great because WE say we are." A swiftly-spinning spaceship rising higher and higher into the void, away from the general public.

Only in the Lit World

Only in the lit world are standards suspended, so that a nice guy apparatchik can win multiple awards and be eulogized nationally as a great poet while being hardly a poet at all.

It would be like in football if an inept friend of a team's owner were allowed to suit up and run with the ball during a game, and score, real players not permitted to touch him. Hey, he's a nice guy! A good friend of Ms. Thernstrom up in the owner's box. Let's give him the Super Bowl trophy while we're at it.

Isn't this how the lit world operates?

How much of this nonsense are we expected to stomach?

Line up the Academy's most awarded poets, Ashbery on down, I'll pick undergrounders who'll blow them out of the water.

Staying on Course

One of my problems when leading the Underground Literary Alliance was simply this: people joined who wanted the ULA to be what it wasn't. It was never intended to be a go-along-to-get-along organization. It could never adopt the motto of "Don't Make Waves." There are 50,000 other writers groups which fit that category. The ULA was meant to be different: THE MOST RADICAL LIT-GROUP THE ART HAS EVER SEEN. Only when it gets back to that reality will it make fast headway.


What are the foundations of literature's three main intellectual movements?

1.) For the Eggers gang, pomo nonsense.

2.) For N+1, the heritage of Partisan Review, which swung irrationally from Marxism to Neoconservatism, with a dash of CIA tossed in.

3.) By contrast, the literary Rebellion has its roots in American folk writing.

#3 is the better platform.

2008 Wrap-Up

In 2008 the literary Rebellion lost some of its major opponents: Jason Shinder; John Leonard (who referred to the "black flag" of the ULA); and David Foster Wallace, godfather of the Eggers cult.

If we push the tottering facade of the literary Establishment, it will collapse. The way mandarins vanish, I'm afraid of pushing too hard!

I suggest that rather than trying to block the inevitable, they abdicate now. They can live off their royalties, their inflated reputations, and their trust funds.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Times Tribute

I seem to be getting a new flurry of readers-- and anger-- here due to a 12/28 tribute to deceased "poet" Jason Shinder in the 12/28 New York Times written by Melanie Thernstrom. People googling his name have come to this blog.

The Underground Literary Alliance encountered Mr. Shinder in 2006 during our "Howl" protest at Columbia University. He was decidedly in the camp of literary Overdogs. ULA poet Frank Walsh debated Mr. Shinder on a NYC radio show beforehand. ULA clown Eric Jellyboy stood face-to-face with Mr. Shinder on the Miller Hall stage at the event itself.

Here's the point: Jason Shinder was a literary bureaucrat, and hardly a poet at all. Walsh, by contrast, is a genuine poet who does amazing things with the art form-- wordplay, rhythmn, sound, music, in the great tradition of poets ranging from Dylan Thomas back to the Bard himself.

Why has the literary world accepted absolute mediocrity-- so it's trumpeted in the pages of the nation's leading newspaper?

Isn't it right for those of us who retain our common sense and love of literature to speak up?

The literary world apparently is controlled by well-educated brainwashed puppets.

(Interesting bio of Melanie Thernstrom, by the way. She typifies the Insider's Insider. Harvard grad, married at the Harvard Club to a Rhodes Scholar; her parents a "prominent neoconservative" intellectual who works for well-funded foundations, and a tenured Harvard prof. Yes, there IS a clique of well-connected folks who control intellectual thought in America, and have led it into a dead end of stagnant irrelevance. The proof is in front of us.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The objective of the ULA was always to create an actual movement. The ULA was put together NOT to be yet one more tepid writer collective or small-press venture, but a dynamic machine of rebellion. The intent was to bond writers to the movement, which is why in its early years we had emphasis on membership; why I cranked out many membership materials, zeens, and newsletters expressing the goals, successes, and doctrine of the ULA.

The movement moved when we had direction and coordination. ALL the historic actions which made it unique were a result of planning. Our historic actions of tremendous excitement created the ULA's legacy.

No movement grows without making demands on its membership: obligations of commitment and loyalty. Did we ask for too much? We didn't ask for enough.

The task is to rebuild a vehicle of literary Rebellion; to find new teammates and new leaders-- leaders willing to lead into new territories of the culture, the art, and the mind, in so doing to create more literary history.

(See also the post "Inertia" at www.happyamericaliterature.blogspot.com)

King Wenclas Promotions

This is the temporary name of a new unit I'll be creating as vehicle for my activities. I hope to work with the ULA on joint ventures in 2009.

I leave open the possibility of placing KWP as wholly autonomous p.r. "action" unit within the ULA, stress on the word autonomous.

KWP is my first step in preparation for a renewed campaign.


The literary Rebellion was in an uptrend until late 2003, with seemingly unstoppable momentum generated by simultaneous articles in Black Book, The Believer, Glasgow Herald, Brown Daily Herald, and many other places.

Early in 2004 the Eggers/Amazon story hit in the New York Times. Membership and interest in our cause were at a peak.

Since then, one could chart a flattening, even a decline caused by the impact of dissension within the main vehicle, the ULA.

The counter-rebellion which was implemented by the ULA's enemies was successful, when one considers that some of the underground's major figures now reside in a ULA-like outfit created by the rebellion's overdog opponents to be a harmless version of the ULA. I believe this was part of an intentional strategy. The counter group's expressed motives fit perfectly with arguments made here by establishment demi-puppets like Daniel Handler ("Jimmy Grace"); chiefly the thesis that DIY means remaining forever marginalized.

The attempt to discredit literary rebels didn't succeed completely-- not yet anyway. There's hope that many writers will open their eyes-- setting the stage for the Rebellion's re-emergence and eventual victory.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Prelude to a Story

IT'S EASY to know when people are hiding and lying. Like with the Paris Review/CIA matter. Every revelation has been dragged forward; grudgingly made.

Richard Cummings said that Peter Matthiessen had been a CIA agent. No one admitted anything. Many disbelieved him. Cummings turned out to be right.

This meant nothing-- literati claimed-- didn't touch the magazine. "There's nothing here; nothing to see!" they blandly insisted while hiding something obvious behind their back, as if dealing with three-year olds. "You're simply mistaken."

Now the admission is made by individuals talking vaguely and quickly that Paris Review was indeed founded with CIA money. Beyond this, no one knows anything. Matthiessen, recent National Book Award winner, is having trouble with his memory, but has come forth with one word: "Fleischmann."
(To be continued.)

Panicked Literature

I wish fellow undergrounders knew the panic reaction I generate every time I prod the literary beast-- panic that's a sure sign of weakness. pampered mainstream creatures like Daniel Handler have studied this blog assiduously, spending far more time on it than I do!

Panic was the reaction we worked to achieve. The rebellion stalled when it panicked its own writers.

Yet-- sustain pressure on the bankrupt literary system and it will give way. It's there for the taking as surely as great Xochimilco was there for bold Cortes and his tiny band. The difference is, we need not arms, but words and ideas.

Will They Do It?

Is there anyone left who doesn't realize the global warming hysteria was a hoax?

There is no extreme global warming. The ice caps aren't going to melt. The weather is what it's always been: variable.

The trendy jet-set New York lit journal N+1 made global warming a centerpiece of their periodical. Will they admit they were wrong?

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The most privileged, most Insider segment of today's literary machine spent much energy and many hours trying to destroy the literary rebellion. They failed.

The Dinosaur

I've landed a blow on the literary establishment, which stands before us like a helpless dinosaur. Are other independent writers willing to follow up?

On Unions

I grew up in a union family. When I was a kid my father took me to his local UAW union hall for their Christmas show. In the summer we younger children were sent to the union summer camp. The diversity of races there showed the diversity of the union movement; a way to bring all classes into the mainstream of America.
Contrary to popular belief, corporations are not a natural part of a free market. They're artificial legal constructs, large abnormalities, which when they become too large inhibit the market's free movement. Industrial unions were created as a way to balance these abnormal growths. Otherwise it'd be the lone individual pitted against the monstrous machine-- a situation in which the individual would be crushed.

There are some in this society of standing and means who wish to break the lower classes; who wage eternal class war against those below them. To them, the labor peace which existed for decades is anathema. Using globalist economics as pretext, they know only how to destroy. This behavior for them is suicidal.

Is not the same mindset present in the literary world?

My Intent

My intent remains to rebuild the machine of literary rebellion. The goal is to make DIY-spawned writers a player in the literary world, as we've been close to doing-- in so doing, to rescue our nation's misguided and moribund literature. This can be accomplished along several avenues.

Through our ideas and our principles we'll sweep all before us. Given our lack of resources, it's in this area where we can best compete. To refuse to engage the mainstream AS FORCEFULLY AS POSSIBLE is to accept defeat before the game's begun. Our ideas are the necessary engine to propel us through the literary maelstrom, against vastly more numerous and better financed competitors-- competitors without character, drive, originality, or vision.

The rebellion needs DIY writers who believe in their art. It's no time for head-in-the-sand hobbyists.

Products have an important role to play in the movement if they're part of a coherent plan, an agreed-to strategy.

Past is past. The literary rebellion will move along the open road if it puts aside past internal disagreements. Trust, cohesion, camaraderie, honesty, loyalty, are the foundations of a successful movement.

The vehicle of this movement, whether the ULA or something new, will be that which best adapts itself to the needs of the cause.

To the Underground

Having no plan is not a plan.
Having no leadership is not leadership.
Having no drive drives you nowhere.
Peace with all leaves you where you are.
A literature of change has to engage the culture it wishes to change.
Ignoring the literary world keeps you ignored by the literary world,
standing at the edge of a forest echoing your words to trees and squirrels.

The Threat

Demi-puppet "Harland" is threatening to "flag this blog" if I don't print his retraction. He says, "I am not any of those people you mention."

But who is "I"?

I'm under no obligation to print anything from an anonymous person; from a ghost like Harland who doesn't exist-- or from anyone.

"Harland does NOT=Handler
Harland does NOT=Moody
Harland does NOT=Eggers."

Which is curious, because I have the "I am Spartacus" Harland post of 9/5 under Handler's ISP#. Perhaps I got the time wrong. I'll double-check.

I have Moody and Eggers as the main suspects, nothing more, as they are. No, I don't know for sure-- if I did I wouldn't have asked the question.

What I know is that Harland was posting from San Fran, then from both Brooklyn and San Fran, then when I confronted Handler with my evidence he dropped, and Harland has been "Brooklyn" alone. I'll dig up the Brooklyn ISP#'s so maybe we can track down his identity, and know for sure.

I know that someone who lives on Fisher's Island was a regular reader when I was focusing on my Literary Mystery saga-- logged onto that blog on 8/31 alone for four hours. Mr. Moody is certainly a suspect.

IF two people on both coasts were sharing Harland, one of them Handler, then the other guy would have to be someone he knows-- like a Moody or Eggers. Daniel Handler himself can answer the question.

Anyway, if "Harland" is NOT Eggers or Moody, why is he so frantic?
What does flagging this blog mean? Will he have it shut down, as happened to www.penpetition.blogspot.com for no apparent reason?

Stay posted.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Curious, Isn't It?

The literary establishment doesn't want people reading this blog. It's not linked by major lit sites like Arts and Letters Daily, nor by leading lit-blogs. It's generally considered beyond the pale.

Yet members of the lit-establishment themselves are among my most avid readers! I couldn't chase them away with a crowbar.
What's the solution? It's up to YOU independent readers of Attacking the Demi-Puppets to get the word out. Tell two friends, and have them tell two friends. . . .

What's good enough for Overdogs should be good enough for everybody.

Who Is It?

One main demi-puppet remains to be unmasked-- the individual who's been sharing the "Harland" identity with Daniel Handler. The major suspects:
1.) Rick Moody, Poster Boy of Literary Corruption.
2.) Dave Eggers, who has a history of this kind of behavior.

Enough people already know the answer. Anyone talking?

End Game

This blog may be nearing an end, as Detroit nears an end and I'll have to scramble to survive. (I should be able to keep posting until January.)

At least ATDP is close to winning the intellectual battle against the corruption of the established literary world.

The two main rivals to the literary rebellion have been discredited.

N+1 is exposed as ridiculous while record low temperatures and ice storms spread across America from west to east. N+1 embraced the most extreme panic-theory of global warming. At the hand of nature, their theories have collapsed. Worse, they're unable to question them, and so need to stop calling themselves intellectuals. They have no credibility.

Neither does the McSweeney's gang, a collection of liars and dirty tricks artists. A harsh statement, but wholly accurate.

Behind these groups stands the corrupt literary establishment, which embraces a cover-up of the CIA stain that spread through the American literary world for fifty years, including major journals like Paris Review and Partisan Review-- and is a symbol of restrictive puppet-master control of American literature.

The solution is to junk it all and start over.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Keep It Simple

Here's the outline:
-Daniel Handler posting here as Jimmy Grace.
-Mole X connected to Handler fake letter story.
-X splits from ULA in 2007 to distract from Jimmy Grace and Paris Review/CIA stories.
-Handler attacks me late November '08 to distract from Paris Review/CIA story.

Bottom line: Much effort spent by literary establishment to derail this blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Mole Plot

Keep in mind that Dave Eggers was conducting a dirty tricks campaign against the ULA from as far back as 2004, when he himself was caught posting anonymous comments against the ULA on Amazon, as outlined then in a New York Times story.

IT APPEARS that the Eggers camp placed an operative within the ULA, who could be triggered at an appropriate time to cause dissension within ULA ranks.

That triggered event was when five ULAers broke with the outfit early in 2007. This occurred because I was pushing forward on two stories: 1.) The Paris Review/CIA connection; 2.) a ULA "Monday Report" on the identity of Jimmy Grace, a demi-puppet.

Can we tie the mole-- "X"-- to these two stories as motivation for his behavior?

-"Jimmy Grace" turns out to be millionaire author and Eggers friend Daniel Handler. (My speculation had Grace as Handler's good friend Stephen Elliott. I was close-- too close for comfort.)

-Handler has showed his concern over the Paris Review matter by sending me an e-mail with attached faked message purporting to be from me. This was in fast response to my recent post about Peter Matthiessen's National Book Award. (Matthiessen is at the center of the CIA controversy.)

-The person, "Quilty10," who sent me a warning about Handler's fake Ruminator letter in 2005 can be traced to a then ULA member-- the same ULAer who triggered the walkout from the ULA in 2007.

-We thus have the mole, "X," connected independently to Handler. We have X, in his own words in 2007, upset by my Paris Review and Jimmy Grace stories. We have Daniel Handler upset by the same Paris Review issue now, and BEING Jimmy Grace.

(Incidentally, Daniel Handler was a host at the recent black-tie National Book Awards, presenting an award not to Matthiessen, as he falsely claimed to me in his e-mail, but to the Youth category winner. He stands at the heart of establishment literature.)

The smaller story is the concentrated effort by some of the richest, most connected writers in America to harass and destroy the ULA.

The bigger story is the lit-establishment's frantic concern over the Paris Review/CIA matter, to the extent of having a major literary figure posting hundreds of anonymous remarks on my blog and sending me harassing e-mails.

Some of the evidence I have about this will be posted below as comments.


Detroit and Michigan are in the midst of an economic tsunami. The populace is filled with despair and anger.

As this was happening I heard on the radio "Blood and Roses" by the Smithereens, one of the best rock bands of all time. I thought of the movie "Smithereens," an overlooked masterpiece from the early 1980's.

Detroit is in smithereens.

What escape is there when the world collapses but to plunge into art?

What I Hate

Worst is the Elvis Presley/Amy Grant "White Christmas," with Amy Grant's tiny voice intruding on an outstanding Presley vocal performance.


The noteworthy point about the new generation of intellectuals is that they QUESTION NOTHING except that which they are directed to question. Which is how they can seriously discuss global warming in the middle of a snowstorm. Which is how N+1 can publish a story of solipsistic nonsense like "Your Name Here" and scarcely anyone raises a whisper of protest.

Some of them want to, you know, but they're waiting for the right sign, the correct wink or nod: a proper signal from someone appropriately designated as a trendy and approved spokesperson.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Model of a Movement

In hindsight, it was naive of me to expect honesty and truthfulness from McSweeneyites, when truthfulness is the antithesis of everything they stand for. Not telling the truth is their aesthetic and philosophical foundation.

The Philosophy of the Lie. For readers like me who seek the truth from literature, fictionalized or not (fiction is often truer because it digs deeper), the past ten years of mainstream lit has been an utter waste. The many books, journals, ultra-expensive and thick copies of McSweeney's produced by this crowd has nothing to offer. Their literary era has been a lost decade: a gigantic accummulation of posing, lies, UNwisdom; untruthfulness. It may as well be consigned to a trash bin, the entire mountainous overpriced mass of it, for all its worth.

In hindsight, McSweeneyism is the perfect parallel to what's happened in this nation's financial realm: a massive expense of money; a brief, glittering Manhattan lifestyle, resulting in: nada. Nothing. No value. Utter worthlessness. Worthless bonds. Worthless literature.

The face of their literary movement should be John Hodgman, since his work so perfectly embodies it: anti-truth. The intentional Lie. The complete artistic and intellectual Fraud.
Unlike the Hodgmans and Handlers of the world-- whose every feckless and childish thought finds print-- I've had very little actually published. One essay I wrote in 1994 for North American Review I'm particularly proud of: "Detroit: Among the Lower Classes." In it I tried to speak the truth about a major American city. The essay gives necessary background for what's happening in Detroit now and is MORE relevant today than when it was written, which should be the goal of literature.

Note to a Mole

I'll get to a number of points of this (counterrebellion) story, trying not to overwhelm the reader with a mass of data I've accummulated. The best way to do it is to remain focused on the story's key points:
A.) The Bigger Story.
B.) Moles.

"B" is important because it has implications for the ULA, past and future. Right now the question is one mole, who I've called "Guildenstern" at Literary Mystery.

There may be no more scorned figure in literature and life than the turncoat, for good reason. He's disliked by everyone-- disliked most by those who employ him. Noteworthy to me is how little the person ever gains-- while losing so much in self-respect and reputation.

I think of an earlier mole, "Rosencrantz," who left the ULA with a splash of outrage, received a brief write-up by ubiquitous Maud, then returned to the status of literary pariah.

What motivates these people?

Two things. 1.) Lack of faith. 2.) Ego.

Benedict Arnold, for instance, didn't believe the colonists could win. Temporary setbacks encouraged his pessimism. At the same time, being fairly brilliant, he had contempt for Washington's abilities. George Washington wasn't the sharpest guy around, in that age of brilliance, but he trumped others with his steadfastness and his honesty-- the very qualities Benedict Arnold didn't have.

Ego: many who came into the ULA weren't impressed with me. I have many failings. They didn't feel it just that I'd received so much publicity, when they were clearly more capable.

It's been sad then to see both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern stumble about in what I call the ULA-Replacement Inocuous Nonentities Enterprise (U.R.I.N.E.), which is a kind of ULA without the activism or the noise. It's a home for declawed hobbyists. Everyone wears a smiley face. Nobody makes waves-- ever. Not quite the forum for R. and G. to display their own leadership abilities. One doesn't lead a cause among those who reject any cause.

"Fantastic! Great!" In such a place, compliments and plaudits have no meaning, because they're given to everybody.

Oh: About "A." I'll discuss the bigger picture another day.
It occurs to me that if Guildenstern related his history of being a mole, then for once he'd have a story to tell.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Main Player

The main person behind attacks on myself since 2005 has been best-selling author Daniel Handler. It seems insane on the surface that he'd waste his time in this way, but the documented evidence speaks for itself. One possible motivation is that he's good friends with Dave Eggers and Rick Moody, who've been two of the ULA's major targets.

Handler began in 2005 with the Ruminator fake letter. (Search this blog for info.) Completely fake: the original and its envelope never presented; the Ruminator curiously shutting down shortly thereafter. This was, in fact, fraud; possibly libel.

Handler, though, didn't stop his game-playing. Here's an e-mail I recently received, FAKED e-mail attached purporting to be from me. (Written not in my voice, but a caricature of my voice.)
Saturday, November 29, 2008 5:41 PM
"Daniel Handler"
As usual, I have no idea what you're talking about. I gave the NBA to the author I thought deserved it most. If you actually read the book I think it would please you. As usual, my offer of a drink and a debate stands.

Date: Friday November 28th 2008 2:12:14 PM PST
To: Daniel Handler
Subject: We're watching.
Saw you at the National Book Awards giving the prize to the CIA. If you were as brave as you say you'd take our challenge but you're a coward like all the rest.
--King Wenclas
Note the exchange's topic and timing. An obvious attempt to intimidate me-- which led me to other revelations.

The Handler Problem


There's a funny thing about the Internet. Contrary to what the anonymice who lurk on it believe, there's no privacy on the Internet. None whatsoever. Every post can be tracked. Every sent e-mail leaves fingerprints pointing to its source, and if there are no fingerprints, it wasn't sent. Every attempt to delete or change the fingerprints leaves its own fingerprint.

The Handler problem is that he's been circulating faked e-mails which aren't from me. Any attempt to prove them real would instead demonstrate their fakery. Forgeries can be shown to be forgeries. He would only dig himself deeper.

I've had few dealings with the person-- an exchange of a dozen or so e-mails (and reading masses of his anonymous blog postings)-- but even with that find him to be a pathological liar; in his intrinsic corruption, the living embodiment of everything this blog stands against. His mendacious personality proves every point about the literary world I ever made. His friends, those who know him, have to also know his personality and what he's been doing.

Who are these friends, you ask?

Why, his famous colleagues; literary luminaries like Mr. Eggers, Mr. Moody, Mr. Sedaris, and Mr. Elliott. One or more of them may have even been involved with the childish children's author in his childish games.

How far do they want to go down the path with him? Do they want to go down with him?

That's for them to decide. As for myself, I'd say the game is up. It's time to turn on the lights.

Eye Opener

The last few months have confirmed for me that both the Right and the Left are anti-populist, and act against the interests of the American people. We won't have true intellectual freedom until we destroy the tops-down scam of the yin-yang Right-Left paradigm.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unmasking a Demi-Puppet

Here is one small part of a widespread assault.

This past summer an anonymous person went onto my wikipedia entry and made a personal attack. (Not the first time this happened.) The individual's ISP number is clearly visible on the log (posting history):

I was able to trace this number to its source: one Terri Wilson of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Who is she? How does she know me? I have no idea.

It seems an indication of the extent to which opponents of this blog will go to discredit it: using unconnected third parties. It's scary.

I've e-mailed Ms. Wilson several times, and left a message on her voice mail, to no response. No explanation. No denial.

What's her motivation? Was this done on her own? If not, who put her up to it?

Counter-Rebellion Goals


The goals of the counter-insurgency against the literary rebellion-- which I've been writing about in fictionalized form at the Literary Mystery blog (yes, I'm behind on it)-- were several. One of the objectives was to discredit me with the larger literary community, and also with the ULA itself.

The latter was accomplished in a couple ways.

A.) To make it look like any stalls in group progress were due to the noise I was making. (Never mind that the ULA gained a national profile through such noise.)

An example of this was blogger Dan Green combining an attack on myself with a positive review of ULA books. This created the illusion: "If only. . . ." If only Wenclas wasn't around, the books would be a great success. I knew the implications as soon as I read his post-- that my days of activity with the ULA were numbered.

B.) The use of at least one mole within the ULA.

The ULA campaign, which assumed strong blowback against us, could work only if the team was completely united. It was a short-cut up the mountain, but an extremely difficult short-cut. To have individuals within the group, plants or not, questioning every aspect of the campaign created fingerpointing, backbiting, and doubt-- especially among those who'd been hesitant about the strategy and tactics from the start.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


If there's nothing to the Paris Review/CIA matter, why is it an issue no one wants me to discuss?

For a related story see my post at


"The Great Reaction: The Attack on American Literature from Within."


For all their supposed differences, the McSweeney's and N+1 gangs intersect at the literary power center of Columbia University, which serves as a base for both camps. (The Believer's staff was/is dominated by Columbia grads, with relatives on the faculty.) What the two groups represent are different masks for the same literary establishment.

Will the mock-revolutionaries at N+1 look into the Paris Review/CIA story? Of course not! One of their sponsors is Robert Silvers, co-founder of New York Review of Books. (Originally a creation of Random House, according to Richard Kostelanetz. See R.K.'s Crimes of the Culture.) Silvers was a good friend of George Plimpton's, and for a time an important Paris Review editor.

These various literary groups, so alike in members, demographics, temperament, and voice, will go through contortionist philosophical analyses of the intellectual import of trendy issues like global warming. Will they analyze the workings of the literary machine; the wheels of literary culture? Never! That would be to shine a flashlight upon themselves.


There has in fact been a harrassment campaign against me and the ULA-- starting at least as far back as 2005. I've been delaying posting about it for two reasons.:
1.) I don't fully understand the motivations of those directly involved, and so wonder if others are behind them.
2.) I'd prefer if one or all of those involved came forward on their own.

The harassment campaign is manifested by fraud and dishonesty. Its ultimate goal is to derail opposition to things-as-they-are in the literary world.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Phony Dissent

FROM the stooge team at the intellectually bankrupt journal N+1 there's an air of unreality as well as much unintentional comedy.

An example of this is a recent post at editor Keith Gessen's blog-- www.keithgessen.tumblr.com/post/61136531/walzer-afterthoughts-- in which Jet-Setter Gessen lauds Michael Walzer of Dissent magazine as a "Menshevik."

Now, hold it a minute. This is game-playing. The real Mensheviks were underground radicals who spent their activist careers on the margins; harassed by authorities; their ideas shut out by their society. Many of them were imprisoned or lived in exile.

Michael Walzer on the other hand is a house intellectual who writes for a jargon-filled journal which is a threat to nobody. As a 501c(3) it's approved and regulated-- funded by rich people-- an organ of the state.

When the ULA did its "Howl" protest at Columbia University in 2006-- an event staged by real outsiders-- "Menshevik" Walzer wouldn't leave his nearby office to see what we were doing. To the system pet, we grubby undergrounders would've appeared and sounded completely alien.

Wake up, Keith! Do you have any sense of reality? You're one of the culture's most approved writers, part of a staff of New York salon intellectuals who wear their academic credentials like the badges of conformity that they are. Some of us out here aren't approved and aren't posing.

Say what you will about me, but what you get on this blog is the genuine article-- an authentic samizdat writer.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


From the perspective of the industrial Great Lakes states, and the nation as a whole, the prospect of losing the three U.S. auto companies is an impending cataclysm.

This is a huge subject which ties into the theme of the literary rebellion, which began in 2000 with the creation of the Underground Literary Alliance, whose founders were from Detroit and related heartland areas.

Our theme from the start was the monopolistic dominance of New York in literature and the arts. We showed again and again in our writings and actions the immense power and wealth of Manhattan compared to the heartland; the chasm in standing and attitude.

We see with the financial mess-- SPAWNED ON WALL STREET yet destroying our nation's industry-- that the chasm has widened. Wall Street gets $700 billion and more with no strings and no questions. The already devastated heartland gets not a fraction of this.

A related story is whether ideological greens want to destroy the auto industry, and maybe all industry, which is why I've questioned the insane philosophy of the New York lit journal N+1.
(Here's the contrast in a nutshell: I'm the son of a Detroit autoworker and I've been an autoworker. As a literary promoter and writer I've been strictly Do-It-Yourself. I've received hardly a penny from anyone-- save the occasional free beer or ten-spot. The face of literary corruption on the other hand, Hiram F. Moody III-- recipient of unending promotion and taxpayer-subsidized largesse-- is the son of a powerful New York money center banker. Could the divide be greater?)
I invite New York media people and literary intellectuals to visit and tour Detroit, to see the enormous tragedy which has already happened here because of the folly of globalist economics.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Watch for It

This blog's major opponents-- and it has major opponents-- will be making renewed attempts to discredit me.


I've had a nice e-mail exchange with the Nation's Laura Flanders, who informs me "RadioNation" will be going off-the-air, so she won't be able to step down as requested anyway.

I hope she understood my point that average American people need to start representing themselves.

Aristocrat types eager to speak for the bottom half of society do so for one of two reasons:
1.) They think we're dolts incapable of coherent speech.
2.) They take the "Citizen Kane" approach that it's safer for themselves if they speak for us.

If the Nation begins to acknowledge the print underground, DIY writers and ideas, they won't have us as opponents. It's their choice.

The so-called Left, so dominated by the upper-class, makes a huge strategic mistake when it pushes away the very working class it professes to represent.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pass the Word

Spread the word about this blog, which is going again full-bore. I have some awesome posts upcoming in the next few weeks, entertaining and informative, like nothing you've read.

The most striking literary criticism to be found is: right here.

Cracks in the Castle

From the start all I've wanted is the truth.

The U.S. literary scene is rotten to its core, a tottering tower of corruption. I've known this for years. Through my efforts with New Philistine and the ULA I've uncovered a lot but have barely scratched the surface of rot which runs through the house of literature.

If elite writers had a hunger for truth-- which every writer as job description should have!-- the problem would be solved overnight. Take a few bricks from the decaying structure and the thing will collapse. Those inside the castle seem to believe this, because they refuse to break ranks to save their own character, honesty, and honor.

What they're doing is prostituting themselves for short term gain while smearing their permament reputations-- because the truth will come out. The truth always comes out.

Step forward! Be ahead of the curve. At some point all gain goes to the whistleblower.


The biggest problem of today's literary world is its moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

I can give multiple examples of intellectual and moral cowardice, beginning with the Bennington Summer Writers Conference of 1995 when Liam Rector publicly destroyed copies of an anti-corruption issue of my zeen in full view of many of the biggest names in the lit-biz. None of the sterling figures present said or did anything. (Two of them, along with a student who was there, privately informed me about the incident.)

Another example was in 2000/2001, when NOT ONE of 300 prominent literary names the ULA sent its Moody Protest to would sign it, though many agreed with it privately, as documented by the N.Y. Post.

I encountered more moral and intellectual cowardice from lit-bloggers in 2005 over the matter of plagiarism in Harper's mag-- a matter eventually resolved by the magazine with an essay from much-awarded lit-stooge Jonathan Lethem defining the word plagiarism out of existence. (Esteemed members of the intellectual community were okay with this.)

Harper's Editor Roger D. Hodge, an icon of corruption, last month came out publicly in favor of Machiavellian lying, and again, not a whisper of disagreement from literary jellyfish.

As big a problem is that established literary writers have no moral compass, and so are able to lie and cheat at will-- and always able to rationalize it.

Even the underground showed weakness when the ULA lost five members early in 2007, at a time when I was pushing hard on two separate fronts. Those same two matters are in front of us again. How many undergrounders now are willing to rejoin the battle?

Saturday, November 29, 2008



We hear now from every segment of the literary Establishment, including from the bistro Bolsheviks at N+1, all about Roberto Bolano. Bolano. BOLANO!

Yet I tell you Bolano is shit. Bolano is nothing. Bolano was involved in a Latin American underground literary movement that never accomplished, in ideas or action, one-tenth of what was accomplished THIS decade in this country by the literary rebels in the ULA.

The only reason the name Bolano was discovered and promoted by U.S. literary Overdogs was as a way to co-opt and obscure the more immediate problem-noise of the ULA; of literary revolution HERE. After all, when resurrected Bolano was not only safely distant, he was safely DEAD.

We see literary pods (meaning: without thought) like Francine Prose reviewing Bolano's latest book and admitting, though she doesn't really like it, that at least this time it's a book she's able to read. What she's saying beneath her posturing is that Bolano is stultifying, Bolano is boring, yet by reviewing the book for a major publication she's taking it seriously. She's implicitly endorsing Bolano-- the propaganda project of Bolano-- in a way she would never acknowledge American literary rebels in groups like the ULA.

Why is this?

It's solely this: That Bolano has been approved by the Machine to which Francine Prose like a brainwashed drone is wholly obedient.

Is this what we want from literature? The tired noddings of unmoving bureaucrats and bureaucracies? Should not literature represent the wild loud sound of active rebellion, contention, and actual change?

If we burn down the moldy institutions of an imprisoned art, and chase out the obedient black-robed overseers, THEN we'll honor the authentic, unco-opted spirit of Roberto Bolano.

Connect the Dots

1.) Writer/former CIA operative Peter Matthiessen admits the Paris Review was founded with CIA money, but just can't seem to remember the details!

2.) Matthiessen just won the National Book Award.

(Winston Smith sitting teary-eyed on a park bench?)

Another "Nation" Problem

A major problem with The Nation magazine, supposed revolutionary mouthpiece of the People, is that it's isolated within the walls of Aristocracy on the island of New York, and so is out-of-touch with the needs of the American public.

To maintain relevance in a time of change, the mag's editors need to move out of the Imperial City. I suggest they relocate to Detroit, once-great center of labor, industry, and the working class. There is no more relevant spot to be. A magazine which claims for itself the mantle of radical change should reside no other place. (Much open office space!)

Why N+1?

Why have I been attacking the jet-set lit journal N+1?

Last year the Guardian (UK) named the ULA and the N+1 gang as the only rivals to McSweeney's as major literary movements on this side of the Atlantic. The literary rebellion is in competition with these people.

The battle is a battle of art but also of ideas-- especially as N+1 portrays itself as a collection of intellectuals. The question is: which cause is the more attractive option for the future of our literature? Which carries the stronger magic?

N+1 is little different from McSweeney's-- just another branch on the establishment tree. They're not thinkers, but regurgitators: "retailer of second-hand opinions," or well-credentialed mediocrities.

Someday N+1's editors will realize we won't be living at the poles North and South in twenty years, that they've been putting into their stuffy pub cockeyed nonsense. They'll look in the mirror and exclaim, "We're idiots!"

Friday, November 28, 2008


A lot has been said with the word "change" of late. The question remains whether we're going to have real structural change-- or see that the word has been used instead to express a few cosmetically-new faces but nothing deeper. Change has to mean changing the machine underlying the faces.

With lit-blogs we've seen a parade of wannabe-apparatchiks (Maud Newton, Mark Sarvas, Ed Champion) who've held the same artistic philosophy as those in literary power. Beneath their tissue-paper swipes at the fluffy margins of the Machine, the goal of the lit-bloggers was always to sell out AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. Many of them have.

The fundamental question for writers, editors, and critics remains this:
Are you satisfied with the art as it stands; do you think it's in fine shape-- or do you not believe, as I believe, that it can be better?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who Owns The Nation?

For a couple years now The Nation magazine has been proclaiming in large ads that they're owned by nobody. If that's the case, there should be no hindrance to the entire staff stepping down in order for working class writers to fill their positions, as per my previous suggestion. I hope they hurry. Already, by their failure to embody change, they've set a negative example for the new Obama administration. First to go should be Laura Flanders, who's an upper-class Brit anyway. Surely there are plenty of out-of-work Americans to take her place!

(Be sure to stay up-to-date with my other major lit blog at www.happyamericaliterature.blogspot.com)

White Christmas?


While I'm all for reasoned environmentalism, including technologies like windmills and high-speed trains, I'm also leery of con artists. I'm beginning to suspect that global warming is a giant scam.

Ever see the Bing Crosby movie "White Christmas," made more than fifty years ago? Do you recall the plot?

An innkeeper up in Vermont is going broke because Christmas approaches and there's been NO SNOW. None at all. Sunny skies everywhere. If the movie were made now the characters would be frantic about global warming. They'd be singing, "It's all our fault!"

I become suspicious when advocates of the global warming "crisis" don't behave as if there's a crisis. Keith Gessen continues jetting back and forth to Moscow or Paris. No big deal for him. I wonder if he reads his own journal: "grave danger" "billions of us will die" "a disastrously diminished future" "devastated" "catastrophic" etc. etc. But after all, Gessen's cousins live in Moscow, and he wants to say hello.

This year white Christmas came very early, which doesn't mean there's global warming or global cooling. It's just the weather.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New York versus Detroit


I hope people who live in the heartland recognize how quickly Secretary Paulson bailed out his banking buddies at Citigroup, yet won't approve a bridge loan for companies which actually produce goods-- not just paper-- and are the backbone of this nation's industrial strength.

Too much power, of all kinds, has been concentrated in New York City-- including with print media and publishing. I'll say again and again: decentralize. Decentralize!

(The last twenty years has seen a transfer of wealth from working people to the rich; from middle America to the east coast. The government is now accelerating this.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

More N+1 Folly

The intellectual elitists at N+1 are holding soirees for their new issue, #7. I hope it has more intellectual credibility than their last issue, which is a disaster on all fronts.
A blog put up a link to my recent post about N+1, "Intellectualism versus Intelligence," with no comment other than using for the title a quote from my essay about a "minor, temporary increase" in global temperature. For the intellectual who put it up, the quote was used for a giant smirk to the Indoctrinated Crowd saying, "Look how absurd this person is, because he doesn't think as WE do."

Yes, I would be absurd, if I'd been sitting writing the statement with the temperature 80 degrees outside one week before Thanksgiving. But it's not 80. It's below freezing. Tonight will go down to 19. This past summer in Detroit was as mild a summer here as I've ever experienced-- and I've been around for awhile! So who's absurd?

The noteworthy thing about the N+1 gang, for all their many many degrees and awards, is their lack of basic intelligence. Their attempts to be original-- as in Marco Roth's suggestion to lower the voting age ("--the young will probably not vote as a bloc at all")-- end only in comedy. What they ARE the best at is thoroughly absorbing the details of their indoctrination.
There are two kinds of intellectuals.
1.) THE THINKING INTELLECTUAL, who sees the world clear-eyed, questioning his premises and adjusting his ideas based on experience and evidence on hand.
2.) THE THEORY INTELLECTUAL, who sees the world not as it is, but through the prism of indoctrination.

N+1's ideas are expressed through labels, categories of postmodern or post-postmodern, to post-post-post-postmodern. They're forever the earnest and unthinking grad students wanting to seriously know into which pre-labelled box any stray thought or person can be dropped.
The most egregious part of N+1 #6 is the editors' call for benign tyranny to deal with the global warming "crisis." As the working class and American industry are being destroyed, I hope that in their new issue the editors have backed away from their stance.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Campaign for Social Justice

GIVEN the progressive victories in the political realm, we should expect fundamental CHANGE coming first from progressive organizations themselves. They have the opportunity to set an example; in so doing, to truly live their principles.

I therefore call on the entire staff of The Nation magazine to resign on January 21st, 2009, to be replaced by working class writers, including those represented by the literary underground. Laura Flanders should likewise resign as host of The Nation's radio show.

The Nation is the strongest voice calling for new protest movements to ensure that real societal change will occur. Change means overturning conditions which give positions and forums only to the most privileged members of this society. Nation staffers, who are among those overprivileged, can show by their actions that this will no longer be a caste-based country; that there will be a return to democratic access to speech, with equal opportunity for all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Note to Undergrounders

Two questions for literary undergrounders:
-Can an aggressive campaign to change literature be reactivated?
-Should it be?

Those who dropped from the literary rebellion have to ask themselves what's been accomplished by withdrawing from the fight. Have literary mandarins with whom you have nothing in common embraced your books and writings?

It's difficult to compete with a closed-minded, billion-dollar literary monolith when you have no resources and use outmoded tactics.

The public has voted for dramatic change. We have an opportunity to call literary progressives to live up to their ideals, for the benefit of American literature.
My task in the short-term is to establish King Wenclas Promotions as a vehicle for my ideas. It will be operating at times through names like "Front for Literary Change," or such. Other writers will be invited to participate, including ULAers and OW people. Whether they do or not is up to them.
As for me, it dawned on me that I'll have no peace even when stepping away from the fight. We had the Rebellion Stage One. It may be time for Stage Two-- especially as so much even of the original plan was left undone.

p.s. See related post at www.happyamericaliterature.blogspot.com

Many great posts will be appearing at this blog, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


ONCE one notices that the publishing companies are flooding America with blatant propaganda, from "Clique" and "Gossip Girl" books to historically-distorted celebrations of Marie Antoinette, it's an easy step to realize that the bulk of so-called mainstream print media coming out of New York is propaganda. Magazines like Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, New York, et.al, are the blatant variety. A pseudo-authoritative New Yorker is more subtle, but still the carefully-constructed product of our nation's carefully-selected media aristocrats.

The huge Conde-Nast and Time-Life skyscraper empires are propaganda machines, their headquarters our Ministry of Information, multiplied. Those who lead these entities aren't Publishers, or Editors, but in truth, Propaganda Ministers, far more skillful than the primitive Joseph Goebbels variety. Their mission, likewise, is to create and celebrate an Overclass not entirely of breeding, not yet anyway (that's coming with genetic engineering), but of caste and money.

ULA Shake-Up

It appears that the ULA's former #2, S.K.-- who moved to the top of the list a year ago when I was marginalized-- has himself dropped from Active to Supporter status. Which is curious. S.K. didn't like my strategy, but never presented an alternate vision.

This leaves the ULA's book guy in control. He's been the defacto power in the group anyway; in many respects has earned that spot. The disagreement between him and myself is fundamental. The new #1 doesn't believe the group needs a quarterback, that it can move ahead regardless. This leaves him, because of his power base, IN EFFECT calling the shots. I wish him luck.

As for myself, I'm building a new platform for my activities, King Wenclas Promotions. I'll have more to say about this in future posts.

I remain a sideline supporter of the Underground Literary Alliance, a kind of ULA-In-Exile. We have the same goal, but with different notions about how to get from here to there. I retain unshakeable faith in my ideas and talents.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Intellectualism vs. Intelligence

To test my fairness, I began reading a David Foster Wallace book at a chain bookstore, "Interviews with Hideous Men" or such. The writing was hideous. I made it as far as the third piece.

The first "essay" was a cutely written brief piece of nonsense. The second was extended description of a famous poet in a swimming pool. It went nowhere. By the third piece (whose theme, setting, or plot I can't recall) I realized that DFW was the ultimate graphomaniac, producing verbiage in endless sentences that would make Thomas Wolfe cringe in embarrassment.

It reminded me of a man I saw once in a diner in Detroit, a crazy man in a booth talking to himself without pause. The man suffered from some kind of mental disease that caused every thought he had to be verbalized-- and the thoughts never stopped. At first it was striking-- "Look at that crazy man"-- and for a few minutes it was entertaining, but soon enough it became irritating and then maddening, so that I was happy to get away from it. There was a sparkle of words to the thoughts at times but mostly it was disordered nonsense.

I had a vision afterward of the man in a room somewhere on a chair, pontificating to the walls, for hours, forever, without stop.

Unfortunate David Foster Wallace likewise had a mind which couldn't be turned off. (The malady to a greater or lesser extent afflicts many of us who write.) Was there any peace for the man in his waking hours? With such colliding madness in his head, how could he rest? He eventually turned off the spout the only way he knew how.

DFW's writing passed for intellectualism but there was little intelligence to it. His satire consisted of superficial toyings with superficialities. Everything was surface.

We see in today's literary world a ton of intellectualism, but the thrust in fact is anti-intellectual, AGAINST meaning and truth. The posings are an avoidance of logic.

An example of the anti-intellectual trend of the current lit world is the journal N+1, which I've tried very hard to like, and failed at the effort.

Issue #6 for instance was an outpouring of stupidity. There's no other way to put it. The issue showed an ignorance of basic economics. The editors predicted "the end of oil," seeming not to realize (could they be that stupid?) that the supply of oil is a function of the amount of effort and money people are willing to spend to retrieve it. Or, the supply at $100 a barrel is more than at $20 a barrel. If it means uncapping wells, drilling deeper, or in places currently closed off, using new technology, or retrieving shale oil-- at the right price the possibilities are endless. There's an enormous amount of oil left on this planet. If the editors had a sense of history-- remember the 70's?-- they'd realize it. Much of the oil price spike was due not to a lack of supply so much as the devaluation of the dollar (oil is priced in dollars) which occurred to fund an expensive war.

Global warming? A minor, temporary increase in global temperature sends the N+1 gang into hysterics. They become like the out-of-control passenger in the 1969 movie "Airport": "We're all going to die. We're all going to die!" There's a certain narcissism or extreme egoism involved in believing the end days are here now-- that everything will finish in your brief lifetime. Because you're special.

Not only illogic, but contradictions throughout. The most environmentally hysterical of their group, Chad Harbach, was their web editor. It's curious to me that the YouTube generation is so mad about global warming. Do they realize the amount of juice used by the Internet; especially streaming video? Google and Yahoo are moving closer to greater electricity sources. How many power plants will have to be built to accommodate YouTube? Yet these are environmentalists! (Meanwhile the gang jets regularly to Europe.)

As for N+1 fiction, it's beyond stupidity. Try to find a trace of an idea in it. In some cases, intellectualism-- but without exception even when posing as intellectuals the characters are narcissists obsessed with their own glib wonderfulness, with narrow focus, and about as much understanding of how the civilization operates as a hamster-- or as much as the N+1 editors themselves.

A Conspiracy Theory

LOGIC tells me that the recent spike in oil prices was due to a sharp drop in the U.S. dollar caused by government borrowing in order to finance an expensive war. However, there's another possibility. . . .
What if a multi-billionaire, operating through intermediaries, drove up the oil price in order to get his guy elected U.S. President? We know that huge sums of money backed Obama, who outspent McCain near the end by a factor of five to one. The oil price shock was the first of a series of economic bad news which discredited Bush once and for all; the trigger for all that followed.

The candidate for this mysterious billionaire would have to be an extreme ideological partisan, in personality utterly ruthless, with a track record of disrupting countries and markets through speculative maneuvers; moreover, having the funds to accomplish the plan.

Does such candidate exist? Yes: George Soros.

A subsidiary benefit from the oil price spike for Soros and his allies is that it humbled the auto companies, turning them away from gas guzzlers toward environmentally friendly cars-- perhaps leaving the federal government in control of the industry as a result. This fits with the Obama plan to end all use of fossil fuels within ten years.
Others may have already posited this theory elsewhere on the Internet. The idea is obvious. Anyway, it'd make a great scenario for a novel!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gossip Page

Here's some gossip that was forwarded to my new Literary Corruption Hotline at happylit@yahoo.com, as an in-line attachment. I don't know the original source and can't vouch for the tidbit's authenticity, but here it is:
Latest insider "it" boy Roberto Bolano was feted by the insiders at Farrar Straus and Giroux last night -- huge crowds spilled out onto the street although it is unlikey that they were there for love of literature. Most likely they had heard about the event via the hipster website myopenbar.com and came to get wasted. The usual crew of insiders were there to celebrate the dead Mexican's latest formless mess, 2666: Loren Stein of FSG, Liesl Schillinger o fthe New York Times Book Review, Alex Abramovitz of Feed magazine, Eric Banks of Bookforum, Michael MIller of Time Out New York, Cary Goldstein of Twelve Books. A writer from the Economist was seen conducting interviews with writers who blithely prattled on while hipsters waited on line for free booze like high school seniors at a keg party. Writers spotted included John (unreadable insider) Wray, Jonathan (overrated insider) Lethem, and Rick (uber insider) Moody. Some lovers of literature were heard to inquire if "Roberto" (who has been dead for years) was here yet.
Note to those who send me material:
Please let me know if I can repost it, and whether you wish to be attributed for sending it.
I also look for more than gossip, including dropped dimes, hard news, and warm trails to be followed.

p.s. I intend for this blog to become temporarily more exciting, so stay tuned. I've also unleashed www.happyamericaliterature.blogspot.com again, and will be posting as well on a few of my other blogs.

More Roger Hodge

I've had comments from readers of this blog saying they didn't read into Roger D Hodge's November Harper's Notebook piece, "Creative Destruction," what I did. I wonder what they read.

Hodge says, about the campaign-- about which he was clearly an unobjective partisan-- "--one can also join the battle by repeating the rumors about John McCain's Alzheimer's meds or the Sarah Palin sex tape." In his concluding remark, in reaction to an Obama quote that "you can't just make stuff up," Hodge replies, "Oh yes, Barack, we can."

What does that sound like to you? Could he possibly be advocating lying?

Keep in mind that Hodge is the same individual who has justified plagiarism in Harper's pages. I don't see a lot of standards. Do you?

Global Hysteria

The gloabl warming hysteria of these times will be found to be more a psychological problem than a physical one, as it's spurred by a neurotic boozhie fetish for absolute cleanliness.

It's a key point for America's intellectuals. Once they realize they've been scammed by the media and the educational system on this issue, they'll question the rest of their brainwashing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

At Versailles

This nation's aristocrat liberals-- think Arianna Huffington, Garry Trudeau, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Lewis Lapham, Graydon Carter, Tina Brown and the like-- live on a kind of well-guarded intellectual estate, inside a marvelous stone palace surrounded by generous well-manicured gardens alongside stables of horses, with grooms and coachmen-- and ladies-in-waiting-- there to serve their every whim.

The palace contains halls of mirrors where the aristocrats admire their ruffled sleeves, or ruffled dresses with low-cut bodices; their silk handkerchiefs, gold snuffboxes, and powdered wigs; assuring themselves they're the best, because sunlight at the place forever smiles down at them.

Yet in the back of their undeveloped minds lurks a sliver of unease. They glance down cautiously at the iron gates which surround their high estate, beyond the clean lawns, and realize a world is out there which they know little about, and are surely not part of.

To confirm themselves of their preciousness they pretend to want change. "Change! We must change this country!" Trudeau, Lapham, and vanden Heuvel insist, strenuously waving their silk hankies and silk fans for emphasis. "We're such radicals!" they sniff. "On the side of the peasants. Or, at least, in sympathy with them!" They talk up the populist cause, as servants circulate hors d'oeuvres.

To prove their wondrous generosity, the estate liberals have now appointed a new manager of the house and the grounds, a man of color; moreover, educated at the best aristocrat schools to ensure his reliability; his sympathy with them. The gates open; the new man begins the long walk up the hill toward them. At the sight the aristocrats gather on the lawn to applaud.

What will the new man bring?

Will he merely rearrange the portraits in the antechambers, and take better care of the horses?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Corruption Hotline

The new literary tip line for King Wenclas Promotions is now ready at happylit@yahoo.com

Literary news and gossip are wanted, anonymously or otherwise.

Literary Bankruptcy III

THE PROOF of everything I and my colleagues have been saying about the lit-world is evident on the Aristocratic Literary Society site:


What passes for American literature today is an insulated, unrepresentative clique of pretentious snobs existing within castles of privilege at the edge of the country on a superwealthy island named New York.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Literary Bankruptcy II

The noteworthy point about Roger D Hodge's November Notebook in Harper's is how the mask has dropped from the intellectual establishment. Hodge reveals the utter ethical and moral bankruptcy of his crowd's ideology. He has no belief in truth over falsehood, right against wrong. His sole principle and highest value is the expediency of the moment.

Can we believe anything in Harper's? No.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


We should all congratulate the new President, whatever our forebodings, and trust he'll maintain liberty, and bring justice and equal opportunity for all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Literary Bankruptcy I


My first example of literary bankruptcy is a brief mention by Tom Beller and Oliver Broudy in George Being George-- a new biography of a literary aristocrat. Broudy and Beller describe the ULA's 2001 debate with literary elitists at New York's CBGB's. Neither commentator has the slightest interest in presenting the truth of what happened. Instead they engage in the usual slur that undergrounders are "bad writers," because we're not automatons and don't write in approved Manhattan Machine style. That we write at all (an endeavor clearly above our station; an art reserved for rich guys like them) is considered "sad."

Sad to me is the narrow attitude admitted to by two unexceptionally gifted apparatchiks who live in a social and intellectual prison which is extraordinarily limiting; whose marbled walls they have no interest in climbing, and no ability to climb if they had the inclination. The mediocre Aristocrat, given every-- EVERY-- advantage in his life from Day One, is the Hero of their truncated tale, because he was able to say one word-- "Nonsense!"-- in a faux-impressive way, but was unable, due to his truncated intelligence, to say anything more. His performance that afternoon was a fit metaphor for his literary class, including the similarly limited Broudy and Beller. One word! Impressively spoken, signifying nothing. Establishment literature is an impressive facade of glossy covers and carefully wrought words promoted through every Overdog millionaires' institution and soiree available, a well-spoken patrician word, but like cardboard stage scenery nothing can be discovered in back of it.

Broudy and Beller would sit well as bureaucrats at the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984, in that speaking the truth is the least of their concerns. They're incapable of being honest with the reader, or themselves. (How do such exclusionary hacks stomach themselves?) If any of their crowd were interested in the truth, rather than pushing standard upper-class propaganda glorifying the narrowness of their privileged and insular world, they'd release the film of the event taken by the Maysles brothers. Then we'd know who won the debate, and how exciting it was.
(The sad thing about George Plimpton is that, unlike Broudy and Beller-- cheaply malicious stage-play stooges as dense as Guildenstern and Rosencrantz-- George knew he lived in a bubble, and so was forever trying to break out of it. He'd never had to fight for daily survival, as many fight their entire lives for it. And so George constructed brief artificial tests of his character.

His debate with the ULA was part of this. He was so out of his depth amid a pack of street dogs it was pathetic. Like a chained wolfhound behind mansion walls he could only bark stupidly, "Nonsense! Nonsense!"

George Plimpton was a tourist in this world, skimming across its surface but never plunging madly into it. The superficiality of his writings shows this.

You want a sad sight? Try the image of Plimpton setting off fireworks at his estate, seeking any kind of stimulation against the boredom of his privileged existence.)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Reason to Vomit

See http://www.accompaniedliterarysociety.org/

Which should more accurately be called the Aristocratic Literary Society. It's kind of a bizarro-universe, 180-degree difference from the Underground Literary Alliance.

Understanding the Enemy

One of the more misguided ways to attack myself is to accuse me of class resentment. We've seen with the example of Sarah Palin that class resentment comes from the other side-- from privileged intellectuals who fear and scorn upstart, outspoken whites.

Their embrace of Obama, on the other hand, is part of a paternalistic psychodrama where liberals love to identify with the oppressed. Obama is never going to accuse THEM of being the oppressors-- and anyway they implicitly believe they can control this nation's minorities through their own innate goodness. (Their special status-- they believe in nothing so much as this.) The mentality of the missionary-- the essence of racism. They implicitly believe in this society's hierarchies; that the hierarchies won't change.

I'm speculating. What we know for sure is that the plutocracy is backing Obama, not the other guy, which we all should find curious.

Whither the underground? Our task is to not get sucked in by either side of the establishment game. The liberal intelligentsia backing Obama are the same people who exercise totalitarian control over literature in cities like New York and Philadelphia. They control the institutions and power centers and will look to strengthen their power centers-- which will, however, whatever the election outcome, continue to weaken.

Understanding Anarchism

THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION about anarchism, or any state of free society approaching it, is equating anarchism with irresponsibility, chaos, and licentiousness. The reverse is the case. To exist without Big Brother government, individuals will have to be MORE responsible and cooperative in their voluntary actions and relationships. It's a vastly different state of mind from that represented by the rich-kid liberal-Left, who believe we should be thumbsucking five year-olds in a sandbox watched over by the all-encompassing state. To construct an even more gigantic federal government than what we have, will further encroach on our freedoms, as well as only increase the vertical hierarchies of society.

(p.s. The biggest lie going is that perpetrated by Thomas Friedman with his "flat earth" terminology. With the rise of the global economy, the world is becoming more centralized and more hierarchical, the bureaucracies more top-heavy, and the decision-making more tops-down; the gaps between rulers and ruled greater, with said rulers having ever more power. As is being seen with the financial situation now.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

The End of Liberalism?

It's ironic that at the moment the liberal intelligentsia is on the verge of virtual totalitarian control over this nation's avenues of thought, they've lost all standards and appeal as an intellectual force. Case in point is the Notebook piece in the November Harper's by Editor Roger D. Hodge, who states that Democrats in this election campaign aren't lying enough. This from a man who approved two cases of plagiarism which appeared in his magazine's pages, previously discussed on this blog. (See the archives for January and February of 2005.)

Contrary to what his essay implies, liberal Democrats-- largely through the press and culture-- have unleashed a hurricane of abuse upon the other side, most specifically upon VP candidate Sarah Palin. From his lofty intellectual perch of deliberate untruth he designates Governor Palin as "unsuitable" to have been nominated. In the next breath, after his notably UNdemocratic assessment, Hodge claims liberal Democrats as being more democratic than the other side. Does he truly believe this? Or is he being intentionally misleading, as his essay advocates? (The liberal intelligentsia, as shown by their utter scorn for working class upstarts, have shown themselves to have little real commitment to the democratic spirit.)

Liberals like Hodge have nakedly withdrawn their commitment to the ideal of truth, and so as intellectuals, as spokesmen for this culture, have damaged no one so much as themselves.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Crisis Mentality

The U.S. financial system has been a bubble for decades. The panic now being experienced has been generated by the government and by the monopoly media.

A case can be made, now that an overdue washout has begun, for letting it happen so that it's effective and brief. See a book by Murray Rothbard, America's Great Depression. At some point I'll put up a companion to a previous post, "The Conservative Fallacy." The new post will be titled "The Leftist Fallacy"-- which is related in more ways than one would think.

We should beware of all media-generated crises. Right now, as bitter winter already sets in to pre-Halloween Detroit, I'm wondering: What happened to Global Warming? Has anyone seen it?

The American people are being scam-whipsawed these past ten years by both the Right and the Left through repeated crises. If, as a noted liberal has implied, the Constitution has placed would-be totalitarians inside a box, we're seeing repeated efforts to break out of that box.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Illiberal Liberals

I picked up a "conservative newspaper last week, 10/9, the Detroit News, to check football odds, and encountered even here five articles against Sarah Palin. There was: an article about the Dems love for Tina Fey; a large, supportive article about Palin critic Anne Kilkenny; a large political cartoon by Larry Wright making Palin out to be an idiot; a small piece about Todd Palin being under investigation; and a snarky aside by music critic Adam Graham-- "--audiences are getting their laughs simply by watching Sarah Palin on the campaign trail."

When journalists are 99% against her, I guess this is conservative stuff, compared to what conglomerate pop entertainers like Madonna are saying, or the noise in corporate-owned "alternative" papers ("alternative" has become mainstream). One "alternative" liberal quack, in a piece called "Stoking the Fury," calls her McCain's "pet Alaskan killer weasel," among other things.

The fury I've seen the last several weeks has been against Sarah Palin; from the outset, a mad McCarthyite hysteria, and I can't say I've determined the reason. Based on her love for her newborn son, I'd say she's a good person. Yet so widespread is the feeling against her that I'm looked at curiously at work and elsewhere for deviating from it. It's a pack mentality.

Progressives have so awaited the lynch mob for Obama, to the extent of making up stories-- a lynch mob which never materialized-- they've failed to notice THEY'VE become a lynch mob going after Sarah Palin, who's been attacked with unprecedented vitriol and fury from every corner of the culture and media.

Strange, isn't it, that liberals have become the most intolerant segment of society?

There's a bizarre disconnect in their heads that forever exempts THEMSELVES from withholding the vile statements they condemn in others. THEY can attack someone's looks, background, and way of speaking, without a shred of the inhibition they impose on the rest of society. It may have to do with the fact that many of them are from privileged backgrounds, and have always been exempt from the strictures and penalties of society which are ruthlessly applied to you and me.

Case in point in this regard is the much discussed figure William Ayers. One thing we can say for certain is that despite past transgressions he's landed well on his feet; holding a cushy teaching job at a university; appointed to posh posts at monied foundations. Is it because his father was among the power elite of society; chairman of a gigantic corporation? Did William use his connections? Did his family ties have anything to do with his easy and unrepentant rehabilitation? What do you think? Would the average citizen be accorded such treatment? (I dated a woman for a while in Philly who lived in a halfway house and was continually being sent back to the slammer, hard time, for failing drug tests, a violation of her probation. She was given no slack whatsoever by this society.)

It's ironic that William Ayers is the walking and talking example of things that ARE wrong in this country. He should be protesting against himself. That he doesn't hang his head in shame every day is yet one more instance of the standard liberal schizoid personality.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Power of the Media

The totalitarian media (omnipresent; encompassing the totality of most people's lives) would have us believe the economy is in full-scale collapse. More panic earlier today on Wall Street, as retail sales figures "plummeted," "worst decline in years," according to media reports.

How far down were sales, do you think?

10%? 20%? 40%?!

No. Sales were down 1.2%. Not quite a collapse.
The populace is being played, in order to justify a further melding of government and big business interests, even though the centralization of the financial system is what caused banking problems in the first place. Call it Socialism or call it Fascism, it's the same economic animal.

The clownish Balloon Economy is being sustained by huge injections of manufactured money into the banking system.

But who's being sustained? Is it not those on the top end of the economic scale?

There's great irony in what's happening. The housing crisis for the lower classes of society occurred because housing, thanks to the distortions of the Balloon Economy, became too expensive for many people.

Now, rather than allow the market to make natural adjustments-- to allow the cost of housing to be cut in half-- every effort is being made to sidestep the natural market and sustain the artificially high price. The problem for the bottom half of society is that the cost of EVERYTHING is too high; education, health care, transportation.

On one side of the balloon, air escapes from proliferating holes, while on the other end Clownmaster Henry J. Paulsen mans a bicycle tire pump, furiously trying to pump more air into the overinflated red bursting thing of nothing.
People ARE hurting in this country, for real, but it's not a three-week phenomenon, they've been hurting in places like the industrial heartland for years, except the distorted media and the distortion of government figures for years have been covering this reality up.
With so much media noise occurring right now, the trick for the nonaligned observer is to keep one's head-- to ignore the magician's misdirections to spot where the coin or rabbit is actually going.

Curious, isn't it, that the privileged media class, representatives of plutocrats (or plutocrats themselves like Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Katrina vanden Heuvel, et.al), is nearly 100% in the Obama camp? Even bow-tie conservatives, sons of privilege like George Will, William Kristol, and Christopher Buckley, have abandoned the decrepit McCain campaign wagon. Ultra-snob Buckley cites much-scorned Sarah Palin as the reason.

Do we know what's happening?
Since the media is a circus, its coverage of the circus election should become even more clown-like. I suggest that instead of another unbearably boring debate between the two men, Alex Trebek be brought in and the two candidates compete against the "Jeopardy" game board. Then again, with his war-mangled hands, it might be a problem for McCain.

"Afghanistan for 400, Alex," Obama confidently declares.

A panel flips; an answer given, to which must be matched a question. McCain doggedly and futilely attempts to buzz in.

"Dol-gurned thing!" McCain mutters under his breath as he struggles with the device, red-faced, as his opponent, "Errr, ahhh, errr," begins his fumbled response.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Genius of Eric Ambler

The best spy novelist of them all, more insightful than Fleming, LeCarre, Ludlum, and others, was Eric Ambler. His first masterpiece was A Coffin for Dimitrios (aka The Mask of Dimitrios)-- a masterpiece not simply of the genre but of literature. He later produced another masterpiece, Judgement on Deltchev. This is must reading for anyone who wants to understand the games and realities of politics. I don't know where you'll find a copy-- I discovered possibly the only one in Detroit, at John King Books-- but do so. Now.

Ambler's novel provides what we seek from literature: truth. Though it was written in 1951, it carries penumbras of meaning and prophecy outside itself, up to our own time, by revealing statecraft as stagecraft. I can't say much more without giving away the plot. Does it anticipate "The Parallax View," for instance?

Most interesting to me is the character of Yordan Deltchev, a politician on trial. Ambler looks away from him in the second half of the narrative-- looks elsewhere, behind the curtain-- yet in doing so, in not looking at him, but at behind-the-scenes machinations, reveals him, so that the final glimpse of the man shuffling off on black-and-white film tells all. Read the book and see if you know what I'm talking about.
Speaking of stagecraft and politics: What of Obama?

Even though a creation, four years ago, of Time, Newsweek, and the rest of the media machine, he had a street organizer background which I saw as a positive. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

On Labor Day, I joined a million other Detroiters eager to check out the candidate. What a day! The largest Labor Day parade in decades. Thousands upon thousands of workers marched down Woodward Avenue, accompanied by marching bands with newfound purpose, energizing the town. Onward they marched!-- for over two hours, chanting in unison the fiery union songs--

"When they see us
people ask us,
who we are,
So we tell them,
We are the Union!
Mighty, mighty Union!"

--a plurality of the marchers white workers, Obama's most needed demographic. Still they came, stretching up Woodward, and more than a mile beyond, with no end to the march.

Close to a million hardcore workers and city folk packed Hart Plaza at the river, at the foot of Woodward, to hear the new man. He was introduced by labor leaders Ron Gettelfinger of the UAW and James Hoffa of the Teamsters-- pale reflections of past leaders, sure, but surviving reflections of a downtrod movement nonetheless, and this morning they spoke with rare vigor and emotion. The sun was as bright as the prospects. They, along with everyone else who was present on the plaza, wanted to see the candidate; to hear a speech of fire!-- here in the shattered, largely shuttered industrial heartland. Here amid a city of economic and real devastation.

Obama spoke for five minutes. Out of deference for a hurricane far away in Louisiana, he explained he didn't want to talk politics. (But people are hurting here also, I thought!) No politics. No fire. No labor issues at all. Within minutes the man disappeared in a helicopter. People quietly went home. A missed opportunity. The event was so stunningly anti-climactic it could've come from an Eric Ambler novel.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Obama: Revolutionary or Puppet?

The most informative scene of Barack Obama's autobiography is when he's sitting in a movie theater observing his mother's reaction to the film "Black Orpheus," understanding then the idealized, naive way she viewed black people. It's a revealing moment for him, and for the reader.

One thing Obama well understands is the mentality of the white liberal. It's how he's achieved what he has-- by presenting himself in the image of their ideal black leader. He understands the basic childishness of these people. In its way, it's masterful manipulation.

There's a rough honesty to the Republicans in that they're unabashedly-- unabashedly-- on the side of rich people. On this subject they use no smokescreens.

The Dems, on the other hand, stand ostensibly against the wealthy-- at least the upwardly mobile wealthy-- but are funded by the superwealthy and the hyperwealthy. It's why they can raise income taxes-- income taxes don't touch these people, who've already made their money, and anyway are adept at the use of tax dodges like foundations. One could raise the income tax rate to 100% and it wouldn't alter aristocrat lifestyles.

These aristocrats, up to billionaire manipulators like George Soros, have backed-- nay, created-- the Barack candidacy. How sure are they of the guy, given his early street-activist resume? Did his time at Columbia and Harvard ensure adequate brainwashing?

Maybe-- but then there are the lessons of history. Recall that the events of 1789 in France were set off by nobles like the Duke of Orleans who believed they could control change. They had supreme confidence in their manipulative abilities. Soon enough they lost their heads to the guillotine.

What do America's superwealthy want? World government, which is a euphemism for world slavery. Their agent to achieve this is Obama, whose mantra is that Americans need to "change the world," which is a euphemism for Imperialism.

Stampeded again! After the bailout, Bush and his Wall Street buddies-- along with ultra-rich landowner Nancy Pelosi-- were no doubt popping champagne corks and giving high-fives. Fool us once, shame on them. Do it twice-- shame on us.

The fix has been in for this election it seems, from the Big Guys behind the scenes who actually run the country-- using their tools the media-- but McCain, this year's designated loser, swayed from the script with his selection of "unvetted" wild card real person Sarah Palin. Polls showed him briefly in the lead. Thus, the quickly produced financial crisis to panic the populace and knock McCain back down to second place.

The question we must still answer about Obama, dear reader, is, which is he? Puppet or revolutionary?

Thursday, October 02, 2008


We the American people are being scammed by our own government. Noteworthy that both McCain and Obama voted for the bailout bill, which is not only a huge wealth transfer, but gives the Treasury Secretary near-dictatorial power over our economic system. Where do we turn now?

The literary system is already an undemocratic tyranny, in my book. The monopolists control all. We can ignore it or take action against it-- at least to continue building an independent alternative.

I wish Palin well tonight if only for her to show up the monolithic media snobs.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Comment on Postmodernism

Sara Nelson of Publishers Weekly made an apologia on her blog for David Foster Wallace, admitting his work is "difficult" for readers but that it's the job of publishers to search for and present such work-- presumably because of its high quality. This shows that the monopoly publishing industry is fundamentally flawed, flawed at its very foundations: its understanding of what is or isn't art.

Nelson mistakes information for art. Foster Wallace filled his books with huge chunks of information and words, to the extent they're impressive feats. But what has this to do with art?

Anyone can cobble together a mass of sentences, chapter by chapter, until there are enough to fill a thick volume. "Difficult," yes. Inscrutable, for the most part, fit for academic monks in dusty libraries to pore over in mad quests for purpose and sense. Fine, it's been done. But this isn't literature, or rather, it's a very obscure branch of literature, extending into rarefied air. It's not how literature is going to grab and hold a new audience, which can be done only with clarity, passion, movement, excitement-- the pounding pulses of readers frantically turning pages of books in enthrallment to plot, characters, color, and enlightenment spoken by a captivating voice, presenting work and a world open to all.

That the purveyors of books today at the highest levels don't understand this is both tragedy AND farce.
Sara Nelson of Publishers Weekly, a well-educated literary person, admits she couldn't finish David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Yet at the same time she believes this is the kind of product which should be presented to the American public.

Think if Nelson were an executive at an auto company. She presents a complex, high-tech marvel which doesn't run. The first 43 pages of the owner's manual are devoted to how to put the key into the ignition, footnotes included. The vehicle is not user-friendly, but to Sara Nelson of the Dinosaur Motor Company that's not the point.

Few people will want the car and those few who do will be a select group. Like Nelson, they'll buy the car not to drive it, but to park it on display, permanently, in their driveways. The point is the car's overcomplexity, unwieldiness, and artificial status.

More Palin

See "American Folk" at



Thanks to the incompetence of Nancy Pelosi and George W. Bush, the Big Bailout bill crashed and the American public staved off the loss of more liberty for a few more days.

The real problem is that the country's financial system is too centralized on the island of Manhattan, which makes nuclear financial meltdown possible.
A similar situation afflicts literature, along with a similar intertwining of institutions public and private; the Buddy System of conglomerates, elite schools, and foundational grants, all Insider run; a literary merry-go-round.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Machine

The Machine of literature destroyed David Foster Wallace, as it has destroyed many writers. (See Ray Carver.) DFW was "all-in" to its standards and aesthetic ideology; its postmodern insanity. His suicide was a suicide of the mind. We need to question why this occurred.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Death of Postmodernism Part III

David Foster Wallace was the star of stars of the literary intelligentsia. Dave Eggers, George Saunders, and many others borrowed DFW's hyper-talkative style, if not the full madness of his hyper-intelligence. Where does their cause go now?

Philosophically, postmodern literature is a dead end; self-referential to the point of becoming an endless vortex collapsing into itself: untethered madness. Its writers convey not knowledge, clarity, or wisdom, but linguistic posing-- the most educated writers in history whose glibness hides a collection of know-nothings. They show the markers of schooling, the footnotes and academic jargon, prisms of theories and assumptions cribbed from textbook after textbook, which serves for them not as avenues into the truth of the world, but barriers layered upon it, which is just as well because the fundamental premise of their philosophy is that truth is an outmoded concept.

It's a philosophy without core meaning, with nowhere to go. Literature isn't a way for them to become better persons, or to touch the soul-- another concept they disbelieve-- but serves instead merely as an affirmation of self. Members of a privileged class, they've already arrived at the end of their journey. Their nonsensical scribblings are celebrations of this fact. Even when they're critical of something the emphasis is on the scribbling: Look at me! SEE George Saunders care about the environment with attention-getting prose. SEE Dave Eggers befriend starving Africans. What they create isn't truth, but illusion; linguistically gaudy movie posters. Not gaudy enough to reach the populace of course, which has never been their goal, but to impress their elevated beings along with a coterie of similarly miseducated affluenti similarly in love with their stations and themselves.

It's not enough. It's not enough for literature and it's not enough ultimately even for them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Death of Postmodernism Part II

I'm more interested in defining the 21st century than in becoming boxed into any of the literary categories of the 20th.

The underground has drawn from many streams, from the oldest sources, but represents in itself a new source of refreshment and sustenance, set apart from the stagnant cesspools of literature now.

Our goal has been not to become the academy but to overturn the academy, along with the moldy premises which define the academy-- to see literature as a living thing which exists in society outside the academy. Maybe, the underground means no more academies.

The literary underground represents roots writing: literature at its beginning. A new beginning. It's grounded writing and has to be based on grounded thinking.

My emphasis on truth and honesty-- my insistence that demi-puppets not be demi-puppets-- has not been for tactical reasons. It's an essential part of the movement we're trying to create. Truth, the search for truth, has to be our fundamental principle. Not tactically, but philosophically. It's fundamental to our battle for groundedness, for sanity, which I fight for and which all of us should fight for, as our culture is swiftly slipping away from it into the solipsistic madness of the mind.

It's what distinguishes us from postmodernists, who beginning with Heidegger, Derrida, and DeMan have embraced belief in the Lie, the philosophy of the Lie, which has continued through to the postmodernists of our own day, who'll be discussed in Part 3 of this essay.

Liberal Psychodrama


It's interesting to watch Sarah Palin being viciously and gleefully mocked by Sarah Bernhardt, Julie Brown, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Garry Trudeau, and so many others in a kind of piling on. She's attacked for her look, background, accent, and culture-- in a way that would never be done to a minority candidate. It's a visceral, undisguised hatred of the white lower-middle class. By contrast Obama is treated by white liberals as one of them.

What's happening?

The white liberal culturati based on their islands of privilege don't see themselves as white Americans-- they're "Citizens of the World"-- ironically enough, as THEY were the beneficiaries of America's racism, and not the gun-toting hard-scrabble citiziens of places like western Pennsylvania, many whose families worked in coal mines, or of Alaska, for that matter. It's because of this very guilt that liberal minds disconnect themselves from their own heritage.

Sarah Palin is everything they hate, in part because she clings to the ideals of America past-- and it must be said that much of affluent liberal hate is self-hate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Artificial World


One of the most important books of the last 100 years is Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, which looks at the effect of technology on human beings as a species. Part of Mander's argument is that technology is driving us crazy.

Noteworthy to me is that early in his career David Foster Wallace had a hyper-relationship with television. He wrote long essays about the shows he'd watched in his childhood. (I covered this back in 1994 in a parody in New Philistine #17.)

Most of DFW's writings have been examples of the overstimulated brain. Wallace had an extremely high I.Q., but it was intelligence largely untethered from reality. This was evident to me even in his recent book of "Lobster" essays, full of embarrassingly ignorant, albeit facilely-written, screeds about questions of society or race. He carried the standard liberal qualities of narcissism, arrogance, and wish-to-believe while knowing little about how the world actually operates.

For those who celebrated DFW, intellect was all. In his books he took readers on ever-more convoluted journeys into ever-more solipsistic workings of the brain, through ever-more layered levels of sentences of words piled upon words, linguistic fireworks deconstructing in ever-more complicated ways the meanings and dis-meanings of language itself. The books were pathways into madness and insanity. The real world was glimpsed through distorted funhouse mirrors of the massive amount of information which had been pumped, since birth, from reading, television, and computers, into David Foster Wallace's hyper-developed brain. Like the characters in the sci-fi movie "Forbidden Planet" he'd taken a hit from the brain-boost machine, and it destroyed him.

The danger for America is that our best-educated people are also the most psychotically detached from the natural world. They're the most immersed in the wonders of virtual learning, of artificial reality. It distorts their ability to judge what is actually happening, and fills them with myths about a planet they no longer fully experience..

That, for instance, the oceans will soon cover the earth is to them accepted belief. Eve Ensler writes emotional essays about polar bears without ever having seen one, except for CGI versions in Coca-Cola commercials on television screens, and puts her knowledge of the subject above that of an Alaskan governor who has lived in a wilderness land her entire life. Can you see what's unreal about this? Yet Ensler is affirmed right, because she's of the intellectual "in" crowd and because she carries the received myths of the hyper-intellectual postmodern age on her side; is more sympathetic to the plight of polar bears than Governor Palin, has more feeling for them, because she doesn't know them, even though the feeling is more for HERSELF and her detachment from nature including from polar bears than for polar bears themselves.

The suicide of David Foster Wallace, or of Liam Rector-- the transparent insanity of so, so many of today's literary people-- represents the failure of today's literary ideology. It's a subject I'll explore in Parts Two and Three of this piece.