Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lit-Blogger Sycophancy

INSTEAD of becoming independent alternatives, most lit-blogs are now mere shills for the powerful publishing conglomerates.

Two examples of this are the hapless interview of Susan Nagel by Elena Maria Vidal at

and the advertisement masquerading as a post by Marshal Zeringue at


K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

Re the insane remark I deleted.
Sorry, chum, but right now I'm searching for ways to survive-- which is getting increasingly more difficult.

Anonymous said...

So who isn't trying to survive? Why do you think that your sellout is less of a crime than other people's? Everyone else is trying to survive to, you know. Maybe you could stop saying everyone else you hate is a sycophantic shill and admit that they are just trying to get by too? Don't be a disgusting hypocrite and maybe you will find it a little bit easier to survive.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

??? The sell-out of course is coming on the Internet in the first place, which is controlled by Microsoft. Given that, we're all tainted.
I could go back to my buds in the real print underground, where I dwelt from 1992 to 2001-- great folks like Fred Woodworth, who haven't compromised in any way whatsoever.
Given that I'm existing in this context-- for pragmatic reasons-- I've not gone to the extent of pandering to the big media conglomerates, as have most lit-bloggers.
There's getting by and getting by. I haven't yet sold my soul or my integrity.
Why so much vitriol against myself, by the way, "Anonymous"? Who am I? A threat to anything other than your own conscience-- which seems to be very active?
You have not a speck of anger at the gigantic publishing industry-- only at those who dare criticize it.
In that sense, yes, you are a shill.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

Hell yeah I'm going to delete anonymous vitriol. (An anony-mouse has no credibility to start with.)For too long I've played by rules of "fairness" which no one else allows themself.
Like other undergrounders, I'm at an enormous disadvantage viz-a-viz the publishing conglomerates. I'm fighting a 100-foot giant with one arm tied behind my back to start with. Excuse me if I don't allow the other one to be tied as well.
My original post stands. If all you can do, as a lit-blogger, is mindlessly applaud what the monopolists hand you, vapidly uncritical, then you're not doing even the minimum of what a blogger should be doing.
Yes, we're all captives of the conglomerate totalitarian beast. I haven't found a way around this which will enable me to still have a voice in this ultra-noisy world. If I do find a way, I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

I'm leaving this one up as an example of the level of discourse of my opponents.
I'll be addressing his "point" demanding revolutionary purity, in an upcoming post.
He is of course a complete ignoramus who knows nothing about history, about how to conduct a rebellion, or about keeping one's integrity through the course of it.
Amazing how those demanding 100% ideological purity from myself have absolutely no integrity themselves. Curious. May explain his rage, which is really directed at himself; a product of his conscience.
Re the ostensible point of his post: I'm something of a radical, maybe an extremist; I live in poverty; but I'm not a monk! If a twenty dollar bill is on the sidewalk before me, I'll pick it up.
To this chump:
Man, will you ever acquire a backbone and post under your own identity?
Or will you remain just a large quivering bowl of Jello dessert?
You're an embarrassment-- hardly the individual to lecture me about anything.

david said...

Actually, you prove anonymous's point. You find a twenty dollar bill, of course you pick it up. So would Franzen.

Now, let's say it's 20K. You'd pick it up; so would Franzen. Of course, you won't be offered 20K, but that's not Franzen's fault, and if he refused the money it wouldn't go to you or anyone you champion. Yet you sit and criticize, over and over again, anybody in the lit world who gets attention or money. That criticism would mean something if you thought attention or money inherently ruined art, and so you didn't accept any. But you love attention. And you'd take money. Therefore, you're not railing against a system at all; you just want the attention and money that other people get. Well, that's not an ideological stance. That's just selfish whining.
And now you'll attack me, I must be some literary mandarin, because you speak for all unappreciated artists. That's bullshit too. I'm an unappreciated artist myself, and I'd love a piece of the pie. But I don't flatter myself into thinking that I'm a revolutionary because of that. I try to support my writer friends and cheer them on for their accomplishments. And I hope one of us gets lucky someday. And I tip my hat to artists who have made it, regardless of their advantages, even if I think their work sucks. Because every artist deserves respect in this fucked-up capitalist world. And no writer should get slapped down for having rich parents, friends in New York, or just dumb luck.

King said...

Sorry, but you're wrong.
You have an assumption to start with.
But the truth is that I gave up a decent paying job to devote myself to literature-- to changing literature.
The question, as I plan to address, is not being forced to accept a 100% purity. It's instead doing what's necessary to make the cause-- a very worthy cause, I might add-- a success.
I'll take a twenty from the sidewalk in order to eat-- and there have been moments in the past six months here in detroit when I haven't been able to eat.
I'd hope not to take the 20k intended for struggling writers when I've already received a million-dollar advance.
That's just hoggish.
Or Mr. Moody, living on Fisher's Island. Don't you realize he had to APPLY for his Guggenheim-- completing ample paperwork? (Or had a flunkie prepare it.)
Right now I'm doing what I have to in order to keep this quixotic campaign going.
Absolute purists are out there-- the likes of Fred Woodworth and Violet Jones. I was once one of them, from '92 to 2001. They didn't agree with the ULA even going on-line. Compromise!
These are age-old debates-- the kind Jesus himself engaged in, who was not John the Baptist; who did indeed come "eating and drinking," and lost at least one of his followers because of it. Was he not for real? When he stood face-to-face with Pontius Pilate, was not the difference-- the gulf between them-- apparent to all?
"But what about that tankard of oil?" I suppose Pilate could've asked, if he were as clueless as intellectuals of now.

King said...

p.s. I want to point out again, as I did on my other blog, david's skewed viewpoint.
Rich writers getting "slapped down"? Because some lone guy dares criticize them? While they pocket taxpayer-funded/ tax-sheltered bucks?
I think your sympathy is a tad misdirected.
But never fear. I'll start another blog-- "The Defense Campaign for Overprivileged Writers."
they need all the help they can get.