The longer I study and try to understand the attitudes of people—the intellectual class in particular—the more I become convinced that we’re the product of our class, our upbringing, and the pressures of our education/indoctrination.
The intellectual class which so dominates the literary game is for the most part a genteel class of people, raised in relative comfort, surrounded by the markers of proper liberal behavior, which includes a climate of uncontentious intellectual consensus best represented by the slow-talking slow-thinking mandarin presentations of NPR. This is a far cry from the always loud always combative always unsteady lifestyles of much of the rest of society.
The literary class, then, is incapable of understanding the tones and tastes of the other 80-90% of us. Given the need to have specific strategies, they see things in terms of the established lit system, of how to accommodate themselves with it, whether gaining teaching positions in a college, or creating nonprofit publications removed from the competition of the marketplace. Their way of operating is directly opposite to the way upstart entrepreneurs in the pop music field still operate. Literary people operate as if their art were classical music. They limit themselves to 10% of the potential audience.
This creates unique opportunity for those who can see outside the bubble, who want to go after the rest of the population.