Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Interesting Take


Here’s a biased but interesting take on the ULA from one year ago, by Jim Hanas, who at the time was (still?) an editor at New York Observer:

This shows an intrigued if detached attitude toward us. It also shows the effectiveness of the original campaign in getting the ULA’s name and message into peoples’ heads.

Hanas is wrong about our stance toward Rick Moody. We never hated him. Our grievance against him was solely that he was abusing the arts grant process. Our stated mission was to fight corruption in the literary world. Too bad Jim Hanas doesn’t mention that.

The editor of New York Observer by the way, Elizabeth Spiers, isn’t a fan of ours, at least not at the present time. Like many, she carries the philosophy of the Rod Steiger character in the movie “Doctor Zhivago,” which is: Be on the side that’s winning. This seems to be key to survival in the Manhattan media world.

(Note also the snarky, unnecessary comment from Choire Sicha. If these people detest us when we’re not even around—what happens when we come back??)


Patrick King said...

That comment comparing the ULA to the Westboro Baptist Church was pretty fucked up. I guess it's okay to libel someone when they don't have any power to fight back. I've never understood the whole "hate" thing. If nothing else, the Howl protest was a study in contrasts.

Jim Hanas said...

Just to clarify, I was not an editor at the New York Observer when I wrote this, but I am now.

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

Thanks for the clarification.
I've also found a note online that Ms. Spiers is no longer Editor at NYO, though appears to still be employed there.
If we were right about DIY literature, this still makes it important to stand out. Bringing the ULA back, a name which already has unbeatable DIY and populist credibility, will allow us to pick up the pieces as the status quo collapses.
"Are We All ULA Now?"

JeffOYB said...

A small core plus a structure for populist expression -- like a forum run by that Iowa volunteer -- might really help get the ball rolling. We might have to do less than we think. Karl says the old guard should step back. So let's create an inviting space for new folks to come forward: a moderated forum. (Readers and reviewers/critics: that's who I want to see show up and declare that the populist message is onto something. I want to see them sharing notes about writers who bust outside the MFA/NYC box. That's the litmus test of success! Of viability. To me, anyway.)

The hate thing was such a lame reflex, just like the Stalinists thing Bissell did. So weak. That's all they got? We coulda rolled on, easily. But maybe the time is even riper today.