I'VE ENGAGED in a few email conversations with a former ULA member who is distinctly negative toward the idea of bringing back the ULA. His argument consists of meaningless platitudes. "It's over. The past is the past. You can't bring the ULA back."
Statements which mean nothing in and of themselves. One can, or can't, bring anything back, depending on how hard you work toward it. My attitude is: Why not? If the project was worth doing once, it's worth doing again.
We actually have more of a foundation now, more of a starting point. With ULA 1.0 we started from nowhere and with nothing.
Study of history shows that wars or movements never ended with one battle. There was always someplace an Imperial City beseiged by hungry barbarians. If knocked-down once, they'd try again.
What should matter to us is the risk-reward ratio. I'm of the mind that there's no risk to another ULA campaign. We're already shut out. Present methods if employed for another hundred years aren't going to work. Today, with a million-plus writer-wannabe competitors, a Twitter account and Facebook page mean nothing. We need to find shortcuts.
The potential reward, on the other hand, is tremendous. Rewriting literary history. Renewing the art. Doing this by being the most exciting and important literary group.
What's stopping us? Not a whole helluva lot. A paper-thin facade. The established literary world is weak and they know they're weak. With the rise of indy ebooks, conditions are more promising for drastic change than they were in 2001. The status quo is moribund. Its advocates are chained to an unwanted style of art, the "literary" story or poem which only well-indoctrinated writing-school grads can appreciate; whose audience is becoming increasingly narrow. The entire system is sustained by artificial props. It's up to us to knock out those props.