MOST WRITERS and even many undergrounders are in denial about the nature of the established literary and media worlds, and the character of the individuals who inhabit those worlds.
Those highly-placed individuals live in a narrowly constructed, hierarchical, and very competitive environment. They've been trained to be ruthlessly conformistly competitive since the age of three. Ethics? What's that? They're amoral by philosophy. Ruthless to the verge of sociopathy.
How do you think they view undergrounders and other outsider writers?
The biggest mistake the outsider can make is believing the literary Insider has the same worldview you do.
Clueless underground writers sometimes believe that if only we're polite to the bigs, they'll be polite to us. They're waiting to welcome us into their tent! This notion couldn't be more wrong.
Those well-placed within the system, who assume their own talent and importance, look upon all underground writers not of their station as literary insects. "Losers," "bottom feeders," and all the other appelations that were heaped upon our heads because we dared demand to be treated as equals.
From the establishment standpoint, they have no choice but to scorn us. To think and behave otherwise would be to deny their lives. To deny their expensive education and training, and whatever positions they've obtained.
Literary rebels have a second strike against us, in that we're a threat. We're insects that could possibly be harmful to them, and so they'll continue trying to stomp us out.
Why then run a ULA-style campaign? Is there a way to succeed? Are the odds too great?
Those within the system are practical. They've been trained to assess weakness and power, to smell out power and attract themselves to power. It's the way of their world.
Undergrounders gain respect only through exhibited strength. The more leverage we create for ourselves and demonstrate, the closer we come to being treated as equals.
Or, we need to have, and present, total credibility.
The idea that we can approach the obsolete but hugely powerful battleships of the literary establishment in a rickety and goofy underground boat, waving signs of politeness and saying, "Hey, guys!" in a friendly way is an absurdity. We'd be blown out of the water, or more likely, simply run over, to disappear under the waves. We have to see the world as it exists in reality.
They'll respect us if we carry torpedoes.