Monday, March 29, 2004

1.) The ULA is a radical organization.

2.) Most writers have no value in society or the marketplace because they place no value on themselves. One of my frustrations with the ULA has been that it's almost impossible to find writers who won't sell out (t hemselves and their principles) in the blink of an eyelash. Most writers are so desperate to be published that a conglomerate could toss a five dollar bill on the sidewalk, in the middle of dog shit, and the writer would be crawling like a dog to retrieve it.

It's like the panel of editors in NYC which I wrote about in an issue of New Philistine. At the conclusion of the bland and meaningless "discussion" there was a feeding frenzy of all the wannabe writers in the audience converging to the front, geniuses in their own minds exhibiting not a gram of self-respect or character as they fawned over the four mediocrities posing as "distinguished editors." It was sickening.

-King Wenclas

Saturday, March 27, 2004

It looks as if I have the Monday Report assignment for March 29th, this coming week. I've written a long essay about the Philadelphia underground lit scene. I hope people read all the way down to the end, because that's when my points will be made, the strands I lay down in the body of the essay hopefully coming together.

If anything, because I take the vantage point of a "serious" essay, the kind I wrote in the past, I understate things. If I were giving my unvarnished ungenteel opinion I'd say that we have some awesome spoke word performers in this city. We're only going to get better. Part of the reason for this is that some of the participants are very competitive with one another-- as Michael Grover is with Frank Walsh. I think I'm good enough myself to push both of them. And, there are some other wonderful talents around also. We'll see what results. Finally, Philadelphia is just a great friggin town.

-King Wenclas-

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

More About Medved:

Michael Medved strikes me as a political hack. As a writer he's strictly a mediocrity. He got his foot in the door by collaborating with Irving Wallace's son on a couple of lightweight books, one about the worst movies ever made, another about a class reunion. Everything Medved has put out since has been equally lightweight.

As a film critic he's not even up to Roger Ebert's level, who's a bit of a hack himself. Medved oozes febrile smarminess in just about everything he touches.

Of course, there's a meaner side to him, fueled by the desperation of having no talent. He got his foot in the door and wants to keep it there, so he grovels to the neo-conservative crowd. (He'd be as egregious if he were groveling to the New Yorker.)

Medved's hypocrisy can be gauged by the way this long-time campaigner against movie violence has applauded Gibson's well-made but disturbing film. Can one have it both ways? Either there's too much blood in cinema or there's not. (Those condemning "The Passion," who on the other hand raved about "Scarface," are equally hypocritical.)

Such things happen when you have a media and literary world whose criterion of entry is who you know and who you blow. Michael Medved seems to have covered both bases.

-King Wenclas
I find it bizarre that well-known movie critic Michael Medved would take time from his busy schedule to post broadsides against Rachel Corrie on obscure newsgroups like alt.zines. Here's a person who wishes to hear no contrary opinions, who'd like to stifle all dissent. We see the behavior that has led to her tragedy being ignored by the mainstream conglomerate media (in contrast, say, to the non-stop coverage given Jessica Lynch).

It's a strong argument for why the ULA exists-- to present truths, news, and ideas you won't find anywhere else. (Others also fight to present alternate viewpoints in small independent publications, and in corners of the Internet.)

-King Wenclas

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I have a complaint anyway. It's the failure of more ULAers to take advantage of the ULA opportunity. What do all writers (publishers, actors, cartoonists, etc) want? A voice in this society! One of our tasks has been to give them that. So where are they?

People are listening. We're getting ample hits on the fan site. Here's the opportunity to present our ideas and personalities. (Here, and on Essays, Monday Report, and the Letters page.)

Are writers too self-effacing? We're not living in the 19th century. If writers want to be heard, if they want people to know about their works, they need to tell someone about them!

-King Wenclas
With Patrick apparently taking a vacation from this blog, I intend to post here more often, and invite other ULAers to do so also. It might be a good place to share ideas (or complaints) about membership and the organization.

-King Wenclas
If the health of the ULA is gauged by the extent to which we're attacked, mocked, and made fun of-- privately and publicly; by outright enemies and ostensible friends-- then the Alliance right now is in very good shape.

-King Wenclas

Monday, March 15, 2004

The longer I live here, the more convinced I become that Philadelphia is the best city in the country for underground writers and artists. It's like San Francisco was in the Fifties and Sixties: affordable, warm, and compact.
All arts oriented people seem to live within walking distance of downtown (called Center City). It's very easy to keep up on everything that's happening and meet people.
Tomorrow (3/16) I plan to read at Michael Grover's monthly open mic; the best open mic in the city, one of the best anywhere. Grover of course is a complete pro. He earned his rep as a spoken word performer in Los Angeles before moving here. (Unlike some more provincial cities, Philly is quite open to outsiders.) Michael Grover doesn't just read; he practices his routines, which makes him a formidable competitor. He also has an outstanding voice, something of a prerequisite once you get to a certain level.
Giving him some competition of late has been Frank Walsh, whose poetry at its best is like TS Eliot on acid, and can be wildly entertaining. With Grover and Walsh you have the disciplined Beat poet against a mad genius.
Anyway, I'm a spoken word performer also, though I've neglected that the last couple years to enable others to take the spotlight. I've been writing some real poetry lately though (not the doggerel I did at the Conclave) and am eager to try it out. I intend to be just a little "over the top." Walsh is pushing the envelope and I've studied what he's doing. There could be some verbal pyrotechnics all over the place at this reading-- big league stuff.

-King Wenclas

Friday, March 05, 2004

Print-On-Demand Shakeup

I've got a Monday Report on Xlibris appearing at The Main ULA Site within the month. Here's some breaking print-on-demand news I didn't have time to squeeze in.

E. Dameron