Talk:Underground Literary Alliance

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I think Emerson's edits mischaracterize the criticisms of the ULA on alt.zines and slant them in Karl and the ULA's favor. I know he is a member of the groups and is definitely the one to be filling out their goals and history, but perhaps he should consider limiting his editing on the section of criticism of the group so it doesn't appear so biased?

I do realize I was one of the biggest critics ULA when they were more active on alt.zines a few years ago and really shouldn't be the person to present that section as well, but it's frustrating when I attempted to present the feelings that were aired on alt.zines to find them so severely edited in the ULA's favor. Maybe a more neutral party at some point could read through the fairly lively discussions and summerize the criticisms from other zinesters? It was certainly a lot more than just of "the organization's stated emphasis on spin and ballyhoo" and I don't even have a firm grasp on what "openly narcissistic post-modern writing" even means :) --Dan Halligan

I thought your edits were overtly biased, and I think the standing version is more neutral. For the record, I am listed as a "supporter" of the ULA (not a "member"), and I'm not interested in using this space to make them look good. If you examine the edits, you'll noticed I toned down Steve K's rhetoric much more than yours. Edameron 18:41, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

You are listed on their Membership Roster on this webpage and have a profile there: Believe me, I checked before making any comment. I really think there were a lot of legitimate criticisms of the ULA from many members of the zine community that you reduced to something very trivial. While years later it doesn't really matter, I didn't even know they were still around, but I'd hate for history to be rewritten incorrectly. --Dan

Trust me, Dan, I don't care about protecting the ULA's image here. I just want the wiki to be as neutral as possible, not a soapbox for one party or the other. I thought you and Steve K both went overboard on making your personal positions known. I tried to focus the "criticism" section more on the facts of the debates and less on your assumptions about the ULA's motives and expectations. If you want to re-write it, go ahead, it's all yours. I've already invested all that this is worth to me.

If you can't parse "narcissistic postmodern writing," I direct you to a much simpler Italian expression: "All smoke, no meat." I think that saying, coincidentally, sums up a lot of people's denunciations of the ULA (if not yours): "The ULA is all smoke (hype) and no meat (writing)." Edameron 19:00, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

I gave it one more edit, which I hope you won't find dismissive. Your move, Dan. Edameron 19:13, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

Hey, boys. I just wanted to let you know that my name appears as a recent edit on the Criticisms section because I corrected a spelling error. I promise I didn't sneak any bias into that "n" that I inserted. Actually, I wanted to add that, as a non-biased reader (which I am -- feel free to Google my name, Dan, to make sure I'm not a sneak; I'm quite unaffiliated), I think the section is absolutely neutral as is. It's succinct and seems to fairly treat all parties. As you were. Kate 18:53, 14 July 2006 (CDT)

Neutral? The ULA post is hardly neutral from my standpoint-- a few real slams at me. What does it mean when the Wiki entry on the ULA is more unbiased and impersonal than the Zinewiki version? So be it. I'm well used to such. (There are some tremendous misconceptions about the ULA here in this discussion which I'm tempted to go into.)

I'll admit most of the ULA happenings were "before my time" in the zine world, so it is hard for me to seperate, that's why I left it up to Dan and Emerson, and every other registered visitor, to fix the unfactual statements. ZineWiki is brand new, (launched less than a month ago) so we don't quite have the editorial team that Wikipedia does. Feel free to make any appropriate edits to the article and we'll go from there. Alan Fall of Autumn 10:48, 8 August 2006 (EDT)

Disregarding the existing zine scene? How is this possible when the ULA always was PART of the existing zine scene? Yes, our strategy was different from that of many. So what? Our focus was naturally on building our movement. At the same time we continually welcomed zinesters into our ranks. This is how the ULA grew from a handful of writers to an organizatiuon of over forty people! (That we didn't kowtow to existing self-designated zine authorities is a different story.) The posts which were added to the ZineWiki entry in fact exemplify our history. The ULA posts positive statements about ourselves; on alt.zines; on many places. Then people rush to criticize them. Why? I can't say I get it. I've never attacked Dan's operations, his way of doing things. I've been too busy trying to promote the ULA. I've said countless times, "Do your own thing." Think of the time I've wasted advocating within the underground, within the ULA itself, which would be better spent advocating the cause of the underground and underground writers to the outside world. (I'll address some misconceptions about the ULA when I have the time. Thanks.)-King.

The entire "criticism and controversy" section, if I'm not mistaken, was inspired by a six-year-old alt.zines debate that would be irrelevant in Wikipedia but has thusfar been deemed relevant here. It's a fact that some people in zines have a negative view of Karl Wenclas and the ULA. The "criticism and controversy" section attempts to document and elucidate that fact. Ideally, the entire article should be as unbiased, accurate and comprehensive as possible. Dan thought the original article was pro-ULA propaganda, so he changed it. If Karl thinks Dan's changes are anti-ULA propaganda, Karl can change Dan's changes to Steve. Then Dan can change Karl's changes, and someone else can change those changes. The night is young, and I'm finished meddling. Edameron 12:45, 8 August 2006 (EDT)

I think it would be great if Karl would actually contribute to ZineWiki rather than just complain and debate about the listings. We definitely could use more listings about older zines and zinesters from people that have been around for a while. As for this particular listing, my complaints about it's first incarnation were resolved quickly by Emerson, but Karl should feel free to edit it, the whole ZineWiki is a work in progress. (ps- You blatantly lie above, you sent me snail mail letters full of threats for voicing my opinion on alt.zines, if that was not an attack on me, I don't know what would be.) dan10things 13:43, 8 August 2006 (EDT) ??!! What a two-year old. Keep in mind, Dan, that at the time the first alt.zines debate started about the ULA, I wasn't on-line (I still don't own a computer) and had no way of going on-line. The only way for me to enter the debate, and respond to inaccuracies about myself and the ULA, was to communicate in traditional zine fashion-- through the friggin' mail! Mail arriving in their mailbox-- properly signed letters (unlike the stacks of anonymous hate mail I've received over the past six years) seemed to throw some people, for some reason. Maybe my writing was too strong and self-assertive-- I didn't roll over for them. Back to the topic at hand: Most of the added remarks in the controversy section have no business in an encyclopedia entry; they're hearsay and gossip, for the most part.

For instance: "Several former members are now vocal critics of the ULA." Care to name them? (We were most recently attacked by an anonymous person who we thought MIGHT be a former member of the ULA-- but even he has ceased posting against us. I'm on decent terms with most, if not all, ex-ULAers; nothing out of the ordinary from what might be expected with any organization. The seven of them left for a variety of reasons.) Our entry is supposed to deal with facts. I look for Dan to provide some. Also: "alienated many ideological enemies"??? This statement is an oxymoron. How can you alienate people who are your ideological enemies? That's like saying that the head of the Communist Party alienated the Rockefeller family. It's an absurd statement. Or, "demanding action from writers without fully explaining its position and intent." Can we really be accused of not explaining ourselves, when we've expended many many thousands of words doing exactly that? (Uh, ever read my blog? I'm also listed as one of the top ten ever posters to alt.zines over the years; I'm not completely sure that was a worthwhile investment.) Please provide a few examples, Dan. Some facts. The only incident I guess you could possibly be referring to is our original Guggenheim grant protest. Zinesters like yourself requested more information. We provided it. (I even wrote snail letters attempting this.) We made our case well-- it was presented later in the first issue of SLUSH PILE. This was still not good enough. They disagreed with the Protest, as was their right, and scorned it, saying it was useless. They were wrong. As noted in the NEW YORK POST, even many establishment writers privately agreed with it; agreed that many doings in the established lit world were corrupt. THAT they agreed with it; that many journalists also agreed, was one reason we received a flurry of press attention to our cause; to underground writers. (Long-time self-publishers like Wild Bill and Jack Saunders for the first time receiving attention in places like SHOUT NY.) Our argument was proved right. In fact, while we're looking for the facts behind Dan's statements, who are these many people who opposed us on alt.zines? At the outset there were three: Dan, Inner Swine, and Asha Anderson. I later made peace with the latter two (just received a nice chapbook through snail mail from Asha) and the three of us cooperated in staging the 2003 event in Chicago to help raise money for zinester Cullen Carter's medical bills. Might this be mentioned in the "Controversy" section, for balance? I remain on good terms with virtually all zinesters who consider themselves writers (most of whom who've joined the ULA, which in many ways is a "Who's Who" of literary zinedom). I've carried on a friendly snail correspondence with Aaron Cometbus over the years, and with Fred Woodworth. I recently received a friendly e-mail from the legendary Jennifer Gogglebox. Could Dan's portrayal of myself and my reputation in zinedom possibly be a tad inaccurate? Gee, if I'm such a monster, why did so many zinesters join the Alliance? Dan's actions on our entry and in this discussion speak for themselves. He's still carrying grudges from five years ago. One doesn't notice myself or other ULAers jumping on his ZineWiki entry full of complaints over his continual attacks on us. Why would we? We're occupied with our own doings. With his endeavors I wish him all the best. My words regarding him on alt.zines were responses to his attacks-- as here. -King Wenclas

King, if there are statements you feel are inaccurate, or require citations, feel free to edit them, delete them, or request a cite (as you did above with a few of the statements). The article is open for you, and other members of the ULA to edit, and I can guarentee you the editors we currently have are mature enough not to get into a 'revert' war with any changes made. I'd like to see the information presented here as accurate as it can be, though as I don't have any first-hand experience with the ULA (other than some pleasant chats with JD Finch) I can't make those changes/decisions on my own. Thanks for your time here. Alan Fall of Autumn 11:15, 9 August 2006 (EDT)

Karl, once again feel free to edit the inaccuracies, that's what a Wiki is about. FYI, I only added the criticism section and most of my words were edited out, check the editing history. I did not write the part about past ULA members (I didn't even think you guys were still around) or "alienated many ideological enemies" - I would have said "alienated fellow zinesters with personal attacks and threats of physical violence," since that can be backed up in alt.zines' archives and by letters I have from you on ULA stationary. The listing needs some acknowledgement of the contraversy caused by the ULA in the zine community, but I don't really care about the particulars as long as it isn't biased, which I've said multiple times. dan10things 13:03, 9 August 2006 (EDT)

Zinewiki isn't a discussion forum. It's an open-source encyclopedia. As it fills out, it can be a research tool for people who care about the small press. As part of the team that created it, I want it to be as accurate and unbiased as possible. If there's information in here that's factually wrong, I hope someone will correct it. Edameron 15:11, 9 August 2006 (EDT)