Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Winning Ideas

I mention in my interview with Dr. Wred Fright (see below) that the Underground Literary Alliance had winning ideas. That was certainly the case. It's why Tom Bissell made changes to his republished essay on us, changes to make it appear that Dave Eggers was once a zinester. But only in the most limited sense was he. From the start he was, as he remains, a rich guy buying himself into a scene. He never had the street cred of other west coast writers of the same time like Aaron Cometbus, or Doug Holland of "Pathetic Life." There's no way to change this. The Believer crowd does a lot of hipster posing. They'll have more credibility when they stop trying to wipe out genuine DIY writers, and instead accept them as legitimate participants in today's literary scene.

(The term "DIY" has been much abused of late. I'm reminded of the failed in-house project of the Murdoch publishing conglomerate HarperCollins, the one called HarperStudio. The clueless publishing pods part of the project were advertising themselves as "DIY." Which seems to have been stretching inauthenticity as far as it can be stretched, putting even The Dave to shame.)

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