For three months I've shown at my main blog,
how American literature is dominated by monopolies and the super-rich. The focus to change this has been the Petition to PEN,
, which so far has garnered 26 fearless names, an all-star list of underground writing talent. Most have been, or are, zinesters. There's room-- and the need for-- more underground stars.
PEN American Center, a bulwark of the literary establishment, is on the defensive. By refusing to respond to the Petition, it betrays its principles, and fully establishes the UNdemocratic nature of the U.S. literary world. To publish its own books, PEN uses a part of the Murdoch media empire, HarperStudio, whose pathfinding is publishing not writers, but celebrities. HarperStudio presents themselves as DIY, if you can believe it, when they're anything but. It's about coopting real DIYers, and writers in general.
That Z Magazine positively covered this matter in its May issue shows that word about this protest is getting around. We have the opportunity to force real change in the monopolistic media world-- but more pressure is required.
This is especially crucial now, has PEN will be selecting a new Exec Director to replace Michael Roberts, who was put in the position ten years ago to serve NY plutocrats, and has done that job well. The opportunity for change is there. It's now.
No one's asking you to march for democracy in Tehran! But we can fight for democracy in our own country, in our own world, in our own way.