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Zinesters are not the Beats generation, we are the Beat-UP generation

Zinesters are the first generation that has had it's literature completely blocked from fair reviews in the mainstream media. There were the Beats writers in the 50's. Zinesters are the Beat-up writers. No other generation has had it's best contemporary writers block so completely and so unfairly.

The consolidation of the media has ruined mainstream publishing and the media that reviews it.
For some reason the media has given up all journalistic responsibility in refusing to cover zines and almost all better indie writing.

No coverage of the revolution in any art. It is just not literature.
No coverage of the new writers in new forms.
No coverage of the new writer advocacy groups and leaders such as King Wenclas, or ULA or Musea.
No coverage on why no coverage. The mainstream media can not be questioned on their almost total generational block of fair reviews for zines.

What do you think?

Tags: Dog, Guitar, Hendricks, Hunkasaurus, Musea, Pet, Tom, art, revolution

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Wow! A lot to respond to. For starters, where in the world do you get the idea, Microcosm, that i wanted you to fly one of your writers to one of yr shows?? (If I did, this has escaped from my memory. I've on occasion been in crazy states, so i guess it's conceivable, but-- I don't even have your email address!??) Show me copies, please.
Of course, in the ULA's heyday I flew writers to NYC or Detroit myself for events, so much did I believe in what we were doing. Was I misguided?? Maybe. . . .
Selling thousands of copies off a single blog post?? That blog must have quite a few readers!
Actually, all I did was follow some rules from Marketing 101, one of which is establishing a "brand," another obtaining free publicity, which we were pretty good at. The congloms themselves have million-dollar publicity departments and don't get the kind of attention we received. What happened?? (More in a bit.)
Ya know, I didn't intend for my remarks to turn into a forum on the ULA, which did some amazing things yet also, sure, made its share of mistakes. It was a very ambitious project.
Part of the problem was that during our p.r. heyday we had no books to sell. This is a touchy area for me to comment on, but I'll try. I kept the publcity going from early 2001 until jan 2004 (New York Times write-up), which was actually pretty good. We had no books until 2006-- by then attention on us had frittered away-- but left us also for another reason, which I'll get into IF I have time. I didn't plan on this being a big debate.
Would anyone NOT want the kind of write-ups we received???
None of this changes the way the mainstream NOW is coopting DIY. Sorry to tell you this, but the mass media has the power to define anything in any way they want. It's insanity to deny this.
Re the request for a plan from warren Pierce: I had one, which I put my heart and soul into. If I ever try again I'd do some things differently. Our success in the areas that were my focus was amazing.
The idea was to create DEMAND first for our products, before risking large sums on supply. I'd studied the way, after you hit a certain tipping point, publicity starts feeding on itself, like a nuclear chain reaction.
This is what happened with the Beatles in this country-- they went from NOBODY knowing who they were one week, to EVERYBODY knowing them the next. And yes, these poor Liverpudlians and their record-store manager used mainstream outlets to achieve this. There was no product in stores, really, then the blitz hit-- but product was created virtually overnight.
The idea, beyond this, was for the zinester writers to control everything ourselves, through a cooperative, non-hierarchical organization.
This is an extremely brief summary.
BUT-- in 21st century America, noise is everything. Everything.
As far as promoting my own work-- this is a no-win situation. I put tons of work into promoting the ULA's writers, including staging THE most exciting events in zine history. If I had promoted my own writing I'd have been accused of self-promotion etc, which I was anyway. Note all of the ULA books Jeff has now published-- not one by myself, despite the fact that no one worked harder for the ULA. Not even close.
But now Jeff's in the spot of most small press; having books but no way to move them, except outdated tactics. He kicked out his pr guy. (Me.) Where is he??? Anyone here much lately about the ULA?
A couple more quick points as I'm almost out of time. No, I don't have a TV either, but I do read. One can't deny mainstream media, which exists, whether you wish it away or not. My plan was to use it-- and create an alternative. Idealistic, sure.
I'm not speaking FOR anyone here but myself, my ideas, and maybe the philosophy of DIY. I really don't care what you do, Microcosm. Live yr life, and don't be threatened by ideas so easily.
I DO like to exercise my right of free speech in this loud society, sure. It's called democracy. . . .
Back online for a few more minutes. A coupla more points.
Ciara's argument doesn't bother me, as I'm not a purer-than thou zinester.
This is different from letting non-DIY people steal the DIY brand, which is happening.
Other: did my manner offend people when I was running the ULA? I guess. To me it was business. I wasn't playing pattycake. The job I had before creating the ULA was freight-forwarding, in which I did a lot of screaming over the phone-- and was screamed at-- over this or that missing truckdriver with an assembly line waiting. I wasn't prepared for the gentility of some zine people. I was not AT ALL from a gentle environment.
I worked hard for the writers who were not paying me. I hit every possible outlet.
What did in the ULA more then anything, halting our mementum, was when we exposed CIA funding of some esteemed lit pubs. The entire print media closed ranks against us. (We turned out to be right.)
Was exposing corruption worth doing? Hell yes! I wouldn't have had it any other way.
What pr is worth having? NY POst is fairly populist.
Or, Village Voice and Shout NY were good achievements-- obtained from our extremely exciting debate with the lit-snobs at CBGB's, of all places. Well worth doing.
The ULA was always a CELEBRATION of zines and zine writing. Did we promote zines as a literary movement? Absolutely! Guilty as charged. That's exactly what it is. You're making literature, like it or not. A crude, populist kind of lit, sure, but literature in the best Mark Twain-Jack Kerouac tradition of America all the same.
Microcosm Publishing said:
Karl + Tom (if desired, others may continue for the sake of entertainment)

Getting press in the way you do with the most mainstream of magazines does not SELL ZINES. it simply portrays you as a marginal, desperate force. Because you are defining your position in oppositional reactionism, you are not creating culture. You are defining yourself by what you oppose, what means that you are always responding to your enemies, rather than getting attention or credit on the merit of your own work.

Not true. I started and have kept going the Zine Hall of Fame. I am not defining my self by my opposition to anyone. I don't think Karl is either. What we're doing is giving our opinions to some ultra conservatives here in zinedom. I'm from Dallas and I know conservatives when I see them - they rush to oppose anything new.

What you are failing to realize, in your marketing, is that the underground is much bigger than the mainstream and has a much longer attention span. In the mainstream, most book purchases are gift items. The major retailers are going out of business. These economies of scale do not affect zines and people are naturally avid readers do not frequent the Barnes & Nobles or read The New York Times BOOK Review.

You can't hide from corporate art - you as zinesters have been banished to the sidelines. You think your message is safe and secure. I don't think so at all. You can't even allow much decent here on a zine blog. How do you think people who say anything different are going to be safe and secure.


Whereas, getting a solid plug on a blog can literally sell thousands of zines in a week. Because those people read and aren't afraid to drop a couple bucks. I think this is the path to getting your work read and it's not easy work necessarily, but it develops a bigger audience than any piece of mainstream press and is not a "path to obscurity".

After 17 years of zine-ing, my experience is that that is not true.

And the more I think about it, the ill logic here is that people aren't going to read your work that aren't inclined toward it; no matter how hard you try. So first, your work would have to appeal to your audience and second, you would need to be good to bringing that to them. I think the mainstream fails both of these tests - especially with most any zine!



"The curious thing to me is why someone would take the ULA to task for perceived minor faults, yet come out in support of enterprises backed by media monopolies."

This comment is hilarious! Did anyone (let alone everyone here) side with McSweeney's over the ULA? Because I think the general vibe is that everyone can think that both sides are quite preposterous. This is a prime example of speaking FOR US. It's funnier when Tom Hendricks does it but this instance is fairly priceless.

But the funniest thing was when we published THE FLOW CHRONICLES and Karl was upset that we wouldn't immediately pay to fly the author to Philly for one reading event. There were a series of insults directed our way afterwards, as if the event would have sold hundreds of books and we were selfish capitalists. We had published the book after a year of fundraising.

The people who read Writers & Poets are aspiring writers who want to get published. I suspect the reason the article in question refers to chapbooks instead of zines is because they are comprised of POETRY.

You are very good at bringing attention to yourselves but haven't done much to promote your own works as a result, which I guess is more fodder for saying "the real writers never get any attention" in the same reactionary way. Where would the ULA be when there's no mainstream press left to be angry at?

Making a living at writing.



Perhaps it would have to go back to insulting and speaking for people on We Make Zines.


I have never heard Karl insult anyone. I haven't insulted anyone. The name calling isn't from us.

But like Karl said, I'm one of those zinesters who lives in a trailer on a piece of land. I don't own a TV or read mainstream press. I ride my bike to work and do carpentry projects. I'm not trying to make a living from writing. I'm happy with "scraping by". Despite this, thanks for making me look relatively sane ULA.

That's your choice. But some writers want to be read by everyone. I do. I'm not blocking out readers
for any reason. I hope my message is universal, and well said, and well written.
uuuummmm, ahhhhh, erm.....NOPE!
Seriously...save your thoughts for one post. For real.

King Wenclas said:
Back online for a few more minutes. A coupla more points.
Ciara's argument doesn't bother me, as I'm not a purer-than thou zinester.
This is different from letting non-DIY people steal the DIY brand, which is happening.
Other: did my manner offend people when I was running the ULA? I guess. To me it was business. I wasn't playing pattycake. The job I had before creating the ULA was freight-forwarding, in which I did a lot of screaming over the phone-- and was screamed at-- over this or that missing truckdriver with an assembly line waiting. I wasn't prepared for the gentility of some zine people. I was not AT ALL from a gentle environment.
I worked hard for the writers who were not paying me. I hit every possible outlet.
What did in the ULA more then anything, halting our mementum, was when we exposed CIA funding of some esteemed lit pubs. The entire print media closed ranks against us. (We turned out to be right.)
Was exposing corruption worth doing? Hell yes! I wouldn't have had it any other way.
What pr is worth having? NY POst is fairly populist.
Or, Village Voice and Shout NY were good achievements-- obtained from our extremely exciting debate with the lit-snobs at CBGB's, of all places. Well worth doing.
The ULA was always a CELEBRATION of zines and zine writing. Did we promote zines as a literary movement? Absolutely! Guilty as charged. That's exactly what it is. You're making literature, like it or not. A crude, populist kind of lit, sure, but literature in the best Mark Twain-Jack Kerouac tradition of America all the same.
i don't understand this point that they keep trying to make that "DIY" is going to be taken over by the mainstream. DIY is simply an abbreviation for Do-it-yourself. It is not a brand. It is NOT a term only used by the underground artist. You do realize there is a fucking television network CALLLED "The DIY Network" that shows people how to fix their houses and do crafts and shit.

The idea to do things yourself isn't a secret.

Ugh, this incoherant rambling and paranoia about things that aren't even issues is driving me nuts.
it is called.... intellectual masturbation...nicole
so don't let it 'drive you nuts'

used to hear this s................all day
@ university............

DIY............to some...is: DID I YELL (enough)
:):)


NicoleIntrovert said:
i don't understand this point that they keep trying to make that "DIY" is going to be taken over by the mainstream. DIY is simply an abbreviation for Do-it-yourself. It is not a brand. It is NOT a term only used by the underground artist. You do realize there is a fucking television network CALLLED "The DIY Network" that shows people how to fix their houses and do crafts and shit.

The idea to do things yourself isn't a secret.

Ugh, this incoherant rambling and paranoia about things that aren't even issues is driving me nuts.
This whole thing about wanting to get as much attention as possible to publish as many copies as possible to reach as many people as possible necessarily contradicts one of what I consider the main joys and aims of zines - the ability to interact on a personal level with the people reading them. Just making sure that as many people read a zine as possible to me is pretty narcissistic as far as I'm concerned. It's all about talking and not about listening. Which is fine, if that's what you want to do, but being incredulous about the possibility that some people DON'T want that is really self-absorbed. If that's what you want, fine...but just own it and leave everyone else to speak for themselves without leading assumptions and trying to bully people into your point of view. Seriously.

p.s. Right there with you NicoleIntrovert. Fine points.

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