MY 2 CENTS ON ALT LIT
Okay, so there has been a lot of discussions, posturing, YELLING IN CAPS, shit talking, defending, explanations,manifestos, and talketytalk about Alt Lit lately.
I’ve tried to keep a polite distance from all the drama. I guess it’s partly because I don’t really know where I fit in this discussion.
I interact with some writers who would be considered Alt Lit every once and a while. Mostly online but I have met and been invited to read with them IRL on occasion.
But I’m decidedly not very “alt.” I’m a happy married dad. Skinny jeans and I, well, let’s just say we don’t get along. I have a hard time telling the difference between Demi Lovato and Carly RaeJepsen. I spend more of my time listening to Sharon, Lois, and Bram than to Dubstep. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theatre after my toddler was born. I was able to see The Muppets, though. Thank you, On Demand! Seriously, all you Alt Lit peeps out there so much radder than me.
I find much of the writing being done by Alt Lit-ers to be exciting, bold, and pushing the boundaries of literature and publishing. Image macros, status updates, memes, tweeting, social media, popculture, chats, IMs; all this contemporary ephemera is inspiring writers to usenew media to create beautiful texts. Yup, thanks to the democratization of the internet, publishing and circulating one's work to an audience using YouTube videos, PDFs, e-books, and social media, for example, is now quicker than ever.
It’s too easy to dismiss Alt Lit writers as all having the same voice. This happened to The Beats. This happened to TheNew York School. Um, this happened to Britney and Xtina. All too often this kind of thing happens to communities of artists that share connections, friendships, and influences. But as much as there is writing that may read similarly in Alt Lit, more often than not, there’s passionate writing that moves me as a reader and gets me psyched up about literature.
Sure, Alt Lit isn’t for everyone, but that’s cool. Art is subjective and there’s bound to be stuff that moves you just as much as there’s stuff that doesn’t. Alt Lit isn’t the only thing I read or like. But right now, I dig a lot of it.
So why so serious, haters? Why are there so many people dipping their straws into the haterade?
Art is being created. Experimentation, play, and fun is being had. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Dean Young school of thought where the process of creation is just as or maybe even more important than the work itself.
Anyway, I dunno if I’m considered Regular Lit or Alt Lit. I’m uncomfortable with labels in general. Plus, that’s not up for me to decide. But I certainly dig Alt Lit’s enthusiasm and support for one another. That I can fersher rally behind.
Haters gonna hate. Creators gottacreate.
May the BOOST be with you.