Today an amazing thing occurred: alt lit arrived on Wikipedia. No one expected this to happen, not at all on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Usually alt lit people are lucky if they can manage a Facebook update or two. Sunday is probably the least ‘alt lit’ out of all the days. Perhaps this is the thing that will make alt lit become a movement, rather than an abbreviation.
Alt lit needs this attention. People in alt lit have been doing this for literally years, decades in the cases of Noah Cicero. For so long they’ve yearned, not for money, because writers don’t make money. Rather they’ve wanted to have a place that acknowledges them. I try to provide a supportive zone for alt lit. Alt Lit Gossip is pretty heavy into the day to day lives of the famous and alt. HTML Giant remains the first place people go to write arguments that include footnotes.
Why did this take so long? Alt lit has been around for a while. There have been reality TV programs based off of alt lit. You thought Steve Roggenbuck’s videos were for fun? Nope those are Steve’s day to day life. People really should watch them. I think a few of my friends have had their lives forever changed by those videos. I know Roggenbuck’s videos make me cry due to their exquisite beauty.
I like the Wikipedia page for alt lit. It states most of the writers remain unpublished. They are mostly self-published. Alt lit is getting more attention too. Muumuu House exists as an ‘incubator’ for a lot of alt lit. You simply give Tao Lin an egg of an idea and he waits until it hatches as a chick of an idea. Then it grows into a chicken of an idea. Eventually it mates with another idea, a rooster of an idea until a new idea family is formed.
Dennis Cooper (who has a Wikipedia page right here) talks about what’s been going on in alt lit. He mentions alt lit writers on a regular basis, from Zachary German to recently Steve Roggenbuck. Clearly these are writers who deserve the attention or at least possess something of interest to a guy who dedicated his whole life to writing.
Besides these boosters, there’s an entire alt lit ecosystem of boost. Boost support is needed for alt lit. A few detractors would say ‘Hey, it is simply writers reading other writers’. I don’t see how that is dramatically different from say, a certain café culture. With the internet writers can pretty much support one another emotionally without any expense. I don’t see the need to constantly pigeonhole alt lit as ‘fucking worthless’ or ‘totally fucking worthless’. I’m not saying all alt lit is equal, there are good and bad examples of it. I simply tend to focus on what I like rather than needlessly bashing someone who is creating work and giving it away for free. To be that is the definition of cruelty. And I’m a kind sloth.
Alt lit review sites definitely spend a lot of time going through the positive and the negative. While I don’t give numeral scores for what I read/review, I think most people are able to determine what I’m more or less passionate about. Other sites are a little more obvious in their like or dislike, such as ‘Banango Lit’ or ‘I am alt lit’. For the record, I adore ‘I am alt lit’ and whoever runs that is doing a truly stellar job.
Tonight is going to be the alt lit Wikipedia page’s toughest night. There are plenty of people who have perfectly reasonable and unreasonable motivations for wanting it to go away. I feel it should stay. At this point it has begun to increase enough in popularity. People outside of alt lit might want to know something about the tight-knit writing groups that exist within alt lit.
I’m quite fond of the alt lit page. I also enjoy its focus on anonymity. Anonymity is the best thing one can have on the internet. Glad my anonymous presence at this point exceeds the influence of my IRL presence. That’s the power of alt lit.