Alt Lit is growing up. Took a while but now this is happening. For years Alt Lit has churned on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, with Klout scores calculated with the greatest of ease. Of course the Klout scores were part of an algorithm so really there was no math to handle. Hence the Klout scores increased with Alt Lit individuals gaining clout in poetry, writing, cat food, dinosaurs, and whatever else. Many Alt Lit individuals have seen themselves published in big shiny-ass books for the outside world (aka NOT THE INTERNET) to see.
Brittany Allen gives credit where credit is due. A lot of Alt Lit writers have been working tirelessly to try to make it. They have made it hundreds of thousands of artifacts the kinds of things that may be only transitory. Internet writing tends to be that way although the wonderful thing about Internet art is that it is cached not cashed. Hence the focus tends to be on simply finding a voice more than anything else. Over the course of Alt Lit’s brief life a lot of voices have been discovered, plenty of people making their MEME-PLEXES, stylistically similar artifacts that correlate to each other. Such things are beautiful indeed.
The boldness of Alt Lit is that it is a rebellious form. How long honestly can cynicism be expected to move anything forward? A lot of the writing from the 90s and early 00s seemed to love cynicism. With too much of that there needs to be a cool-down period, perhaps a rediscovering of sincerity. Alt Lit is easy enough to get into as it does not have any specific geographic location. Various strains of Alt Lit can be found in either rural (Maine, Idaho, Alaska) or urban (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) locations. Unlike previous writing movements where there were “scenes” the geographic abundance means there can be different strains that spread across the United States and even internationally.
Internet Poetry, Muumuu House, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Shabby Doll House, Alt Lit Gossip, Keep This Bag Away from Children, these are just a few of the places where Alt Lit writers have managed to come together. And Brittany Allen is right: there is a lot to do online. Much of it wastes time effort energy just reading those lists (top ten whatever) that eat away providing distraction not insight. Alt Lit reacts against that using the Internet not as a way to waste time but as a gallery. Everything online can be curated and created by someone. The wonderful thing about the Internet is someone can create art and no matter how quiet they are about it someone will find it. That is the beauty of the Alt Lit movement.
Long ago a ghost resided on PBS. This ghost was different from all the other ghosts. Children welcomed this ghost. Floating in and out of books this ghost helped a hard-scrabble group of kids hoping to solve crimes right in their area. ‘Ghostwriter’ taught kids the importance of relying on the supernatural to solve problems. Watching Ghostwriter is a near-religious experience since it involves a lot of faith and imagination. Many stated that Ghostwriter began a ‘renaissance’ of PBS, driving sales of stylish tote bags.
Years have gone by since anybody heard from Ghostwriter. Many assumed that Ghostwriter found peace. The trapped tortured soul must have found peace thanks to the help of a few willing children. Fortunately this is not the case. Ghostwriter remains trapped in the agony of purgatory. Once again Ghostwriter has returned, only this time it returns to the internet. However Ghostwriter has not made peace. In fact Ghostwriter was unable to help all the kids on PBS. The day before Ghostwriter was supposed to retire and ascend to heaven it faced its hardest case. Unable to have the kids’ help since they were snot-nosed tweens, Ghostwriter didn’t have a chance. So the criminal got away and Ghostwriter sank into a deep depression.
Alone Ghostwriter searched for something to give its limbo meaning. Not alive yet not dead it remained bored. Once the internet came about Ghostwriter found new meaning. The internet gave Ghostwriter an opportunity to rebrand. Finally Ghostwriter could do whatever it wanted to do. Worried that it would be alone on the internet it quickly made an anonymous Facebook page. Strangely people added it afraid of being alone. Excited, Ghostwriter created a Twitter. A taste of web presence made Ghostwriter want more. Haunting people’s online personas wasn’t enough. Ghostwriter wanted to give back to the online community.
Twitter was a first step for Ghostwriter. A web site is the latest and greatest aspect. With a website Ghostwriter could support others. Sick of helping people solve mysteries like ‘Who stole lip gloss from the local CVS’ Ghostwriter decided to help out Alt Lit. Alt Lit seemed young, out of control, and full of life. Ghostwriter longed for all of that, particularly the full of life thing. It has been such a long time since Ghostwriter lived. Sometimes Ghostwriter reminiscences about having genitalia and a sex drive. No matter though, Ghostwriter is on twitter so even if Ghostwriter was alive the likelihood of hooking up anyone on twitter would be low.
Right now Ghostwriter needs help. Contributions to Ghostwriter’s website are welcome. More tweets are forthcoming. Ghostwriter is doing this for the internet since the internet brings this old ghost some peace.
Saying who the author is for this formidable document is fruitless. What began as a ‘(insert name here) is the (insert person here) of alt lit’ went a little wild. Alt lit is a wild beast. To put people into little categories is tremendously difficult task. By enlisting these many unsung heroes the butt manages to create perhaps one of the freest documents yet in the ongoing story of alt lit. Unknown contributors create the rare 5d butt. 5d is the most intense of all butts, beyond basic 3 dimensions of butt and even the fourth physical embodiment of butt. 5d is an emotional ‘you feel me’ kind of butt. 5d is the Plato of alt lit butts.
People come for alt lit and stay for the friends. There are many friends to be made in alt lit. Some of them are beautiful. Amy-Saul Zerby is one such friend. Is Amy-Saul Zerby the friend of alt lit? Yes she clearly is with her winsome smile and infinite kindness. Everybody loves Amy-Saul Zerby. Those who dislike Amy are cast into the fieriest pit of hell never to be heard from ever again. Hence everybody should really check out her work. She is cool as heck.
Insecurity comes up. Insecurity is part of alt lit’s heartland. Think of Illinois. Nobody really intends on going to Illinois but there are all those sweet airline connections going through there. Hence at some point if somebody wants to go anywhere in America they need to stop through Chicago. Insecurity and alt lit is the same thing. Plenty of people live in insecurity. More people want to simply pass through it without living there full time. Parts of this insecurity show themselves in different ways. One intrepred soul wants Beach Sloth to gently touch them on the peener. This is a lot to admit. Beach Sloth is a married sloth with a lovely slothy wife and three beautiful slothy kids. Yet if a gentle touch on the peener is what it takes to make somebody a good writer, so be it. It certainly beats drinking Roggenbuck-blessed cum. Roggenbuck-blessed cum is highly Satanic and burns the throat. Sex with Heiko seems good though, that’s a good ‘back-up’ plan.
From here things take an even more suggestive tone. This is okay. Alt lit is mostly about hookups anyway. Whoever fails to hook up in alt lit fails at life! Beach Sloth remains above it all staying true to his wife and kids hence a ‘loophole’. A poem is penned about the subtly of one’s nipples. Due to a lack of money (and heating) their nipples freeze into nickels. If their nipples keep on freezing and they keep on earning those nickels they can go to Coinstar and afford to pay their heating bill. It is that simple like the old saying goes ‘When life hands you frozen nipple-nickels, exchange them at the nearest Coinstar location for currency’.
Logic bombs are dropped. Whoever the anonymous person is tells the truth: some things aren’t something. Huge amounts of time are wasted each and every day. That’s fine. Part of life is discovering what to waste time on, whether it is work or friends or family. Choices like this define what people are. How to live relies less on external events and more on an internal value system. Calculating this is tremendously difficult yet ultimately rewarding. Knowing who or what is worth it brings a great rush of joy. People just want to be happy. Happiness is just another emotion to feel, the best emotion of them all.
Hugs make alt lit what it is today. Sure there is plenty of hooking up. Without sex alt lit wouldn’t exist via the reproduction lifestyle. Thanks to the internet though all these otherwise normally reclusive writers see each other’s work and in rare instances even get to meet each other. Being reclusive may be considered ‘sexy’ in some areas of the world. Yet the internet refuses to understand the concept of ‘being reclusive’ or ‘existing IRL’. For the internet wants everything to be within its grasp. Honestly there are some things that simply don’t translate well into the internet like sunshine and hugs.
When it ends it feels like the end. By the end the end feels highly sexual. Probably the document transformed into something vile. ‘My Butt Ascended into 5d’ is the cyber orgy of alt lit.