Is Alt Lit Official II? (ALT LIT HARDER)
Alt Lit is making a second bid on the hallowed grounds of Wikipedia. Many remember the last time that Alt Lit made it onto Wikipedia. Back then things were much different. Things were dramatically different those many months ago. Back then there was considerably less anti Alt Lit feeling. Sure a few people disliked Alt Lit. Original enemies of Alt Lit are better known as ‘Hipsters’ since they hated Alt Lit before it was cool. Divisions continue within the Alt Lit and anti Alt Lit camps. Honestly Beach Sloth loves everyone. Beach Sloth hopes those who like and those who dislike Alt Lit can simply hold hands and smile on their brother (or sister). So much anger exists in the world. Art should be one of those ‘great escapes’ where pettiness should be at a minimum. At least that’s a hope. Beach Sloth hopes for friendship. Without friendship Beach Sloth is nothing.
This incarnation of Alternative Literature (as it is ingloriously called on Wikipedia) starts off on the defensive. It states what Alt Lit ‘isn’t’. Currently no agreed-upon definition exists of Alt Lit. Usually defining a movement doesn’t happen until after the movement has passed. The inability to define Alt Lit is thus a positive thing. Really there shouldn’t be an easy explanation. Any art movement will become readily clear only far after the fact. Obviously Alt Lit is barely grown, a mere child around the adults of the art world. More time is needed. Of course since Alt Lit is an internet-based form of art it works at a weird hyper-speed.
Multiple branches exist within Alt Lit. Videos, macros, poetry, short stories, even a smattering of novels, they come together into a fluent whole. They have begun. They are not done. Rules are basically non-existent in Alt Lit. Essentially there are no fucking rules in the kingdom of Alt Lit. Is there even a king or ruler within the Alt Lit category? Several generations of writers have already passed through, growing stronger and strong with each cycle. Some of these writers have been doing ‘Alt Lit’ before the term even emerged from the internet’s vast cloud of text, noise, and pictures. Various degrees of involvement exist within Alt Lit.
Writers are the most ‘consistent’ component. Videos count as writing. Members of Alt Lit can remain focused only on Twitter. Tweets can be Alt Lit. No one simply states ‘I am Alt Lit’ and expects it to stick. Rather a certain degree of work is generally required. Macros, articles, there are ways of reaching the general population. Macros in particular have a certain level of ‘MEME-ability’. Out of all the traits of Alt Lit is a certain ability to transform art into a MEME. Without this ability to be funny, to provoke or just be totally weird, Alt Lit may not have the attraction it currently has.
Aspects of the Wikipedia article deal with this reality. Yes internet presence is a near given for Alt Lit. Several members of Alt Lit take a more ‘removed’ approach from the internet, doing it irregularly, through books, writing IRL or reading tours. Online readings are a thing for many Alt Lit writers. Aspects of the Wikipedia article are misleading such as the coolness of ‘smoking’ since many members of Alt Lit are not smokers. The other aspect is drug use. Like any subculture there is going to be a use of drugs. Beach Sloth does not use drugs. In fact there is a large portion of Alt Lit which promotes the ‘straight-edge’ lifestyle involving no drink or drugs whatsoever. Hence it is a rather inclusive group. Really there are no specific limitations. Anyone can feel comfortable within Alt Lit. No specific behavior or interest is required for Alt Lit other than a love for language and a desire to change it for the better.
Controversy is inevitable for Alt Lit. That’s part of any new movement. Of course not everyone will love it. Josh Baines hates ‘the fuck’ out of Alt Lit. Poor Josh Baines, it is his loss. However his loss is the gain of the community. Due to Josh Baines Alt Lit received more attention than it ever had before. Creators of the ‘Thank You Josh Baines’ Facebook page mean it. Thanks to him there’s been a greater interest, a resurgence of popularity and new writers within the community. Multiple writers are listed within the Wikipedia page. No list could ever properly do justice to a movement that’s greatly expanding day by day.
Alt Lit consists of those in school, those working full time, parents, literally everyone who is interested. With this renewed, revamped, and redone Wikipedia page Alt Lit is rising up once again, the next renaissance of Alt Lit.