Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steven Gaines Nothing From This Fight

Apparently East Hampton's largest rising problem is the fact that people own dogs, and when people own dogs, people own the dogs' need to poop, and they satiate this need by bringing those dogs to the beach.

Enter Steven Gaines. The author of Philistines at the Hedgerow apparently draws the line of wealth and dog shit. Now a resident of East Hampton, Gaines visits a private beach every morning, I guess when he's not writing about the cult of privilege. Read about his recent fight to clean up the beaches and toughen anti-shitting laws in his America, in this article from the New York Times news service.

Gaines has written a number of best-sellers and has had his fair share of books turned into films. This recent bit of ink he's earned himself can only make me think of one thing: Tennessee Williams' essay The Catastrophe of Success, which he wrote just before the New York opening of Streetcar Named Desire. In it, he contrasts the poor, hungry, obscure Tennessee Williams to the now rich, fat, and wildly famous Tennessee Williams, and he comes to this conclusion about the role of art and the artist:

...The heart of man, his body and his brain, are forged in a white-hot furnace for the purpose of conflict (the struggle of creation) and that with the conflict removed, the man is a sword cutting daisies, that not privation but luxury is the wolf at the door and that the fangs of this wolf are all the little vanities and conceits and laxities that Success is heir to...

Oh Steven. Has your fire really burned down to a flicker only large enough to illuminate dog feces?

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