Benn Ray had the unenviable task of editing three lengthy e-mails into a songle possibly coherent section for his newsletter. Though the final result is a point counterpoint in his favor (him always getting counterpoint), I did leave it up to his to edit it and that’s exactly what I expected. He had the chance to revise any statements in response to mine, though I haven’t made a comparison of all the relavent exchanges to see what, if anything, diverges: From the MobtownShank e-mail list: XXVII.
2 SMUT PEDDLERS TALK PORN & POLITICS
by Kevin I. Slaughter & Benn Ray
The following is a conversation in response to the Random Factoid in week’s Shank, “Hypocrites Love Porn” in which we reported on a study by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washingon (CREW), http://www.citizensforethics.org/activities/campaign.php?view=31, showing the link between anti-porn Senators and Congressmen and porn money. Kevin I. Slaughter is the proprietor of Sin Set Books (www.sinsetbooks.com). Benn Ray is the proprietor of Atomic Books (www.atomicbooks.com).
KEVIN: So I wasn’t shocked by the figures given in the “Hypocrites Love Porn” section of the latest Shank. In fact, it was no surprise at all. Okay, sure, I think most moralists are hypocrites, but that wasn’t the cause of my less than excitable state. I thought it was kinda bullshit. Not that those people didn’t get those sums of money from companies, but how it was presented. I know you just copied and pasted some numbers into the Shank, but of course both their (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) presentation and your truncated presentation of the figures are misleading. But, since you do research for your other articles, I digged a bit here and there. The Shank got me goin’, and I tried to present my objections here in a civil and thoughtful way (though maybe a bit rambling) while still calling bullshit. If you go to the report you see that both General Motors and AT&T are included in the list. These are not pornographers. Not one corporation on the list specializes in pornography. No Vivid CEO or even the guy who makes Real Dolls. Not Playboy or Larry Flynt. Comcast is likened to being a ‘porn peddler’. Are they talking about the Olson Twins? At no time in the report does it state that any of the corporations are in the business of actually manufacturing pornography. At worst, they provide a medium to deliver goods. By saying AT&T are porn peddlers, you can say that about the post office. When you think of a national Hotel Chain, do you consider them to be pimps and panderers? I don’t. I think they provide a service of selling some porno, just like they might have a few bottles of booze in the mini-fridge.
BENN: And do you have any idea how much money adult movies garner for the Hotel Industry? They generate higher revenues than the mini-bars! “An estimated 40 percent of the nationâ€™s hotels offer adult movie options, which account for about 90 percent of pay-per-view revenue. Based on estimates provided by the hotel industry, at least half of all guests at hotels such as Marriott and Holiday Inn pay to view adult movies. These orders result in approximately $190 million a year in sales.” I’d say that puts Marriott and Holiday Inn in the porn business.” (That’s from Citizens For Ethics, and here’s the .pdf of the report: www.citizensforethics.org/filelibrary/2005310_addicted_to_porn.pdf.) Some analysts say these in-room sex movies generate more money for the hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton than revenue from the hotels’ mini-bars. “The 5 percent or 10 percent of revenue that the hotel chain gets, that’s pure profit to them because they have no cost,” says Dennis McAlpine, an entertainment industry analyst. “They didn’t put in the wiring system, they didn’t supply the programming.”
KEVIN: The report talkes about AT&T making $20 million per month on broadband pornography. I don’t have the source that it’s referencing. I’d be inclined to believe that it makes that sum a month on providing broadband services that can, by choice of the subscriber then be used to view porn (they reference the ‘Hot Network’ merely one of I’m sure a multitude of services they provide) or baseball scores or anything else. The wording there isn’t straight forward. Did they make $20 million on this ‘Hot Network’? You’d be inclined to assume that, because the sentences are together, but they don’t say that.
BENN: To put it more into perspective: “Americans spend upward of $450 million per year on adult entertainment via pay-per-view TV, which provides huge profits for content providers such as AOL Time Warner and Comcast.” (again, www.citizensforethics.org).
KEVIN: They are two separate statements. To say that “only too happy to accept political contributions from those who derive income from the sale of pornography” is a pretty specious claim at best.
BENN: Then at this point, the argument becomes one of percentages. The initial source website states: “Yet while denouncing the decline in public morality, many of those same Members accept money from corporations that derive substantial profits from pornography. Although they do not advertise it, companies as diverse as Comcast and Marriott International make enormous amounts of money by selling pornography. Ironically, some of this money winds up in the political war chests of pornographyâ€™s most outspoken Congressional critics.” You call into question percentages, which I understand and think is fair, but you are putting on a sliding scale moral absolutionists who do not, at least when speaking to their public, deal with shades of grey. It’s giving them both sides of the coin, and they don’t deserve it. If you take money from Hotel chains or Comcast, you are taking money that has been “tainted” by the sex business. If you are morally outraged by the sex industry, you should not allow the possibility for your representation of a constituency you have supporting your anti-sex ways to come into question.
KEVIN: But they do deserve it, because it’s reality. Just because you disagree with them doesn’t mean you yourself should use such absolutionist tactics against them. Do you become bigoted against the bigot? If you like ice cream, but someone else doesn’t, do you then hate them? You take them to task on the issue.
BENN: Here you are mixing an aesthetic, a personal taste, with a system of core moral beliefs, so your comparison does not hold. The question, more appropriately should be, “If you have a friend who hates people because of the color of their skin, do you then hate that friend?” To which, I would say, yes. But again, even this is tricky because we aren’t talking friendship, we are talking politics and money.
KEVIN: One of my favorite events of last year was the Drive-In presentation of the Don Knotts vehicle “The Love God?” It was a fundraiser for moveon.org. I don’t like moveon.org, but this was my one chance to see one of my favorite movies of all time on one of the biggest screens in the East. I went. I’m attending a concert at the end of the month. Part of the proceeds from the event are going to a religious Jewish group. I hate Judaism as much as I hate Christianity (I’m talking about the religious beliefs and not the ethnicity, it’s not an anti-semitic statement, it’s an anti-religious one). In the last 10 years this musical group has performed 5 times, and I’m not going to miss the event. In both situations my personal goals superceded my care for where some of my money went. As an egoist, holding myself as the most important concern in my life, does this make me a hypocrite?
BENN: Yes. For example, to go back to your ice cream comparison, Star Spangled Ice Cream (being Wing-Nuts, they are humor impaired) makes a Neo-Con response to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with flavors like: Cherry Falwell (okay, I admit this name is pretty funny), Gun Nut, Iraq The Vote, I Hate The French Vanilla, Smaller GovernMINT, etc. This could be the best ice cream in the world, but I won’t buy any. And you know what? I take it once step further. The company who manufactures the ice cream that Star Spangled Ice Cream uses (yeah, they don’t actually MAKE their ice cream), is Moxley’s, and I will now not buy Moxley’s ice cream. And dude, I LOVE ice cream.
KEVIN: We can get into a semantic debate but I’d say neither my actions nor the actions of the government officials are hypocritical in the strict sense. I denounce desert superstitions that have little to no relevance in our contemporary life, I have a strong distaste for fervent political activism. In the first case I was not politically motivated, I was an excited consumer. It also helped that I ended up winning a gift certificate good for a dinner for two at Bertha’s Mussels (I had a bit of a smarmy smirk on my face when, at the end of my $50 dinner I handed over the certificate that had a hand written “Go Dems!” on the back of it, a few weeks after the election was over). In the second instance it’s the choice of the private business owner to give their money to whomever they wish, though I sent a letter telling them that I regretted part of my money was going to a religious group while attending an event that couldn’t be called anything but secular. Hypocrisy is denouncing something but still doing it yourself.
BENN: Not exactly. According to MerriamWebster, hypocrisy is “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.” And that is at the core of what we are talking about. Political leaders who give the appearance of virtue to their anti-porn constituents while still taking money made off the porn industry to use to get elected.
KEVIN: These officials, though they may take money from sources that profit marginally from porn, are not themselves enabling the distribution of porn. Just as George Lincoln Rockwell can get a standing ovation from the Nation of Islam, these guys can take money from someone that might be doing something they disapprove of. They aren’t doing it themselves and the money is only going to further their cause. In the Rockwell/NoI case the social and political differences couldn’t be both more pronounced and more the same. Where there is a common interest (the separation of the races) there is a tight accord, where there are departures, the ravine couldn’t be wider (exactly who is the better race). My main point is that I think this report serves only as a paper tiger. It’s not solid, doesn’t indict.
BENN: Well, if you hate porn, and you voted for someone who you thought hates porn but takes money from industries that make a portion of their profits from porn, they you have to wonder, when it comes down to head to head legislation where your interests come up against those of pornography, who will be better served? And the millions of dollars I quoted above are hardly marginal. If Comcast gives you $10,000 and there is an anti-porn vote coming up in Congress, do you think they are gonna let you slide? Do you think there won’t be lobbyist at your office saying, “Well, Senator, we’ve enjoyed contributing to your campaigns in the past and we’d hate to have to end our relationship.” This is America, Kevin, money is as much a show of support as standing in front of a loaded gun. If you claim to be virtuous and you take tainted money, you become tainted as well.
KEVIN: William Bennet had a gambling problem to the tune of $8 million bucks.
BENN: And is considered by many to be a hypocrite. KEVIN: Strom Thurmond had a mixed baby.
BENN: I think his picture is next to the definition of the word “hypocrite” as well as next to the phrase “racist piece of shit.”
KEVIN: Kim Jong Il lives pretty well.
BENN: Nice glasses too.
KEVIN: In Baltimore, an estimated 6.2 percent of priests ordained in the past half-century have been implicated in the abuse of minors.
BENN: Go Baltimore!
KEVIN: Hypocrisy is a Swedish death metal band on Nuclear Blast Records. BENN: I bet they rock too, in that special way that Swedish genre-rock acts do. KEVIN: I think the CREW’s argument is a paper tiger, in the figurative and a more literal sense. In the figurative, I feel that the connections made between these anti-porn crusaders and monies derived from the sale of pornography are tenuous. It’s not hypocrisy, because the congressmen aren’t doing the things they are condemning (according to this report). BENN: They are taking money made off of people doing the things they are condemning. KEVIN: In the literal, I think that the CREW has probably spent an awful lot of time and other people’s money on establishing this tenuous relationship, and therefore wasted it. This is a sideways and some king of backwards ad hominem attack. It’s the political motivations of CREW that brings these charges, and not the reality of the situation. BENN: Well, they are saying these people are hypocrites, and showing a link that defines the level of hypocrisy. KEVIN: I disagree with the Joe Barton’s (head of the committee to “clean up the airwaves”) statement: “A parent should not have to think twice about the content on the public airwaves.” BENN: So do I. Do either of us have kids?
KEVIN: Joe Barton, according to CREW, took in $31,000 for the 2004 election cycle from these “porn peddlers”. According to OpenSecrets.org (the same website that CREW used) his total receipts for that same period was $2,500,000 (37% coming from private donations). Let’s say that AOL Time Warner, Hilton, Comcast, et al take in, oh, a generous 10% from porn sales (highly unlikely, but an easy number to work with). That makes about $3,100 fuck bucks. Way less than 1% of the donations (about .00124) are “tainted” by the porno industry. Fred Upton got a little bit of cash too, about $32,000 total from that long list of huge cornerations. He’s the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications are the Internet. You think Comcast and AOL Time Warner AREN’T going to try to pad this guys pockets? Hell, I’m surprised it’s such a small amount. In fact, maybe if he was a little less anti-porn, he’d get a bigger kickback. There’s an interesting idea, let’s see who got the biggest donations from AOL Time Warner (not taking into consideration private donations from employees, though CREW does this). John Kerry tops out at $411,534 George W. Bush got a mere $171,100 (but comes in second). Looking at this list of the top 20 recipients, only two of them are Republicans, the second ranking spot and the 20th ranking spot (getting $58 grand). AOL Time Warner significantly backs democrats who are probably more pro-porn than Mr. Upton and Mr. Barton. But shit, they’ve got to give SOMETHING to the chairman of the subcommittee that regulates their primary business, right?! Tenuous, tenuous, tenuous. Paper tiger that wasted time and money. CREW characterizes it as “rank hypocrisy” – at less than one percent, give me a fucking break. It’s a scare tactic from the left and it’s just as hollow as the Catholic priest’s pledge to remain chaste.
BENN: Okay, I was a little unclear about that list of top 20 recipients (what list is this? Where?), but at this point, you are agreeing with me but arguing over percentages. It’s that old W.C. Fields/Winston Churchill joke in which he insulted a woman that indicated she would marry a man for his money. After he overheard this he propositioned her and she replied “What type of woman do you think I am?” W.C./Winston responded, “We already know what type of woman you are, I’m just negotiating a price.” If Comcast makes (as cited above, 5-10% of their profits (at a much higher profit/cost ratio, I add) from Pay Per View Porn, and they donate $10,000 to your campaign, then you are 5-10% compromised. I think you’re getting hung up because you’re looking for Larry Flynt to give them money directly, and then you can say, “ah-ha! Gotcha!” But c’mon, these are politicians, they know that would be suicidal. They know where their money comes from, whose interests they must look after and how much so. KEVIN: If you owned a gas station and had a couple copies of Playboy behind the counter, you’re making a profit from pornography. You’re still in the business of selling gas and junk food, that’s your overwhelming source of income. If you are a franchise of Shell Oil or any number of petroleum companies, by the guidelines of this report, that makes them porno-profiteers. If Shell Oil then gives a campaign contribution to a political candidate, that makes it porno money? What if that gas station doesn’t sell any porn at all, but happens to be located near a strip club. At 2-3 am strippers stop to fill up their gas-tanks and buy twinkies and red-bulls… aren’t they profiting off of the sex industry?
BENN: To use your gas station analogy, I look at it more like this: Let’s say I am someone who despises pornography. I go to a gas station and notice that the top 3 rows of racks are porn magazine, I will not continue to patronize them even if none of my dollars are going to their porn, because if I do I am still supporting their business. I’m still giving money to people who do something I am morally opposed to. This provides a level of self-contradiction at best, hypocrisy at most. And it is the very same hypocrisy that politicians who take money from Comcast or Hilton are guilty of. The point is, your financial supporters are making money off of an industry you decry as vulgar to your constituency. Something here doesn’t add up.
KEVIN: This is a good point, but it also is steeped in a Manicheistic dualism that pervades this country. The silly idea in an ultimate good and evil. These moralists are fervent in claiming so many ills of society are brought forth by the viewing of humans comitting one of the most human acts possible (the act that produces generation of life – or well, in most cases, an act that we hope doesn’t produce human life) and are setting up scapegoats to focus their anger on. This is the same thing that this report does. It tries desperatly to say, look, there’s a casual link between A and B, so B equals A even though it states it is antithetical. What I was trying to say with my gas station analogy is that there are probably very few dollars in the world that aren’t “tainted” with porno money and these links aren’t.
BENN: Right, but I’m talking a one – two degree of taint, you’re talking way down the line.There is a difference, I would imagine, that these moralists would see if someone said, did a study showing a one – two degree link between their elected officials claiming to hate porn and the money they’re taking and where it’s coming to.
KEVIN: You want to call them a hypocrite, find some porn on their home computers or Tivo. Get a snapshot of one of them in leatherboy gear at the Ramrod Bar. THEN let me know about it.
BENN: I totally understand what you are saying. Yes, it makes a better story if they have their fingers in Larry Flynt’s Hustler Jar. But money is much smarter than it used to be. It filters through many channels now. If one is so morally outraged by pornography, you would think that one would be loathe to do business with anyone who derives profits from the sex industry.
KEVIN: I derive profits from pornography, so does Atomic Books. Is any service you or I support then tainted?
BENN: Yes. That most cautious politicians would think twice about accepting money from either of us. Hell, I know of local community web pages that, while they will mention Atomic Books on their site, will not link to our site like they do with other merchants because of political concerns.
KEVIN: Hey, I like porn. I own a bunch of porn (though most of it pre-1970 stuff). I’m all for anyone doing anything they want to with someone else as long as it’s consensual, even if it includes a monetary transaction.
BENN: Well so am I. I just don’t care to hear politicians using it as a tool to manipulate their constituency when the dollars they take can be traced back to the very people the demonize.
KEVIN: BTW, a bunch of Catholic priests molest children – now that’s a fact. There’s a direct link of hypocrisy there.
BENN: Say the people elect you thinking your as anti-sex as they are. Up comes a vote to block hotel chains from carrying pay-per-view adult movies. Hilton or Holiday Inn gave $25K to your last election. What side are you gonna come up on? My post was an attempt to show the hypocrisy of these people, and I think it does that.
But I forgot, you have no pity — pity is not a part of your master’s creed!
Introduction to Anthony M. Ludovici’s “Who is to be Master of the World? An Introduction to the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche”. I have not read the full work, but this was very entertaining.
Dear Mr Ludovici, —
You want me to write an introduction to your lectures? Well, you may have one — you may have one in this letter, which I allow you to reproduce verbatim in your book. To begin with then: I like your lectures — I think them, in their lucidity, even the best I have read in your language — but I hardly like the notion of your giving lectures on Nietzsche, because I think it contrary to the spirit of your great master to do this. I think it wrong to instruct people — if you have something to instruct them with. People ought to be instructed by those who have nothing to say, nothing to give, nothing to teach, nothing to do. These teachers of nothing do more good than you: they make us slaves, and you know that according to your master, all higher culture must be based upon slavery. Why then interfere with the natural process of enslavement, of stultification, of education which is going on around us? Why not act up to your Machiavellian principles, and rather lecture on the drama, socialism, folklore, the sins of the upper classes, or the sanitation of Mayfair? Why make a creed popular, which ought to remain esoteric? But you wish to gain friends to “the Cause.” Do you think to make them in a lecture-room? I doubt it. Were you converted in a lecture-room? I belong to a race whose members, when they wanted to know anything, went into the desert and not to the lecture-room, and you, dear Mr Ludovici, told me yourself that, after a book of Nietzsche’s had once fallen into your hands, you found no rest or peace until you had gone to Germany, learnt German, and thought and meditated there — in the solitude of a foreign country — on Nietzsche’s teaching until you understood it. I myself have often, and unobserved by you, seen you in the British Museum walking about in the depth of thought, and I liked you for it. You think that many of your audience will be able or willing to undergo the hardships, not to say the danger, of your thought? In an age of comfort, of ease, of peace, of happiness, of humanitarian and Christian ideals, you will look out in vain for an intellectual sportsman like yourself. And have you no pity on those few who perhaps love sport and danger, and who perhaps may be willing to follow you? Will they not be like yourself, seamen upon an unknown sea, exposed to all the inclemency of the weather, to frightful fogs and terrible storms, forced to watch, day and night, for dangerous rocks, which are marked on no map yet, and only upheld by the feeble hope, that the German Columbus, after all, must have been right: that there must be a new land somewhere beyond, and that the looming coast-line there, upon the horizon, must be that land? Why drag others after you, who perhaps, after a few experiences upon the high sea of the new philosophical thought, will repent and cry for the land and the fleshpots of old England? People who in their despair may jump overboard? People who in their agony may go down on their knees and cry out: “My God, my God, why have I forsaken Thee?” Have you no pity for all their agonies, their doubts, their internal explosions? But I forgot, you have no pity — pity is not a part of your master’s creed! After all you are perhaps more of a Nietzschean than I thought, and it may after all be right to lecture on Nietzsche — because it is so cruel. Another word! A personal but important word! You are young and the sort of fellow the women, who form the principal part of audiences in your country, will listen to. They will pretend to understand — women are very clever in pretending to understand. Instead of finding yourself upon a new continent you may, therefore, land in matrimony and then get back all your lectures — free of charge — by the lecturing sex par excellence, women. Do not listen to them. Do not condescend. Don’t marry yet. Remember that even the apostles of the old creed, although followed by women, did not marry them. Remember that you too have to propagate a gospel — and not a race, and that even the propagation of the race, if it is to be worth while, can only take place after the propagation of the gospel.
— Yours sincerely,
I’m not writing an essay, this is an excuse to take nate of a quote that I came upon reading Strange Sexual Practices by Iwan Bloch. As been noted by anthropologists and sociologists, modesty followed clothing, not the other way around. We weren’t ashamed of the body until we’d had it covered for quite some time. The irony is that we started covering it to ACCENTUATE our sexual appeal, and not to stunt it. But the quote is from the sick mind of a christling. How much can one hate themselves, their body and the world they are born into to have such thoughts:
“Clothes are a sign of the misery into which our navel-less first parents precipitated themselves and us their decendants who have navels. It is not, therefore, an unpardonable sin to make vain pomp and display of clothes, and use them for lust, indeed for any corruptions of the spirit as well as of the body? Should we not rather put on clothes wih great sorrow? Should we not be reminded of the Fall of our first parents every time we dress? I should certainly think so.”
- Dr. Christian Tobias Ephraim Reinhards, 1757
MySpace Blog Archive from Tuesday, January 27, 2004
I was running a small mail order company called “Sin Set Books” for a short window of time, specializing in vintage adult paperbacks (i.e. dirty books).
Sin Set Interview
Rake Magazine Issue 1 (Sweden)
Kevin I. Slaughter is the proprietor of an online shop and coined the term Sin Set for his business and life. He’s outspoken and opinionated, and will probably piss off most people who listen to what he has to say. What I expected would be a discussion of the kitschy 1960’s smut paperbacks that he sells turned into the unveiling of a social philosophy that gives no heed to political or social propriety. I believe this dialogue shows my inability to steer the conversation to where I wanted it, but I admit that I was taken completely by surprise. Since the essence of an interview is to reveal the personality of the subject, I will let it stand as is.
What’s the difference between a Sin Setter and a Jet Setter?
A Sin Setter is much sleazier, I suppose. Jet Setters have cash, and they want to show it off. A Sin Setter has a hard on, and wants to take care of it. Jet Setters will try to guess what brand shoes you have on, a Sin Setter will try to guess how long they can get your skirt off. But I suppose it’s not just that simple. I can’t define it cut and dry for you. Take, for example, a Jet Setter will fly to Mardi Gras to party, and there may be Sin Setters there, it’s just that the Sin Setters probably won’t remember how they got there, or why they are wearing someone else’s socks.
What differentiates a Sin Setter from any old drunk, horny asshole?
Sometimes, not a whole lot. It’s probably deliberation. A Sin Setter is deliberate and not self-deceitful. Sin Setters are unrepentant, because they know there’s no need to be. I don’t mean that they’ll commit mayhem and not care, but it does mean they know that people are selfish and piggish… It may seem “cold” or “cruel” to be so straightforward, but to paraphrase Wolf Larson, “The earth is as full of brutality as the sea is full of water. Some men get sick from one, some men get sick from the other.”
I’m not the person who judges who is or is not a Sin Setter, I think it probably has to do with the basic wolf pack mentality, why would I want to tolerate someone else who may be competition if I don’t have to? It’s like keeping an ugly or fat person as company; it’ll certainly make you look better. You hang around with beautiful people, you’re not going to shine like a snow blossom, unless you’ve got character that they don’t.
One of my best friends is a rock n’ roll guy. He dresses in jeans all the time. It works for him, it’s his look. I only wear jeans when I have to do physical labor, and let me tell you; that’s as infrequent as possible. We’ve got different styles, and are going for different things. Some situations I look better, in others, he does. It works out.
Now, how does selling books make you a Sin Setter?
I’ve got these books, I want to sell them. Selling them doesn’t make me a Sin Setter, just as sitting in the cockpit of an airplane doesn’t make you a pilot. The books are about the carnal nature of man, from the cover to the content. They’re sleazy and sordid and most of the time amoral. I’m what some people call a “reader”, I recommend people giving it a try. I’m not saying that “Bedroom Alibi” or “Shame Slave” are going to make for a better society, but they sure as hell are a lot more fun than anything Oprah is going to push on you.
Another thing about these books is that they are published in a time when heterosexuality was actually exciting. For some reason the past decade has been about making homosexuality cool, and I could give a fuck less. I don’t care if you are a homosexual or asexual, but I’m a guy that likes to have sex with females, and I want to celebrate that. I’m not going to have a straight pride parade, but I’m not going to take fashion tips from someone who wants to attract other men either. The 60’s and 70’swere a reaction against the sexless 40’s and the 80’s and 90’s were a reaction against the heterosexual 60’s and 70’s. Sure, you still have an occasional fag bashing, but I’ve seen orthodox Jews throwing rocks at an Italian kid who was riding his bike through their neighborhood as well. It’s not a total aberration, but now an exception rather than the norm. It’s human nature to dislike things that are different, because we’re still animals and fear for our well being in an instinctual sort of way. They say that “hate” is taught, but I disagree. I think it’s perfectly normal to hate and love, but it’s how you discriminate that makes the difference. What society is pushing for now is a total lack of discrimination, and that’s just stupid. You tell me if a McDonald’s hamburger is the same thing as Ruth Chris filet. I don’t believe 50 Cent is the equal to Frank Sinatra.
I would think that there are similarities to Sin Setters and the American Hip Hop world. They are both heterosexually oriented (often to the point of homophobia), and hold sex and materialism as more important than humanitarianism for sure.
I can see where you’re going, but I’m not interested in the comparison. Though the idea of the Sin Set isn’t overtly an intellectual one, it doesn’t reject it like much of Hip Hop culture. The ideas and aesthetics that are held by the Sin Set aren’t generally present in Hip Hop, and not to any developed degree. I will say that older black men are probably some of the best dressers though. I rarely see a white person in anything other than a baseball hat, but you’ll see an old black man sporting a fine Fedora. Hip Hop also gives so much lip service to Christianity, and that’s always telling.
Telling of what?
Christianity is a religion of subservience. The mere fact that it’s a major religion in the first place is enough, but then there are so many levels where theism in any form contradicts with man’s animal natures. I suppose if I felt the need to manipulate someone who I knew was religious, I’d pepper my speech with the words “spirit” and “god”, but it always leaves a foul taste in my mouth afterwards. I don’t make a habit of kowtowing to anything that has no pragmatic effect or aesthetic appeal, and certainly not to anything like Christianity that is antithetical to human nature.
What do you mean by manipulate? Do you think it’s okay to use people?
Again, I suppose my language comes off as 8220;cold”, but that’s what human interaction is. You manipulate others to do your bidding. You want a kiss, you say the right words, do the right things. Even a masochist manipulates others to hurt them. How many times have you heard of or known a woman who seems to just keep going back to some asshole. Well, she’s a masochist and is not only fulfilling a need that she has, but has probably learned what to say and do to create the necessary drama that leads to abusive situations. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t applicable across the board, but you can’t say that I’m lying either.
You manipulate the world around you to suit your will. Some people are fucked up, and then lead a fucked up life in fucked up surroundings. I don’t care WHY, that’s just the way it is. If you want to be successful at something, do you get advice from a chronic failure, or do you look to the best in your field of interest? Your average lady knows how to get free drinks at a bar, because men are suckers for females. I mean, it’ll be a lot harder if you’re fat or cripple, but that’s the way it is in the jungle as well. Hyenas and vultures eat what’s left over from the lion’s meal. It’s a combination of the proverbial nature and nurture. You’ve got to make the most of what you have, and understanding your limitations can take you just as far as understanding your strengths.
So, of course it’s okay to use people, that’s what they are there for. You use a car to get you from point A to point B. A Hyundai will get you there, but a Mercedes will get you there in comfort and better style. The Volkswagen Beetle was the Third Reich’s car for the masses, and just like the sexless Earth Shoe, it’s written all over it. The Sin Set is not for “the people”. There’s no membership drives or charity events. We don’t have meetings or a president. Certainly anyone who wanted to convert others to his way of life wouldn’t speak to you as I’m doing now. If I wanted that, I’d find easy work as a priest or social crusader of some sort. The only thing that separates me from that is I’m happy and make enough money by not bullshitting myself or you. Not everyone can do that, but I couldn’t care. I don’t want janitors to be lawyers, I don’t want surgeons to be fry cooks. I’m not going to be the president of the US, but I can damn well be happy.
If you are atheistic than why use the Christian concept of sin to denote your outlook?
I use the term Sin like the Salvation Army uses its militant nomenclature. It’s evocative and though not literally denotative, it represents the idea in a way that communicates. My neighbors’ wife is an obese Mexican lady, so I’m not litteraly trying to break the Christian sins. But I agree with Anton LaVey that what the church preaches goes against the basic urges, and since I’m not a masochist I want to indulge in those things that feed my hunger.
Well you certainly have these things thought out, though I can’t say that I agree with you.
Not to be rude, but I don’t care if you agree with me. That’s another thing that separates me from the clergy and the abolitionists of our era. I’m not trying to change your opinion. If you worship Jesus or a pile of cow dung, it makes no difference to me one way or another. If you hate blacks or diabetics, it’s not going to change my life or make me loose any sleep. That’s your problem. If you take criminal action based on these beliefs, then it’s a matter for the police.
But when corporations manipulate people through false advertising and the same manipulation that you are talking about using yourself, you don’t think that’s bad?
I think it’s ill-advised for anyone to take anything at face value. You think advertising is manipulative? That’s what it’s supposed to do. Are you afraid that stupid people will get suckered into buying something they don’t need? Welcome to the history of the human race. There have been nostrum salesmen since there were enough people to make it worth the effort of bottling the stuff. Do you know that the only reason diamonds are expensive is because the company that controls the majority of the diamond trade limits the distribution of them to keep the prices that way. Does a diamond ring really mean you love someone? No, it never has. It means that you can afford it and you know that the person receiving it believes in the value of it. On one level it’s a symbol of self sacrifice, a sort of reverse dowry. I think X dollar amount of you. I can afford Y amount of money on a rock. People have bought into this for quite some time, and I’m not going to shout from the rooftops about the corruption in the diamond trade, I’m just not going to buy any- unless I think it’s to my advantage. If I think I can gain something more precious or valuable than the diamond, and by buying that diamond attain it… you’ll see me in the jewelry shop talking karats. I’m not angry at Cecil Rhodes over the whole thing.
The Bible (the theoretical guide for a majority of Americans) doesn’t say anything about diamond rings, and it’s not a requirement of civil law.
I haven’t graduated from college, but I’ve educated myself. ‘m an ignorant man on many things, and I’m sure as hell not the prettiest face you’ll encounter in a day, but I’m not willing to play games I don’t want to, and willing to take the consequences of my actions. I’ll also take credit for my achievements.
I feel that going back to discussing the books and merchandise you sell would be anticlimactic at this point. Is there something else you’d like to say in closing?
I don’t know about that. The books I sell and items I deal with on the Sin Set site have just as many stories and ideas independent of my personal slant. They’ve been involved in lawsuits and there are all sorts of incredible stories about authors and publishers. I guess I’ll just say that I appreciate the interview. These topics are really complex and people get so damn touchy about them. Things aren’t simple, but you often have to deal with them in simple ways in order to move on to things more important to you. I don’t like to give out my opinions unless I’m asked; it’s a habit I recommend everyone try to adopt. Protest less and enjoy more. There are plenty of beautiful things in this world, don’t try to deprive me of mine.