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.