Jackson Nieuwland: Do you love your family?
Scott McClanahan: Ummm. Well, I have virtually no earlobes, which I am told is a characteristic of a recessive gene. You can get this by loving your family too much. I had a girlfriend once who looked at my ears one night and said, “Your ears kind of look like wolf man ears.” So obviously somewhere down the line somebody in my family loved someone else in my family wayyyy too much. Actually, there are first cousins on my mother’s side who married one another. They were called her “grandparents.”
Of course, you have to watch out for the “lovers” of things. “Love” can be a real shit ass and a real destroyer. It can make you end up with wolf man ears. So watch that family love, children—especially when it involves your loins.
JN: Do you love yourself?
SM: Hell, yeah. No one else is. Of course, I loathe myself as much as the next person as well. Even suicide is an act full of self love. We just need to get back to a world where the moans are meant.
JN: Is masturbation a form of incest?
SM: No, it’s masturbation. That’s the problem with the kids of the 21st century. They can’t tell the difference between jerking off or having sex with a goat or loving up their mother. I blame the French. Actually, the woman on the cover of Stories V! is my mother. She’s always been real supportive of my creative endeavors.
JN: Is having sex with a clone of yourself incest?
SM: No. That’s just called most modern relationships, or the concept of monarchy. But I guess if you look at it from a Judeo-Christian point of view we’re all engaging in incest. If there was only Adam and Eve in the beginning—then someone was taking a peek at kid sister somewhere along the way in order to continue the bloodline.
JN: How does incest measure up against other sex crimes (rape, bestiality, child molestation, necrophilia, etc)?
SM: I think people think of it as pretty tame compared to the others. It’s all just behavior. You can actually have sex with a farm animal in WV as long as it’s over a certain weight. For instance, if it’s over 50 lbs. it’s fair game. If it’s under, then you’re in trouble.
JN: Does it not count as incest if the other person is over a certain weight?
SM: Are you calling me fat, Jackson? What the hell. Are you calling me fat?
JN: Next question. If I fall in love with a girl and start having sex with her, and then my mother falls in love with the girl’s father and they get married, is it incest for me to keep having sex with the girl?
SM: No, I knew a kid whose dad married a woman and the woman had a daughter. The daughter was beautiful and my friend started “hanging out” with her. People at school thought it was strange or perverse. I just called it good luck. I mean I couldn’t think of a more amazing thing to happen to a 15 year old young man. I was wanting my dad to divorce my mom so this could happen to me.
The mysteries of the heart are a strange thing though. Most of these topics which are supposed to feel transgressive or shocking or whatever are really just full of sadness and smallness and vulnerability. They’re just like the rest of what happens in life. For instance, I can’t imagine a more transgressive act than having a child. There is something heroic in its sadness and impossibility. I keep believing in that impossibility though.
JN: What is the difference between familial love and romantic love?
SM: I’m not sure that they are much different really. I’m not a person who believes in the whole homo/hetero/bi-sexuality definitions. They are just acts. They are not definitions. I’m sure the greeks and romans would see it the same way.
I’d say the same thing about “familial” love and “romantic” love. Really the only difference is you have to pay for more shit when it comes to romantic love.
JN: How many dates should a person go on with their sister before having sex? How many before having sex with their mother?
SM: I thought dating was a dead concept. Maybe I’m wrong.
JN: Is it incest if it’s just a blowjob?
SM: Oh Jackson, you should know this by now. It’s never just a blowjob–no matter what they tell you. The flesh is always connected to the heart.
JN: Do family resemblances extend to genitalia?
SM: Sure. I know I’ve been doing plastic surgery for years to look like dear old dad. I only have 5-7 surgeries left until I reach my goal. At least that’s what the doctor says.
Of course, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols said all you needed to be a good guitar player was to have a big dick and dirty fingernails. I think this is the same for writers. I have dirty fingernails, so I figure I’m halfway there.
Scott McClanahan is the writer of Stories V! (Holler Presents) and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan, Volume 1 (Lazy Fascist Press). His book Crapalachia will be released by Two Dollar Radio in 2013 and his book Hill William will be released by Tyrant Books in 2013 as well.