Posted by: Coco Buchanan
Hunter Reaves Slaton is a writer for Meetings & Conventions Magazine, knows all of the words to the fake musical Rochelle, Rochelle, and has a blog called Fighting Fire With Unlit Matches. And he is for serious, on the serious in this interview.
CB: Where you from & where do you stay at?
HRS: I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas, though I was born in Memphis, Tennessee. For most of the last eight years, I have “stayed” in New York City. Right now I live on the south side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, off the Marcy stop on the JMZ.
CB: Who is your Daddy, and what does he do?
HRS: My dad is a lawyer and a judge for the Arkansas Public Service Commission. Each state has a Public Service Commission, and what they do is regulate the monopolies, like the water company, power company, natural gas, and etc.
I would also like to note that it surprises me that the writers of this blog, given at least one-half of them’s known feminist proclivities, would choose to administer an interview in which it is asked what one’s Daddy does but not one’s Momma (Editor’s note: Umm, because it’s from Kindergarten Cop, DUH).
My mother is in charge of women’s ministries at her church. And, in her own way, I’ve learned in the past couple of years that she’s kind of a troublemaker and an agitator. I like that.
CB: What is your problem?
HRS: Not that much. One problem I do have is that I want everything to last longer than it does: a good summer, a fall weekend, a clear evening. You never get to do all of the things you want to do on a day, or in a season, or with a person you’ve been with. And when they are over you wish you could have done more, walked more in the park in October, taken that trip you’d wanted to take with that woman, been able to drink in the Fourth of July more fully.
CB: What sound or noise do you love?
HRS: I love the sound of crickets and frogs in the country at night. I love the sound of car wheels on wet pavement. The clunk-clunk sound that stoplights make when they change (you have to be on a lonely road to hear this). A fire in the fireplace. “Oldies”-specifically Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, the Four Tops, the Supremes.
CB: Oysters or Peanuts at happy hour?
HRS: I like both quite a bit, but seeing as how oysters are more spendy, I’d go with oysters. Peanuts you can pick up your own self.
CB: If I was over at your house, would it be cool if I crash there?
CB: Do you think you’ve “sold out”?
HRS: It depends how you define selling out. In some ways, yes, I do think I’ve sold out-or at least, my 20-year-old self would think so. I do so many things I said that I would never do … but they are all kind of good, and adult, things. So in a way that is selling out, but in another way it’s not at all. Growing up is difficult, and no one gets out unscathed, or with all their principles intact. I think the thing to do is to try and stay true to the spirit, if not the letter, of your principles.
CB: Would you welcome the opportunity to “sell out”?
HRS: Nah. There ain’t much money in it, these days.
CB: What are the first 5 songs on your “recently played” playlist?
HRS: I’m mostly a full-album man-I don’t often hit “shuffle”-so you’ll have to be content with my last five artists and albums, all of which make me sound like way more of a sad sack than I actually am (I’ve had a cold the last few days as well, so cut me some slack):
Calexico & Iron & Wine-In the Reins
Bon Iver-For Emma, Forever Ago
Belle & Sebastian-Tigermilk
CB: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
HRS: People tell me that the My Name Is Earl guy looks like me, as well as Edward Norton and John Cusack. But I have to go in the spirit of what some previous respondent to these questions said, and say Anne Hathaway, just to meet her.
CB: Define the word “burrito.”
HRS: A tortilla-wrapped pile of meat, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc. Amazing when it’s good and pretty terrible when it isn’t.
CB: Name a food that you used to hate but you love now.
HRS: Asparagus. I never liked it as a kid when we had it ’cause my mom would always boil it (I think)-but later, when I grew up, I learned that asparagus roasted with olive oil and sea salt and pepper is amazing [Ed. note: Yum! And you he does make a really good salad with potatoes and asparagus in it].
CB: What is the finest quality a person can possess?
HRS: An ability to really listen to another person and connect to and understand what that person is saying or feeling. That’s very rare, and those people I come across who are good at that sort of thing are usually the people I like the best. I guess what I’m describing is empathy.
CB: When have you felt most loved?
HRS: There have been times when I have been with women I’ve been with that I felt very loved, and the way I could tell was I had forgotten all about myself for a moment. There was one time, on a very cold December night, when a woman I hadn’t been seeing for very long and I were having dinner down the road in a little Mexican place, and it was dark-ish, warm, and not very populated in the restaurant. We ate and flirted and joked and the fish tank burbled next to us. She drank a Mexican hot chocolate and we went outside and saw that either an eclipse or a full moon had been happening-I forget which. Though it was very cold, I felt very warm inside on that night, and wasn’t thinking of myself at all.
CB: What’d you do today?
HRS: I woke up at 6:20am. I poured the coffee, set from the night before. I drank some coffee and read some Internet. I got in the shower. I showered. I got dressed. I made my lunch. When I opened the curtains in my room I noticed how, because of Daylight Savings Time, it was still dark outside whereas the week before it hadn’t been dark. I left my house and walked to the subway. I thought about a story I’d once written that concerned an early-morning parking lot. I rode the subway over the Williamsburg Bridge at 7am, still not fully light out. I noticed all the little lights on in apartments along the route of the bridge, and how all the streetlights were still on. I thought about that Magritte painting of the dark house and the bright blue sky behind it. I tried to fix that image in my head.
CB: What’s a guilty pleasure for you?
HRS: Chicken fingers and French fries with barbecue sauce. Love ’em. [Ed. Note: Holy shit that sounds so good. I miss meat! Also, BBQ Sauce > Ketchup]. Also sometimes I love McDonald’s.
CB: What actor or actress’s fame is totally undeserved?
HRS: Pretty much all of them. Most are famous only because they are freakishly good-looking, not because they have any talent at actually “acting.” So instead of saying which ones DO NOT deserve their fame, I’m going to say a few who DO deserve their fame, and you can assume that I think the rest are wastes of space: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Heath Ledger, Diane Keaton, Anne Hathaway (hey, she was really good in Rachel Getting Married). There are a few more, but not many.
CB: You have to move to another city that you’ve never even visited and live there for at least one year. Where do you go?
HRS: Somewhere in the north of Scandinavia.
CB: Invent a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor that incorporates the name of a band. Go.
HRS: Peaches ‘n’ Sex Cream [Ed. Note: Ewww]
CB: If your country of origin suddenly adopted an Israeli/Italian policy towards defense, and you had to join the armed forces in some capacity, what would you choose to do?
HRS: I would go. In fact, I kind of think that this country SHOULD have mandatory military service. If we did, we wouldn’t get into half as many wars as we do now. I know there are plenty of issues with this policy, but it does redress the fact that most of America’s wars are now fought by its least-well-off citizens. And that’s not right. I, or some senator’s kid, should have to go into the military just as much as some boy from a poor family who doesn’t any other options.
CB: Brandon, Dylan or Steve?
HRS: Dylan, because he was played by Luke Perry, Krusty the Clown’s worthless half brother.