Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stuff White People Like

The other morning I was reading the AJC when I came across an editorial-type article by Gregory Rodriguez about a blog called Stuff White People Like. Of course, rarely do I ever a) understand what people talk about in those sections or b) read them all the way through. A quick glance at the title usually tells me whether or not the article is remotely readable or relatable.

Anyway, I googled the blog later that day and began reading the posts. The blog itself is pretty self-explanatory: the bloggers post close to daily about things that white people like, from Studying Abroad to Expensive Sandwiches to Barack Obama to Juno to Apple Products. Of course, there will always be those that come across the blog and deem it as “racist,” “stereotypical,” “offensive,” “politically incorrect,” and a slew of other things. Of course, these people miss the essential purpose of the blog.

What makes the posts so funny is their truth. Lander, the blog's creator, makes you more self-aware about yourself, as Rodriguez says, the blog “is gently making fun of the many progressive, educated, upper-middle-class whites who think they are beyond ethnicity or collectively shared tastes, styles or outlook. He's essentially reminding them that they, too, are part of a group.” Having studied satire for way too long and probably over-analyzed it (in a true satirical manner), it’s easy to spot it now. Lander uses a nonchalant tone in explaining how white people love “win-win situations” in which they get to feel good about themselves, for example. Of course, most of the people he refers to are yuppies, left-wing and in their twenties and thirties. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Or any less funny.

After spending close to two hours reading almost all of his 78 posts (I’d read a few others the other night, and so now I’ve read them all), here’s a list of a few of my favorites:

From #17: Hating Their Parents:

“Eventually, they forgive you and thank you for the tough upbringing, but still resent you because their high school experience wasn’t a carbon copy of The OC or My So Called Life.”

From #16: Gifted Children:

“White people love “gifted” children, do you know why? Because an astounding 100% of their kids are gifted! Isn’t that amazing?

I’m pretty sure the last non-gifted white child was born in 1962 in Reseda, CA.

Since then, it’s been a pretty sweet run. The way it works is that white kids that are actually smart are quickly identified as “gifted” and take special classes and eventually end up in college and then law school or med school….

…But NEVER under any circumstance imply that their child is less than a genius. The idea that something could come from them and be less than greatness is too much for them to bear.”

From #65: Co-ed Sports:

“But if you are reasonably skilled in sports, you have to be extremely careful how you approach your co-ed matches. If you try TOO hard (bowling over a female catcher, throwing a kickball EXTRA hard at someone) you come off as an aggressive, crazy maniac. On the other hand, if you don’t try at all you come off as a jerk who thinks [he is] above the game. The only solution is to approach the game like a point-shaving basketball player - play hard enough to be convincing, but not hard enough to win.”

And #41: Indie Music, because it’s all true.

So check it out. And don't take yourself too seriously.

3 comments:

  1. always an education! ...apparently i am more white than marc (although we all suspect katie is the whitest one of all). fun reading!

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  2. we all suspect katie is the whitest one of all? what? you mean i'm the closest to "twenty-something left-wing yuppie"? That's probably true. And I do love apple products, indie music, barack obama, expensive sandwiches, studying abroad, and being gifted. especially expensive sandwiches.

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  3. see...we were right :-) and i think i'm second, sara is third and your dad is last - which considering the context is pretty ironic, no?

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