I loved the Christian Lander book reading the other night. It was definitely one of the most entertaining and least pretentious readings I've ever experienced. Lander was so chill, cool, and humble. He just kept repeating, I seriously can't believe this happened, and came across as a totally approachable every-day kind of guy. Which made me, and probably others, proud and happy for his recent and great success.
He spent most of the reading explaining where his idea for the blog Stuff White People Like originated, and the amazingly quick timeline of events that followed. Essentially, he started the blog in February, inspired by the TV series The Wire, and sent to 20 of his "only friends." By the end of the month the site was experiencing 30,000 hits a day and he had a book deal two months later. Since then, he's been on Conan, his book became a New York Times bestseller, and his site now experiences 300,000 hits a day. Not bad.
Lander did a few readings from the book that he figured were most appropriate for Madison. They were hilarious. Then Q&A, which was very interesting. He talked about how past generations competed in terms of material goods--who had the best cars, house, etc.--and how our generation has generally shunned capitalism, and instead of competing in material goods, we compete in terms of who has stayed in the most hostels, who has the best taste in indie music, etc. His ideas were so interesting and funny, probably because they were so true.
I will definitely be purchasing a copy of this book, and sharing it with my brother. Because I know he would find the entries hilarious, too. The book is just full of self-deprecating humor. My favorite entries are about the New Yorker Magazine and Marathons, both of which felt like they were written for me. I think my brother would most enjoy the entry on NPR's This American Life, which has been his recent obsession. Kelly explained to me the other day how he oftentimes weaves episodes into conversations with friends. Which is exactly what the entry in Stuff White People Like explains. Essentially you can have a conversation about anything (at a dinner party, with your boss, etc.), even those topics that are generally included on the list of unspeakables, such as STDs, and as long as you mention that you heard about it on an episode of This American Life, it's totally acceptable and you might even receive a raise in the morning.