Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Tonight I’m going to Borders to see provocative liberal blogger Christian Lander discuss his popular blog and bestselling book, Stuff White People Like: A Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. Lander is a 29-year old Toronto-born Internet copywriter living in Los Angeles who, on a whim earlier this year, decided to write about fundamental stereotypes by compiling a list of “stuff that white people like”, such as:

They love nothing better than sipping free-trade gourmet coffee, leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and listening to David Sedaris on NPR (ideally all at the same time). Apple products, indie music, food co-ops, and vintage T-shirts make them weak in the knees.


They pretend to be unique, yet somehow they’re all exactly the same, talking abut how they “get” Sarah Silverman’s “subversive” comedy and Wes Anderson’s “droll” films. They are also down with diversity and up on all the best microbrews, breakfast spots, foreign cinema, and authentic sushi. They’re organic, ironic, and do not own TVs.

Umm…yes. So true. On many accounts, I am one of those white people.

According to Lander, "We have a generation of white people who want nothing more than to distance themselves from being white. They need to believe that the earth is being destroyed by evil white people, culture is ruined by the wrong kind of white people, and that history's sins were committed by distant relatives. And so by eating at ethnic restaurants, travelling, trying to save the world, you can say that 'I'm part of the solution, if everyone were like me, the world would be so much better.' I think that attitude lends itself to pretty easy satire."

It’s pretty humorous stuff. And certainly meant to be taken as satire. In a nut shell, Lander “essentializes” complex identities and “pokes fun at the many progressive, educated, self-conscious, 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.”

Sounds interesting enough...

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