White People

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I’ve enjoyed that blog — you know that one. But I recently came across a piece that put its finger(s) on some things that bugged me about it. (And please know I in no way endorse The New Republic, where the piece appeared.)


Highlights for those with a nose for the quick-and-dirty:

Itchy bad feeling #1:

“A few observers have already pointed out, rightly, that Stuff White People Like isn’t about white people in general, but rather about a very specific demographic sliver of left-leaning, city-dwelling white folk–in other words, people like me. These people have previously been trapped and tagged alternately as yuppies, or Bobos, or (by yours truly in New York magazine) grups. Basically, they embody the uneasy marriage of urban affluence and liberal (and/or progressive, and/or alternative, and/or “indie”) ideals. For example, there are plenty of white people in America who fairly obviously don’t like (#15) yoga or (#46) The Sunday New York Times or (#28) not having a TV. But it’s much funnier and, at least on its face, more original to say “White People” rather than “Yuppies.” I mean, if someone sent you a link to a blog called “Stuff Bobos Like,” would you even open it, let alone forward it to all your Bobo friends?”

Ooky objectionable sensation #2:

The writer divides the gags into three categories which, having browsed the site at some length, seems more or less to get it. There are three types of entries, he says:

“1) Entries that don’t reflect your lifestyle choices (in my case: going nuts on St. Patrick’s Day, running marathons), and therefore make you feel superior.

2) Entries that do reflect your lifestyle choices (Apple products, recycling), and therefore make you feel like you’re in on the joke, and that you’re good-humored enough to laugh at yourself (you know–like Gene Simmons!), and therefore make you feel superior.

3) Entries that nod to commonly held comic stereotypes (white people like assists in basketball and standing still at concerts), and therefore, because you recognize them, make you feel superior.

Last nagging unpleasantness (#3):

“Basically, this joke breaks down as “Congratulate a white person and they will feel smugly good about themselves.” It’s the perfect go-to punchline for Stuff White People Like, because it’s really what the site is all about. Because if there’s one thing white people really like, it’s pretending to poke fun at themselves while actually being allowed to feel superior.”

Emphasis added. Yup; right?

I’m into the idea of the self-loathing whitey. The time has come.

I’d love to get hold of a demographic survey, if such exists or could be done, documenting who reads the blog.

Written by michicago

April 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Posted in blogs, whining, white people

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