Stuff White People Like

Husband introduced me to [tag]Stuff White People Like[/tag]. It’s our new favorite blog. It has made us realize we’re pretty terrible at being white people, but it’s making it easier to communicate with those around us.

I can’t pick a favorite post, although #63 (expensive sandwiches) is on the list. And #44 (Public radio). And #39 (Apple Products). #37 (Renovations) is also very good:

All white people are born with a singular mission in life in order to pass from regular whitehood into ultra-whitehood. Much like how Muslims have to visit Mecca, all white people must eventually renovate a house before they can be complete.

Of course, most white people do not reach this goal until they are 35 or older. But the need to do it is as instinctual as walking.

But it is important to note that white people have little or no interest in renovating a suburban home built after 1960 (except in Southern California). All white people dream about buying an older property (”with character”) in a city, and then renovating it so the insides look all modern with a stainless steel fridge.

Yes, we do want to renovate our bathroom, but only so the shower will stop pouring into the kitchen. This is going to require gutting the whole room and having the walls rebuilt because of all of the water damage. It’s not actually cost that’s kept us from springing into action, it’s the dread I feel that someone besides the contractors and the Permit office will find out. We just want to fix a problem, we don’t actually want to talk about renovating our bathroom. Ever. To anyone. Don’t people talk about books or (non-Presidential) politics or the weather anymore?

But I digress…

The Top 10 Hip Hop songs White People Love, which is posted about at Stuff White People Love but actually originated at [tag][/tag] is very painfully funny and true. It also makes poor Husband, resident DJ, lay on the floor and whimper.

21 replies on “Stuff White People Like”

(these are sort of unconnected thoughts, sorry for the babbling)

I absolutely agree that there’s a very fine line here and it could be easily crossed. And that if this site was called “Stuff Black People Like” that line would be a moving target. No question. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be the case. But in the case of this site, as it exists right now…

I realize that you dislike (edited, this inadvertently said “prefer”) politically correct speech and I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to that opinion… but I don’t think that a reverse site would necessarily play out exactly that way, as long as the site was constructed to obviously be humorous and obviously was written from inside the culture it’s mocking like this one is. Yes, there might well be an outcry – but there would be a bigger backlash from conservatives criticizing Jesse et al for stifling speech and being politically correct.

The commentary that’s popping up all over the place that argues that it’s racist to call someone anything on the list (dog lover? apple user? really?) fascinates me.

So far at least the only people who seem to be getting truly angry about this site seem to be the people who most fit the profile they’re mocking. I guess the dominant culture can’t stay the dominant culture if it develops too much of a sense of humor about itself…

Incidentally, there are sites mocking “trailer trash” and poor whites all over the internet and everyone thinks those are hilarious. Just saying…

And I did read the site carefully and did surf around before posting this, and it was actually the snit over this – and the rising hysteria was what prompted me to actually not post any commentary at all, although I might tomorrow because I’m fascinated by the virulent anger directed at this site versus the marked apathy towards sites viciously stereotyping poor people, particularly poor southerners.

Just a few points. (1) A some people in the comments on the “about” page correctly point out, the race of the writer or writers is obscured such that we don’t have a frame of reference to determine whether it is inside or outside cultural commentary. (2) Just for the record, I fit about 0 of the items I looked through (about 20 or so), I don’t hate it because I see myself in it. (3) Really, you think “Things Black People Like” including a list of fried chicken, pants worn around their waists, and graffiti would be welcomed as “free speech”? I don’t think so. And finally (4) I’m not saying they’re not free to write whatever the hell they like. I just don’t have to like it.

Shutting up now.

I have to go to bed, but wanted to respond to an email I got very upset about the hip- hop songs post. I wanted to add that there’s also a catsandbeer post,

That’s not exactly a response to Faith, but it gets to my point that you can have equivalent posts without having to compare “white people love their dogs” on one site to hypothetical racial stereotypes that are intentionally inflammatory to blacks, arabs, erc. Faith’s examples aren’t extreme like many I’ve seen in other comments, but it’s a similar idea.

I do respect Faith’s points and don’t think they’re invalid, I just don’t entirely agree, but I’m too tired to respond intelligently tonight. My previous comments were more tangents from Faith’s comments and not all pointed at her. I should have clarified that earlier.

I think this is interesting: a website that satirizes things that are generally positive and which never says other people don’t like these things. It lampoons Upper Class whites for putting them on a high pedestal. Immediately those who feel threatened by the site make specious claims, going straight for the strawman and coming up with most negative stereotypes they can find. There’s a whole world of black and latino and arab-american and asian-american blogs out there and lots of them mock their own culture in very hip and funny ways, much more biting than “stuff white people like.” The people doing the most fussing about white people being impugned confine their surfing time to blogs that support their own ethniticity and echo their own little wordview in a chamber. There’s more to the blogosphere than Little Green Footballs and this is only “an issue” because it heckles the people who have the most power to scream and complain online.

It seems like a lot of well-off white people love shows like Ricki Lake and Geraldo and Jerry Springer because they can laugh at the poor people and think about how much better their lives are or how stupid these people and how much better they are. How is that not racist? People think incest jokes about poor whites are funny because they know those poor people are never going to show up and defend themselves. They are The Other. Rich white folks can’t take a joke unless they know for sure it was made by other whites. Why else care about what’s on the about page? I’m a wedding planner in a large sophisticated multicultural city. I have a lot of clients of a lot of races. The big spenders are almost always the wealthy white girls who practically threaten suicide if they can’t get these flowers or the cake they saw on the food network. People who satirize bridezillas usually portray white bridezillas because that’s what most actual bridezillas seem to be. Most of mine sure are. That doesn’t mean I think minorities can’t be bridezilla. It doesn’t mean I think white people are bad because some of them become bridezilla. It just says there’s something in our society that allows and enables white women to become bridezilla and cuts them ridiculous slack. It’s a cultural thing, it’s not a racial thing.

I saw a commenter likening this to a lynching of white people and I can only hope that was a bad, bad joke. This is a fascinating social experiment because it shows that the people with the most money and the most political power over their lives are still the ones with the most to lose. If a site like this did show up lampooning say upper class urban black culture, white conservatives would mock liberals for being PC if liberals claimed it was racist. Funny that.

I broke Lis’s comment into paragraphs while trying to edit out some weird symbols that were making it hard to read. I hope I didn’t change the meaning of any part of this or accidentally delete any of the content. Please tell me if I did.

To be fair, I don’t want to sound like I’m picking on Faith or think conservatives are using this as cover to express racist ideas or any other nefarious activity…I think most of the kicking and screaming has been from liberal yuppies with no sense of humor about themselves. They can’t just say, I can’t take a joke this isn’t funny. They have to make the whole thing seem racially offensive by basically using historically oppressed minorities for cover. Young hip Jews have been making fun of themselves for a number of years now with Jewsweek and the like, and no one seems to have said “boo!” about it.

I have to think through the implications of how important it is to the offended that they know the race of the authors. Hmmm….

In an aside, Husband and I were just reading the comments on the latest post to each other from our macbooks while we sat in the same room on the same couch. haha.

I thought about this some more…Do they show non-white brides on those bridezilla shows, or is it only safe to mock the white ones? That would definitely be an example that would fit neatly into Faith’s argument. If a show like that mocked a jewish bride, for instance, would there be a public outcry that this is playing to ethnic stereotypes instead of american cultural ones? Have to look into this later. Oh god, am I going to have to watch those shows?

FYI, the Bridezilla show is about equally split racially between blacks and whites, with a few Latinas every now and then. They’re all horrific.

I’m fine with anyone disagreeing with me, but I hate general liberal tactic (employed above by Lis) that if I don’t jump on the “I think this is funny” train when it comes to something lampooning whites, it must be because I’m a horrible racist white person living in my own white person bubble, rather than the fact that I just don’t find it amusing.

I hate to break the news, but there are well informed people (white, black or purple) that can hold genuine opinions different than your own without being racists. Rebecca, unlike most liberals I’ve come across in these “debates,” recognizes this and I applaud her for it.

Lis is actually a republican who makes Faith look like a bleeding heart. We’ve had our words in the past. ;-)

Now Faith, you were the first to make race an issue in defending your dislike, rather than just saying you dislike it so you did open the door here. I think a person can dislike it *and* think it’s racist, but most people objecting are using the cry of racism as their cover.

Let me just be clear: I dislike it because I think it’s racist. I read some of it, it’s well written, looks pretty, has a purpose (albeit a nefarious one IMNSHO), some of the stuff is actually funny. My problem is less with the blog itself, but the fact that our society things it’s all well and good to make fun of certain people and not others. The others must be carefully crafted, highly edited, in good taste, taken in context, etc, etc, etc. IE: Fat jokes, ok. Gay jokes, not so much.

It’s no great news that if not now, then very soon white people will be a minority in this country. I’m waiting for my affirmative action when that happens. I’ve always found it strange that there are fewer Jews in the country than blacks, asians, latinos, etc., yet we aren’t considered a minority (as is the care in Canada).

It’s all a matter of your perspective on this stuff, obviously.

How many WASPS does it take to have a party? 3–one to read the WSJ and 2 to dance to it….Seriously, you should watch David Chappelle if you’re “keepin’ it real” or just quit whining…recognize that not everyone finds the same things funny and MOVE ON.

P.P.S. (that’s POST postscript BTW, PSS might mean postscript script I suppose) Leaking pipes=mold and permanent damage…fix it and tell no one. If anyone asks why you have no money, tell ’em it was loanshark payoff week.

There’s no mold or leaks, thankfully. knock on wood.

The problem is when the shower is running. It’s major construction with public permits and lots of trucks. We’ll have to stay somewhere else- no way to hide that.

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