Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm sure I'm taking this too seriously

But I thought "Stuff White People Like" was fascinating.

I particularly saw myself in their claim that white people judge the authenticity of ethnic restaurants by looking at the skin color of the people inside.


who runs about 50/50 on these things, but knows lots of people whose percentage would be higher.


Stephanie said...

I read cool column in the LA Times about it yesterday. I've been following it, and I think it's spot-on in characterizing the demographic that I belong to (I threaten to move to Canada, I feel smug about recycling, I pay $8 for a sandwich and don't blink). At least I know I'm not unique!

Joel Monka said...

Pretty funny stuff. I, too, was caught on the ethnic restaurant thing, and the recycling, but I think most of the rest was aimed at white people at least one generation younger than I. I must admit to not recognizing a lot of the names referrenced.

Anonymous said...

The photo accompanying the restaurant post was taken in one of my favorite Indian restaurants on Devon street here in Chicago (I'm 99% certain).

It is generally half white people in contrast to the other restaurants on the street.

And I think Mos Def was in the film version of Hitchhiker's Guide, wasn't he? Yeah, I don't know the people.

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...

Hilarious! Middle to upper-middle class, PC-aware whites who are overly-concerned with impressing others by doing all the "right" things, but also trying not to call attention to themselves. Sounds exhausting (and I did see myself in some of these points)!

Whites standing still at concerts is the one I don't understand. Moving to music is very natural, but if whites really do ridicule any other white who dares to dance, that would cause frozen-ness in many.

I would never make fun of anyone's dancing style. Each body has its own reaction to music -- a reaction that is unique and authentic, but never wrong (in my opinion). Ursula K. LeGuin said "Dancing is people being music."

Yes, I invite everyone to test me on this by dancing if we ever meet in person.

Transient and Permanent said...

I out-white you all: I actually moved to Canada! VICTORY!

Ryan H. said...

Calling this "white people" is a misnomer. I felt this better described "archipeligans", dwellers of the Urban Archipelago. This could just as well fit black, Hispanic, or Asian yuppies and Manhattanites too.

I only fit less than 10% of them. If I'm not white, then who the hell am I?

Heh, is it a white thing to not want to fit in with this list? Nonconforming was a commonly recurring theme. Like a high school clique, fitting in by not fitting in. I'm forming the notion that a minority has to consolidate its tenuous identity, while a majority tends to fracture into splinter groups, each wanting to stand out as unique.

Comrade Kevin said...

Some of this is unavoidable, though.

So long as we're aware of it, that's the key.

Anonymous said...

That blog is popular this week; I've seen it posted about in five blogs that I typically read! Before last week I'd never heard of it. In any case, my dad (not a yuppie, and from the south) was the one who taught me the "if you see an Indian restaurant full of Indians, the food is good" thing. It just made sense in NYC, where you've got 10 gazillion places to choose from.

PG said...


'Calling this "white people" is a misnomer. I felt this better described "archipeligans", dwellers of the Urban Archipelago. This could just as well fit black, Hispanic, or Asian yuppies and Manhattanites too.'

I am a Manhattanite yuppie and not many things on the list applied to me. I'm a lawyer-in-training (who did take my English and economics BA to law school) who likes live theater, Juno, filtered/ bottled water, Barack Obama, the Daily Show and to a lesser extent dogs and David Sedaris; I recycle aluminum cans and glass bottles; I owned a hybrid (Civic). But all of the vegetarians I knew before I went to college were vegetarian for religious reasons (Hindu/Jain); I insist on referring to myself as a Hindu agnostic so as NOT to abandon my parents' religion; I don't know any cultures except mainstream American and South Indian; everything I know about Japan comes from my white fiance; etc. There is something about being white and not have an ethnic culture that does seem to make y'all flail around to pick up a different culture ;-)

My fiance was really upset by the fact that my culture is much more prominently featured in our wedding plans than his (the religious ceremony, which will be in Sanskrit, the Indian food and clothing...). I told him I would be happy to give just as much play to his culture, but was not exactly sure what that was, because he had not been raised in any particular religion and his parents' culture was Midwest American. He suggested having a Shinto ceremony as well.