Monday, March 10, 2008
This is probably the finest piece of urban anthropology concerning modern North American liberal white culture.
Here's the current list of Stuff White People Like, with my thoughts on each (as a bona-fide white person) of the Top Ten:
1. Coffee. Yup, it's true, white people like coffee. Personally, I went through a period (after starting on Coffee People's Black Forest Mochas -- soy, of cource, and triple) where I drank soy chai (I'm lactose-sensitive, not trying to watch my weight), and then for a while I drank yerba mate. But, now I have an espresso machine & grinder at home, and roast my own beans to make my own cappuccinos -- with hemp milk, 'cuz it froths better than soy. I still drink yerba mate in the afternoons, though. And yeah, as a guy I don't really admit to drinking coffee, but for a different reason -- I only drink soy/hemp cappuccinos, not straight coffee... for the most part. :-)
2. Religions that their parents don't belong to. Hmm, I think this may apply to Baby Boomers more than Gen X or Gen Y, given than mainly this applies to a drift away from traditional church-based Christianity, and once that drift has occurred, I'm not sure that successive generations really pursue the matter in a manner different from their parents.
3. Film Festivals. Yup, white people do seem to enjoy film festivals -- either in their own town, or somewhere else if they are satisfied with the local one(s).
4. Assists. For a minute, I thought the author was going to get homoerotic with this one, but no -- they were talking about sports, and claiming that white guys like to pass in basketball 'cuz they generally have a problem with dunking, and also are trying to make up for slavery.
Ooooooooooookay. Sure, whatever. I guess I'll buy that.
5. Farmers Markets. Yeah, white people dig these. Organic farmers markets, even better. With a pub serving microbrews nearby -- perfect!!
6. Organic Food. See above -- take anything, offer an organic version of it, and automatically you can charge a higher price and white people will gladly pay it. Paul Newman figured this out with Oreos (Newman-O's!) and he's been making money hand over fist ever since (but x% goes to charity!). Personally, I think that Whole Foods is just the only organic food option that most white people have, and they rave about it because it's better than Safeway. They like that it sells all kinds of organic stuff. If they had a better alternative (i.e. more local, less corporate), they'd shop there, but they don't, so they go to Whole Foods.
7. Diversity. But only, apparently, as it relates to restaurants (and definitely not when it refers to the drivers of the other cars in the same traffic jam as them). Ethnic food is great, and white people realize this. The same food all the time can get old. So, it's a constant juggle between Mexican food (burritos), Thai food, Japanese food, Chinese food (but only in a pinch -- this is a kind of second-rate ethnic food, mainly due to concerns about MSG and general lack of perceived quality), and if you're in a really diverse place
8. Barack Obama. Unless, of course, they prefer one of the white people running for that job. But, point taken -- white guilt might be the root cause of some of Barack's support.
9. Making you feel bad about not going outside. Yeah, as a white person, I always wonder -- why don't I see more black people (specifically) out hiking, camping or generally doing those back-to-nature types of activities? Do they just not get the general feeling of urban oppression and drive to spend some time in the forest? Is there some other explanation, like they really would just prefer to sit at home, watch sports, drink beer and play video games?
10.Wes Anderson movies. These movies, i.e. _The Royal Tenenbaums_ or _The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou_, do seem to be a staple of current White Person culture. Personally, I liked the latter, but found the former to be a bit tedious and even boring at times. Whatever, they're just movies. Mindless entertainment. I much preferred _American Beauty_ in terms of being a message movie (message being, living in the suburbs and pursuing the classic vision of the American Dream is not all it's cracked up to be -- look, here's the dark side, or what really goes on).
Anyways, I just had to share this link, and my thoughts. Nice to have a meta moment with relation to the dominant urban liberal white culture, eh?
P.S. For those who don't wanna click, here's the full list:
#2 Religions their parents don’t belong to
#3 Film Festivals
#5 Farmer’s Markets
#6 Organic Food
#8 Barack Obama
#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside
#10 Wes Anderson Movies
#11 Asian Girls
#12 Non-Profit Organizations
#14 Having Black Friends
#16 Gifted Children
#17 Hating their Parents
#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture
#21 Writers Workshops
#22 Having Two Last Names
#25 David Sedaris
#26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!)
#28 Not having a TV
#29 80s Night
#30 Wrigley Field
#35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report
#36 Breakfast Places
#38 Arrested Development
#40 Apple Products
#41 Indie Music
#44 Public Radio
#45 Asian Fusion Food
#46 The Sunday New York Times
#47 Arts Degrees
#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops
#51 Living by the Water
#52 Sarah Silverman
#54 Kitchen Gadgets
#59 Natural Medicine
#60 Toyota Prius
#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People
#63 Expensive Sandwiches
#65 Co-Ed Sports
#67 Standing Still at Concerts
#68 Michel Gondry
#69 Mos Def
#70 Difficult Breakups
#71 Being the only white person around
#72 Study Abroad
#74 Oscar Parties
#75 Threatening to Move to Canada
#76 Bottles of Water
#77 Musical Comedy
#78 Multilingual Children
#79 Modern Furniture
#80 The Idea of Soccer
#81 Graduate School
#82 Hating Corporations
#83 Bad Memories of High School
#85 The Wire