Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fun Little Thingy (and I promise, not a meme)

My partner forwarded to me a blog called Stuff White People Like, which is a satirical look on one person's experience of being white.

I actually think it's more of a satirical look at being a lefty middle class person, regardless of race (or mostly so), more than a commentary on race, even though race and class are closely correlated.

For instance, when I look at the Full List of Stuff White People Like, I count 36 of the 95 things that I like. Is that because I'm white? Or is it because I have some lefty middle class values? I know a few people of color who would count more in their Like column.

And just in case you're curious about what 36 I count, I list them here: #94 Free Healthcare, #90 Dinner Parties, #87 Outdoor Performance Clothes, #83 Bad Memories of High School, #82 Hating Corporations (which comes from seeing The Corporation at another love, #3 Film Festivals), #76 Bottles of Water, #75 Threatening to Move to Canada (well, it's not technically a Like because I don't *want* to move to Canada; it's just an expression of my frustration about the current administration, so maybe its that I LIKE TO THREATEN TO MOVE TO CANADA WHEN THE PRESIDENT IS AN IDIOT), #64 Recycling, #61 Bicycles (who doesn't like bikes, exactly?), #60 Toyota Prius, #59 Natural Medicine, #57 Juno (for which I now feel strangely guilty, as if I missed something about this movie and its whiteness), #54 Kitchen Gadgets (and, as an aside, other household things like making your own laundry which, I think, my mother would be horrified because her mother, the wife of a coal miner in Kentucky, probably made their laundry soap; my mother would see it as a step backward and probably ask why I would do such a thing. I don't know if I'd have an answer for her), #51 Living By the Water, #48 Whole Foods and Grocery Coops (and where else, exactly, would I find Crystal deoderant?), #47 Art Degrees (I can't deny this one since I just got one), #46 The Sunday New York Times (not the crossword puzzle though), #44 Public Radio, #41 Indie Music, #40 Apple Products (like the computer on which I write this post), #39 Netflix, #37 Renovations, #36 Breakfast Places (and who in the world doesn't like a good breakfast place???), #29 80's Night, #25 David Sedaris, #21 Writer's Workshops (heyyyyyyyyy, I take that one personally), #19 Traveling, #18 Awareness, #17 Hating Their Parents, #13 Tea (Casablanca from Mariage Freres in France, slightly sweetened Oregon chai, white-tip early grey), #12 Non-Profit Organizations, #8 Barack Obama, #7 Diversity, #6 Organic Food, #5 Farmers Markets, and, drum roll please, #3 Film Festivals (like, check my other blog at FilmFestGirl.)

This is the first post that I've done that isn't specifically Quaker, though anything lefty liberal, by default, appeals to liberal Friends.

So my count is 36. What's yours? You can post your score in the comments if you want (but please keep commenting light--this is humor folks).


Su Penn said...

My count is 8, and I am pretty much the whitest of the white.

I agree that the list is very class and culture-based. Also age based--I mean, 80's night?

Re: your mother. I have a friend who raises all of her family's meat and much of their produce. My mother, who grew up on a working, mostly-subsistence farm, responded to hearing that by saying, "She's crazy. Why would anyone want to live that way who didn't have to?"

She did then go into a nostalgic rant about how great her mother's chickens used to taste, though.

fresca said...

Thanks! This is so funny, I didn't even get around to chekcing all the things I like before I felt compelled to write a post about my sister (white) and Marcel Proust (pale white):

kevin roberts said...

I score an eight also. Does this mean that I fall into a 7th percentile on something?

More interesting to me was that there were 13 items on the list I could not identify based on the name.

The Wire? Assists? Somebody Sedaris?

Jeanne said...

There were a bunch I couldn't identify from the name either. And others that I thought I'd like but when I read it, I was like, well, no, not in that way, or not that, or whatever. Like Water Bottles. I carry a water bottle with me, yes, so that I drink water and not things that are bad for me (which I am wont to do). But the post is all about the elitism that comes with what kind of water or bottle you use. Not me.

I think the list is also about cultural awareness. Some of it requires that you watch television or regularly listen to public radio (David Sedaris is a regular contributor to an NPR show called This American Life) or regularly read the New York Times, all of which I do. Many Quakers do not do these things.

Go 80's night! Okay, I selected that one because I have quite a collection of 80's music--I turned 13 in 1980.

And I've tried my homemade laundry soap. It only takes a teaspoon and is way smelly when you wash with it, but by the time the clothes come out of the dryer, they just smell clean. Next time I'm going to use Castille instead of Fels Naptha.

Allison said...

I think it's pretty much the annoying white liberal group, and it's also generation based.

I'm guilty of 15:

free healthcare
bottles of water
Michel Gondry
natural medicine
multilingual children
San Francisco
living by the water
non-profit organizations
religions their parents don't belong to
breakfast places
not having a TV

and my favorite is #11: Asian Girls

Allison said...

Oops. Change mine to 18.

#7 Diversity
#6 Organic Food
#5 Farmer’s Markets

Guilty as charged. This is what happens when you work in public health! Non-profit of course.

Jeanne said...

I think GUILT should be one of the items. White guilt. Class guilt. Heterosexuality guilt (that one could be listed under HAVING GAY FRIENDS), Intellect/education guilt. Car guilt (though that one could be listed under PRIUS).

I don't want to feel guilty about many of the things I love because many of them are good things. Like drinking water (instead of pop or coffee), recycling, bike riding, and food coops.

earthfreak (Pam) said...


34, I'm apparently very white

#94 Free Healthcare (well, single payer govt. healthcare)
#88 Having Gay Friends (I have to be friends with myself, don't I?)
(what are outdoor performance clothes?)
#86 Shorts (?)
#82 Hating Corporations
#72 Study Abroad
(who likes difficult breakups? I have them, but I certainly don't like them! jeez, and divorce?)
#64 Recycling
#61 Bicycles (I like these like 10 times, so should that up my total?)
#59 Natural Medicine
#57 Juno
#53 Dogs
#51 Living by the Water
#50 Irony
#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops (co-ops, NOT Whole Foods!)

#44 Public Radio
#43 Plays
#42 Sushi
#41 Indie Music
#36 Breakfast Places (one)
#35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report
#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism
#28 Not having a TV
#26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!)
#25 David Sedaris
#19 Traveling
#18 Awareness (no, I'd rather be in a coma, thanks)
#13 Tea
#12 Non-Profit Organizations
#11 Asian Girls
#8 Barack Obama
#7 Diversity
#6 Organic Food
#5 Farmer’s Markets
#1 Coffee

Tabatha Atwood said...

i was wondering if obama's remarks have inspired a deeper discussion of race and class in the Quakers? i am horrified by the Sean Bell verdict and horrified that none of the blogs by white people i read are writing about it.

Dan in blagvoice said...

My score is 18.
I think eventually they'll need to add themselves to the list, mainly in reference to #50 Irony, but also by the premise that is written for non-whites, but read mainly, as far as i can tell, by whites.
The site's pretty funny and some of it was pretty uncomfortable for me to read.

Laurie Kruczek said...

My husband and I are white. Are three daughters are black. The tone of this assumes that black people think one way and white people think another. Race and social asthetic are not always connected. Many of our black friends would score pretty high on this "white" list.


SARAH said...

I'm in the 40s, I believe.
I loved the blog so much, and his writing style, that I actually bought the book.
I tend to not get offended easily-- in fact, I often am guilty of being brutally honest or generalizing and offending other people. Thus, I am exactly the kind of person who finds "Stuff White People Like" hilarious and also painfully true in many ways. Yes, one could go on for a while about distinctions between race and class... but I guess I tend to take it at face value, and I fully enjoy it (note that there are WHITE people, and then also the WRONG KIND of white people. Hm.)