There's been a minor buzz in some segments of the tubes regarding a blog called Stuff White People Like. The blog is a list — up to #71 as of this writing — of things that white people like and others, we are led to understand, do not. Sushi and bicycles, for instance. Or being the only white person around.
Some of the stuff is banal stand-up-comedy white-folks-do-this-black-folks-do-that. There are occasional flashes of wit, as in this entry on white people liking difficult breakups:
Once breakup proceedings have been initiated, a white person is immediately thrust into the center of attention in their circle of friends. During this time, they are permitted to talk at great lengths about themselves, listen to The Smiths, and get free dinners from friends who think “they shouldn’t be alone right now.”
It is imperative that you do not attempt to kick them out of their misery by saying things like “get over it,” “there are other people out there,” or “I don’t want to read your poem.”
But mostly I'm not terribly impressed. First, as is pointed out in the comments to nearly every entry, this appears to be less a list of things that white people like and more a list of things that twenty-to-thirtysomething urban hipsters like. To the extent it is intended as trenchant commentary on race, it fails on that basis alone. Also, the observational humor about such hipsters is occasionally funny, but not funny enough to explain the odd noises of rapture it inspires in some corners.
That's not to say it's a waste of time. I'm enjoying not so much the smug content, but the comments. There you'll see America's profound ambivalence about race and the discussion of racial issues — the accusations that the blog's central notion is inherently racist, questions about whether ethnic observational comedy is healthy or damaging, and racial generalizations (some no doubt pretend, some no doubt sincere) on the same theme, overt and covert racial hostility. All the neuroses come out to play.
Is it possible that this was the point all along — that the blog is not designed for its rather slight ostensible purpose, but to showcase how people would react? Your guess is as good as mine. But that seems like the sort of thing that twenty-to-thirtysomething urban hipsters would like to do.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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