Monday, August 25, 2008

"Stuff White People Like" in a Special Feature Called "Stuff Stephen Sorta Likes Now"

(above: "Stuff White People Like" founder, Christian Lander, with a bunch of things that white people like)

Ok this site is growing on me. Very seriously. I stand by what I said previously, but after reading the Onion A.V. Club interview with the creator, the site makes more sense. And also hits home a bit more. I think "Stuff White People Like" is still a stupid name, and the idea that this is how white people behave is ridiculous. But I think the idea that the website is criticizing the things that its creator recognizes are ridiculous about him is much more fascinating.

The guy describes his site as a mirror for himself, to see that most of the stuff he likes is ludicrous and deserves a little lighthearted making-fun-of. In this context, a site called something closer to "Stuff We Like" might give his message more force. That so many people find it's stereotyping legitimate and funny is still a little disconcerting. The site's popularity still relys on a culture that loves simple and easy categorizations or generalizations.

But the creator seems less concerned with overgeneralization and stereotyping than with a little self-deprecation. When I see the site as he describes it, as the mirror that its creator intends it to be, the content is really growing on me.

An example, from the article on "The Wire": "In white culture, giving away information about a film or TV series is considered as rude as spitting on your mothers grave. It is an unforgivable offense."

Again, I'd prefer something like "In our culture..." or "For many people...", and I would also prefer some more elegant prose, but there is no denying the humor in this ridicule of an obviously idiotic, and obviously quite wide-spread, attitude.

OK, I admit. I am now almost a fan of "Stuff White People Like." Crap.

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