In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Bailouts | Main | Paul Avril »

February 15, 2008

A Few Discoveries

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Dark Party Review. Here's a cultureblog that's a rowdy joy -- an exuberant and enthusiastic publication full of mischief, zest, and brains. Who says that sophistication and showbiz, refinement and lust, can't boogaloo together? Read about Edith Wharton's "A Journey," then joyride your way through a collection of bad music videos from the 1980s. GFS3's "How to Be an Office Drone" made me laugh out loud. One funny passage:

Skills to attending long meetings are the abilities to: fart quietly, disguise growling stomachs with coughing, pounce on food first to avoid soggy sandwiches, and to leave the meeting with absolutely no work.

* The Philosopher's Zone. I've found Alan Saunders' radio show / podcast about philosophical topics very enjoyable. It's high-end yet accessible -- first-class intellectual entertainment. Saunders -- trained in philosophy himself but also a gifted, calm, and helpful interviewer -- brings on learned guests (mostly Australian) to discuss such topics as love, social justice, science, and the mind. I confess that I've never been entirely convinced that there's a point to Western philosophy; as fascinating and impressive as it can be, I often find myself wondering if it isn't just a weird and useless activity that a certain kind of person enjoys doing. But the mental- housecleaning aspect of it does have some appeal for me, especially when it's conducted in plain English. That's what Saunders specializes in doing. I wrote back here about how much I admire a good interviewer, and back here about Stephen Toulmin, one of the handful of Western philosophers whose work I really do love.

* Stuff White People Like. A commenter at Steve Sailer's blog linked to this droll, deadpan, near-Onion-quality blog about things that the upscale paler-of-hue tend to go for. Do you enjoy expensive sandwiches? And Sunday breakfasts? How about dogs? And old stuff? And Apple products? Do you have a tendency to make unnecessary apologies? Were you an arts major?

I'm guilty on all of those counts myself. Always fun to discover that you're a stereotype -- at least it is if you're a White Person. White People actually like stereotypes. (Hey, that's something that I just came up with.) Typical passage:

It is a poorly guarded secret that, deep down, white people believe if given money and education all poor people would be EXACTLY like them. In fact, the only reason that poor people make the choices they do is because they have not been given the means to make the right choices and care about the right things.

And a hilarious line in a posting about White People's love of natural medicine: "It’s weird that there are some white people who won’t take aspirin, but will take Ecstasy, Cocaine, Xanax and Vicodin." This posting about Film Festivals is a hoot too.



posted by Michael at February 15, 2008


"Since white people can’t really blame any race for their problems, they need to blame corporations."

Heh. Explains a lot, really. Great site, though its targets seem to me not to be white people so much as white women, esp. liberal white women. And coastal men. Still funny, though.

Posted by: PatrickH on February 15, 2008 1:22 PM

The White People site is a gem.

The pretension of hipster whites... an unlimited topic.

Must have a plan to Save the World. Must have a plan to Save the World.

I'd be more smug about not fitting the stereotype, if I hadn't fit it so perfectly 25 years ago.

South Park addresses the same stuff brilliantly. I remember, in particularly, the episode in which the boys lampooned Toyota Prius sanctimony and San Francisco snobbery. They renamed the car the "Pious." Every time the scene shifted from South Park to SF, some addle brained hipster was saying:

"San Francisco isn't really like an American city at all. It's really more... European. Don't you think?"

Then the hipster would pull out a wine glass, place it over his asshole, and fart. He would hold the glass up to his nose and lovingly savor the odor of his own farts.

Isn't that the perfect picture of the entire syndrome?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on February 15, 2008 2:31 PM

Fascinating that that White People site is hosted by the same couple that clearly live the bohemian/bourgeoise lifestyle they so hilariously parody. Or at least that's my take based on the photos used to illustrate the site, photos taken mainly by the wife of their life's a banquet life. Click on more photos and see whether or not you agree. How they can afford it at their very young age is beyond me. But then, they're childless of course.

Posted by: ricpic on February 15, 2008 3:16 PM

Could be wrong, but I think this is the Flickr collection of the young gal who writes the White People site. It's funny and cute (and spoiled and smart and self-mocking) in much the same way. Check out her profile. She's a lot whiter than I am.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 15, 2008 3:43 PM

Like Patrick mentioned before, this is really a blog for BoBos. So much of the site does not apply to Southern and Mid-western Whites.

Still, some of the stuff is amazingly funny.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on February 15, 2008 4:39 PM

stuffwhitepeoplelike is taking off as the talk of the blogging community. why? i think besides the dry humor and trenchant observations (that imo can only be gotten by total immersion in the white side of the bell curve culture and hanging around like-minded people, which it seems this couple is doing) it's tapped into a blossoming zeitgeist -- white liberals are beginning to not believe their own gaseous pronunciations on all things RACE and CLASS and this sort of ironic detached race-conscious self-effacement has become the way for them to wink wink nudge nudge around a volatile topic without losing status points with their fellow anthropologie-shopping peers.

it is, in effect, a socially acceptable way to taste forbidden fruit of racial solidarity.

me, personally, i live at the edge of the hipster lifestyle, but i do it because that's where the multitudes of young hotties call home. it's easier to swallow when you make no pretensions why you are there.

Posted by: roissy on February 15, 2008 4:39 PM

She/they certainly aren't describing NASCAR culture, that's for sure.

Interesting point about the way semi-irony gives the whiteys a chance to enjoy some ethnic solidarity ... Reminds me a bit of "The Preppy Handbook" from a couple of lifetimes ago. "Hey, we're an identifiable ethnic group too! We even have a culture of our own!" Seems to be fun for a lot of people.

As for me ... Well, hmm. I share a lot of the tastes and pleasures -- Whole Foods, greeniness, Netflix, foreign films, getting out of doors, etc. The motivation she attributes to people who like this stuff though is largely guilt. And I feel no guilt. I barely know what guilt is. (Shame, on the other hand ...) Anyway, I like a lot of the style and enjoy a lot of the pleasures, and completely fail to connect with the supposed motivation. Makes me wonder if the flip and polished swiping at white-people guilt is just a reflex on her part -- a well-learned way of accepting-but-dismissing what her teachers told her ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 15, 2008 5:48 PM

It's the "You know you're a redneck if..." for coastal white people. It's hilarious and true for me, a coastal white dude.

Posted by: JV on February 15, 2008 6:56 PM

Ah, but white people enjoy guilt. It allows us to feel so superior.

Posted by: PatrickH on February 15, 2008 7:21 PM

What's even funnier about that site are the comments from people who are indignant that, while they may be white, they don't like the things that are posted in the blog. No dammit, they will not be pigeonholed! Ha Sort of like some comments here. I say lighten up, it's a goofy comedy blog aimed at tweaking aging hipsters like myself.

Posted by: JV on February 15, 2008 8:04 PM

Wow, according to that blog, I am an honorary white. Or a Crunchy Con. Whatever. I think both groups get to enjoy a good vegan Asian-fusion brunch after morning yoga so I won't sweat the labels.

Posted by: MD on February 15, 2008 8:33 PM

Just saw the site before you mentioned it. At first, I was laughing and thinking "sure, those're things yuppie urban white people like". Then, the more I read the more things started hitting close to home....

Posted by: mdmnm on February 15, 2008 11:40 PM

White People also like:

Attending book readings by authors of left-political/historical books.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on February 16, 2008 9:28 PM

i used to live amongst such white people.

i didn't like them much, nor did they like me much.

Posted by: secret asian man on February 16, 2008 10:21 PM

Try these:

Cingular is providing a way for new artists to transform Jkontherun featured this free Verizon Wireless Lg Vx4500 Free Ringtones service, run by a 17 year old in the us. join now. visit page.

Posted by: mrensunse on February 20, 2008 1:27 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?