Photo of Christian Landers by Jessica Landers.
If you’re a white person and you haven’t heard of Stuff White People Like, you’ve probably been too busy watching entire seasons of The Wire on your IKEA couch with your Asian grad-school girlfriend, sharing iPod earbuds and a vegan stirfry, and having irony-fortified arguments about Wes Anderson movies, Barack Obama, and whose turn it is to take out the recycling.
Congratulations, whitey: you’ve finally got a stereotype to call your own.
Stuff White People Like is a dryly encyclopedic list of, well, exactly that, from architecture to expensive sandwiches to “knowing what’s best for poor people.” Written by Toronto expat Christian Lander, a 29-year-old internet copywriter living in Los Angeles (and sorely missing our weather, no doubt), the site has racked up over 11,000,000 hits in two months. Its success lies in Lander’s deft reduction of what was previously (and problematically) termed “the invisible race” to a set of highly (and hilariously) identifiable characteristics. (Readers who like to point out that the blog should really be named “Stuff White Liberal Over-Educated Yuppies Like” should re-read #50: Irony.)
“We have a generation of white people who want nothing more than to distance themselves from being white,” Landers wrote in an e-mail interview last week. “They need to believe that the earth is being destroyed by evil white people, culture is ruined by the wrong kind of white people, and that history’s sins were committed by distant relatives. And so by eating at ethnic restaurants, travelling, trying to save the world, you can say that ‘I’m part of the solution, if everyone were like me, the world would be so much better.’ I think that attitude lends itself to pretty easy satire.”
We came up with some things that are conspicuously, self-consciously enjoyed by white people in our fair city, then asked the Toronto General-born, Riverdale-raised homeboy to tell us why.
Photo by Squeakyrat.
“White people like subways and streetcars, not buses. It’s just the way it is.” (Incidentally, public transportation is the one thing Landers said would make him threaten to move back to Canada.)
Photo by Tom Purves.
“Only way to justify spending an hour and half in a restaurant during the day. This one particularly annoys me because one time I was back home and there was this group of four white people at Bonjour Brioche on a Saturday morning. The place was busy, there was a line and the fabulous staff is trying to get everyone seated and served. Well, these jerks are there for like an HOUR and had to be asked to leave.”
Fake Dive Bars
Photo courtesy of Sweaty Betty’s.
Photo by pipeddream.
“For the food and to see ethnicities returning to the neighborhoods in which they lived before moving to the 905 (Little Portugal, Greektown, Little Italy, etc).”
Pointing out, in an exaggeratedly exasperated tone, the usually rather apparent fact that it’s snowing… AGAIN
Photo by wvs.
“Snow is white.”
“Being white means trying twice as hard to stay ahead of the curve. Who wants to miss a Hidden Cameras secret show?”
All photos (save for the screenshot) from the Torontoist Flickr Pool. Thanks to The Assimilated Negro for the tip.