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THEY LOVE NOTHING BETTER than sipping free-trade gourmet coffee, leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and listening to David Sedaris on NPR (ideally all at the same time). Apple products, indie music, food co-ops, and vintage T-shirts make them weak in the knees. They believe they're unique, yet somehow they're all exactly the same, talking about how they geto Sarah Silverman's subversiveo comedy and Wes Anderson's drollo films. They're also down with diversity and up on all the best microbrews, breakfast spots, foreign cinema, and authentic sushi. They're organic, ironic, and do not own TVs. You know who they are: They're white people. And they're here, and you're gonna have to deal. Fortunately, here's a book that investigates, explains, and offers advice for finding social success with the Caucasian persuasion. So kick back on your IKEA couch and lose yourself in the ultimate guide to the unbearable whiteness of being.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
CHRISTIAN LANDER is the creator of the website Stuff White People Like. He is a Ph.D. dropout who was the 2006 public speaking instructor of the year at Indiana University. He has lived in Toronto, Montreal, Copenhagen, Tucson, Indiana, and now Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Jess, a photographer who contributed many of the photos in the book.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
There is no doubt that white people love coffee. Yes, it’s true that Asians like iced coffee and people of all races
enjoy a cup. But it is a certainty that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. It was obvious that they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyway, until they liked it—like cigarettes.
As white people begin to age, a genuine taste for coffee will emerge. During this time white people
will also develop a self- proclaimed “addiction.” This leads to them saying things like “You do not want to see me
before I get my morning coffee.” White guys will also call it anything but coffee: “rocket fuel,” “java,” “joe,” “black gold,”
and so forth. It’s pretty much garbage all around.
It’s worth noting that where white people buy coffee is almost as important as the drink itself. For the most part, white people love Starbucks, although they will profess to hate how the chain is now a multinational corporation. This hatred is often sublimated by their relief at seeing one in an airport. The best place for white people to drink coffee is at a locally owned coffeeshop that offers many types of drinks, free Wi- Fi, and some sort of message board that is peppered with notices about rooms for rent and bands looking for bass players.
White people are given extra points for buying Fair Trade coffee, because paying the extra $2 means they are making a difference while their peers are drinking liquid oppression.
2. RELIGIONS THEIR PARENTS DON'T BELONG TO
White people will often say they are “spiritual” but not religious. This usually means that they will believe in any religion that doesn’t involve Jesus. The most popular choices include Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabbalah, and, to a lesser extent, Scientology. A few even dip into Islam, but that’s much rarer, since you have to make real sacrifices and actually go to a mosque.
For the most part, white people prefer religions that produce artifacts and furniture that fit into their home or wardrobe. They are also particularly drawn to religions that do not require a lot of commitment or donations.
When a white person tells you “I’m a Buddhist/Hindu/Kabbalahist,” the best thing to do is ask how they arrived at their religious decision. The story will likely involve a trip to Thailand or a college class on religion.
3. FILM FESTIVALS
White people can’t get enough of film festivals, especially Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. This love can be due to
a number of factors.
Fact #1: 90 percent of white people have taken a film class at some point in their life.
Fact #2: White people like feeling smart without doing work—two hours in a theater is easier than ten hours with a book.
Fact #3: If white people aren’t going backpacking, they generally like to travel with a specific purpose.
Fact #4: 75 percent of white people believe they either have the potential to or will become filmmakers/screenwriters/
directors at some point.
Fact #5: White people hate stuff that is “mainstream”—so they go to film festivals, where they see movies that every other person in their demographic wants to see. It’s a pretty sweet way to rebel.
Fact #6: It is required by white- person law that you publicly declare foreign cinema to be better than Hollywood movies, and on par with indie film.
Fact #7: White people earn credibility by being into films from strange countries: “Oh, you liked Sideways? Yeah, I didn’t see it, I’m really into Serbian film now. They had a great retrospective at the Vancouver Festival.”
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