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Archive for March, 2008

#84 T-Shirts

tshirt3.jpgMany people and cultures view t-shirts as a simple piece of apparel that can be acquired cheaply and worn in casual situations. For white people, it’s never that easy. The t-shirt is one of the most complex and expressive items in their entire wardrobe.

Your choice of casualwear says a lot about you, and there are stringent rules and hierarchies associated with T-shirts that you must know before venturing into any white-dominated social situations.

T-shirts fall into three categories: vintage, new, and unacceptable, with the latter category compromising the bulk of the world’s supply. Within each category lies another, more precise subset of rules and rankings. Make no mistake, this is complicated.

The most prized t-shirt category is vintage. As shown earlier, white people need authenticity like they need oxygen and to have an original vintage t-shirt from the 1970s or 1980s is a very powerful social status symbol. The ideal shirt will have a funny logo, a year attached to it, and will be as thin as rice paper. In the event that two white people have shirts that meet this criteria, the superior ranking is given to the person who paid the least for the shirt. Acquiring a shirt at a vintage clothing store is seen as less respectable than sorting through racks at the Goodwill.

The second category of t-shirt is new and there really are only two options. The first is American Apparel, a company that constantly reminds you it is based in downtown Los Angeles. They are considered an acceptable white company since they produce things that are very simple, but also very expensive. The second acceptable new shirt is Threadless. This Chicago-based company produces artistic and funny t-shirts that are acceptable for concerts, Whole Foods and 80s night. White people like these shirts so much because they are designed by white people, for white people. Sort of like a white FUBU.

Finally, and perhaps the most important to be aware of, is the unacceptable category of t-shirts. There are a few simple rules to follow in order to avoid wearing the wrong t-shirt. First, if it’s made of a stiff, thick cotton, throw it in the garbage immediately. White people t-shirts must be made of the softest, finest organic cotton. This is law. Unless it is vintage, the shirt cannot be made in a foreign country (unless you can certify its labor conditions). The shirt cannot contain a current sports logo. Shirts with sports logos are acceptable, but they must contain a logo that hasn’t been used in 15 years. Last and not least, it cannot be baggy. Your t-shirt must be tight-fitting for both style and mating purposes.

It is also imperative to understand that faux vintage shirts (“Getting Lucky in Kentucky”) are completely unacceptable. They are beloved by the wrong kind of white people, and must be avoided at all costs.

This information is best applied when you are planning on attending a social gathering. Your t-shirt says a lot about you, and if it’s the right kind of shirt it will set white people at ease. Also, asking a white person “where did you get that shirt?” will allow them to tell you a detailed story about how they acquired it. This will enable them to assert why their shirt has a higher ranking than yours and they won’t view you as a threat.

Never underestimate the importance of t-shirts to white culture. It is an essential tool in determining the social rank, desirability, and value of a white person.

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hstourney2.jpgThe most time and cost efficient way of gaining a white person’s trust and friendship is to talk to them about their time in high school.

Virtually every white person you meet was a nerd in a high school-it it is how they were able to get into a good arts program and law school. As such, their memories of high school are painful, but not tragic since they were able to eventually find success in the real world. Exploiting this information is your one way to ticket into the heart of a white person.

Your first priority must be to steer the conversation to the topic of high school, which is not very difficult. If you are talking about music, mention the music you think they would have liked in high school and how you were taunted for liking those bands. If you cannot properly gauge the type of music a white person liked in high school, you should always say that you were really into The Cure. All white people know that liking The Cure in high school is an invitation to be tortured by the cool kids. This will bring about instant sympathy and respect.

It is also acceptable to discuss how you were in love with a cool kid who never loved you back. For added effect, you can mention how said cool kid is now doing very poorly and that you are excited for the upcoming reunion.

If these first two points were not enough to gain an adequate level of trust, you can close the deal by saying: “I was the only <insert ethnicity> kid in Improv/on the paper/on student council.” Wait for a sympathetic look and then you will know that you have forged an unbreakable and easily exploited bond.

For maximum effectiveness, this technique should be used in a social group setting where everyone can share their stories. By guiding the conversation, you will be seen as a natural and sympathetic leader. This can be easily exploited for professional and social gain.

Note: In the rare encounter that you meet a white person who was “cool” in high school, do not panic. There is a 100% chance that one of their other cool friends sold them out in a coup for control of their social circle. Failing that, you can exploit the inherent guilt they feel about their treatment of nerds.

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nologo.jpgOne of the more popular white person activities of the past fifteen years is attempting to educate others on the evils of multi-national corporations. White people love nothing more than explaining to you how Wal*Mart, McDonalds, Microsoft, Halliburton are destroying the Earth’s culture and resources.

While the growth of multi-national corporations can be attributed to a number of complex social, economic and political factors, many white people prefer to take the word of two trusted sources: No Logo and AdBusters.

Published in 2000, No Logo has been responsible for more white person “enlightenment” than any book since the burning of the library at Alexandria. By reading this one magic book, white people are able to get a full grasp on the evils of multi-national corporations and then regurgitate it to friends and family.

Advanced white people will supplement No Logo with a subscription to AdBusters, where they will learn how to subvert corporate culture and return it to the masses. Specifically, this means taking ads and redoing them to give a negative message about a product. Apparently the belief is that when other people see this ad, they will be hit with an epiphany that their entire existence has been a Matrix-style manufactured universe.

If you plan to engage in lengthy conversations or get high with white people it is recommended that you read No Logo or one issue of AdBusters. Failing that, it is acceptable to buy a copy to leave on your coffee table. When white people see it, they will recognize you as someone who can see through the advertising and has a proper perspective on life.

adb_cover.jpgWhen engaging in a conversation about corporate evils it is important to NEVER, EVER mention Apple Computers, Target or Ikea in the same breath as the companies mentioned earlier. White people prefer to hate corporations that don’t make stuff that they like.

Following these simple steps can help you gain the trust and respect of white people in a relatively short period of time.

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gradstudent1.jpgBeing white means to engage in a day in, day out struggle to prove that you are smarter than other white people. By the time they reach college, most white people are confronted with the fact that they may not be as smart as they imagined.

In coffee shops, bars, and classes white people will engage in conversations about authors and theorists that go nowhere as both parties start rattling off progressively more obscure people until eventually one side recognizes one and claims a victory. By the time they graduate (or a year or two afterwards), white people realize that they will need an edge to succeed in the cut-throat world of modern white society.

That edge is graduate school.

Though professional graduate schools like law and medicine are desirable, the true ivory tower of academia is most coveted as it imparts true, useless knowledge. The best subjects are English, History, Art History, Film, Gender Studies, <insert nation> Studies, Classics, Philosophy, Political Science, <insert European nation> Literature, and the ultimate: Comp Lit. MFA’s are also acceptable.

Returning to school is an opportunity to join an elite group of people who have a passion for learning that is so great they are willing to forgo low five-figure publishing and media jobs to follow their dreams of academic glory.

Being in graduate school satisfies many white requirements for happiness. They can believe they are helping the world, complain that the government/university doesn’t support them enough, claim they are poor, feel as though are getting smarter, act superior to other people, enjoy perpetual three day weekends, and sleep in every day of the week!

After acquiring a Masters Degree that will not increase their salary or hiring desirability, many white people will move on to a PhD program where they will go after their dream of becoming a professor. However, by their second year they usually wake up with a hangover and realize: “I’m going to spend six years in graduate school to make $35,000 and live in the middle of nowhere?”

After this crisis, a white person will follow one of two paths. The first involves dropping out and moving to New York, San Francisco or their original home town where they can resume the job that they left to attend graduate school.gradstudents2.jpg

At this point, they can feel superior to graduate school and say things like “A PhD is a testament to perseverance, not intelligence.” They can also impress their friends at parties by referencing Jacques Lacan or Slavoj Žižek in a conversation about American Idol.

The second path involves becoming a professor, moving to a small town and telling everyone how they are awful and uncultured.

It is important to understand that a graduate degree does not make someone smart, so do not feel intimidated. They may have read more, but in no way does that make them smarter, more competent, or more likable than you. The best thing you can do is to act impressed when a white person talks about critical theorists. This helps them reaffirm that what they learned in graduate school was important and that they are smarter than you. This makes white people easier to deal with when you get promoted ahead of them.

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soccer.jpgMany white people will tell you that they are very into soccer. But be careful, it’s a trap.

If you then attempt to engage them about your favorite soccer team or talk about famous moments in soccer history, you are likely to be met with blank stares. This is because white people don’t actually enjoy watching soccer, they just like telling their friends that they are into it.

In fact, the main reason white people like soccer is so they can buy a new scarf. As you may or may not know, many soccer teams issue special scarves, and white people cannot get enough of them!

Most white people choose a favorite soccer team based on either a study abroad experience or a particularly long vacation to Europe or South America. When they return, they like to tell their friends about how great “football” is and that they are committed to ‘getting more into’ now that they have returned home.

Some white people take this charade so far as to actually play in adult soccer leagues or attend a local professional match.

The best method for exploiting this is to ask a white person who their favorite football team is and how they came to be fans. This will allow them to tell you about their time abroad and feel as though they have impressed you with their knowledge. Once they have finished talking, it is acceptable to ask for favors.

Note: Europeans are actually into Soccer and are exempt from this entry, however they are free to use it to their advantage when in North America.

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#79 Modern Furniture

When white people envision their dream home, a key part of the fantasy involves a least one piece of furniture designed by a famous architect from the 1930s.

Architects like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier designed iconic modern furniture that has inspired virtually everything made by Ikea and Design Within Reach, both of which are key suppliers of furniture to white people.

But as with all things, white people will do whatever it takes to secure authenticity including paying thousands of dollars for a small piece of furniture.

If they are able to acquire this prized furniture, they will forever refer to it only by the designers name. “I spend hours in the van der Rohe, just looking through these beautiful books of his work.”

Referring to a white person’s expensive chair as a ‘chair’ is considered poor form and will likely result in a loss of trust and/or respect.

The best strategy  for avoiding this faux pas is to look for the most uncomfortable chair in a white person’s home and ask “who designed that?” If they say “Ikea” or “Design within Reach” you can call it a chair, otherwise refer to it only by the name they give you.

It should also be noted that many white people are unable to acquire this furniture, but that does not mean you cannot use this information to your advantage.

In situations where you need to improve your connection with a white person, just mention how you hope to be successful enough to one day afford an original piece of furniture by <insert obscurely named architect>. If they have heard of the designer they will nod in agreement, if they have not, they will also nod in agreement and make a note to look it up later.

In either case, your status will rise.

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