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Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

#120 Taking a Year Off

travellingguyWhen someone goes through a stressful experience they usually require some time off to clear their head, regain focus, and recover from the pain and suffering.   Of course, in white culture these experiences are most often defined as finishing high school, making it through three years of college, or working for eleven months straight with only two weeks vacation and every statutory holiday (“they don’t count because I had to spend them with family.”)

Though you might consider finishing school or having a good job to be “accomplishments” many white people view them as burdens.  As such, they can only handle them for so long before they start talking about their need to “take a year off” to travel, volunteer, or work abroad.

It is most common for the person taking the year off to use this time to travel (see Post #19 for reasons why).   Generally, they will start off with a set amount of money that will use to travel for as long as possible.  This explains why a white person with an $800 backpack will haggle with a poverty-stricken  street vendor about a $2 dollar plate of food.

If you work with this person, be sure to give them a FAKE email address on their last day on the job or you will be inundated with emails about spiritual enlightenment and how great the food is compared to similar restaurants back home.  Also, within the first five days following departure, this person will come up with the idea to write a book about their travel experience.  Sadly, more books about mid-twenties white people traveling have been written than have been read.

Some of the more enterprising white people will extend their time off by working abroad as a bartender, ski lift operator, or english teacher.  Their stories, emails, and publishing plans will be identical to the previous white person but will include additional stories about working and complaints about “tourists.”

Finally, there is the white person who takes a year off to volunteer at home or abroad.  Though they are equally likely to write long emails about their experience, these people are often using the experience as an excellent resume pad for their application to law school.  This way they are able to put off real life without the crippling derailment of a career or education.

Regardless of how a white person chooses to spend their year off, they all share the same goal of becoming more interesting to other people.  Sadly, the people who find these stories interesting are other white people who are politely listening until they can tell their own, more interesting story about taking a year off.

Thankfully,  there is an enormous opportunity for personal gain.  You see, whenever a white person takes a year off  it opens up a valuable apartment, job opportunity or admissions slot. Consider it to be the most pretentious form of affirmative action.

photo by Alex Steffler

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Tour Ends in Bay Area

Been a fun run for the 2nd tour. Thanks everyone for coming out to all the events.

Tour ends with two dates in the Bay Area. Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 24th – Berkeley, CA

7:30pm
Berkley Arts & Letters
First Congregational Church of Berkley
2345 Channing Way @ Dana
Berkeley, CA

Saturday, October 25th – San Francisco, CA

7:30pm
Booksmith Bookstore
1644 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA

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Portland Visit

Interesting facts about Portland Oregon

- named the “Greenest city” in America by Popular Science
– has the highest rate of microbreweries per capita
– citizens are not allowed to pump their own gas
– Rasheed Wallace once lived here
– home of the Reed College Ultimate Frisbee team
– and Stuff White People Like author will be making an appearance there on Monday (Info Below)

Monday, October 20th – Portland, OR

7:00pm
Talk & Signing
Powell’s Books
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97209
503-228-4651

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Houston Tour Stop

Friday, October 17th – Houston, TX

7:00pm
Talk & Signing
Borders
Houston, TX
3025 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

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Author Appearances in Wisconsin

Christian Lander will be making appearances in the Badger state this week. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 15th – Madison, WI

7:00pm
Talk & Signing
Borders
Madison, WI
3750 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53705

Thursday, October 16th – Milwaukee, WI

7:00pm
Talk & Signing
Borders
Milwaukee, WI
8705 N. Port Washington
Fox Point, WI 53217

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#105 Unpaid Internships

In most of the world when a person works long hours without pay, it is referred to as “slavery” or “forced labor.” For white people this process is referred to as an internship and is considered an essential stage in white development.

The concept of working for little or no money underneath a superior has been around for centuries in the form of apprenticeship programs. Young people eager to learn a trade would spend time working under a master craftsman to learn a skill that would eventually lead to an increase in material wealth.

Using this logic you would assume that the most sought after internships would be in areas that lead to the greatest financial reward. Young White people, however, prefer internships that put them on the path for careers that will generally result in a DECREASE of the material wealth accumulated by their parents.

For example, if you were to present a white 19 year old with the choice of spending the summer earning $15 an hour as a plumbers apprentice or making $0 answering phones at Production Company, they will always choose the latter. In fact, the only way to get the white person to choose the plumbing option would be to convince them that it was leading towards an end-of-summer pipe art installation.

White people view the internship as their foot into the door to such high-profile low-paying career fields as journalism, film, politics, art, non-profits, and anything associated with a museum. Any white person who takes an internship outside of these industries is either the wrong type of white person or a law student. There are no exceptions.

If all goes according to plan, an internship will end with an offer of a job that pays $24,000 per year and will consist entirely of the same tasks they were recently doing for free. In fact, the transition to full time status results in the addition of only one new responsibility: feeling superior to the new interns.

When all is said and done, the internship process serves the white community in many ways. First, it helps to train the next generation of freelance writers, museum curators, and directors assistants. But more importantly, internships teach white children how to complain about being poor.

So when a white person tells you about their unpaid internship at the New Yorker, its not a good idea to point out how the cost of rent and food will essentially mean that they are PAYING their employer for the right to make photocopies. Instead its best to say: you earned it. They will not get the joke.

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By far, the easiest way to befriend a large group of white people is to organize and then participate in a game that is normally played by children. Unlike the practice of having their parents help with rent, this activity is a pleasant reminder to white people that they have not fully severed their ties with childhood.

When it comes to outdoor games, the most popular one remains kickball. In fact, you might have noticed groups of white people at the park playing this game in loosely organized leagues (see #65 Co-Ed Sports for further explanation). Though kickball is by far the most popular, if you were to suggest a game of capture the flag, Red Rover (pictured), British Bulldog, Tag, or even Hide and Go Seek your popularity would with white people would skyrocket. In addition, you would likely become a legend in your office.

Once the game has actually been organized and you are at the event, things will pretty much just sort themselves out. White people will be so happy to be outside reliving their childhood, that they will all be in a good mood. But if you want to take it to the next level, you should have a friend show up and say to one of the white people: “excuse me, what are you people doing?” The white person will tell them what game they are playing and promptly issue an invitation. To which your friend should say “I’m sorry, I’m an adult. You people are crazy.” It will make the white person feel great and give them a story for years to come

If you do not know enough white people for a large outdoor game or do not have access to adequate space, you are not out of luck. White people are also quite fond of indoor activities, especially ones that can be easily combined with alcohol. Therefore it is a rock-solid guarantee that you will gain white friends if you suggest a social gathering where people drink and play old board games like Candyland, The Game of Life, or Mouse Trap. Just the suggestion of an event like this will get them more excited than word of a new Trader Joe’s opening. (Note the photo evidence of success in this photo from Attus Apparel)

It’s a good idea to space out these events or else you become “that weird guy who always wants to play Fireball Island.”

Photo of game of Red Rover from zacharmstrong

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To be offended is usually a rather unpleasant experience, one that can expose a person to intolerance, cultural misunderstandings, and even evoke the scars of the past.  This is such an unpleasant experience that many people develop a thick skin and try to only be offended in the most egregious and awful situations.  In many circumstances, they can allow smaller offenses to slip by as fighting them is a waste of time and energy.  But white people, blessed with both time and energy, are not these kind of people.  In fact there are few things white people love more than being offended.

Naturally, white people do not get offended by statements directed at white people.  In fact, they don’t even have a problem making offensive statements about other white people (ask a white person about “flyover states”).  As a rule, white people strongly prefer to get offended on behalf of other people.

It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended.  They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive.  When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples.  Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference.

White people also get excited at the opportunity to be offended at things that are sexist and/or homophobic.  Both cases offering ample opportunities for lectures, complaints, graduate classes, lengthy discussions and workshops.  All of which do an excellent job of raising awareness among white people who hope to change their status from “not racist” to “super not racist.”

Another thing worth noting is that the threshold for being offended is a very important tool for judging and ranking white people. Missing an opportunity to be outraged is like missing a reference to Derrida-it’s social death.

If you ever need to make a white person feel indebted to you, wait for them to mention a book, film, or television show that features a character who is the same race as you,  then say “the representation of <insert race> was offensive and if you can’t see that, well, you need to do some soul searching.”  After they return from their hastily booked trip to land of your ancestors, they will be desperate to make it up to you.  At this point, it is acceptable to ask them to help you paint your house.

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#95 Rugby

If you’ve been in a white person’s apartment or home you might have noticed a ball that looks like a cross between an egg and a football. It is a Rugby ball and it is an important sport for white people.

They love Rugby for a number of reasons, the first of which is the fact that it is not very popular in North America. In fact, it is even less popular than soccer which gives a white person that all important edge in the contest to see who likes the most obscure sport. Though this is important, it is not the real reason why white people love the sport so much.

Rugby’s greatest appeal lies in its uniforms.

Unlike other sports where jerseys are made out of nylon or mesh, Rugby jerseys are like thick sweatshirts with collars! In fact there is no other jersey on earth that can move so seamlessly from the playing field to the farmers market

Many white people first acquire a love of rugby during their high school and college years by playing either for a school team or in the case of highly advanced white people-part of an intramural league. In fact, many white people will continue to play the sport into their early 30s at local parks on Saturday morning. If you are looking to expand your group of white friends, you would be wise to get yourself invited to one of these games. However, you should be prepared to have your crotch grabbed.

Though playing the sport is the most common way for white people to become interested in Rugby, a great number of them pick up a taste for the game while studying abroad in Australia or New Zealand. Like soccer, they are given the chance to purchase a scarf of their adopted team, but more importantly they can acquire a Rugby jersey. Unlike a soccer scarf, they can wear this garment all year long which provides for a more reliable trinket that can be used to initiate conversations about their time down under. For extra credit, some white people will declare that they are into Australian Rules Football and not Rugby. If you wish to friend this person, it’s best to ask them about the differences in rules because they will be thrilled to tell you.

Aside from playing the game with white people, there is one other surefire way to use rugby for your own personal gain. If you have determined that the white person you are talking to prefers rugby over soccer, it is strongly advised that you say: “you know, American Football players might be bigger, but rugby players are so much tougher.” Their response will be to tell you about how Football players are weak because they wear pads. This will be followed by a knowing nod or wink in your direction and an invitation to join them for a game on the weekend.

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#93 Music Piracy

j0430549.jpgWhite people have always been renowned for having ridiculously large music collections. So when file sharing gave white people a chance to acquire all the music they ever wanted, it felt as though it was an earned right and not a privilege.

When (not if) you see a white male with a full iPod, ask him if all of his music is legal. If he does not immediately launch into a diatribe about his right to pirate music, you might have to nudge him a bit by saying “do you think that’s right?” The response will be immediate and uniform.

He will likely rattle off statistics about how most musicians don’t make any money from albums, it all comes from touring and merchandise. So by attending shows, he is able to support the musicians while simultaneously striking a blow against multinational corporations. He will proceed to walk you through the process of how record labels are set up to reward the corporation and fundamentally rob the artist of their rights, royalties and creativity. Prepare to hear the name Steve Albini a lot.

Advanced white people will also talk about how their constant downloading of music makes them an expert who can properly recommend bands to friends and co-workers, thus increasing revenues and exposure. So in fact, their “illegal” activities are the new lifeblood of the industry.

When they have finished talking, you must choose your next words wisely. It is considered rude to point out the simple fact that they are still getting music for free. Instead you should say: “Wow, I never thought of it like that. You know a lot about the music industry. What bands are you listening to right now? Who is good?”

This sentence serves two functions: it helps to reassure the white person that they are your local “music expert,” something they prize. Also, it lets them feel as though they have convinced you that their activities are part of a greater social cause and not simple piracy.

If you bring up this issue with white person who says “nah bro, I don’t give a shit, Dave Matthews has enough money as it is.” You are likely dealing with wrong kind of white person.

In the even more rare situation where someone says “it’s all paid for, and it’s all transferred from vinyl.” You have found an expert level white person and must treat the situation carefully. high.jpg

Because of the availability of music online, a very strict social hierarchy has been created within white culture whereby someone with a large MP3 collection is considered “normal,” a large CD collection is considered to be “better,” and a person with a large vinyl collection is recognized as “elite.”

These elite white people abhor the fact that music piracy has made their B-sides, live performances, and bootlegs available to the masses. Their entire life’s work has been stripped of its rarity in terms of both object and sound on the record. The best thing you can say to them is: “vinyl still sounds better.”

However, it is recommended that you do not let this conversation drag much longer. If you let them continue talking to you they are likely to spend hours talking to you about bands you’ve never heard of and providing you with a weekly mix CD of rarities that you do not want.

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dinnerparty.jpgThough many would have you believe that white people come of age at Summer Camp, it’s simply not the truth. Immediately following graduation but prior to renovating a house, white people take their first step from childhood to maturity by hosting a successful dinner party.

It is imperative that white people know how to host a good dinner party as they will be expected to do it well into retirement.

At the most basic level, these simple gatherings involve 3-6 couples getting together at a single house or apartment, having dinner and talking for 5-6 hours. Though it might seem basic these events are some of the most stressful situations in all of white culture.

Hosts are expected to deliver a magical evening. The food must be home made with fresh, organic ingredients, the music must be just right (ambient, new, but not too loud), and the decorations inside the house should be subtle but elegant. The ultimate goal is to do a better job than the couple at the last dinner party while attempting to make everyone jealous and sort of dislike you.

The dinner party is the opportunity for white people to be judged on their taste in food, wine, furniture, art, interior design, music, and books. Outside of dictatorships and a few murder trials, there might not be a more rigorous judgment process in the modern world. Everything must be perfect. One copy of US Weekly, a McDonalds wrapper, a book by John Grisham, a Third Eye Blind CD, or an Old School DVD can undo months and maybe even years of work.

Even before guests arrive the pressure on the host is immense and it does not let up once people begin to arrive. While eating, drinking, and conversation are expected to fill up 5-6 hours, sometimes it’s just not enough. In order to fill the silence, white people will often turn to board games (Cranium!) or Wii Bowling. This lets everyone have fun together without having to really talk to each other, which is usually more fun anyways.

It is strongly encouraged to bring a gift to these dinner parties, usually either wine or some kind of dessert. If you are able to bring a particularly rare dish from your culture, you will be the star of the party. To seal the deal, be sure to explain as much as you possibly can about the dish: history, availability, and the proper way to eat it. Every white person at the party will be taking mental notes and will be in your debt for introducing them to something new and authentic. If a white person says they have eaten the dish before, it is best to respond by saying “you ate a watered down version. They don’t even sell this to white people, it’s that intense. Even I had to show ID.”

The entire party will universally acknowledge you as the top guests, even the hosts will appreciate you for bringing diversity to the table in both food and person form.

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stpatrick.jpgNormally if someone were to wake up at 7:00 in the morning, take the day off work, and get drunk at a bar before 10:00 a.m., they would be called an alcoholic, and not in the artistic, edgy way that white people are so fond of.

On March 17th, however, this exact same activity is called celebrating St. Patrick’s day. This very special white holiday recognizes Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who helped to bring Catholicism to the Emerald Isle. His ascetic life is celebrated every year by white people drinking large amounts of Irish-themed alcohol and listening to the Dropkick Murphys.

It is also the day of the year when you can make the most gains in your social and professional relationship with white people.

Most of the time, white people consider celebrations of European heritage to be racist unless they omit large swathes of the 16th through 20th centuries. But since the Irish never engaged in colonialism and were actually oppressed it is considered acceptable and encouraged to celebrate their ancestry. For this reason, 100% of white people are proud to claim that they are somewhat Irish.

A big part of St. Patrick’s Day is having white people feel particularly upset at the oppression of their ancestors that has in no way trickled down to them. If you find yourself talking with a white person who tells you about how their great grandfather was oppressed by both the English and the Americans, it is strongly recommended that you lend a sympathetic ear and shake your head in disbelief. It is never considered acceptable to say: “but you’re white now, so what’s the problem?”

It is also worth noting that on this day, there is always one trump card that never fails to gain respect and acclaim. When you are sitting at an Irish bar and someone orders a round of Guinness, you must take a single sip and while the other white people are savoring their drink, you say: “mmmm, I know it sounds cliche, but it really is true. Guinness just tastes better in Ireland.”

This comment will elicit an immediate and powerful response of people agreeing with your valuable insight. This statement also has the additional benefit of humiliating the members of your party who have not been to Ireland (and thus cannot confirm this proclamation). Having not traveled to Ireland and consumed a beer that is widely available in their hometown and throughout the world, they will immediately be perceived as provincial, uncultured, and inferior to you.

It is also strongly encouraged that you memorize the lyrics to “Jump Around.” It will come in handy.

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2256034027_f48985d435.jpgAs white people get older, they like to make clear boundaries between their professional and personal lives. They don’t mind talking about their personal life at work, but they hate talking about their work life when they are enjoying a weekend or vacation. But with blackberries and laptops, white people could be working anywhere, at any time. So how do you know when they are off the clock? It’s easy, check their clothes.

When white people aren’t working, they generally like to wear Outdoor Performance Clothes. The top suppliers of these garments and accessories include North Face, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Columbia Sportswear, and Patagonia.

When you see white people wearing these, it is important that you do not discuss business matters.  Instead you should say things like “where did you get that fleece?” and “what’s that thing holding your keys to your shorts?”  White people will be more than happy to talk to you about their sustainably produced possessions.

The main reason why white people like these clothes is that it allows them to believe that at any moment they could find themselves with a Thule rack on top of their car headed to a national park. It could be 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday when they might  get a call “hey man, you know what we need to do? Kayak then camping, right now. I’m on my way to get you, there is no time to change clothes.”

Though it is unlikely that they will receive this call, White people hate the idea of missing an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities because they weren’t wearing the right clothes.

If you plan on spending  part of your weekend with a white person, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a jacket or some sort of “high performance” t-shirt, which is like a regular shirt but just a lot more expensive.

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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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Water seems like a fairly simple concept. You turn on the tap, put glass underneath, and drink. Sadly, it is not this simple for white people.

On the whole, they are unable to put a glass under a tap and just drink. In fact, this is such a strange concept that the city of New York had to launch a rather large PR campaign to show white people that it was possible to actually drink the water that comes out of the tap!

Up until this point, white people were consuming most of their water in the form of expensive bottles like Fiji, Aquafina and Dasanai. To this day, many white people continue to get their water in this fashion, and it is important to be aware about how your choice of water can say a lot about who you are.

Logically, you would assume that drinking the most expensive premium bottled water (Fiji and Voss) would be enough to show the world that you are too good for tap water. And a few years ago, you would have been right. But lately, advanced white people have been getting very upset about all of the waste that comes with drinking 15-20 bottles per week.

The leading edge of white people have started to use sturdier, refillable bottles. But do not assume this is from the tap. Most white people need to run their water through some sort of filter (Brita or PUR) before they put it into their bottle. This allows them to feel good about using a refillable bottle, but it also makes it more complicated, which they also like.

Previously, the gold standard was the Nalgene bottle, however recent studies have shown the plastic can leak toxins into the water. Currently, white people on the cutting edge are really into metal bottles of water with a twist cap. It is recommended that you buy one of these as soon as possible.

Having one will give you precious leverage over any white person who is drinking from a plastic bottle. “Oh bottled water? really? I mean it’s cool, but I kind of thought you cared about the earth.” If you see someone drinking a Fiji water, you do have the opportunity to go in for the kill. “Do you know that your bottle of water has a bigger carbon footprint than me? I think they were originally going to call it ‘aboriginal blood’ but that bottle was as close as they could get. You know, legally.”

Again, this should only be used in extreme situations.

Following your confrontation, the white person is likely to have a metal bottle just like yours. If this happens, there will be an implicit pact whereby they will do favors for you provided you do not tell everyone they got their bottle after you.

NOTE: whoever makes the metal bottles did not pay for the link.  They just had the best pictures.

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