Archive for 2008

SWPL Blogjam

A cartoon version of “Classical Music” has been done by Blogjam cartoonist Greg Williams of the Tampa Tribune.

click for full size

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#110 Frisbee Sports

Though many white people consider competitive sports to be too aggressive and macho for their tastes there are a few exceptions.  The most notable is Soccer since for some reason it is wrong to get fired up about Football game, but right to get fired up about a Football match.  The second sport (term used loosely) in this category is called Ultimate Frisbee or simply Ultimate.

It is important to know that when you hear a white person saying “we should do some ultimate this weekend” or “I’m so pumped for ultimate,” they are talking about a sport and not an “ultimate solution”-type race war.  Though a quick look at a field full of Ultimate Frisbee players might lead one to surmise that an ethnic cleansing has taken place.

When you first see the sport being played, you will be struck at how amazingly boring it is.  Imagine a field of white people running around throwing a frisbee trying to catch it in an “endzone.”   Sometimes one person ‘guards’ another (pictured) and that’s the whole game.  There is nothing more to explain.

If you look a little closer, you will see some surprising things.  First, you will never see hippies get more upset than on an Ultimate Frisbee field.  It can be jarring to see people who look like they should be playing acoustic guitars yelling at each other about whether or not Blake stepped out of bounds.  Secondly, you will notice that Ultimate Frisbee matches are the best place to meet white guys who wear headbands.

Fortunately, ultimate frisbee offers a lot of opportunities for personal, professional and financial gain. Since the sport has yet to be integrated, you could command a high fee in terms of money or favors if you agree to join one of the many white leagues in your area.  To a white person, having a diverse Ultimate team is almost as good as winning the championship.  Almost.

In addition, white people have also created a sport called Frisbee Golf.  In this game, you see how many throws it takes to get a disc into a receptacle. There is no other pertinent information about this sport, and it’s only real value is as a cheap date for white people who like to be outside.

In any case, if a white person talks to you a sport that you’ve never heard of, do not be afraid to ask some questions.  This is because, on average, white people invent a new sport every six weeks.  Hacky Sack, Sky Surfing, and group juggling are just a few of the games invented to help white people maximize their time at parks and beaches.

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New Tour Dates Announced!

Monday, October 13th – St. Louis

Talk & Signing
Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid
St. Louis, MO 63108

Wednesday, October 15th – Madison, WI

Talk & Signing
Madison, WI
3750 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53705

Thursday, October 16th – Milwaukee, WI

Talk & Signing
Milwaukee, WI
8705 N. Port Washington
Fox Point, WI 53217

Friday, October 17th – Houston, TX

Talk & Signing
Houston, TX
3025 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

Monday, October 20th – Portland, OR

Talk & Signing
Powell’s Books
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97209

Friday, October 24th – Berkeley, CA

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

Saturday, October 25th – San Francisco, CA

Time TBA
Booksmith Bookstore
1644 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

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#109 The Onion

Before you begin hanging around with white people, you should know that all white humor comes from three sources: The Simpsons, Monty Python, and The Onion.  If you are not presently familiar with The Onion, you should visit TheOnion.com immediately as it is essential in your development and cultivation of white friendships.  If you are not familiar with The Onion, your conversations with white people will be boring, humorless, and unlikely to lead anywhere productive.

Before moving on, it’s important to know exactly what The Onion is and where it came from. The Onion is a satirical newspaper and website that was founded in Madison, Wisconsin – a very popular location for white people.  When the publication got more popular it moved to New York.  Since then it has produced a body of work that includes audio, video, and thousands of articles that entertain white people every single day of the year.

It is so popular, that every white person home contains at least one book from The Onion.  If that home is occupied exclusively by white men then said book will be located in the bathroom.  There are no exceptions.

At any given time a white person has 100-200 Onion headlines memorized and ready for deployment into a conversation.  In fact it is impossible to talk to a white person for more than one hour without hearing “that reminds me of the Onion article….”  In order to remain a viable part of that conversation it is essential that you are able to quickly suggest a related, but different, Onion article on a similar subject.  Doing so will show the white person that you are smart and have a good sense of humor.

As an institution, the Onion is beyond reproach for white people.  You should not imply that you don’t get it or that it’s not funny.  In fact, the only acceptable criticism for the Onion is that you are unable to work for them.  This is because every white male under 35 is convinced that they could and should be working for The Onion.

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New York Times)

Note the Apple Laptop (Photo: New York Times)

“In an Evolving Harlem, Newcomers Try to Fit In”

by: Timothy Williams.  The New York Times, Sept. 6, 2008.


Recently the New York Times has been spending so much time covering stuff white people don’t like (Sarah Palin) that it has failed to live up to its duty of chronicling the experiences of white people in and around New York City.

In this latest installment, the paper takes a look at some enterprising white people who have decided to move into Harlem for its low rent, authenticity, and high potential for gentrification.

Jobs to enable you to live in Harlem

According to the article, the following jobs will allow you to live in Harlem.  Amazingly all are Stuff White People Like:

  • Lawyer
  • Artist
  • School Teacher (won lottery)
  • Non-Profit Organization

White Plans for Harlem

The article goes into some of the plans and hopes that white people have for the neighborhood, and they include the opening of Thai Restaurant, A wine shops, hair salon, and a place that serves gourmet burgers and microbrews (implied).

White people are also hoping to close down things that they do not like, specifically churches.  With over 100 houses of worship in the area, white people are concerned.  Though the article does not mention why white people are upset at so many churches, it can be implied that they would feel more comfortable if they were to be replaced with condominiums, yoga studios, and white people churches (also known as Whole Foods).

Yet in spite of all these desired changes, white people would still prefer it if other white people did not move into the neighborhood.

One of the new residents says: “Harlem does have a character. I don’t want Harlem to become Union Square any more than anyone else does.”


Harlem had a good run.

Stuff Mentioned

Stuff Not Mentioned:

Having Black Friends

Sent in by Anders Mikkelsen in New York City, who would like you to check out:

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This Friday September 5th, Stuff White People Like Author Christian Lander will be making a guest appearance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

NBC 12:35 / 11:35 C

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There are a number of industries that survive solely upon white guilt: Penguin Classics, the SPCA, free range chicken farms, and the entire rubber bracelet market.  Yet all of these pale in comparison to classical music, which has used white guilt to exist for over a century beyond its relevance.

Though white people do not actually listen to classical music, they like to believe that they are the type of people who would enjoy it.  You can witness this first hand by going to any classical performance at your local symphony where you will see literally dozens of white couples who have paid upwards of $80 for the right to dress up and sit in a chair for hours reading every word in the program.

After leaving the concert hall, white people will immediately begin telling everyone they know about how much they loved the performance and how they plan to “go more often.”  This is because white people see little to no value enjoying classical music without recognition from other white people.  This can be seen first hand by looking at the plaques and bricks around all opera houses: they are covered in white person names.

If a white person starts talking to you about classical music, it’s essential that you tread very lightly.  This is because white people are all petrified that they will be exposed as someone who has only a moderate understanding of classical music.  When a white person encounters another white person who actually enjoys classical music (exceptionally rare), it is often considered to be one of the most traumatic experiences they can go through.

“Really?  Beethoven’s 5th Symphony….that’s your favorite.”
“um, no, I mean…”
“You sure it’s not Pachebel’s Canon?”
“well, ah, I like that, ah, song”
“sigh, of course you do.”

Even the possibility of this conversation happening is enough to scare white people into attending up to (but no more than) two performances in any given classical season.  Therefore it is essential that even if you possess a massive amount of knowledge about classical music, do not share it with a white person regardless of how much they profess to love it.  It’s a recipe for disaster and shame.

As a defense mechanism against the possibility of being called out for a lack of familiarity with the early works of Antonin Dvorak, white people have started to list more contemporary composers as their favorites.  Of course, the easiest way for them to do this is to choose composers with music that appears in independent films.  Knowing these composers is almost a golden ticket into making white people think you are smart, but not TOO smart.

The first, of course, is Philip Glass.  Not only does he have one of the best last names a white person can  have, but he writes music used in smart documentaries.  Thus combining multiple white passions into a single artist.

The second, and slightly more obscure, is Erik Satie.  Composing at the end of the 19th century, Satie has risen to prominence among white people because his music has been sampled by popular musicians and featured in a number of independent films.  Dropping this name at a dinner party will show that you are modern and post-modern at the same time.  It is also a good idea to tell white people that your tastes in general are “modern and post-modern at the same time.”  Don’t worry, you won’t have to explain it.

Note: Under no circumstances should you ever list John Williams or Danny Elfman as your favorite composer.

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Photo by Jeff Deck

Photo by Jeff Deck

Men banned from national parks after vandalism.

From The Boston Globe, August 22, 2008.


Two white people from the Somerville, MA created an organization called “TEAL: Typo Eradication Advancement League,” and vowed to travel across the country fixing typos.  This is especially interesting since every other time two late 20s white males have traveled across the country it has been to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.

All was well until the two men defaced a hand painted sign in Grand Canyon National Park.  They were caught, arrested, fined, and banned from National Parks for one year.

While white people have little trouble paying fines of $3,000, the ban from public parks for one full year is considered especially harsh considering white people’s need for camping and other outdoor activities.

Questions for discussion:

  1. When there is a typo on a vintage sign, what is more important: Grammar or character?
  2. Once all typos have been corrected, what will be the next cause for white people to solve? (side note: do not say Africa, white people are already fast at work making t-shirts)

Related Links

Original Article about TEAL

Thank you to Maureen Bensily who sent this in first, and thank you to every else who sent it in slighty after her.

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Stuff White People Like has entered its seventh week on the New York Times Best Seller List!

In related news, the book will be released on September 1st in Australia through Hardie Grant Publishing. It will be available in all fine book shops in throughout Australia.

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Among the wrong kind of white people, there are few more hated than the wigger or whitethug. Though it is very acceptable and common for the right kind of white people to dress and act as though they were Japanese, Chinese, or European, it is completely unacceptable for them to act like rappers.

This distaste caused a dilemma for white people who had to show both that they loved hip hop but also that they were aware they were white. The brilliant solution they came up with was to appropriate hip hop words and mannerisms and filter them through a white appropriateness system.

For example, white people find it particularly hilarious to take slang and enunciate every word perfectly.

“Homey, that bernaise sauce you made is wack. Do you know what I am saying? For Real.”

“Well, I used a different type of butter. I switched the style up, so let the haters hate and I’ll watch the deliciousness pile up.”

Since the above exchange involves people who are very aware of their whiteness it is hilarious, but if it were to be said by wiggers, it would be tragic. The difference is subtle but essential.

This is also an excellent way to make white people like you. If you can recite rap lyrics with perfect enunciation, they will always find it funny. As a rule of thumb, the more popular the rapper, the funnier it gets. Best options: 50 Cent, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, or Jay Z. Note: avoid Kanye West as the irony of reciting his lyrics with perfect English is not as great.

In terms of physical actions, there are few things white people enjoy more than throwing up fake gang signs in photos. Again, the same rules apply: if it is done by wiggers it is tragic, if it’s done by the right kind of white people, it’s hilarious. It’s not a good idea to mention how these signs have often resulted in awful, senseless deaths– that will ruin the joke.

In both cases, the actions are done in hopes that a white person will be recognized as “one of the good ones,” who love hip hop, but don’t try to appropriate it in any non-hilarious ways.

In both cases, your best response is to say “did you go to the last Dead Prez/Roots/Mos Def/Twaleb Kwali/Michael Franti concert? It was incredible. I smoked weed and kept this one finger up for almost an hour!”

Though this information has very little use in and of itself, it could be the final piece in the puzzle of cementing your white friendship. At the very least, it is a guaranteed way to help your progress.

photo: goldberg (via flickr)

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#106 Facebook

Social Networking sites have been embraced by white people since their inception. Because these sites use profile pages, white people can more efficiently judge friends and future friends on their taste in film, books, music, and inspirational quotes. Advanced level white people, fearful of being judged on their tastes from last week, will often only list one or two ironic things as their favorites. For example under music they would simply list “P.M. Dawn” or under films they would choose only Armageddon. In both cases these ironic answers serve as protective shields from the harsh gaze of other white people.

However, it is important to remember that the “where” is often as important as the “who” when it comes to social networking. As noted in earlier posts, white people are obsessed with being in the right neighborhood and the Internet is no exception.

In the early days, white people joined a social networking service called Friendster where they could connect with old friends and make new ones. Eventually, white people started to notice more and more of their friends on MySpace, so they closed their Friendster accounts and migrated to the new service. It was like living in a neighborhood that was pretty good but kind of far away, so you might have to miss out on a few parties. Needless to say, this was unacceptable.

For a brief period of time, MySpace was the site where everyone kept their profile and managed their friendships. But soon, the service began to attract fake profiles, the wrong kind of white people, and struggling musicians. In real world terms, these three developments would be equivalent to a check cashing store, a TGIFridays, and a housing project. All which strike fear in the hearts of white people.

White people were nervous but had nowhere else to go. Then Facebook came along and offered advanced privacy settings, closed networks, and a clean interface. In respective real world terms, these features are analogous to an apartment or house with a security system/doorman, an alumni dinner, and a homeowners association that protects the aesthetics of the neighborhood.  In spite of these advances, some white people still clung to their old MySpace accounts.  That was until they learned that Facebook started, like so many things beloved by white people, at Harvard.

Within a matter of months, MySpace had gone from a virtual utopia to Digital Detroit, where only minorities and indie bands remain.

If you plan on befriending white people, it is essential that you join them in the digital suburbs and open a Facebook account immediately. It’s also a good idea to make up a story about how someone from high school sent you a friend request and after accepting you discovered that they were fat and unsuccessful. White people love these stories.

In an unrelated note you can join

Stuff White People Like Facebook Group

Stuff White People Like Facebook Application

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LOS ANGELES – Tuesday, July 29th, 7:00 PM

Book Soup

8818 Sunset Blvd. (map)
Los Angeles, CA
310. 659.3110

AUSTIN, TX – August 7th, 7:00 p.m.


603 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas

VICTORIA, BC – August 10th, 2:00 p.m.

Chapters Victoria
1212 Douglas Street,
Victoria, BC

VANCOUVER, BC – August 12, 7:00 P.M.

Chapters/Indigo Robson Square
788 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC

Note: if you are interested in having an event at your book store or have a media request please contact Barbara Fillon at Randomhouse (bfillon@randomhouse.com)

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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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After a successful beta run, the Stuff White People Like Facebook application is now live.

Though the book contains the definitive and authoritative quiz to determine whiteness, this Facebook application contains an all new set of questions and the ability to see the whitest users and networks on the popular social networking site.

Currently, the whitest networks on Facebook are:

1. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
2. Vancouver, BC
3. Gonzaga
4. Wittenberg
5. Oklahoma
6. Stevenson High School
7. Bridgeport / Stamford, CT
8. VCU
9. Swarthmore
10. Oklahoma City, OK
11. Boulder, CO
12. Tucson, AZ
13. London, ON
14. Grandview Heights High School
15. NYU

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BOSTON – Thursday, July 10, 7:00pm

Harvard Book Store

1256 Massachusetts Ave. (Map)
Cambridge, MA 02138

SEATTLE – Tuesday July 15th, 6/8 p.m.


In tribute to this scaldingly fun satire of many of us, we are throwing a dinner, along with One Pot at The Hideout on Tuesday, July 15.  Dinner is at 6pm and cost is $60/person, which includes a copy of the book, STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions.  You MUST call or email the Book Events office to RSVP, (206) 632-2419 or info@kimricketts.com (tickets are limited).

But there is good news for the people who don’t get one of the coveted seats at dinner…

The party, celebration, book signing, and shindig will continue into the evening…and anyone can show up after 8pm.  Free to get in, no host bar, and books will be for sale. Let the good times roll!

The Hideout

1005 Boren Avenue (Map)
just north of Madison on First Hill.
Seattle, WA

WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, July 23, 7.00 PM

Politics and Prose

5015 Connecticut Ave. NW (Map)
Washington, DC

CHICAGO – Friday, July 25, 7.00 PM

Book Cellar

4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave. (Map)
Chicago, IL

LOS ANGELES – Tuesday, July 29th, 7:00 PM

Book Soup

8818 Sunset Blvd. (map)
Los Angeles, CA
310. 659.3110

Note: if you are interested in having an event at your book store or have a media request please contact Barbara Fillon at Randomhouse (bfillon@randomhouse.com)

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