#123 Mad Men

madmenTelevision is one of the keys to a white person’s heart. A proper reference to Arrested Development or the lending of a Wire Season on DVD are considered two of the easiest and most cost effective ways of getting a white person to like you. But with both of those shows off the air, their utility is being quickly depleted. Thankfully, there is Mad Men.

Mad Men is a TV show on cable with low ratings, multiple awards, critical praise, and full seasons available on DVD. It’s no surprise white people love it. And while you could apply the previously mentioned techniques to gain white friendship, Mad Men has an entirely new world of possibilities.

The show is set in 1960 and features meticulous art direction that strives to make the show as historically accurate as possible. This veracity makes the show especially vulnerable to one of white people’s favorite activities on earth: finding mistakes. And as is always the case with white people, the harder someone strives for accuracy, the happier a white person is to prove them wrong.

“Oh yeah, it’s a great show don’t get me wrong. But you think at least one person would have know than those IBM Selectric type writers didn’t come out until 1961. I mean, it’s so obvious.”

But it is not recommended that you start searching for mistakes on the show. Doing so would require a massive amount of time spent on the internet. Also, if you point out errors that other white people missed they might be intimidated by you.

Instead, the best way to use Mad Men is to suggest or host a themed party.

When you say the words “we should have a Mad Men party,” white people will immediately latch onto the idea and begin planning. By the end of the day, they will have picked proper attire and emailed you a drink and hors d’oeuvre menu. In the days and weeks leading up to the party white people will be thinking of clever ways to make it more authentic.

Remember parties are fun, historically accurate themed parties are legendary.

During the actual event you should constantly mention how much people used to smoke and drink back then. A few white people will lament the days when they could smoke anywhere, then another white person will say something about cancer and it will get awkward. At this point you should try to steer the conversation back to cocktails and how good everyone looks.

The party should essentially run itself, however, you can severely curtail the amount of fun by saying: “I’m glad this isn’t really 1960 or else I’d be serving all of you.”

White people often find truth to be very depressing at theme parties.

#122 Moleskine Notebooks

moleskine_pocket_plain_notebookSince all white people consider themselves to be “creative,” they are constantly in need of products and accessories that will allow them to capture their thoughts.  One of the more popular  products in recent years has been the Moleskine notebook.

This particular type of notebook is very expensive and was quite popular with writers and artists in the olden days.  Needless to say, these are two properties that are highly coveted in the white community.   In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to know that white people like anything that old writers and artists liked:  typewriters, journals, suicide, heroin, and trains are just a few examples.

Much like virtually everything else that white people like, these notebooks are considerably more expensive yet provide no additional functionality over regular notebooks that cost a dollar.  Thankfully, since white people only keep their most original and creative ideas in the Moleskine, many of them will only be required to purchase one per lifetime.

But the the growing popularity of these little journals, is not without its own set of problems.  One of the strangest side effects has been the puzzling situation whereby a white person will sit in an independent coffee shop with a Moleskine notebook resting on top of a Apple laptop.  You might wonder why they need so many devices to write down thoughts?  Well, if a white person has a great idea, they write it by hand, if they have a good idea, it goes into the computer.

Not only does this help them keep their thoughts organized, but it serves as a signal to the other white people in the shop that the owner of both instruments is truly creative.  It screams: “I’m not using my computer to check email and read celebrity gossip, I’m using it to create art.  Please ask me about it.”

So when you see a white person with one of these notebooks, you should always ask them about what sort of projects they are working on their free time.  But you should never ask to actually see the notebook lest you ask the question “how are you going to make a novel out of five phone numbers and a grocery list?”

#121 Funny or Ironic Tattoos

stashtatWhen you think about tattoo parlors, it conjures up images of sailors, gang members, hepatitis, and spring break.  All of these are things that white people do not like, except for sailors but that only counts if they were sailing before Vietnam.  Yet in spite of this, more and more white people are getting tattoos.

But do not make the mistake of thinking that white people like all tattoos.  In fact, they hate a great number of them:

* Anything with an American Flag or Eagle

* References to Military Services

* Tribal Arm Bands

* “Heritage”

* Faces of children, spouses, or dead people

* Tattoos with more than one color

A white person getting a tattoo is a major step in their life as it presupposes that their taste at this given moment is good enough to sustain them for the rest of their lives.  Needless to say, this is a near impossible task.  This is why you don’t see a lot of white people with R.E.M. or Strokes tattoos.

White people can only get tattoos of the only thing that they are guaranteed to like in five years, and needless to say it’s a short list.  But two things will never go out of style with white people: humor and irony.

An ironic/funny tat can come in many forms: a piece of bacon, old Nintendo characters, mustaches on the inside of their finger, or Asian Characters that say something funny and self-aware like “dim sum,””chicken fried rice,” or “I can’t read Chinese.”

The Chinese or Japanese character is an interesting case study about the dangers of getting a tattoo with a personal meaning. You see, about fifteen years ago these were considered to be acceptable. Then the wrong kind of white people started getting sentences like “trust no one” or words like “beauty,” “truth,” or “endurance.”  To make a more modern analogy, it would be like The Arcade Fire being featured on a Jock Jams CD.

White people learned their lesson.

A white person with the right kind of tattoo is generally very popular within the white community since they have shown a demonstrated commitment to irony, humor, and in some cases, self-deprecation.

If you find yourself competing socially with one of these people, there are a few things you can do in order to defeat them.

Your saving grace is the fact that white people not only enjoy getting funny/ironic tattoos, but they really enjoy talking about them too!  Therefore, it is essential that you already have 2-3 clever tattoo ideas ready to drop into a conversation.

“Yeah, that finger mustache is pretty cool but a lot of people have it. (Note: this is the meanest thing you can say).  I’m thinking about getting a tattoo of a donut around my belly button or a picture of a hamburger on my forearm so I can order food when I’m in Japan.”

Your conversation partner will likely then tell you about the clever tattoos that they have been thinking of and before you know it they have forgotten all about your competition.

Photo from Fingerstache.com


Monday, January 26th, 4pm

University of Minnesota Bookstore
Coffman Memorial Union
300 Washington Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Tuesday, January 27th, 7pm

Barnes & Noble/ OSU Bookstore
1958 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43201


Wednesday, January 28th, 7pm

Penn Bookstore
3601 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Thursday, January 29th, 7pm

The Euclid Ave. Yacht Club/ A Cappella Books
1136 Euclid Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
*book sold by A Cappella Books

Note: this is a bar.


Friday, January 30th, 4:30pm

Brown Bookstore/ Entrepreneurship Program
Brown University
Barus & Holley Building
184 Hope St.
Providence, RI 02912


Saturday, January 31st, 7pm

Rock Point Books
401 Broad St.
Chattanooga, TN 37402


Monday, February 2nd, 7:30pm

Boulder Bookstore
1107 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302


Tuesday, February 3rd, 7pm

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283


Wednesday, February 4th, 4:30pm

University of Arizona Bookstore
1209 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721

#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

#119 Sea Salt

seasaltRegardless of how much a white person cooks or how long they have lived in their current home, they all have a tube of sea salt in their pantry.  In fact, it’s one of the few foodstuffs that white people will actually bring with them when they move.  This is because sea salt is expensive and while white people have money, they didn’t get that way by throwing away $7 packages of salt.

When white people think about regular salt, all they can think about sodium and poor health.  When they think about Sea Salt they think about France.  So it’s no surprise that it has become so popular.

But Sea Salt is like Trader Joes, Banksy, or The Shins-entry level to their respective field.  Therefore, it is important that you learn about other more expensive salts so that you can complain about not having them.  To a white person, this shows that you know and love expensive things but feel sad that you can’t yet afford them.

From here you can fill up an entire evening by making the same complaints about art, real estate or Europe.


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