Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions

Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions

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by Christian Lander
     
 

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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

Overview

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 “get” Sarah Silverman’s “subversive” comedy and Wes Anderson’s “droll” 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.

Praise for STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE:

“The best of a hilarious Web site: an uncannily accurate catalog of dead-on predilections. The Criterion Collection of classic films? Haircuts with bangs? Expensive fruit juice? ‘Blonde on Blonde’ on the iPod? The author knows who reads The New Yorker and who wears plaid.”
–Janet Maslin’s summer picks, CBS.com

The author of "Stuff White People Like" skewers the sacred cows of lefty Caucasian culture, from the Prius to David Sedaris. . . . It gently mocks the habits and pretensions of urbane, educated, left-leaning whites, skewering their passion for Barack Obama and public transportation (as long as it's not a bus), their idle threats to move to Canada, and joy in playing children's games as adults. Kickball, anyone?”
–Salon.com

“A handy reference guide with which you can check just how white you are. Hint: If you like only documentaries and think your child is gifted, you glow in the dark, buddy.”
–NY Daily News

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From the blog sensation of the same name comes a collection of brief, funny, occasionally biting profiles of things supposedly beloved by upper-middle class white people. Lifted from the Web and dressed up with a few quizzes and flowcharts, Lander's material should provoke minor controversy, mostly as to whether the concept is reflexively funny or covertly racist; there's an exclusive aura to entries on modern art, documentary films and indie rock, intimating that most of what's considered high culture is based in white people's idiosyncrasies. Much of the humor, though, is pure silliness, poking fun at white people's preferred eating habits (Whole Foods, premium juice, expensive sandwiches and "cleanses"), family lives ("Having Two Last Names," "Hating Their Parents," divorce) and causes (vegetarianism, recycling, "Knowing What's Best for Poor People," "Making You Feel Bad for Not Going Outside"). The book flirts briefly with political satire, such as the hilariously succinct entry on Barack Obama, but the stuff Lander likes most are easy targets; as funny as some of the entries may be in a covertly forwarded email, most fall curiously flat on the page.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812979916
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
738,788
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

1. COFFEE
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.”

What People are saying about this

“Sure to bring a knowing smile to those of the Caucasian persuasion, and those whose best friends may be white… Stuff white [people] might like? This book.” – New York Post

“Filled with bons mots…A snarky bit of grass-roots anthropology…” – Los Angeles Times

“The author of Stuff White People Like skewers the sacred cows of lefty Caucasian culture, from the Prius to David Sedaris… It's like an extended "you might be a redneck if" joke recast for a more upscale set. It gently mocks the habits and pretensions of urbane, educated, left-leaning whites, skewering their passion for Barack Obama and public transportation (as long as it's not a bus), their idle threats to move to Canada, and joy in playing children’s games as adults. Kickball anyone?” – Salon.com

“The best of a hilarious website: an uncannily accurate catalog of dead-on predilections. The Criterion Collection of classic films? Haircuts with bangs? Expensive fruit juice? ‘Blonde on Blonde’ on the iPod? The author knows who reads The New Yorker and who wears plaid” – Janet Maslin, Summer Picks, CBS Sunday Morning

“A handy reference guide with which you can check just how white you are. Hint: If you like only documentaries and think your child is gifted, you glow in the dark, buddy.” – The New York Daily News

“Humorous, satirical even, poking fun at white people who are liberal, educated, and smug.” – Dallas Morning News

“The perfect book for white people and for people who want to try to understand us.” – Dayton Daily News

“Hilarious.” – Paste magazine

Meet the Author

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.

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Stuff White People Like (To Talk About) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great gift for that liberal in your life! As a graduate of a private liberal arts college in NJ, this book is a strikingly accurate and entertaining satire of "white culture." You will be hard-pressed to find a white person in your life who does not fit many, if not all, of these attributes. I found myself nodding and laughing out loud with each turn of the page. Erring more on the side of the far-left Caucasian, it will probably be coming soon to a Whole Foods near you...
CMKM More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my sister in college as a gift and she loved it. Hilarious and so true it's uncanny!
althea1016 More than 1 year ago
After reading this book and taking the quiz at the end I'm a concentrated 30% white. Even though I'm first generation American born to Jamaican parents...and a yoga-practicing, outdoor-running, designer sweatpants-wearing, Whole Foods and organic-lving, tea-drinking, following my dreams cyclist. If you can't laugh at yourself and/or others around you then please don't read this book. Otherwise you will be laughing out loud through its entirety.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know why people are taking this book too seriously! Its a great book fore people that know how to take jokes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it~ fun read
Guest More than 1 year ago
Christian Lander - with some photographic help from his wife Jessica Lander - has succeeded in transforming into book form his blog site STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE and the result is a compendium of 150 idiosyncrasies that mark white people as a groupie well worth 'mocking'. Lander writes so well that his zingers remain on target while providing entertainment for the reader instead of producing a mockery or lambast too personal to continue. The first clue to his universal approach is the subtitle of the book, 'A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions', and if you don't catch the humor in that then much of the book will be lost on you! After reading some of the 'Stuff' Lander lists we begin to feel the artifice of Lander's thinking the long list of everyday items, as defined or described by Lander, spreads in comic relief the pretentiousness, the shallow desire to be 'with it', the countless fads we indulge while denying the commonality of those items, and the way 'white people' are perceived by the world at large - both at home and abroad. It has been said that nothing is funnier than reality and this book proves that statement 150 times - with many more thoughts initiated by the book that extend the depth of comedy in the 'unique tastes' we claim. For instance, one favorite thing to discuss is public transportation, heralded as a big city luxury worth expanding into the little cities, but stopping short when the word 'bus' enters the conversation. 'When it comes to the subject it's best to understand that white people do not recognize public transit as a viable option until a subway line is built that runs directly from their house to their work. Until that time, public transportation is a luxury only for New Yorkers and Europeans, sort of like opera.' Other topics addressed range from Netflix, Veganism/Vegetarianism, Microbreweries, Yoga, Tea, Black Friends/Gay Friends, Portland, Oregon to San Francisco prejudices, Bakeries, Hardwood Floors, Integrity (versus 'selling out'), Natural Medicine, Plays, Cheese, Therapy - the list seems endless. From Following Their Dreams, to where to visit/vacation (Third World Countries for all the wrong reasons) to the importance of knowing how to give 'the good dinner party', Lander finds truths that cause us to ache a bit in acknowledging but force us to relax and really laugh at how each of these item is so very true. To continue on another thing ('stuff') that Lander addresses, Awareness of just how each of these traits define us in the brush with reality that will perhaps not only entertain us while reading this wisely humorous book, but will also turn on the light to the acceptance that 'white people' have become as marginalized as other social groups who have long since found audiences who delight in the 'truth confessionals' that fill our computer YouTube and TVs - oh, but then real white people don't own TVs.... Christian Lander has a major hit on his hands. Read this and share this. It is hilariously entertaining! Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its funny! Anyone who says that its steriotypical garbage doesnt get the trueness of it! Like 90 percent of its true and its nice to have a llaugh from a story like this. Its absolutely not horrible and should stay on the shelves for a long time.
Spencer Wilson More than 1 year ago
As a white person from a metropolitan area, I can greatly relate to this book. Personally, I found this book hilarious and mostly true. I can't help laughing at many of the nonsensical white people taste and activities. As the book says, " the unique taste of millions". Many of his points are simply voicing the unmentionable and often silly reasoning behind these white ideology. I would encourage anyone to read this book with an open mind. Don't be uptight and serious when reading this book, instead take the ego hits and just laugh at yourself if it applies. This book does not apply to every white demographic, but it is still very funny. I hope you give this book a shot, because it is nit intended to be rude or belittling. It is just good fun...insightful and educational. Enjoy! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beware white people. Be prepared to laugh at yourself and, of course, to think of all of the things in this book that apply to other people. Other white people. Really, really white people between the ages of 20 and 40 or so. At times patronizing, at times sarcastic, yet at all times clean and good-humored, Stuff White People Like is an anthropological journey. Do you like sushi? You must be white. Do you hate your parents? You must be white. Do you like Japan? You must be white. Do you strive for cultural and intellectual superiority? And even to achieve these with (white) lies? You must be white. The book is spot-on but polite, and with its many photographs often shows the author participating in wholehearted whiteness. There is a fair amount of social, economic, and political commentary. At the very least Stuff White People Like can turn into a handbook for hipness, self-conscious at that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What makes this book so funny is that you will see aspects of someone you know in almost every chapter (if not several)! A useful guide for folks who have never spent much time in urban centers where white people live in concentration, like in the Pacific Northwest.
Sonlight 4 days ago
Horribly racist compilation. Also very little real humor. If you are white and full of guilt at being so, this book will only encourage you to stay that way. If you are black and want to make fun of whites (or in some cases, other races), this is very much the book for you. But if this book were titled, Stuff Black People Like, and was equally comprised of nothing but blatant stereotypes, its target of the jokes would be up in arms. This book does nothing to further racial harmony and only reinforces a dislike of whites. You may think it's fine, just "humor" for humor's sake. But I submit to you that it is not worth the cost of perpetuating the racial divide. I, by the way, am black.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live in an all white community, so I have all of tue same interests as my white friends, but dont communicatr at all with other black people. It's pretty bad, I know, but hey, it's the truth and I'm not afraid to say I'm an oreo. This book makes PERFECT sense to ke and even got ot for my aunt who was engaged to a white guy( they're married now!) Along with that and the fact that I am also half white, this book is awsome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And we are not at all pleased.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great gift for my coworkers who constantly talk smack to each other about their non white ethinicty!! Now they can talk smack to me and feel comfortable! I allowed them to be racist.
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Soooo true
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds like a better title for this book than the one given. The humor works very well, great use of sarcasm and satire. But you're kidding yourself if you think this book accurately describes more than 25% of the white population. Who would've thought I was 80% Irish 20% German yet only 15% white?
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