If it weren’t for my white bf and my white-boy-dating Asian gf, I would have never heard of Stuff white people like. Despite having a blog, a Facebook profile, and a MySpace account, I don’t follow the happenings on the internet; I keep pretty much to myself.
Stuff white people like is an exception though, probably because it has become a book: I can touch it, I can smell it. I can go to its book launch and laugh at the expense of ‘the right type of white people’, including those seated next to me.
I have been to launches before, but today’s Readings Carlton event was probably the first book launch that I’ve found entertaining. The author Christian Lander was charismatic in a self-depreciating yet self-promoting way. After a quick apology to his interviewer, Kenneth Nguyen, he launched into a ten-minute story about how he ended up on the same talk show as Jerry O’Connell and was trying to think of ways to approach the star – ‘Hey you used to be fat. High Five!’ – when O’Connell found him in his dressing room and gushed about how much he loved Stuff.
Self-depreciation and ego-stroking aside, Lander did explain that Stuff was trying to demonstrate how our supposedly postracial white society has found a new way to exclude everyone else: an evolved level of competition where it is no longer what kind of car (bike) one drives (rides) but what kind of carbon footprint one is producing. For more on this social phenomena, read Wendy Zukerman’s ‘It’s not easy being green around eco-snobs‘.
The most awesome thing about the launch, however, was Lander, the ultimate white person stereotype, calling my bf a stereotype for doing No. 11 (Asian girls). (Speaking of which, is it just me or does Stuff Asian people like lack an agenda? That is apart from being racist/self-depreciating…)