Kudos to satirical(?) website Stuff White People Like: judging from the number and distribution of people who’ve forwarded it or mentioned it in conversation over the past month or two, the site has built up a level of general viral spread. Searching email, it’s been forwarded by my friend Brad from college and later Austin, my friend Gina from high school, and longtime friend-of-e.politics Burt Edwards. Plus, I swear at least one or two people have brought it up in conversation lately, though I can’t document it.
I mention the site today because Gina just emailed it, giving me three examples, which as any journalistic observer will tell you is one more than you need for a trend story. Plus, the site’s funny as hell, though more in a wry-smile way than a laugh-out-loud way. Editorial strategy note — pitching the stories as survival guides allows us observations like this one, from #91 San Francisco:
No matter how much you have offended someone from San Francisco, you can always make them feel better by asking them how they feel about Southern California. They will instantly talk of how it is filled with crime, pollution, hegemonic culture, and the wrong kind of white people: “I swear California is like two separate countries, and I am so thankful that I live in the cultural center of the West Coast.” This will allow them to reassert their superiority and leave the conversation with a positive feeling about themselves and about you.
An interesting note about the reception the site gets: Burt, who is reported to be a black guy, sent #87 (Outdoor Performance Clothes) around to a number of folks in the enviro community, and found that the warmth of the response he received varied inversely with the amount of fleece worn publicly by the recipient….
As the Reverend Wright soap opera rolls across our video screens, first as tragedy and then as farce, it seems as though Barack Obama’s campaign IS actually sparking a national conversation about race. It’s just not exactly the race conversation the candidate would LIKE us to be having at this point in his political career.