by JULIET WATERS & r & & r & Stuff White People Like & r & by Christian Lander & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & First found out about the blog "Stuff White People Like" because I wouldn't shut up about The Wire. I'm sure the person who sent me the link to No. 85, The Wire, intended only the gentlest insult. I didn't know that "for the past three years, whenever you say The Wire, white people are required to respond by saying 'It's the best show on television.'" Ouch.
If you're one of the few remaining people who have never received a link to SWPL, go now. That way, when someone gently disses you with, let's say, No. 94, New Balance Shoes, you'll be able to respond quickly with No. 79, Modern Furniture.
While Christian Lander's blog has received mixed reviews, and Stuff White People Like, his just-released book, will no doubt get the same reaction, he's hit on a painful truth: Whiteness is much more about culture than skin color. And white culture is all about stuff. For example, take No. 76, Bottles of Water: "Water seems like a fairly simple concept. You turn on the tap, put a glass underneath, and drink. Sadly, it is not that simple for white people." Or try No. 10, Wes Anderson Movies: "White people love Wes Anderson movies more than they love their kids. If a white guy takes a white girl to a Wes Anderson movie on their first date, and neither of them have seen it, they will immediately commence a relationship that is reflected in songs by Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes."
Taken in small doses, Stuff White People Like is funny. Read as a book, however, the weaknesses become obvious. I'm not even going to get into the whole weirdness that this is a blog written for a fictional non-white person who wants to get in good with white people. I guess it's ironic -- and white people love No. 50, Irony. The whole point of SWPL is that white people have brains as shallow as sieves. They change the stuff they like as regularly as Brita water filters. Something about SWPL already feels stale, as though the big thing missing on this list of 150 items is No. 151, Stuff White People Like.
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.