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Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions Paperback – July 1, 2008
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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.”
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I thought that this book was hilarious, and I love the sub-title (The Definitive Guide to the Unique Tastes of Millions). Although less than half of the "stuff" applied to me I really got a kick out of it and bought a couple more copies for friends.
Let's clear up one thing though; this was not meant to apply to ALL white people. I have two brothers (both republican, blue collar conservatives) and I would be surprised if even two items on the list applied to them and they lead happy, fulfilled lives (or so they tell me). This book is directed to a certain subset of the white population. We like to think that we are different but many of us are different in the exact same ways. We know who we are and we should be able to laugh at ourselves (#103, Self Deprecating Humor).
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.Read more ›
Note: this is not a book about all white Americans, but a book on the white cultural creatives (cc's) (if you know who they are, then you are probably one of them,) that make up over one-third of the population. Many of the defining characteristics of the cc's can be found in the "stuff" Landers writes about, like enjoying the outdoors, organic food, being an environmentalist, caring about education and so on.
Another defining characteristic of the cc's is the belief that they are a unique and authentic bunch--something Landers has too much fun poking at.
There are tips throughout for those seeking to befriend a white person that are hilarious.
The following excerpts will give you a taste of the book:
* Coffee: "For the most part, white people love Starbucks, although they will profess o hate how the chain is now a multi international corporation."
* Organic food: "Because of the balance of global wealth and power, there is a general assumption that white people are pretty shrewd. And for the most part, history has proven this to be true. But white people have one great weakness: organic food."
* Having black friends: "...an abundance of black fiends (defined in white culture as two) also enables a white person to be the resident expert on African-American issues when there are no black people around.Read more ›
Part One: Title.
Name something that a large subset of yuppies, especially the ones in TriBeCa, SoHo, SoCal, Portland, and Seattle, like. This can be virtually anything, as he points out with bottled water, recycling, music, etc.
Part Two: The Riff.
Spend 4-5 paragraphs mocking this affinity, and how it reflects the needs of white people to simultaneously be different and also the same.
Part Three: Social Advice
Spend 1-2 paragraphs on how you can manipulate this affinity to manipulate and gain advantage over white people.
Repeat. Ad nauseam.
Around Number 105 of this book of 150 entries, the author finally reaches Self-Deprecation. As it turns out, one of the things that white people like most is: Myself--. (Bonus points if you get that joke.) Unfortunately, even the author is afraid to make the joke that white people also seem to like repetition. Perhaps that was 151, and the editors capped it at 150. The world may never know. (Although...I can easily imagine a sequel, MORE Stuff White People Like), that is filled with the same lame formula.
But none of these things were the crucial problem, really. The biggest problem is that this joke is only funny like five or ten times. After twenty times you want to just stop reading most of the entries, unless you come across one that particularly suits you. After another 15-20 in this fashion, you lose interest again, and just start reading the titles.
Best way to enjoy this? Read the website, one entry every few weeks. Saves time, money, and may reamin engaging in this fasion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I happened upon this book at a novelty store and found it so great that I decided I needed it. White people are ridiculous if you don't know that you need this book, if you know... Read morePublished 1 month ago by LueLue A
Do you ever wonder why people ask why you eat so much rice and then proceed to tell you that they eat gluten free? Read morePublished 1 month ago by SerialReviewer
Good bathroom book or beach book. Ironic and sarcastic. Boring after awhile if read straight through. C+Published 5 months ago by Dave Shumway
This book was incredibly helpful. Before reading it, I was never really sure if I was doing my duty as a white American by acting like it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jonas