Persian-Pakistanis Drive Like This
by Danish Aziz
When I first saw Stuff White People Like yesterday morning I had two reactions – I had a nice laugh and then I got queasy with the thought of all the horrible blog posts that would sprout up on the Internet in response once the site truly went viral.
Based on my Gchat conversations and the comments on my Facebook posted item, what we’ll see are two reactions. Some people will say “this is just stuff yuppies like” and then feel very proud of themselves for making this observation. Yes, more than just white people enjoy biking, coffee, breakfast, and driving Prii.
While I fully admit to being guilty of several of the site’s pondered products and pastimes (40-70% of the current front page in fact), unlike a good chunk of people who do/buy/think these things I have a sense of humor about the pretentiousness that surrounds it. However, let’s admit that some of the stuff SWPL satirizes is incredibly deserving. The site’s commentary would still be funny if it were called Stuff Yuppies Like.
wp enjoy dwarves
The other response we’ll see is worse, though. These people will whine about how white people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Pointing out the previously mentioned annoying response is actually necessary in these cases. It’s hardly a hurtful slur to be called a dog lover. What’s actually problematic about this site is the fact that it seems to send a message that only white people should be affluent and “progressive.” I don’t want to feel like a cultural thief/traitor to my race every time I watch Rushmore.
This all faintly reminds me of what’s going down at my (and soon to be your) favorite cultural satire blog, Hipster Runoff. The big difference is that this time it’s not a case of “white people” being substituted for “yuppies” but “hipster” being substituted for whatever the hell you want to call the various strata of “alternative” people who are represented on the multifarious sites scattered across the Internet, cities near water, and high school & college campuses everywhere.
Also SWPL works mostly because of its accuracy, the writer is not particularly gifted with comedic talent, while Hipster Runoff is funny on a couple of levels. I don’t think either of these sites are incredibly mean spirited and both more or less acknowledge their/our at-least-partial participation and “complicity” (for lack of a better word).
While this kind of humor continues to entertain me quite a bit, I wonder if at some point people will just run out of things to lampoon. Dave Chappelle only lasted two seasons and Hipster Runoff seems to have plateaued after the classic Justice Shuttle post. I saw Michael Showalter for SF Sketchfest and he was still doing material I saw him do at Bowery Ballroom in 2005! Anyway I just wrote this post so I could spill some mp3 seed:
“Cannibal Holocaust (Main Theme)” – Riz Ortolani (mp3)
“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” – Them (mp3)
“I Wish You Were Gone” – Joakim (mp3)
Danish Aziz is the senior contributor to This Recording. He lives in the Bay Area.
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