Write Before Thinking

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As long as I’m never that guy, I’ll be happy.

Satire is one of those things that when done well, manages to effortlessly meld humor and social criticism without blatantly proclaiming “LOOK AT HOW WITTY AND SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS I AM!” I love it and envy those who are good at it. And as for those stupid enough to mistake sweeping generalizations for satire, all I can do is wonder how someone can possibly think such unimaginative attempts at humor are witty or intelligent.

Case in point: Stuff White People Like.

I get it; white people buy and like some pretty silly things. And yes, some of us have a tendency to be apologetic for our skin condition. However, that white people like shorts or t-shirts or NPR isn’t a display of gut-busting hilarity. Nor do I find such observations and as patently offensive. Some accuse the author of stereotyping white people, but that accusation is absurd. The author only manages to stereotype affluent yuppies, urban hipsters and their annoying suburban wannabes, and residents of Boulder.

If this blog was remotely accurate the author wouldn’t exclude all of us middle-American trash. I don’t see a single reference to NASCAR, pick-up trucks, Ozzy Osborne, or all-you-can-eat buffets. The author seems to forget that stereotypes are only funny if they apply to the entire group.

Which makes me wonder, did he even intend to engage in social commentary? Or did he just think that what applied to his peer group applied to all whites? For that matter, is he even white? I bring this up because in my mind, satire can only be achieved when the author is part of the group he or she is ridiculing.

Based on what I’ve read so far, I don’t think the guy started out wanting to make a point, because while some of the entries are moderately funny, most of them reek of a lame inside joke. Then again, maybe I’d find it funnier if he simply changed the name of his blog to Stuff Liberal, Affluent and Cultured White People Like.

After all, it’s easy to laugh at them.

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2 Responses

  1. Ryan says:

    As a culturally affluent liberal bike-riding vegetarian hippy, I find the Blog in question somewhat amusing, semi-insulting, and kind of narrow focused. But it’s interesting to read, despite the lack of knowing what purpose it serves.

  2. bigbassy says:

    You getting upset about “Stuff White People Like” should be included in the list.

    I heard the authors of this list on the CBC the other day.
    They said the NASCAR reference was too cliche.

    I think indignation at “sweeping generalizations” against whites should also be on the list.

    “White People LOVE to get indignant about being so easily pegged”.

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