Now that we live less than one CD away from civilization, my boyfriend and I actually get to go to cool events during the week. So I was thrilled to learn that Christian Landry, of Stuff White People Like fame, would be speaking at our favorite indie bookstore in Minneapolis.
One of the things I’ve noticed since moving to the Midwest is that racist comments are made in polite company with alarming regularity, often making me wish to quote poetry by Daphne Gottlieb (overheard at a dinner party), which goes something like, “What I hear you saying is that it’s your experience that undercapitalized people of color are responsible for most of the problems in this country. I don’t want to invalidate what you feel, but I think we can agree to disagree on this. It’s so good that you feel this is an open and free environment in which you are safe to express yourself.”
Perhaps more effective, and definitely more enjoyable, is responding in kind by making fun of white people, especially if you happen to be white yourself. Landry’s work effectively and amusingly stereotypes white people (or, more specifically, upper middle class liberals–many of which happen to be white) in a hysterical and only mildly offensive way. “If you thought you had white people pegged as Oscar-party-throwing, Prius-driving, Sunday New York Times–reading, self-satisfied latte lovers—you were right. But if you thought diversity was just for other races, then hang on to your eco-friendly tote bags. Veteran white person Christian Lander is back with fascinating new information and advice on dealing with the Caucasian population,” explains a review of his book before delving into, well, stuff white people like. The sequel to the first book is Whiter Shades of Pale, which explains diversity inherent in Caucasian culture.
The book is hysterical and highly recommended, especially for those of us who think too much and need some lighthearted reading to pass the time, or perhaps take ourselves a touch too seriously. Landry’s books are the next best thing to The Field Guide to North American Males. It was also fun to hear him speak in person and have him sign my book, even though he misspelled my name. (How come white people thing Yael starts with a W, anyway?)