Friday, March 28, 2008

stuff white people like

okay, so idiots everywhere are going apes**t for this blog, "stuff white people like". my culture theory friend in sociology hepped me to it and wanted to get into an email discussion about this curious dissection of "whiteness" as a racial signifier with its' attendant cultural associations as espoused on that blog. the blogosphere is all abuzz about it, messageboards are a-twitter anyway, i checked out a few of the entries and fired back a response to the my friend, which basically went something like this: "yeah, yeah racial semiotics, main issue is: IT'S NOT FUNNY." it's almost criminally UN-funny. on par with the criminal unfunniness of "flight of the conchords" (which is currently occupying a high-ranking position in my ongoing, epic list of "deal-breaker" cultural products).

in fact, if you did a regression analysis (i have no idea what a regression analysis is) which tracked respondent's favorable ranking of both "flight of the conchords" and the "stuff white people like" blog and then triangulated it against whether or not i loathed these people on sight, my hypothesis would be: HIGH DEGREE OF CORRELATION. it's a weird thing where i actually tend to get ANGRY when people like stuff that isn't funny. it really irks me. but it's selective. like, i find the show "friends" criminally unfunny. but! "two and a half men" doesn't register. "that's so raven" makes me hoppin' mad, but "hannah montana" doesn't merit comment. weird, eh?

if you took the 10 best entries of "stuff white people like" and pitted it against the expressive hamster (my favorite iteration remains, to this day, the "kill bill" version), i think we know who would win THAT particular internet meme battle. or that blog versus "the waldo ultimatum"? not even a question to be asked. hells, i think on my funnier days i could give that blog a run for its money. i just hate how OBVIOUS it is. i mean, does it really need to be said that white people love st. paddy's day and that most children of visible minority immigrant stock (aka me and dr. rei) loathe it and can only face the usual st. paddy's day university-pub-crawl slurry of vomit and poor decisions with an appalled incredulity.

anyway, the point is: it's not funny and i don't get why people find it funny.

in other not-funny/funny news: last night's dinner with dr. rei and bwong (aka the ham-tang clan) was VERY VERY VERY funny. the dotytron feels like he has the flu so he bowed out of the festivities. which left me, dr. rei and bwong to tear down an 10 LB HAM. we ate SO much crispy, cracklin' pig fat that we were coated in a sheen of sweet, pure, clean, lard. is there ANYTHING better than pig fat? i really don't think so. we got the ham from the mennonites, and it was the best ham ever. it was sweet, not over-salted or brined, juicy, and bristling with an inch-thick layer of fat and skin, which crackled up obligingly in the oven. it was soo good!

we had the carrot cupcakes for dessert and then proceeded to walk it out by doing our usual tour of laps around blockbuster. hilarious lines of the evening are numerous and difficult to capture, but suffice it to say, they were plentiful and spot-on.

dr. rei and i watched "the jane austen book club" which is a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE movie about a bunch of crazy, sad-sack b***hes who find the secret of love and relationships by plowing through jane austen's books. NOT MOVIES, books. jane austen books are the boringest. you only read them to get to the parts you like (ie. the hook-ups) and that's why movie adaptations are so much better. anyway, this movie featured a cast of people who were seriously damaged goods and who required a big dose of professional, medical help, but were presented as if their actions and motivations made any sense. dr. rei and i were fairly convinced that one of the character's mom's had had a stroke and needed IMMEDIATE help, but instead, her poor decisions were being passed off as a result of being a "hippie" and "smoking pot". it was crazy!!!!!!!

anyway, tonight we're supposed to have the roomie's friend's over for dinner (my preggos doppelganger and her bf) to celebrate our friend pingy being in town and being together...but it's turning into a giant CF. because another of the roomie's peripheral friends (they see each other like, 4 times a year and never talk on the phone) wanted to come over and have dinner with the visiting friend from out of town, and it was kind of foisted on me, and i'm not sure that i want to cook for 8 people who i'm friendly WITH but who aren't exactly my bosom buddies, 2 of whom (the last minute addition and her bf) i barely know at all. i'm a little irked by it cuz i find it kind of rude and an imposition. does that make me an a**hole? i would never invite two random people to a dinner hosted by someone else. AND the two new invites are like, former vegetarians, and i'm planning on making this spanish bean dish that contains: pork belly, smoked pork hock, semi-cured chorizo, and blood sausage. which she probably won't eat, which makes things even more awkward. so i'm not supposed to make something special, but she wants to come over for dinner, but what am i supposed to do as the host? and oh, did i mention that i only know these people through the roomie?!??? i might just put the kibosh on all of this and suggest we go out to eat. with the dotytron being sick and all, it seems to make the most sense. but then i have ALL this stuff for a lovely spanish meal: 2 cheeses, olives, wine from spain, the bean dish, vegetables with romesco...

anyway...we'll see. otherwise, i'm going to bang out a short sociology paper on omnivorousness. omnivorousness is the prevailing paradigm in sociology of culture for the past 20 or so years. the traditional class distinctions of upper-class people liking "highbrow" arts (like opera, and the classics) and lowbrow people liking "popular" (or mass) culture has been replaced with new lines of taste distinction being draw. so now, in this new age of class "democracy" (you can't really exclude people on the basis of land, or money anymore), status seekers have to differentiate themselves in other ways, and it's through an "omnivorous", selective, sampling from traditional "low class" cultural products. the country music scene is a good example. SOME artists are okay to like for taste-makers (like hank williams, lucinda williams, johnny cash) but people like travis tritt, can't be recuperated. so it's a highly strategic omnivorousness. my prof wrote this paper on the topic with his wife (who i took the food course with) on how gourmet food writing uses the tropes of "authenticity" and "exoticism" to recuperate various items (hand-made pasta in poor areas, the hamburger), in specific iterations, to construct a privileged, omnivorous palate. i'm basing my paper on that and some of the things that came up in class discussion.

i'm also going to try to chip away at my paper for the advocacy class.



Chris said...

There were a few early on posts on "stuff white people like" that were funny. But it went downhill really fast. Like really fast. Short shelf life. You not understanding why its funny?? NO!?!?! haha. People enjoy the obvious being pointed out. Something they can relate too. But for sure, it doesnt make it smart or funny.

Do you think the popularity of it is entrenched in the idea of being white? Like non-whites can laugh at it obviously, and whites can laugh at it cause its "ironic". Does such an internet fad work with another race as its focus? I doubt it. It's probably white people writing it with the majority of readers also being white people. Making for a limited discourse on its contributions and scope of writing.

btw, I'm available for spanish meals if things dont work out with you dinaaaaar paaaar-tee. ;p

kitsch:in:sync said...

so sorry to hears about chjour mhoovies selectcion, carnal. mheybe next tihngh joo cang see di hoy luck club instead, esse!

vatos della jamon siempre!