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March 16th, 2008

White. At Least Mostly. I Think. Mostly English, Some German, Some Irish, Possibly Some Native American…

That’s me.  Basically a white guy.  The English is on both sides of my family tree.  The Irish and German are on one, and may possibly be on both sides of the family tree, but more distantly.  For a while I thought there was some Scot in there too, but that as it turns out was down another branch of the family tree that I’m not descended from.  I’m still trying to verify the Native American part, which would be on dad’s side.  If it’s as the family says it is, then I’m 1/8th Native American, a fact I find hard to believe considering the white boy face that stares back at me in the mirror.  But some people have told me it’s plausible even so.  There’s a blood test out there that may confirm it, but it’s about four-hundred bucks.

I’m thinking about all this as I view the site: Stuff White People Like.  Here’s a typical entry…

One thing prized by white people is making the most of situations. They like to maximize opportunities for all that they are worth. It applies to jobs, vacations, investments, books, education, and perhaps most importantly, warm days.

After a prolonged cold snap, white people are very excited at the first hint of a warm day. It is their opportunity to go back outside, to enjoy nature and thrive.

In order to get the most possible enjoyment out of these days, white people turn to one of their most trusted allies: shorts.

It is a known fact that white people believe that they can bring spring early by wearing a pair of shorts on any day that is above seasonal temperatures. This myth runs so deep that they will often wear shorts the following day when temperatures drop, at which point they will refuse to recognize that it is cold.

When you encounter a cold white person in shorts it’s best to say “I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to go windsurfing.” They will likely give you a high five.

It is their opportunity to go back outside, to enjoy nature and thrive…  Right…as though there are no white people in Vail and Aspen every year taking obsessive delight in all that powdery white crystallized dihydrogen oxide stuff that precipitates out of the very air we breath when the temperatures drop below freezing and sane people are lounging by the fireplace with a nice drink.   But wait…as it turns out #31 is Snowboarding.

I can see the joke here, and some of these are brutally funny.  But just picture English and German humor side-by-side, and French cooking and American cooking side-by-side, and American attitudes toward sex verses Scandinavian, verses English, verses German, verses Russian, verses French and so on and so on and eventually you begin to realize there is no such thing as White People. 

…which may also lead you to realize that there is no such thing as black people or yellow or red people either, but only different shades of skin that really don’t say anything at all about the person within.  Which may be this person’s point after all.  But on the other hand, he (or she, I’ve no idea…) seems to be aiming most of this at a particular target, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to make a point abut racism, or just venting at a group of white people they really don’t like.  The butt of the jokes here are mostly urban upper middle class white yuppies and gen-x’ers, and even that target is missed as often as it’s hit.

And so on…  Where’s the white redneck stuff?  Where’s the white blue collar stuff.  Where’s the white Office droid stuff?  And none of this resembles anything I see in white Bal’mer Hon.  What…no beehive hair… no plastic yard Virgin Marys… no Formstone… no Old Bay… no screen door painting???  Oh…wait…

Okay…but then there’s…




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