149. Self-Importance :: from Stuff White People Like, the book

Implied but not stated in virtually every entry here is the notion of self-importance. Magically, over the past half century white people have been able to mask much of this self-importance through the arts, charities, nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and childbirth.

The life of every white person is worthy of a memoir. Being born into a middle-class existence, having some difficult experiences in college, and taking a year off to teach in Asia/work in the Peace Corps/volunteer with Teach for America are all life stories realized by a select few. Unfortunately, the publishing industry can only put out so many books each year and white people have had to turn to an alternative means: blogging.

Due to an undying need to share their life story with everyone who will listen, white people have taken to blogging in massive numbers, though it is no surprise that many have simply turned their journals/diaries into blogs where they talk about the latest episode of American Idol, Darfur, their experience at a coffee shop, and their concerns about the future. These were to be expected.

What has been less expected is the need for white people to document in blog format any experience that takes more than a week. Pregnancy, vacations to Asia and South America, renovations, child rearing, and car restoration have all become blogs that encourage the rest of the world to take notice of the astute observations and talent of the undiscovered writer.

When a white person shares their URL with you, do not say, “Do I have to read this now?” Instead, you should say, “I’d love to check it out,” quickly read one post near the middle of the blog, and return to the white person, saying, “Oh man, I saw that post on [insert topic]. It was great. I forwarded it to all my friends.” Doing this shows that you believe their life to be important and their presentation of that life to be worth your time. Sadly, the temporary boost in self-esteem for the white person is the only benefit to be gained from the blog and your interaction with it.

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[Lander, Christian. Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks. 2008.]