I’ll confess that part of my antipathy is just old-fashioned player hate. Nothing gets under my (colored, nearly-middle-aged) skin like the spectacle of a twentysomething white kid doing what twentysomething white kids do all the time, namely, play on some or another aspect of their race for smug fun and profit. Lander has already reportedly been offered a $350K-plus book deal from Random House. (Can a VH1 Special be very far behind?) People of color are constantly accused of playing various race cards, but “White boy makes good by being white” is hardly a man-bites-dog story.
He goes on…
Envy aside, though, SWPL also smells like a classic racial con-job. It goes without saying that the specific entries (Oscar parties?) don’t really apply to anyone. That makes Lander’s overall pose–and the uncritical response to it–the real action. You’d think from the approving hubbub that SWPL had discovered (white) America or something, but white comedians, academics, and artists have been thinking and cracking wise about “white” culture since before Lander was in, well, short pants (#86). Usually, even jokey talk about whiteness has a whiff of danger to it, but SWPL is likely the safest, most affable racial satire ever, a loving high-five between friends passing as critique.
While blogs like this are good for entertainment and a good laugh, I do find myself agreeing with Dauphin’s commentary. Has anyone read the blog? What do you think of the entries? Do you agree or disagree with Dauphin’s opinion? Why?
(Edit: just to be fair, here’s the “black version” of StuffWhitePeopleLike)