Re: Timor Albi Conturbat Me

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Three cheers for the post title.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:10 PM
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(From "Lament for the Honkies", if you don't know.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:11 PM
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My sister, when she bought me the press (that I broke), also bought me two glasses like that (more bulbous, one which I chipped.) (Man, was she annoyed with me.) I think I just need to have things made out of not-breakable stuff, like a toddler's sippy cups.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:12 PM
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The upper edge of the glass, inside the rim and above the froth, looks grubby.


Posted by: Vance Maverick | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:12 PM
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I have some of those in pint sizes and the function is actually spectacular; they keep beverages delightfully cold for a remarkably long time. They look pretty neat, too.

By the way, this whole keeping-an-ironic-distance-from-your-own-desires business? Very, very white.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:13 PM
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It's really not that hard to make very robust glassware these days. Pyrex has been around for a looong time, and there are even tougher formulations out there. I take it as a general principle that things designed to contain hot liquids should not explode when hot liquids are put in them. Maybe I'm just picky.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:14 PM
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I have some of those in pint sizes

I should have known!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:16 PM
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7: I don't actually know if they're that brand; didn't buy them myself. In any case, I hope you're thinking long and hard about 5.2, ogged. Mexicans just buy shit if they think it's cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:19 PM
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Though don't you want an abstract noun, and not a substantialized adjective, in the title? Fear of whiteness, not fear of white.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:20 PM
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Three cheers for the post title.

I was going to say the exact same thing.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:20 PM
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I reached the limits of my Latin, and my patience with wiktionary, young white man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:21 PM
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For a moment when the bot notified me of the new post I thought it might be about Jessica Alba.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:21 PM
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We should all fear Jessica Alba


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:28 PM
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9: Fear of Whitey works there, doesn't it?

6: What's funny about this is that I asked thinking 'Probably I'm the only one that breaks these things all the time' and discovered that apparently, that's the only reason these things sell. People buy them, assume that when they break it's because of something they did, and then buy another.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:29 PM
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I need to maintain *some* ironic distance from my whiteness.

Ogged thinks he's white! How cute.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:30 PM
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14: I dunno I've used two with some regularity and kept them in working order; do you take the beaker out of the non-beaker-thing? Maybe that's the problem?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:32 PM
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Also! The implicit message of the post is that non-white people don't like toys.

So racist, toys-for-tots-destroyer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:36 PM
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16: Two of them weren't removable from the beaker cage. The other one was. It seems to make no difference.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:38 PM
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Ha, I went to the Bodum website after reading those comments, too. Trivia: the Brazil press (my favorite!) (I know, I know, it's so swipple to have a favorite Bodum press) isn't available in Germany.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:40 PM
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I own four of these glasses in the pint size as well, and I can attest to their superb functionality. Cold stuff remains cold, hot stuff remains hot, and the glass doesn't need a coaster because there's never any heat or condensation on the outside.

Get 'em, they do look cool, and they are actually better even than handled mugs for holding hot stuff without burning your hands.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:40 PM
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You know what would be awesome? If can turn into another thread about how a) Stuff White People Like is not funny, b) Stuff White People Like is racist, or c) that in mocking left-leaning rich white people, SWPL abets the forces of reaction. But I really am hoping for c.

You know what's funny? The Green Party. Ha!


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:41 PM
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5.2 Yep, irony is #50 at the-site-that-must-not-be-named.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:41 PM
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21.last: true enough.

21.therestofit: so, so white.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:44 PM
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I'm so white I don't drink coffee.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:48 PM
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Who the fuck thinks "oh, my finger is bleeding, I should probably take a picture to upload so strangers can see my blood"? That's what I want to know.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:50 PM
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24: betcha take plenty of milk, though! Heyoh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:50 PM
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swipple

Nice.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:51 PM
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Cala, are you breaking your coffee presses by grinding the coffee too fine?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:51 PM
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I have a coffee press made by (I think) Thermos. It's stainless steel and insulated. It has a couple dents in it where it's been dropped. I've owned it for probably ten years.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:54 PM
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That's weird. I've had one of these presses for about 5 years now. I've used it every morning and haven't managed even a chip. And I'm usually pretty good at breaking things.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:54 PM
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26: Organic milk. I am a one-man party riding a freight train of fun to the palace of delight, which is located in Unfunky Town.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:55 PM
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Cala, are you breaking your coffee presses by grinding the coffee too fine?

I don't think they work as pestles, oud.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:57 PM
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9, 11: albitudinis; rare, but attested.

I have a set of those glasses, and they are indeed great insulators. But to me they feel very fragile, enough to distract me whenever I use them. Apparently they're perfectly sturdy, and I haven't had one break, but they're thin and much lighter than you'd expect, feels kind of cheap.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:59 PM
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By the way, this whole keeping-an-ironic-distance-from-your-own-desires business? Very, very white ogged.

Srsly, I got to the point in this post where the author was suddenly all concerned with what other people might think of him for liking this thing and thought to myself "must be ogged", checked the byline, and sure enough.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:04 PM
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I'm tellin' ya, people, plastic is the way to go. Knock it around all you like and it's not going to break, and white people hate it.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:05 PM
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Three cheers for the post title.

I was going to say the exact same thing.

Mighty white of you.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:05 PM
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got to the point in this post where the author was suddenly all concerned with what other people might think of him

Which other posters would say "bopping," Sherlock?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:12 PM
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37: all the other white ones, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:15 PM
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37: ,a href="http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_7928.html#716046">w-lfs-n, because I'm an empiricist.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:15 PM
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40

Mighty white of you.

It's so hard to avoid tempation on these occasions.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:15 PM
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41

Not to rise to 21's bait, but ogged's fear here has always been part of my objection to SWPL - just be who you are, and don't get all meta and shit about what it may say about you.

Or, more thoughtfully, think about who you are and whether you're OK with that. Once you've done that, just get on with life. If you're at all comfortable with yourself, then you won't find yourself doing (a lot of) things that trouble you. If you do, then you're not as comfortable as you think (viz.).

Failing to do something you want to do because what doing it says about you is putting the cart before the horse (here the analogy ban has saved me from struggling for an apt analogy; thanks, literal-mindedness!)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:18 PM
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Y'see, ogged, what you need is, some children. Then you won't have enough disposable money to buy this crap or time to worry about the implications of buying this crap.

And the good news is, you'll still be white as snow!


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:20 PM
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Obviously, I disagree with 41.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:23 PM
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Y'see, ogged, what you need is, some children.

Uh huh. Are tricked-out strollers on SWPL? Because they should be.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:24 PM
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Are tricked-out strollers on SWPL?

OK, obviously some people are sufficiently rich to keep up this nonsense even with children. I'm guessing you're not in that bracket. If you are, then God bless you and trickle some down to me, will you?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:26 PM
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43: I like that in the linked post you wind up eliding Iranians who drive black BMWs into the category of "radical".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:29 PM
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44: Are tricked-out strollers on SWPL?

As if you didn't know.

Did not find them there, but they were #1 at Best Parent Ever, which looks to be a SWPL knock-off for parenting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:30 PM
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43: I like that in the linked post you wind up eliding Iranians who drive black BMWs into the category of "radical".

I just noticed the same thing when I read it over. I was broadening the question.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:31 PM
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Oh, I can see I might just like Best Parent Ever.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:32 PM
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Awhile back I saw a piece of stone crockery from Ogged's native land which was five thousand years old. Not stoneware, carved out of stone. You could use it to vandalize cars with.

"Smash! My Sumerian coffee cup sneers at your $50,000 Mercedes. Crunch! Nice grillwork you had there, buddy. Crack! That computerized stuff in the engine compartment is pretty fragile, isn't it?"



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:34 PM
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Are tricked-out strollers on SWPL?

My God yes.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:35 PM
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Well yeah, I know that post, O. I don't know that I'm really doctrinaire about 41, and I'm not sure that it really covers your linked post. Being an undertipping Indian isn't anyone's deepest self.

But if driving a black BMW is your heart's desire, but you don't want to reinforce a negative stereotype of Iranians, then there's a conflict (*cough*self-hating Lur*cough*) that needs to be resolved, not just pushed aside by force majeure. If I'm always stopping myself from making sexist comments so I don't seem like a sexist, then I'm a sexist. Holding my tongue may keep others from seeing what's in my heart, but I'm still a sexist, and it will come through in other, more important situations.

IOW, deal with the root causes. And if the root causes are no big deal (an Iranian immigrant acting like an Iranian immigrant), then there's not a big problem. The parts about SWPL that point up real flaws in "White People" culture aren't flaws because they're white; they're flaws because they're bad (valuing symbolic behaviors over substantive; condescending towards others).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:36 PM
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Valuing symbolic behaviors over substantivealuing symbolic behaviors over substantive.

But this is very spiritual and ancient. It's the bourgeois utilitarians who have notions of "substance".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:38 PM
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No, he really can't drive a black BMW. There's nothing to resolve: he has no option.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:39 PM
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Are tricked-out strollers on SWPL?

Yeah, 'cos there's nothing lamer than having a device that makes a walkable lifestyle more manageable.

Stupid white people! Save your money on a stroller and just drive instead!

PS - I don't think our strollers qualify as "tricked out," so this isn't defensiveness. It's just peevishness at SWPL, exacerbated by Tom Gorzelanny's apparently principled refusal to throw fucking strikes. 4-0 in one inning, you asshole.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:39 PM
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simple, but not without style, and the style grounded (however tenuously) in function

For some reason, that description sounds like a description of what I assume is Scandinavian style. Which seems (or seemed, as I think of it as a 90s style) popular of late. But styles change quite a bit, I think: even simple, functional things from the seventies seem somehow more ornate--a larger curve, for example--than do the same things today.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:40 PM
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Sure, JRoth, and obviously it's complicated. Some things aren't so bad in themselves, but one avoids them so as not to be the stereotype; some things are so good that even embodying the stereotype is ok, etc. But part of what I like about SWPL is the implicit premise that white people are partaking of particular (often consumerist) culture, which is to say 1) what "you" "like" is at issue, and not so easy to figure out and 2) partaking is also a way of being played. It gives one pause, which seems like a good thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:40 PM
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6-0. Fuck you, Gorzelanny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:41 PM
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Now I want a two-pound Sumerian coffee cup so bad I can taste it. The trend starts here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:43 PM
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No, he really can't drive a black BMW.

Can anyone who isn't part of nouveau crime family drive a black BMW?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:43 PM
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oh, JRoth were serious in 41 and 53, i thought your comment was that, a parody
especially with the Onion link
the SWPL posts i don't like at unfogged, coz never know where it's parody where it's seriously "white" and all of you suddenly become that, the ladies griffiths and passavants


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:45 PM
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I have driven a black BMW.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:46 PM
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62: Now we know how you earn your slols.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:47 PM
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57: if one is that shallow sort, I guess.

Tim, otherwise, is thoughtful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:48 PM
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But part of what I like about SWPL is the implicit premise that white people are partaking of particular (often consumerist) culture, which is to say 1) what "you" "like" is at issue, and not so easy to figure out and 2) partaking is also a way of being played.

And I do get that - there's a valuable critique in there. I believe that, in the original discussion, my #1 complaint was that the site was too broad, obliterating any real value to its putative critique.

As for that critique, though, I still stand by the general principle that, if you know yourself*, there's not a big issue there. I like European urban design and well-designed objects. Am I white? Well, yes. I'm also an urbanist (married to a native German) and an architect - should I not buy well-designed things, or not use European communities as models? Fuck that shit.

* Do White People like facile references to the classics?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:49 PM
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62: if one could imagine you being more white, it would probably involve some sort of affected hat.

64: is thoughtful "on this topic", knucklehead.

this.last: good point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:49 PM
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I have driven a black BMW.

But aren't you an academic, slolernr? Academics (humanities, not B-school or medicine, obvs) are a protected class from the standpoint of black BMW driving...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:50 PM
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* Do White People like facile references to the classics?

println( this() );


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:50 PM
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Hey, my car is both black and German! Data!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:51 PM
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the ladies griffiths and passavants

Huh?

Also, is being comfortable with who you are a White People thing? Is that why read thought 41 was a joke?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:51 PM
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I'm betting: Jetta.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:51 PM
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Academics (humanities, not B-school or medicine, obvs) are a protected class

Social science?

It was used, I had it for a short time, then went to a maroon one (also used).

Honestly? I loved those cars, though I have forsaken them.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:52 PM
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I'm jetting betta.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:52 PM
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71: read the archives, fellow Brookline Coach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:53 PM
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Best Parents Ever has real issues:

Random location names work just as well for the Best Parent. They are quite happy naming their child after states, such as Alabama or Dakota. Or, after dumpy little desert towns on the California/Nevada border, such as Xyzxyz.

"Zzyzx" might be a good name to make fun of on Best Mormon Parents Ever, but the sorts of people who name their kids "Dakota" aren't in the same socioeconomic niche as people who buy $1000 baby strollers. Massive fail, lazy book-deal-hungry Stuff White Parents Like dudes.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:54 PM
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Did everyone else get 68, and I'm just dumb? Or is everyone else just ignoring it, and Sifu's a dork?

Meanwhile, I'm already thinking of turning the radio back on - maybe they scored a few runs in the second, and have a chance.

I'm on fucking crack.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:54 PM
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Jettas seem boring, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:54 PM
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if you know yourself*, there's not a big issue there. I like European urban design and well-designed objects. Am I white? Well, yes. I'm also an urbanist (married to a native German) and an architect - should I not buy well-designed things

I think that's strawmanning a bit. I'm not saying you should stop like a band as soon as it becomes popular, but that insofar as realizing that you too are part of a culture and particularly susceptible to certain kinds of marketing, you become more reflective, and that's a good thing. If you still want to buy a Bodum glass, hey, fine. Honky.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:56 PM
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I like "stop like a band."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:56 PM
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the sorts of people who name their kids "Dakota" aren't in the same socioeconomic niche as people who buy $1000 baby strollers.

Ah, but they were just a few years back. Someone's a bit behind the curve.

How old is the Simpson's but where the Slack-Jawed Yokel calls his kids, and they all have trendy names? Whenever it was, the joke wasn't meta - those names weren't for hicks yet. But they are now. Names go fast.

PS - What do y'all think about Oliver Roth-OtherGermanName?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:57 PM
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Social science?

You're in the clear! Unless social science = economics. Again, no judgment. I'm just the messenger.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:57 PM
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Doesn't Tweety drive a Beetle?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:58 PM
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I'm betting: Jetta.

My new lust objects tend to be Audis, but I do really like VWs, and the older Jettas in particular.

insofar as realizing that you too are part of a culture and particularly susceptible to certain kinds of marketing, you become more reflective, and that's a good thing.

Does it do anything other than give you pause, though? Wherever you end up, after reflection, will also be a result of the same cultural influences.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:58 PM
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Oliver is a nice name.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:58 PM
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Ah, but they were just a few years back. Someone's a bit behind the curve.

It's a good thing a site making fun of trendy parenting among today's now-now-now Yuppies is an evergreen classic, then. It'll be just as funny three years ago, I'm sure.

How old is the Simpson's but where the Slack-Jawed Yokel calls his kids, and they all have trendy names?

Rumer!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:59 PM
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Oliver is a good name, as long as you know your child will be fat and funny.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:59 PM
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You're in the clear! Unless social science = economics.

No, I'm covered--though I can't wait to tell one of my colleagues in econ that he's in big trouble.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:00 PM
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76:I am self-reflective.
You are comfortable with who you are.
Tim is thoughtful.
Ogged is shallow.
Tweety is a dork.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:00 PM
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If I'm always stopping myself from making sexist comments so I don't seem like a sexist, then I'm trying to be less sexist?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:01 PM
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Who am I kidding? Generation Awesome has never heard of Laurel and Hardy, even though that's literally the only association I have with the name "Oliver". Perhaps they'll think of him as another Wendell Holmes, or the Textism blogger's dog, or a great Shakespearean actior, or the delicious accessory in a martinir, or "the other reindeerr".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:02 PM
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insofar as realizing that you too are part of a culture and particularly susceptible to certain kinds of marketing, you become more reflective, and that's a good thing

I'd go one further. There's no harm (generally) in being what you are and liking you like what you like. What is insufferable is the attempt to transform one particular taste set as an antinomian anti-consumerist credo. That's the SWPL target. Not actually liking, e.g., fancy cheese.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:02 PM
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80.last: Oliver Roth-Hitler? Go for it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:02 PM
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Tweety is a GTI-driving dork. RTFA.

Also, Ogged's right, but Tim's also right that it's turtles all the way down. But then, if you're stuck with being something, you could do a lot worse than white American male.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:02 PM
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Or Lord Protector of Pittsburgh ("LP" for short).


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:05 PM
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insofar as realizing that you too are part of a culture and particularly susceptible to certain kinds of marketing, you become more reflective, and that's a good thing.

As I said in 65, I agree. I guess what I don't like is the notion that I should substitute the judgment of another for my own - I think this is a well-designed object that suits my needs, but someone else might think I'm just being consumerist, so I should buy something inferior and thus prove my superiority.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:06 PM
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94 to 90. White people have decided that comment references just reinforce the stereotype.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:07 PM
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Tim's also right that it's turtles all the way down

It depends on how strong the claim is. Some people might want to leave room for the power of consideration and reflection, although it would make sense for Timbot 2000 to disavow free will.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:07 PM
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See, until it was mentioned, I had forgotten Cromwell's first name. That's good! Young Oliver can go to school without being beaten up by packs of tough Irish lads.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:08 PM
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Three cheers for the post title.

One of my favoritist poems ever. But, you know, sometimes Dunbar really sounds like that Marcel dude:

"Now of wemen this I say for me,
Off erthly thingis nane may bettir be;
Thay suld haif wirschep and grit honoring
Off men, aboif all uthir erthly thing ..."

I'm getting a little stalkeriffic vibe there, Willy.

If you want to know what a place or thing actually looks like, head to Flickr

I spent a happy afternoon flipping back between Google Earth and Flickr. Wanna see the Taklamakan Desert? Someone's taken pictures of it already and put them on Flickr. Flickr's like the 21st century National Geographic when it comes to travel.

simple, but not without style, and the style grounded (however tenuously) in function; affordable, but slightly exclusive; like a toy, for adults.

I embrace my whiteness, Ogged.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:09 PM
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What is insufferable is the attempt to transform one particular taste set as an antinomian anti-consumerist credo. That's the SWPL target.

I agree with the first part of this. I'm not sure the second part is true, but that's the problem - I'm not sure SWPL Guy knows what his real target is (I suppose we'll see in the book).

My negative association with Oliver is a weird, visceral one from Oliver! in my youth. I have no idea why that is unpleasant in my mind, but it is. My sister saw it, but I didn't - maybe I was just peeved that she got to go and I didn't? Who the hell knows?

Oh, and Jettas are (or were) reasonably fun cars. And the Jetta TDI had fun low-end torque out the wazoo.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:10 PM
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What is insufferable is the attempt to transform one particular taste set as an antinomian anti-consumerist credo.

But I think that is something like what ogged and SWPL are trying to do. That self-reflective pause ogged wants and SWPL encourages is meant to create distance from consumer the consumer culture and yet allow you to make the purchase nonetheless. I mean, is anyone, not getting a stand-mixer because of SWPL? It's irony as a get out of jail card.

SWPL is a goof, not serious satire.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:11 PM
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then I'm trying to be less sexist?

Maybe, maybe not. My point was that, if your vigilance begins and ends at calling your secretary Hot Lips, then you're not achieving much. The rot runs deeper than what crosses your lips.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:11 PM
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97: Some people might want to leave room for the power of consideration and reflection

Sure, as long as it is artisanal consideration and reflection.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:11 PM
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Young Oliver can go to school without being beaten up by packs of tough Irish lads.

Thank goodness great-grandmother O'Toole has long since been laid to rest.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:12 PM
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free will

So cute. And yet another thing that white people like.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:12 PM
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It's especially silly to get all meta about gifts for your mom. But, you probably should not get her glassware that will break & cut her hands open.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:13 PM
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Then it hit me, clear and unmistakable: this is stuff white people like: simple, but not without style, and the style grounded (however tenuously) in function; affordable, but slightly exclusive; like a toy, for adults.

I could swear that I've linked to this before on unfogged, but I can't find it.

I am speaking of the dilemma that Roland Barthes frequently grappled with. All his life, Barthes was a fervent advocate of the politically engaged avant-garde (the Writerly), and he was the most astute critic of the bourgeois "classical" (the despised Readerly). The rude fact that Barthes bumped his nose against repeatedly was, political convictions aside, all of his sense of pleasure and beauty was wrapped up in the bourgeois. The secret of his critique of Balzac, in his beautiful book S/Z, is that he loved Balzac. He found Balzac unbelievably sexy. And he found Balzac worthy of a book length investigation, a compliment he never offered Robe-Grillet. Barthes' term for this quality, this je ne sais quoi of the ruling class, was "the bourgeois art of life."
In short, wealth and privilege have not entirely squandered their opportunities. We need to discover some of the insight of Bardamu in Celine's Journey to the End of Night when, destitute and AWOL from WWI, he finds himself sitting in a bank in New York City. And for a moment he thinks he understands the reason for wealth: so the rest of us can have something beautiful to look at.

The whole thing is definitely dated, and more clever than wise, but the writing is great in parts -- when I first came across it I thought the opening sections was one of the funniest things I'd ever read.

The line "In short, wealth and privilege have not entirely squandered their opportunities" has stayed with me. It contains the perfect mix of bitterness and admiration.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:14 PM
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That self-reflective pause ogged wants and SWPL encourages is meant to create distance from consumer the consumer culture and yet allow you to make the purchase nonetheless.

It's also possible to conclude that the object in question is a fine and lovely example of its kind but not something that one needs to bring home.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:15 PM
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Tim rules. I also would like more people to guess my car. Also I'm watching "Knocked Up"; do I even have to say?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:15 PM
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Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.

Because the Preacher pwned the whole sorry lot of us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:16 PM
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Cold stuff remains cold, hot stuff remains hot

How do it know?

Anyway, I've broken a few Bodums in my day, but for years I've used a moka, like the swarthier of my cousins back in the Old Country. They make great coffee and they don't break, though the handles and gaskets melt if you forget them on the stove. But! Because both ethnicities that converged in the glorious mongrel that is me are now almost universally (if in some quarters grudgingly) recognized as white, I still own a Bodum press, which sits unused in the cupboard unless I need extra coffee for guests.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:18 PM
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I had a thing with a way-hot Oliver when I was 17. +3

Also (did I tell this story?) I once sent an ms meant for Oliver T/apl/in to Oliver L/yne. Oops. I sent L/yne an email straightaway to tell him just to pitch it when the envelope arrived. L/yne very graciously wrote back, "It is my fault entirely for being named for our dread regicide." +10


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:20 PM
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107: Didn't someone just quote Marx crediting the bourgeoisie with creating more in their first 100 years than had been achieved in all time up to then? Maybe it wasn't here, but I read it today.

In the end, all the concept of the bourgeoisie means is "a historically enormous number of people admitted into a comfortable life with the means for education and innovation.*" I understand the revulsion at the class, but the reality seems to be that the only alternative is a tiny elite and a vast proletariat. No one has yet managed to raise everybody into lives of comfort.

Makes me think of Good Megan's explanation/defense of hippies - comfortable people living without fear want to do interesting, creative things*, which look self-indulgent from the outside.

* of which they may not be capable; that's a side issue


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:21 PM
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107 - Holy shit, is that Mark Amer/ika? I had a class with him back in the day. He was super nice to me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:25 PM
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I should have included this paragraph following the two I quoted:

What one rightly resents about bourgeois culture is not its beauties but its cruelties, i.e. the things it does to make its beauties possible, i.e. impoverish and/or stupidify everyone else.

I think that gets something right -- it isn't that stuff white people like is bad, it's that it's a monoculture. It is that tied in with the appreciation for style that implies design and functionality, is an implicit criticism of everything else as either frivolous, garish, or brash.

That is to say that it is, precisely, the cultural snobbery that's the problem and, I'm sorry to say, that ogged, and unfoggedetariat are hopeless snobs. I'm a snob myself, in too many areas, but I don't think ogged can not be a snob by distancing himself from the glasses.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:26 PM
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Holy shit, is that Mark Amer/ika?

Yes!

Also, 113 makes the argument that I was alluding to better than I could have.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:27 PM
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We are also of the moka people.

+10

At the very least!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:30 PM
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I don't think ogged can not be a snob by distancing himself from the glasses

Of course not. There's no "escape," but I can't believe that people really want to argue that there's no benefit in self-reflection (even if in some cases it leads to the same action in a particular set of circumstances).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:31 PM
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118: Be the stand mixer, ogged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:33 PM
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The rude fact that Barthes bumped his nose against repeatedly was, political convictions aside, all of his sense of pleasure and beauty was wrapped up in the bourgeois.

This is terrific. And maybe it explains exactly why I have such a fondness for Barthes.

Mark Amerika? That name makes me think of the old days of Semiotext(e) publications and of Storming the Reality Studio.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:33 PM
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Rooster [Matthew McConaughey's brother] named his second son Miller Lyte after his favorite beer


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:33 PM
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That self-reflective pause ogged wants and SWPL encourages is meant to create distance from consumer the consumer culture and yet allow you to make the purchase nonetheless. I mean, is anyone, not getting a stand-mixer because of SWPL? It's irony as a get out of jail card.

This seems right. While SWPL (which I haven't read much of, because once the point is made, it's been made) seems to suggest that one's an idiot for indulging in white people behavior, it seems to do so affectionately. Which is fine, whatever.

I suppose what's puzzled me is that the point about one's choices and desires being influenced by a particular culture, consumerist, should have escaped anyone, or that one might not be deeply aware of this with each and every consideration.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:33 PM
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This is terrific. And maybe it explains exactly why I have such a fondness for Barthes.

Truly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:34 PM
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There's no "escape," but I can't believe that people really want to argue that there's no benefit in self-reflection

Oh, no, I'm very much in favor of self-reflection. White people like self-reflection -- along with titanium frame mountain bikes.

115 is definitely provisional, I'm still trying to work out what I think, but I think it's worth trying to tease out what it means to say -- "I like this object, I think it's aesthetically pleasing, functional (maybe not the Bodum glasses), and well designed, but it's part of a larger culture I resent." What is it exactly that we resent about the culture? It shouldn't be the fact that it produces well designed objects, it should be something else.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:34 PM
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that one might not be deeply aware of this with each and every consideration.

Deeply? With each and every consideration? You're an infinitely more mindful man than I am, Gunga Din.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:35 PM
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It's the degree to which a certain strata of attractive, functional, and general expensive objects stand in as signifiers of moral virtue and inherent worth, Nick. It's the same reason Republicans keep drumming up faux outrage about coastal elitists and their fancy-pants college degrees.

In other news, Michigan's WIC has forbidden poor people from buying organic food.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:37 PM
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but the sorts of people who name their kids "Dakota" aren't in the same socioeconomic niche as people who buy $1000 baby strollers.

I don't know whether that's true. Tricked-out strollers weren't as big of a deal in th 70's, although there was a fad for actual carriages which were useless.

The people across the street from us on Bea/con Hi/ll (not the absolute toniest part of the hill, but a very nice area, nonetheless) named their daughters Montana and December. Cemby was born in the early 80's.

I think that they owned a teddy bear store in Faneuil Hall called Be/ar Nec/essities.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:37 PM
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In other news, Michigan's WIC has forbidden poor people from buying organic food.

Aghgghghkddlsajdieperytioidklrrrrrrttthh


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:39 PM
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I don't know whether that's true

The website is now, though, BG.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:40 PM
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just be who you are, and don't get all meta and shit about what it may say about you.

Which is totally white, you realize, what with the "I have no race consciousness" thing going on and all.

Re. fancy strollers, I bought one when PK was born b/c my PUERTO RICAN friend in NYC told me that blah blah brand was the best b/c it was an umbrella type (i.e., easily foldable) but durable, you could recline the seat for an infant (infants can't ride in umbrella type strollers), etc.

Guess what, though? I didn't use it much at all, because I found out that carrying him was actually easier than schlepping the stroller *and* the baby, who would generally cry if he had to ride in the stroller. Eventually I gave it away.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:41 PM
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It's the degree to which a certain strata of attractive, functional, and general expensive objects stand in as signifiers of moral virtue and inherent worth, Nick. It's the same reason Republicans keep drumming up faux outrage about coastal elitists and their fancy-pants college degrees.

That seems reasonable, but it puts ogged on the same side as the Republicans. You seem to be saying that the Republican critique is accurate, which I don't think is fair.

Besides, I'm troubled by the "general expensive" clause in your comment because I don't want to completely conflate SWPL and yuppie consumerism. You don't have to buy expensive objects to fall under the SWPL critique. My Mountain Equipment Co-op shorts were cheap, but they're very, very white.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:43 PM
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111: Jesus and I are just the same sort of mongrel, and I think we ought to hold out for non-white status.

CA, however, is the whitiest of whites and so we have one (1) press, two (2) mokas, and one (1) pretty fancy espresso maker.

And a stand mixer.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:43 PM
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Buying fancy Puerto Rican strollers and not using them? Arthur Gordon Pym ghostly white.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:44 PM
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And I may add, Moby Dick white.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:45 PM
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this is stuff white people like: simple, but not without style, and the style grounded (however tenuously) in function; affordable, but slightly exclusive; like a toy, for adults.

Hey, this is pretty good, Ogged. Omit the part about white people, and also the part about toys for adults, and you could be writing copy for one of those 'How to Live a Simple, but Tasteful, Life' publications.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:47 PM
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That seems reasonable, but it puts ogged on the same side as the Republicans.

If the black BMW fits, you must admit!

That seems reasonable, but it puts ogged on the same side as the Republicans. You seem to be saying that the Republican critique is accurate, which I don't think is fair.

I don't think it's fair, but it's certainly rhetorically effective (even if you think, as I do, that SWPL isn't particularly funny or cutting). Look at the degree to which people were put on the defensive about their stand mixers. Has anyone here read Nixonland? I haven't, but the excerpts I've seen seem to make a pretty good narrative case that the success of the post 1968 Republican party is pretty much universally predicated on racism and "those people think they're better than us". Everyone resents this, even people who pretty plainly do think they're better than most everyone else. (Richard Cohen's "only a fool or a Frenchman" line about the Powell presentation should be engraved on his fucking tombstone arm, without anesthesia.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:48 PM
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CA, however, is the whitiest of whites and so we have one (1) press, two (2) mokas, and one (1) pretty fancy espresso maker.

Two mokas and two presses. The mokas are used daily, the presses mostly sit. But no fancy espresso maker. I spent a few days poking around coffee geek websites a couple of years ago but managed to escape while the idea that one ought to spend $1000+ on a coffee pot still seemed ludicrous.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:49 PM
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125: Deeply? With each and every consideration?

Yeah, I thought about the phrasing, and decided it was good enough; I chiefly meant each considered purchase. But sure, I ask, "Why do I want this?" (though after a while you presumably don't need to ask).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:49 PM
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OMG I can't believe you people.

The point of SWPL isn't to be all "oh, I now realize how consumerist I am, I must change." It's to point out that, in fact, the things you like do actually mark you ethnically. That white doesn't just mean "just be who you are," even though white people insist that *they* are "free" of race.

The reason the site focuses on upper middle class white culture is because, duh, "white trash" is a racialized category already. Which is part of the point: that *poor* whites don't get to be free of race. Which is why, of course, we associate racism with, you know, *those* people (white trash) and get our own pristine noses all bent the fuck out of shape when someone points out our own racism.

Including the racism of getting pissed off about having someone point out that you're white.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:50 PM
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47: Heh. I think SWPL is dumb. But Best Parents Ever amuses.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:50 PM
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Best Parents Ever amuses.

It could be so, so much more pointed and coherent and funny, though. Booo!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:53 PM
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SWPL is about yuppies of any race. Totally inapplicable to about 80% of white Americans. My guess is that at least 10% of yuppies are non-white in the Oggedian sense.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:53 PM
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It's to point out that, in fact, the things you like do actually mark you ethnically.

Maybe that's why it fails to appeal to me -- because most of the things it picks as racial markers don't really ring true to me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:54 PM
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even though white people insist that *they* are "free" of race.

They do? No they don't. Nyah.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:55 PM
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My Mountain Equipment Co-op shorts were cheap, but they're very, very white.

Being pleased at buying Very Functional Professional-Type Gear (and from a co-op, no less!!) is totally white consumerism. As opposed to, oh, say, buying a pair of shorts at fucking Target.

I say this as a woman who was absolutely thrilled this weekend to realize that Patagonia, which is based here, has an outlet store called "Cheap Sports" where you can buy seconds and samples and shit for way cheap. It's inexpensive! It's local! And it's Environmentally Conscious!

I am currently wearing a pair of Organic Cotton Chinos I got there. So nyah.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:56 PM
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144, see 143.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:57 PM
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140: Much to my surprise, Best Parent Ever does, in fact, amuse.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:58 PM
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The website is now, though, BG.

Right, RFTS. I'm just saying that these people definitely would have bought the most tricked out strollers if they had been fashionable at the time.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:58 PM
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143 didn't claim to be "free" of race. It claimed that SWPL does not reflect a convincing understanding of race.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:59 PM
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Which is totally white, you realize, what with the "I have no race consciousness" thing going on and all.

No, this particular point -- the notion that one shouldn't be second-guessing and freaked out about whether one's own choices might be too "white" -- is something different. To advocate "forgetting about race" would absolutely be a reflection of white privilege. It's much less clear that freedom from angsting endlessly over what one's consumer choices unconsciously signify of one's social and cultural identity is specially a marker of racial privilege. To go all Virginia Woolf for a second, the angst strikes me as profoundly middlebrow. Brows low and high are free to shop as they please. Brows middle (it's a big, broad middle) worry about what it all means about who they really are. Sometimes we worry aspirationally, sometimes guiltily, sometimes in other ways, depending on where and how in the middle we are.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:59 PM
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It's to point out that, in fact, the things you like do actually mark you ethnically. That white doesn't just mean "just be who you are," even though white people insist that *they* are "free" of race.

Yes! I agree with the criticisms that the site isn't as funny or as well-written as it might be, but its humour lies precisely in its treatment of "white people" as the objects of sociological/anthropological investigation. Which I do think is funny. And I also think that whiteness as ethnicity is a point well worth making.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:00 PM
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I suspect that I would like SWPL if it accomplished all the things the fans here argue it is trying to accomplish.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:02 PM
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post 1968 Republican party is pretty much universally predicated on racism

As I have said before, not counting the Wallacites who Republicans could count on anyway Goldwater did very well in 1954, the demographic group that abandoned the Democrats in 1968 were not ethnics or unions but upper-middle class urbanites. They abandoned the Party because of the black riots, not the hippies.

These fucking yuppies were of course among the first to move to the suburbs, and then the exurbs, for the children/schools of course, all the while proclaiming their enlightened racial attitudes. As they carry their lattes into the voting booths who knows how they mark their secret ballots.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:02 PM
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147: You did, I hope, catch #30?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:03 PM
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Pens score!


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:03 PM
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(I don't, by the way, mean to say that I think everyone should mindlessly embrace their most immediate consumerist, stereotype-embodying impulses. "Why the hell am I buying/doing this? Is it because I want it or because for some stupid reason I think I'm supposed to want it?" are meritorious questions to ask oneself.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:03 PM
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Just to repeat, but that stuff isn't white or even middle class. It's a mostly-white part of the (mostly upper-) middle class.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:04 PM
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153 is entirely correct.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:04 PM
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ARE WE SERIOUSLY HAVING THIS EXACT CONVERSATION AGAIN? I think I may have an attack of the vapors.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:04 PM
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153: I'm not sure that much of that is true.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:05 PM
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157: Yeah, and some white people like soul food, too. That doesn't mean that soul food isn't a racial marker for black people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:06 PM
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This thread was going pretty well for a while.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:06 PM
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139+ (and 159 specifically): baa wins the thread in #21!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:07 PM
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Oh, I see that B stirred the pot with 130 and 139. How white trashy of her.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:08 PM
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162: It's all my fault. Mea culpa.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:08 PM
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We're so deep in bullshit by now that I suspect that it's hopeless, but that site is just yuppy-baiting. That's fine with me, but it doesn't even describe most middle-class white people.

Wobegon is 97% white, and very little of that applies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:08 PM
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164: You know it. Central valley all the way.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:10 PM
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style grounded (however tenuously) in function

I didn't use it much at all, because I found out that carrying him was actually easier than schlepping the stroller *and* the baby, who would generally cry if he had to ride in the stroller. Eventually I gave it away.

(maybe not the Bodum glasses)

Thinking about it more, the post does make another criticism of "white style" which is slightly different than what we're talking about.

The problem is lots of things selling themselves as "modest, functional" despite being neither. It's the consumer goods equivalent of organic whole grain cookies (sorry analogy ban).

It is advertising that allows you to justify any consumerist purchase with "it's practical" no matter how impractical it may be.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:10 PM
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John, it describes most of the people here, and we're mostly middle class, more or less. And you *do* know that Woebegon is like, dying, right?

Anyway, Garrison Keillor is TOTALLY white. White people love to pretend to be all folksy while they listen to NPR.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:11 PM
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Let's go back to making fun of Ogged for worrying about his "whiteness."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:12 PM
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168: Green is the new white.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:12 PM
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Is giving a shit about hockey only when one's team is in the finals excessively white of me?

As I did the first time, I agree with B and ogged on white people consumerism. The defensiveness about this rivals whether or not children are human as the most unmerited defensive discussion on the web.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:13 PM
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Dow Raises All Prices 20 Percent in Four Days Without Notice

Hell, enjoy your toys while you can.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:14 PM
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B. grew up on baloney sandwiches on Wonder Bread and wore a flour-sack dress to first grade. She had two washing machines and a Chevy on blocks in the front yard, and the chickens kept getting into the house. The older members of the family drank moonshine for breakfast, but her generation tended toward crystal. She has lots of siblings and cousins or both.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 PM
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further to 168 this isn't new. Selling consumer goods has always been about "create a need and then fill it." Advertising always tries to convince people that their life is lacking in some way that they did not realize.

But the marketing that ogged is talking about is a specific sub-set of that and a remarkable successful one.

It makes me think of the image in Bobos in Paradise about people buying glacier shades to wear to work.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 PM
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172.1: No I think caring about them at other times makes you excessively white (for some values of "white").

172.2: Defensive like Sergei Gonchar!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 PM
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168: No. The stroller problem was that I did not live in NYC; I lived in Seattle. Which, however much walking one does, just isn't the fucking same as commuting from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan.

Part of being white is this I Must Always Have the Best (even if in fact, I do not live one of the biggest cities in the world / plan to compete in the Tour de France / work as a bike messenger / scale Everest / qualify as a cordon bleu chef / etc.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 PM
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Green B is the new white McManus.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 PM
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164: Heh. I was just about to note that those comments have actually gotten me thinking that maybe B has a point -- that maybe the site fails to amuse not because I can't bear how it totally points out (OMG! That's so me!) how white I am, but because, if it is perceived as accurate, it highlights how very unwhite I am deep down inside. I am, slowly but surely, coming to terms with my secret white trashiness.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:18 PM
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People in Wobegon don't listen to Keillor much, if at all. The town is 15% bigger than when I grew up. Dakota is being depopulated, not here.

The site doesn't describe most white people in white Portland OR, either (perhaps as much as a third of them), or in most of the South, or the New Church exurban Christian middle class, or outstate PA, and so on.

So: Yuppies are mostly white and almost all middle class; the middle class is mostly but not all white and mostly not yuppie; and white people might be mostly middle class by some definition; but white people are mostly not yuppies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:21 PM
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174: No; I grew up in California, not the rural south. I ate baloney on store-brand white bread, wore denim shirts that my mom embroidered with wild animal pictures and jeans that she patched with big hearts at the knee, had three large dogs, up to half a dozen rabbits, three cats, and at one point a horse, and we frequently got letters from the home owners association berating us for the fact that we didn't water our lawn and our "rose garden" was basically hard-packed dirt with some stunted neglected rose bushes on it. No one in the neighborhood ever mentioned that they could hear the screaming from our house, but none of the families on the block were very friendly. The older members of the family had a pretty strong history of alcoholism and depression, which was successfully unacknowledged until I became an adult, and my own generation tended towards your typical heavy(ish) suburban drug use, except for me, who was the Good Girl that took care of my depressed narcissistic mother's emotional needs instead. I have one sibling, who was a pretty serious drug user until she got pregnant for the second time in college and had the baby, later marrying (then divorcing) the father because he wouldn't quit smoking pot and never did a goddamn thing around the house.

I do, in fact, have a lot of cousins, though. One of them deals poker in an Indian Casino, one went into the navy and is now divorced, blue collar, and living in South Carolina, one died of leukemia, one is a nurse, etc. I think that less than half of them completed college.

Satisfied?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:23 PM
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B, you'll want to note this one


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:23 PM
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I thought this one was funny:

http://bestparentever.com/2008/03/28/16-wine-2/

...particularly "Best Parents on wine are not alcoholics. They are bon vivants and connoisseurs!"


Posted by: WitchyPoo | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:23 PM
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Pens 2!


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:25 PM
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182: YES! I WIN!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:25 PM
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NickS is ruling this thread.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:25 PM
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I'm not sure why B just posted her Yahoo! Personals profile here, but I'm ok with it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:25 PM
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A horse? Home owner's association? Middle class.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:26 PM
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187: Ogged, Oprah, whatever.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:28 PM
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Guys, I think it's time to move on to Stuff White People Do. (Warning: Includes earnestness.)

Recent posts:

Ask Asian Americans where they're really from

Restrain themselves

Tell black people they don't think of them as black


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:28 PM
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Fuck, Kimberley-Clark and now Dow, natural gas prices rising higher than oil prices no real wages increases in sight and no candidate that can even hint at real relief. This summer I am seeing all my discretionary income disappear, watching my life turn to drudgery for mere survival.

And to top it off, like someone clicking a switch, Dallas moved into humid 98s a few weeks early. I apparently have 5 months of this shit to look forward to. The puppies are whimpering.

I could get mean.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:30 PM
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The Best Parent Ever loves defying convention whenever possible -- especially when it makes their life easier.

You know it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:32 PM
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192: Indeed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:33 PM
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Umm, mcmanus, I am seriously trying to pull this towards professional sports championships, if not more mockery of the lot of us, and if we could keep the total misery at bay that might help.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:33 PM
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188: Yeah, I was pretty much middle-middle class. Never claimed otherwise, I don't think.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:34 PM
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When did boys start cutting their hair short? There's a family picture of my namesake with her son sitting in front of her. He's a young boy with long curls.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:34 PM
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187: Because I got tired of John (and everyone else) feeling free to project shit onto me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:35 PM
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I see that my subtle class humor is lost on you people


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:36 PM
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190: You'll start a firestorm with that unless people are exhausted by it all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:37 PM
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Don't swipple me, next door neighbor!

The problem with SWPL is not that it's not funny or racist or whatever, it's that it's inconsistent. The stuff they pick out is representative of several discrete (bourgeois) social classes. If they really stuck to one version of upper-middle, simple-but-designy living, greener-than-thou yuppiedom, it would be interesting as a social document, but instead they just confuse the issue with their laziness.

McManus: Why do you even live in Dallas? I've been there, and it sucked. Doesn't your light rail hit like 14 people a month? That's crazy!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:39 PM
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Also, 113 makes the argument that I was alluding to better than I could have.

As in, 113 is clueless snobbery, or the opposite? I'm just trying to get my bearings here.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:39 PM
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"Stuff White People Do" is totally not funny.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:39 PM
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Doesn't your light rail hit like 14 people a month? That's crazy!

Like, "hit" hit? Like, WACK!? That is crazy.

Of course, it serves those people right for not being in their cars.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:40 PM
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198: Aw, crap. That'll teach me to be baited. AGAIN.

White People like to tell you what the problem with SWPL is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:40 PM
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the Nintendo Wii, a magical device capable of accomplishing a trifecta of white parent goals - it was (1) affordably priced, (2) politically correct, and (3) fashionably difficult to find.

I totally got Rory a Wii.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:41 PM
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I still feel sad, btw, about how humorless you people largely were re: Dickipedia.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:42 PM
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Guess what, though? I didn't use it much at all, because I found out that carrying him was actually easier than schlepping the stroller *and* the baby, who would generally cry if he had to ride in the stroller. Eventually I gave it away.

Wow. How fucking morally superior. Now I understand how funny SWPL is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:42 PM
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196: What year is your photograph? I have a photograph of my maternal grandfather, aged 2, in 1902, and he has long blonde curls that would now be considered girlish and/or gender-bender alternative (but I'm pretty sure my great-grandmother was not an alterna-mummy). But I also have a photograph of my paternal grandfather with his younger brother, aged 8 and 5, circa 1907, and they both have short hair. I'm guessing long hair on boys died out by the end of the Edwardian period. Likewise with skirts and dresses for little boys.

Also, it used to be pink for boys and blue for girls.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:44 PM
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159: Actually, it was an exciting, intellectualized, new twist on the Endless Unfogged Retreading of "Is SWPL Funny?"

Until B showed up, that is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:44 PM
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205: You completely suck. I was just yesterday explaining to PK why I Am Not Going to Buy Him a Wii (even though I keep being almost tempted to, because I am the BEST PARENT EVER*)

*By which I mean, I am way overinvested in his little feelings and buy too much shit for him out of some kind of weird free-floating anxiety.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:44 PM
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If we're going to have another SWPL thread, I need to be made co-blogger so I can announce the end of the blog due to an apparent writer's strike that has put us into endless loops of reruns.

This, however,

Sometimes we worry aspirationally, sometimes guiltily, sometimes in other ways, depending on where and how in the middle we are.

was an excellent point. Buy your way to a social identity. The holominiseries shown on Mars of the end of the American republic 600 years from now is going to be better than Rome.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:45 PM
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Also, it used to be pink for boys and blue for girls.

I heard that was an urban legend.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:45 PM
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207: Actually my point was the exact opposite: that I'm an idiot who spent $1400 on something I didn't need, before finding out that I wouldn't need it, because I wanted to Be Prepared.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:47 PM
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212: You heard wrong.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:48 PM
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207: Can't quite tell if you are joking, but that is so not a moral superiority claim. It's a not uncommon experience of first time parents who have made sure to get everything their child is going to need only to discover that their child is going to willfully defy the popular wisdom on what babies need.

(Rory wouldn't ride in the fucking stroller either.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:48 PM
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Not only would PK not ride in the stroller, he also refused to be carried in a sling! The nerve!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:49 PM
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just be who you are, and don't get all meta and shit about what it may say about you.


Which is totally white, you realize, what with the "I have no race consciousness" thing going on and all.

OK, seriously, is the claim here that young black men sit around their houses debating whether or not to tilt their driver's seats way back? I mean, WTF? Normal people just do shit they feel like (which is impacted by society & culture &c.). "White people" stress out about whether or not the things they feel like are the right thing to do. But when someone says, "Just do what you feel like doing without all the meta-guilt," that's also SWPL? Bullshit.

I mean, seriously.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:49 PM
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It's hard to pretend you bought your Wii for your kid when she is only 2.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:50 PM
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217: Watch a Chris Rock routine sometime. Or Richard Pryor. Or any black comedian, actually.

218: CONSUMERIST PIG.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:51 PM
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when someone says, "Just do what you feel like doing without all the meta-guilt," that's also SWPL?

White people use the word "meta" a lot.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:52 PM
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210: Well, see, I'm not just a Best Parent Ever, I'm a Divorced Mom Who Will not be Outdone by the Fucking Ex. Yeah, I admit it, I gave in to competitive parenting.

Actually, though, it involved no effort. We walked into a store for something else, a sales guy said there were six left that were up for grabs, if the people who'd reserved them didn't show up in the next 20 minutes. We waited in line for 20 minutes at noon on a Saturday.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:52 PM
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221: At least you *have* a Fucking Ex with whom you're competig. Who the fuck am I competing with?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:55 PM
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196: What year is your photograph?

It's a painting, not a photograph. I think it's from the mid 19th century, but I'm not sure. It might be from as early as the 1820's or 30's.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:56 PM
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222: If it would make you feel better, you can compete with me. (You'd probably get to win alot.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:58 PM
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222: You are competing with me. And losing.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:58 PM
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224: No, I actually really want to quit being so fucking anxious about being a Good Parent.

Then again, I want a lot of things.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:59 PM
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Di is nicer than I am. But seriously, skirt up.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:59 PM
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I just realized that this would be a good thread to gather registry recommendations in. Specifically w/r/t espresso. Is there any reasonably priced maker that spits out a thick crema? In general, what's the next neat stuff I need? I have a pretty stocked house.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:59 PM
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225: Bitch.

(Speaking of, thank you so much for being the Main Blogger this week. I've been overachieving in the Class Mom Personally Making an End of Year Class Present for the Teacher arena.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:00 PM
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227: Got it. Thanks!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:01 PM
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Meh. I'm not really saying anything that ogged isn't copying and enhancing anyway.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:02 PM
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226: Your kid totally rocks, right? Yes, he does. Ergo, you are a Good Parent.

That approach works for me, anyway.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:02 PM
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OK, B, sorry I read you wrong on the stroller. The "Guess what?" formulation reeked to me of righteous anti-Whitism. Iris hated riding in the car, counter to what everyone promised us - I understand the "you have no idea what to expect" aspect of child-having.

I just fail to see what it has to do with expensive strollers (except that privileged white and non-white people can afford to make expensive mistakes). As I said, we don't have ultra-expensive strollers, but they're not $20 KMart specials either, and I'm sure they would qualify as SWPL. But the umbrella has literally hundreds of miles on it, and has made a walking/mass transit lifestyle practical. So I'm pretty annoyed at the notion that it's a racially-determined purchase, having mostly to do with consumerism. It's one we're able to make because we're white and comparatively wealthy and privileged. So's everything we have - we're not Third Worlders.

I doubt that mothers on the bus holding broken $20 strollers are thinking, "Glad I'm not White, stuck with some socially-determined, functional stroller."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:04 PM
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229.2: See, you totally win the competition.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:04 PM
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I totally didn't think SWPL was funny. Well, maybe the first 25,000 of them were, but after the book deal...yawn.

That said, being a parent who lives in a disgustingly competetive parenting city, I found Best Parent Ever funnier than shit. I mean, come on. I AM one of those moms in sweats wondering how the mom in heels managed to even get a shower in, let alone put on some hoop earings.


Posted by: WitchyPoo | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:04 PM
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Now that the biggest problem with SWPL is that people take it seriously, I long for the days when the biggest problem with it was that it's not funny. A golden age, lost in the mists of history.

Doesn't your light rail hit like 14 people a month?

This reminds me of the best headline ever from hometown newspaper, back when our new system was in the testing phase and someone took his chances crossing the tracks in front of an oncoming train: LIGHT RAIL CLAIMS FIRST VICTIM.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:05 PM
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Watch a Chris Rock routine sometime. Or Richard Pryor. Or any black comedian, actually.

Oh, I see. A Chris Rock routine is like a window into the daily lives of black people. And here I thought he was a smart guy making jokes about stuff people usually don't think about explicitly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:06 PM
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LIGHT RAIL CLAIMS FIRST VICTIM.

Hilarious.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:07 PM
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Dakota is being depopulated, not here.

Also Montana.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:09 PM
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238: It never gets old. Typing it just now gave me a giggling fit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:13 PM
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209 before I saw 162, 164, + 165.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:15 PM
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237: Him and every other popular black comic, yeah.

I doubt that mothers on the bus holding broken $20 strollers are thinking, "Glad I'm not White, stuck with some socially-determined, functional stroller."

No, they're not. But I bet that if you asked them they'd say no fucking way would they ever spend $1400 on a stroller.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:15 PM
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Is giving a shit about hockey only when one's team is in the finals excessively white of me?

I'm pretty sure worrying about bandwagon-jumping is pretty White. Caring about hockey at all is mostly white.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:17 PM
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it's a racially-determined purchase, having mostly to do with consumerism. It's one we're able to make because we're white and comparatively wealthy and privileged.

Since the quoted fragment and the quoted sentence are saying pretty much exactly the same thing, why did the fragment begin with "I'm pretty annoyed"??

What, for fuck's sake, is there to be annoyed about? A site that says "you fit a demographic profile"?? So?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:17 PM
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For what it's worth, it's seemed to me that ogged has been obliquely trying to talk about class, and consumerism, and identity, in the recent while. It's a little odd, the swinging back and forth between Mine Purchases! and hey, what the fuck! and also what about these people who Don't Conform? sorts of posts, but worth a look.

Poor SWPL.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:23 PM
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3-1, white people!


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:27 PM
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SWPL is the funniest website I have ever read. It is, in fact, better than Cats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:28 PM
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Him and every other popular black comic, yeah.

Are you kidding me?

Maybe we're at cross-purposes here. My claim is that ordinary black people don't sit around debating whether or not to engage in quotidian markers of their blackness. Your claim, as I read it, is that the on-stage comedy routines of Chris Rock, et al., prove that ordinary black people do, in fact, spend most of their free time considering the meta-implications of their daily activities.

But I bet that if you asked them they'd say no fucking way would they ever spend $1400 on a stroller.

And neither would I. But I bet my $100, name brand umbrella stroller qualifies as White.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:28 PM
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247: srsly?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:30 PM
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234: I'm sort of regretting having told the other parents about the plan, especially the fucking messenger bag thing. I was *going* to do a tote bag, because you can get pictures scanned onto those at the mall, but the goddamn PTO president had to point out that the teacher rides a bike, so now I have to actually sew.....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:30 PM
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248: There is a difference between "sitting around discussing" and "considering." You can't be unfamiliar with the cliched question of whether or not X is good for the race, the arguments over Bill Cosby's poundcake speech, whether or not women "should" straighten their hair, etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:31 PM
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Since the quoted fragment and the quoted sentence are saying pretty much exactly the same thing, why did the fragment begin with "I'm pretty annoyed"??

Because the supposed critique goes well beyond, "If you can afford nice stuff, then you must have some degree of wealth."

Take your pick. Is it saying something utterly banal, or something insightful?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:32 PM
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are you fucking kidding me? you are sewing pictures onto a messenger bag? That's intense, B. In a good way, but still/


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:32 PM
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I bet my $100, name brand umbrella stroller qualifies as White.

I'll submit it to the committee and we'll let you know as soon as possible, but there's a huge backlog of applications so you'll have to be patient.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:33 PM
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Carrying your baby in a sling rather than a stroller is particularly white, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:33 PM
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253: I'm not kidding. I'm also making a fucking personalized day planner thing. BECAUSE THESE BRIGHT IDEAS HAVE A WAY OF SNOWBALLING.

252: It's saying something that *should* be utterly banal, but judging by the number of people who go all OMG THAT IS SO NOT EVEN TRUE, it's not.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:34 PM
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255: Yep. A Baby Bjorn is also white (I mean, hello, "Bjorn"?) but it does put you a little lower in the Best Parent hierarchy than the sling (though higher than if you're pushing a crying baby in a stroller like that JRoth person).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:36 PM
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(Who only does it so that he can show off how good he is at finding well-made serviceable equipment that lets him lead a non-car-centric urban lifestyle. And at a bargain price, too!)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:37 PM
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257: So what's nonwhite? Tweezers?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:37 PM
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258 IS AN ATTEMPT TO JOSH YOU, JROTH. I AM NOT REALLY TRYING TO PISS YOU OFF.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:38 PM
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259: Nonwhite is a $20 umbrella stroller. Preferably pink for girls and blue for boys.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:39 PM
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Or, alternately, one of those big-ass car seat bucket things that snaps into a stroller frame so you can get the baby in and out of the car without removing it from the car seat. (And yes, I know those are actually popular with middle-class people of all races.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:40 PM
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251: I know that (most) black people are aware of these issues. I understand the point that, whereas black people, and poor whites, and Iranians are forced to confront their identities by virtue of being minorities and/or disempowered, white people can avoid all that, and that this is a powerful form of white privilege.

What I'm not buying is that a fucking Hamlet act over a goddamn drinking glass is leveling the playing field between Whites and everybody else.

If all the SWPLesque critique is doing is pointing out white privilege, then it's pointless because, at least as I read the site, the Venn diagram of "White People" and "white people who buy into the concept of white privilege" shows two concentric circles, very close in size.

On preview, it's probably good that I saw 260 before 258. Although 257 made me laugh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:40 PM
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This seems like the right place for this:

a friend today sggested to me that the reason Apple products work so well at signifying whiteness (where whiteness is of course understood to mean trendy, urban-y, upper middle-class-y, thoughtful, etc) is because there is so little deviation in the appearance of the product and the pricing. That is, because the laptops within the particular price categories all look the same and because Apple doesn't let anyone else sell them, they signify perfectly. I see your 18 inch powerbook, I know what you paid for it. And so on.

True or false?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:41 PM
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261: Yeah, that's where I kind of get the willies. Nonwhite=always and only poverty?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:41 PM
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Oh, didn't see 262.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:43 PM
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No, nonwhite means mostly unawareness of appropriately trendy decisions. E.g. te wrong kind of white people like Dane Cook. Slings, which are at the top of the hierarchy, aren't expensive.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:44 PM
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Is there some reason to encourage the racialization of (cultural more than economics-based) class markers?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:46 PM
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268: If it makes people uncomfortable, it must be productive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:48 PM
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What I'm not buying is that a fucking Hamlet act over a goddamn drinking glass is leveling the playing field between Whites and everybody else.

No one said it did. Ogged said that being conscious of one's racial/class identifiers is basically a good thing, and I tend to agree, inasmuch as it challenges the idea that one is, by virtue of whiteness/wealth, free of blah blah etc. But that's not the same thing you're saying it is.

265: No, clearly not. But, fucked up as it is, the facts are that the things that signal "race" are also often perceived as "low class." Hence arguments about whether or not educated blacks/Latinos/Indians are "sellouts."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:49 PM
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268: I think yes, in terms of what I said in 270, and also because it helps point out that we tend to confuse cultural markers with economic ones. So, e.g., see John's upthread triumphant identification of my middle-classness by virtue of the fact that my sister and I had a horse for a few months and lived in a homeowner's association (both economic markers) while ignoring some of the other things that very clearly marked us, in our middle-class milieu, as not-middle-class.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:51 PM
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Pens win, not that anyone cares. Jesus, sometimes it is a Pittsburgh echo camber in here.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:52 PM
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I see your 18 inch powerbook, I know what you paid for it

There's no 18 inch, and they're not called powerbooks anymore. What are you, ethnic?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:52 PM
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264: I think false. I think it's that Apple has very successfully marketed themselves as a cultural signifer (including the signification that it *isn't* just a white thing--it's the computer of the hip, urban, multiracial Benetton class).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:53 PM
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A Baby Bjorn is also white (I mean, hello, "Bjorn"?) but it does put you a little lower in the Best Parent hierarchy than the sling (though higher than if you're pushing a crying baby in a stroller like that JRoth person).

This is a wonderfully precise and absolutely accurate account of the political economy of parental status as registered by modes of baby mobility.

Infant feeding (breast or bottle? and when, if ever, to introduce cereal? and whether or not to use a pacifier?) is another area where seemingly innocuous practices are heavily marked along lines of class/race/ethnicity.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:54 PM
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hip, urban, multiracial Benetton class).

Isn't this exactly who SWPL describes? I'm getting dizzy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:55 PM
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What are you, ethnic?

No, no, "ethnic" is a word of the hip, urban, multiracial Benetton class.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:55 PM
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[Sneaking away from helping a friend pack to check on this thread].

As in, 113 is clueless snobbery, or the opposite? I'm just trying to get my bearings here.

It is a clearer, more sympathetic, and more humane version of "wealth and privilege have not entirely squandered their opportunities" -- an argument that I am sympathetic to, but realize is somewhat problematic.

Essentially I agreed with everything you wrote in 113, but that agreement is only part of position in this thread.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:55 PM
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276: Right, because being a member of that class is very important to a certain kind of whiteness that doesn't like being identified as white.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:56 PM
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That third quarter was freaking great. Go Pens!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:58 PM
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279: So Apple products are SWPL, just with the triple-reverse-whammy. Got it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:58 PM
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will comes through! I might've known.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:02 PM
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270.1: No one said it did.

139: It's to point out that, in fact, the things you like do actually mark you ethnically. That white doesn't just mean "just be who you are," even though white people insist that *they* are "free" of race.

I read you as saying exactly that. That unless White People feel angst over buying organic vegetables, then they're pretending to be "free" of race.

It's saying something that *should* be utterly banal, but judging by the number of people who go all OMG THAT IS SO NOT EVEN TRUE, it's not.

I'd be curious to see how many people here you'd identify as saying "OMG that is so not true." My recollection is that a handful of commenters have, on some level, disputed the white privilege critique. The remainder have said that it's not funny, not well-targeted, or some flavor of counter-productive. You have, every time, lumped all those people into a category of humorless people who deny the existence of white privilege.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:02 PM
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Sorry, Sybil, I'm too caught up in arguing with your coblogger to exult in the success of your co-Pittsburghers.

Thank god it won't be a sweep.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:04 PM
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278: OK, good - I thought what I'd said was on-point to your comment.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:05 PM
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To the extent that "white" has often been mistakenly taken for a universal category, and that this has not been a good thing, then I'm for pointing that out. But to the extent that this turns into a practice of trying to fit everything into a scheme of racial categories, such that there's very little space for thinking about things outside of racial categories, and that you start racializing things without particular regard for the race of the people whose markers are being racialized, I can't say that's a good thing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:07 PM
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the hip, urban, multiracial Benetton class.

I think what you're looking for is "cosmopolitan". Which can be elitist, in denial, and of course on the higher end of the income and/or cultural class spectrum. Mix and match those as you will: there are all kinds. They aren't necessarily White People, if that matters.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:08 PM
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I was screaming during the third quarter.

Mainly bc the game was on regular tv. Non-cable people unite!!!

Great hits too!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:09 PM
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I know, right? Versus sucks.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:10 PM
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I had the impression that if Versus hadn't picked up the NHL, no one else would have for the US market. ESPN didn't want it anymore.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:11 PM
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That unless White People feel angst over buying organic vegetables, then they're pretending to be "free" of race.

It's not that White People should feel angst so much as that White People should not feel entitled to not feel angst, is what I believe.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:12 PM
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That strike fucked a lot of shit up. I guess. I don't know, I don't really car about hockey at all. I didn't even notice the season didn't happen that one year. I just care about the 412. Th Pens coach looks like a used car salesman.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:12 PM
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should not feel entitled to not feel angst s/b just "enwhiteled"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:15 PM
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I didnt watch hockey until I played in a hockey league. I hadnt realized how hard it was.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:15 PM
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Oh wow, I've been scouring the Earth for a SWPL thread to argue in. Sadly, now that I've found one, I find that everything I would have said has already been said by JRoth, that fucker. I hope the Pens lose.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:15 PM
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that is "should not be enwhiteled"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:15 PM
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Ugh. That is sending me straight to bed, Walt.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:16 PM
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Wait, shit - the game was on free TV? Goddamnit.

Th Pens coach looks like a used car salesman.

Would you like to buy this beautiful LaRaque? Hardly used at all?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:18 PM
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295:I hope the Pens lose.

Well they may have won through the first three quarters, but there is always the fourth.

The NHL is pretty much made of pure fail when it comes to TV. (This year the first three games of the series coincided with Detroit Pistons games in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

It was a great hockey game tonight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:19 PM
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I think I just ruined hockey for Sybil. I'm a bad man.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:22 PM
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White People should not feel entitled to not feel angst, is what I believe.

Well, again, I just feel like most White People are feeling angst. I take the point that there's a smugness to recycling or shopping local that responds to that angst, but, if you're looking for a group of privileged people who feel no angst about that privilege, Whole Foods isn't the first place you should look*.

* I know this is the "other people are worse" defense, and it's disreputable. But if the SWPL critique comes down to, "Feel guilty, dammit," then it's barking up the wrong tree (pretty sure Feeling Guilty is, in fact, on SWPL).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:22 PM
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You know, I grew up watching hockey on TV, and love it. I never saw a live game until in my teens. I don't quite get the "it doesn't work on TV" argument. I mean, my mom learned to watch on broadcast B&W, fer cryin' out loud. It's a great game. I wish it were still on free TV.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:24 PM
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When did this NBA game get close?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:26 PM
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It's the old debate over liberal guilt, then? aka white guilt? Damn right, no easy answer, so on and so forth.

Hockey -- my cats used to love watching it on tv. The black thing, I believe they call it a puck, darting about on a white screen.

The radio is playing Tubular Bells! The whole thing!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:30 PM
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Speaking of white guilt, I have finally had to accept about myself that I like "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake. I'm less embarrassed by the fact that I've seen Rush three times in concert.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:36 PM
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hip, urban, multiracial Benetton class

Conversation between me and an Indian, lesbian mom lawyer:

Ilml: There's this magazine you'd like. It's called Colors.
Me: The Benetton one?
Ilml: No. This one has really neat design and interesting articles.
Me: yup. That's put out by Benetton.
Ilml: Noooooooo!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:39 PM
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When you've got five players on defense and the other team has four on offense, is it really a good idea to foul?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:40 PM
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Dot or feather, you wonder? Dot. Though not actually bedotted.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:40 PM
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I played hockey growing up, but you see a very different game from the level of the rink. I grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights, which would join a game in the 2nd period. And the playoffs would be shown complete. Yes, black & white, and somewhat slower, more positional play as old games on ECL make clear.

But in the late seventies I saw a few games at the old Chicago Stadium, and realized how much I'd been missing. The excitement and tension, the impact of the bright glare of the ice and the darkness of the stands, the sheer noise. I was woozy with the intensity of it, of something I'd been emersed in for much of my life without ever feeling on that level.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:53 PM
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I used to have* a really great pair of loose, wide-legged pants from Benetton, in a saffron color. Made out of what, I don't know. I loved those pants.

* Okay, they weren't mine. They were my (ex)boyfriend's, and I stole achieved possession of them for a while, 'til he took them back. It was one of the few things over which we were just like, "Look, no. I know, but no."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:55 PM
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emersed

Canadian...or wrong?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:59 PM
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We watched the last 6.5 minutes, which were pretty good, even "my" team didn't win. Only hockey I've seen all year.

I can't spend any time worrying about whether something I want to buy/do is swipple -- if I'm interested in it, it's pretty much swipplish by definition.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:00 PM
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My sister's Facebook is ... 'is not giving up on the PENS and neither should you!'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:01 PM
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immersed; you should always assume wrong.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:07 PM
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if I'm interested in it, it's pretty much swipplish by definition.

This is what we're terrified of! Trapped, trapped, I tell you! Even liking my scarves, though half of them are hippie, is swipplish, I'm told! Next they'll tell me that drum circles are swipplish, and I'll begin to become suspicious. I'll have to go down to the docks to check on the state of things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:18 PM
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I consider all my residual hippie preferences to be well within the swipple mainstream. And I can't say that I care at all.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:24 PM
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I only like stuff that black people like. But once I like it, that means I can't like it any more. It's tragic, but at least I've beaten the system.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:26 PM
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316, 317: It is a drag.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:35 PM
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I think what you're looking for is "cosmopolitan". Which can be elitist, in denial, and of course on the higher end of the income and/or cultural class spectrum. Mix and match those as you will: there are all kinds. They aren't necessarily White People, if that matters.

Ah, they may not be white, but by doing things culturally associated with privileged people, and thus with people who are likely to be white, their activities constitute a "kind of whiteness", as described in 279.

Or I think that's the point. Why anyone would make that point in a cosmopolitan venue like this is unclear.

White, privileged, rich, bourgeois, coast-dwelling, latte-sipping, eco-conscious, liberal-guilt-laden, and enwhitled are all synonyms, up until the very second at which they are no longer presumed to be statistically correlated with each other on a population level, at which point they can become opposites, or they can become words with no particular relation to each other.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:35 PM
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I tried to read back through the thread and gradually realized I wasn't going to be able to figure out what was at stake, who was on what side, where the disagreement was, etc. Just a giant swirling miasma of meta-whiteness.

I have no idea what people are talking about any more. Just, everybody should be aware of who they are and ideally proud of that as well.

White People should not feel entitled to not feel angst, is what I believe.

Huh? Can this be serious?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:40 PM
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301: The response is probably: You aren't feeling guilty enough ! You have wasted your white privilege even if you have made amazing progress.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:45 PM
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317: Black people like going to the barber, right ?


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:47 PM
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322: Do they? I'll write that down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:51 PM
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320.1: Nah, B. just threw a bomb and decided to run around in the aftermath. Mass confusion. (Read NickS & JRoth's posts, not in backwards order, before that; dies out by 150 or so.)

320.last: I couldn't quite make that out either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:58 PM
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I just took parsimon's advice, and I just noticed the genius phrase "Arthur Gordon Pym ghostly white".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 11:03 PM
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323: They do, but there are exceptions. They can make a choice to go to any other of the large number of stores, but there is no rule.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 11:06 PM
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I look forward to a day on unfogged when mention of SWPL doesn't lead to 300 extremely boring and earnest comments.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 2:04 AM
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Btw, s3xx0r mix added in the Program music thread.

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_8779.html#850387


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 4:06 AM
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327: Ben is looking forward to the day when unfogged shuts down?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 4:30 AM
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Stuff Gay People Like:
1. Bodum
2. Racism


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:24 AM
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331 oh, really?
i don't know much about gay culture, i thought it's the most tolerant culture maybe after buddhism
so i was wrong?
so what you said is you'll never sleep with brown people, right? coz if to take the tolerant part of the culture there will be left like one's bed preferences only
i maybe wrong though, may be there are other nuances which are beyond my perception
oh yeah those glasses, aesthetics are big part of life

/response on maybe a joke


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:42 AM
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i meant to address to 330 :(
stupid, shouldn't be that irritable in the mornings


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:46 AM
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Stuff Gay Buddhists Like:
Everything!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:52 AM
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so what you said is you'll never sleep with brown people, right?

Ummm, that's one way to interpret my remark.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:52 AM
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I hear "Oliver" in Zsa Zsa Gabor's voice. YMMV.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:56 AM
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Don't worry, read. I'm sure Rottin' is just as fond of black cock as the rest of us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 5:56 AM
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Awesome big black cock.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 6:00 AM
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That will be the SWPL entry that makes Random House reconsider its decision: #109: BLACK COCK


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 6:00 AM
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Stuff Gay People Like: [...] 2. Racism

Except they do racism with such a cutting sense of humor that I'm willing to give it a pass.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 6:08 AM
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Oh my, Apo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 6:16 AM
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I hear "Oliver" in Zsa Zsa Gabor's voice. YMMV.

That'd be Eva Gabor, star of Green Acres with Eddie Albert, whose character, a lawyer trying to get back to the land, was named Oliver Wendell Douglas.

Zsa Zsa, her sister, was mostly famous as a wacky guest on Jack Paar's Tonight Show. Their personae were essentially indistinguishable.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 6:43 AM
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Poor Magda, always the forgotten one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:02 AM
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341 -- Thanks for the correction. I guess I knew it was Eva at the time, but I'm not sorry to find that my brain has found better uses for the mental energy that would be required to maintain cognizance of the distinctness of the Gabor sisters.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:08 AM
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342: Poor Magda, always the forgotten one.

Certainly by me, apparently she got sloppy seconds on George Sanders for a six month marriage in 1970 (he had been married to Zsa Zsa years earlier).

Which provides an excuse to quote Sanders' great suicide note: Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:19 AM
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Now that all the rehashed debates about whiteness have died down a bit, I feel comfortable saying that that's a really nice-looking glass.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:27 AM
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They work great, too, JM. Don't let the haters (or whatever they are; I opted to skip the middle third or so of this thread) get you down.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:34 AM
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345: I feel comfortable saying that that's a really nice-looking glass.

That is OK, assuming you gave that judgment due "consideration and reflection".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:41 AM
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I haven't looked up the price yet. If it's really ezpensive, I might decide that it's too fancy-frou-frou.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:42 AM
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No, still looks pretty good to me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 7:45 AM
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I think that SWPL threads should be elevated to the emoticon category, and anyone who mentions the site again should be tracked down and made into soap.

Unless they're Jewish, I guess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 8:17 AM
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that's one way to interpret
i thought about it and think that maybe i couldn't marry for example someone outside my ethnicity too, unless i fall in love like madly with the person, then the skin colour or class or religion maybe doesn't matter
and one's conditions disfavor that possibility usually
this does not mean that other race people are not people exactly like me and sure i would treat them without prejudice in any given situation
though my perception of them is like ogged said the other day of not 'real' people
just gay and racism sounded so incompatible, but sure gay are ordinary people, it's maybe just their sexual orientation that is different, they can be right or religious or monogamous and sure there may be bigots among them too


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 8:21 AM
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351: Andrew Sullivan is perhaps the canonical gay racist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 8:25 AM
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And Bruce Bawer.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 9:50 AM
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Pim Fortuyn.


Posted by: Yes, I know he's become a martyr | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 10:01 AM
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Ayn Rand


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 10:10 AM
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Wayne Brady


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 10:11 AM
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Noel Coward


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 10:14 AM
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Roy Cohn? J. Edgar Hoover?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 10:16 AM
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Look at the comments on this one. Looks like some girls don't appreciate irony.

http://bestparentever.com/2008/05/26/36-breastfeeding/


Posted by: Twinkle | Link to this comment | 05-29-08 3:39 PM
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