Sunday, February 17, 2008
(3:58 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
White People Are Boring and EarnestI find the Unfogged discussion of Stuff White People Like bothersome. Indeed, I used the discussion as an opportunity to point out that Unfogged had "been overrun by boring, earnest people."
The commenters who obviously fell into the demographic the blog designates as "white people" -- namely, rootless cosmopolitans -- had many objections, but the root of it seemed to be a simple lack of self-awareness: "We really do have our heart in the right place and, even if we sometimes fail to live up to our convictions, we really do things better than other groups." The fact that rootless cosmopolitans instinctively embrace such an attitude is, in fact, the underlying theme of the entire site.
So let me be boring and earnest: Despite their claim to love irony and all other manifestations of self-consciousness, the "white people" described by the site are fundamentally blind to the fact that their lifestyle represents not "sustainability," not "everyday activism," not "progress," but rather their membership in a particularly lucrative marketting niche. Among the products "white people" can and do buy is a sense of moral superiority. Only someone who had already paid good money for their moral righteousness could fail to understand this simple point.