Authors@Google: Christian Lander

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 20.12.2010

female narrator: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today on this lovely,
Friday afternoon. Making a stop during his book tour
of his second novel "Whiter Shades of Pale : the Stuff
White People Like Coast to Coast from Seattle Sweaters to Maine's Microbrews." Authors at
Google is thrilled to host Christian for the second
time. Please join me in giving a warm and hardy welcome to veteran, white person, Christian
Lander. [audience applause.]
Christian Lander: Awesome! Hey, guys. Thanks for having me back again. This is awesome.
So, last time I spoke I to you guys was in the
summer of 2008, and up until that point I told you the sort of
story of how the blog started off as a joke with my friend Miles. The Filipino racist
that I consider one of my best friends, a proud racist. And how
it just went from basically an idea on January 18, 2008 to the
New York Times Best Seller by July 14, 2008. It's a pretty, wild story on the way up you
can hear all about it on my last talk which is fairly easy
for most of you people here to access.
But since that day, since I was last here, a few things have happened to me some very
interesting things. So, all throughout 2008 I kept thinking
to myself every day this blog can't get any bigger, you
know, the book, this can't get any bigger , this can't get any bigger. and then I talked
to Google and I was like this really can't get any bigger.
And then in August of 08 after I'd left here, my publicist got a
call from the Conan O'Brien Show or Late Night with Conan O'Brien . And they said Christian,
Conan would like to have you on as a guest.
Now, this completely blew my mind, because I had spent so much of my life-I mean-I have
a personal vendetta against tall guys. Because I really-there's
a number of reasons-but one I feel like they've had
an easier life than me across-the-board with everything: Sports, women, career, whatever.
It's been easier.
So like, I always liked to say life worked out pretty well for me at a driver's license
5'9". You can think about that for a minute. But a realistic
5'8", but you know, if I was , you know, for every inch
taller I would have been, my life would have been 30% better. And so, things worked out
great at 5'8", but at 6'1", I would have taken over for Conan.
So, I'm so excited to meet him, he gets a pass on the tall person thing because he's
funny. But also because he has red hair, and he knows the
pain that we both went through as children. Specifically the
nursery rhymes about the color of our pubic hair. If any of you have redheaded friends,
check this one out, it happened. And so, I'm actually going
to be on the show, and this is in 08 and I'm freaking out.
I'm like Oh my God! This is incredible. I'm gonna be on Conan O'Brien, I can't believe
it. So, they're like , Yep, this is definitely going to happen.
September 6, 2008, it's booked. There is a 100% chance this is
happening. They cannot take it away from you.
I'm like Oh my God! This is amazing. So, every day I would go to the NBC website, and I'd
hit refresh a thousand times a day, because like I wanted
to find out who the real celebrities that are going to be on
the show. Because it could be anybody, right? So I'm like refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh,
and it comes up. And the guest that day is Jerry
O'Connell .Now, this may not impress all of you, but this was
a big deal to me for a number of reasons.
Reason #1: The TV show, "Sliders". No one watched it, I guess. Uh... it's a great show.
Reason #2: Jerry was on a Canadian TV show when I was growing up, and I'm from Canada,
called My Secret Identity. And the show was about
him as a teenager with superpowers. Specifically the
superpowers of being able to run really, really quickly and fly if he sprayed two aerosol
cans down towards the ground. I should remind you that
Canadian television is heavily subsidized by our government,
and while sometimes, it will give us a Degrassi; other times it will give us "My Secret Identity".
So, I was super thrilled about that. Like, I'm really excited, I'll have Slider's, I'll
have that. All this stuff was great, but there was one other reason
I why was thrilled about this one. One massive reason why.
Please tell me you guys have see the movie Stand by Me. Right? Yes, okay. So in the movie,
Stand by Me, Jerry O'Connell is a fat kid. And this
is especially important because I was a fat kid. And here's
where it's going. Jerry O'Connell grew up to marry a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model.
So he is literally a hero to every fat kid on earth. That you
can be this chubby at 13 and still grow up and marry a
swimsuit model. So, I was so thrilled that I was going to get to go on the show, and
I was going to meet my fat kid hero. Like I couldn't wait.
And then the other guest was Tim Gunn from "Project Runway".
So, totally excited about meeting Jerry, this is going to be the greatest thing in the world
and so I get to New York September 6, 2008. And I'm just-
I'm freaking out and I'm in my dressing room. And the
dressing room's really, really small, and I just remember in front of me was a plate
of cookies, and I just remember looking at the cookies thinking
to myself, don't eat them you'll throw up, don't
eat them you'll throw up and as a former fat kid I really wanted the cookie. I'm like,
I want the cookie. Don't eat it you will throw up, don't
eat it you'll throw up, don't eat it you'll throw up. So, I
didn't touch the cookies, I just left them there. And I'm just totally, totally trying
not to vomit. And my agent comes up to me and he says listen man,
you're going to be fine. Don't worry you can do this, I
believe in you.
Okay, okay, I can do it. And so once I get my head together, I started thinking, what
are you supposed to do when you're backstage at a late night show.
Like I've never been to one before, I don't know what
the etiquette is. Like can I go over to Jerry's dressing room. You know, and kind of start
talking to him. Not on his door and the like-bam, bam, bam-
Hey uh Jerry, remember when you were- remember when you were fat? Ha Right? Can I do that,
really? And then I start having this weird paranoia. Like oh, my god. And if I do that,
and it doesn't go well he is going to go on the show and be like- Conan, you have a weird,
fat kid obsessed guy back there. You need to call
security as soon as possible and get him out of here.
And so I'm like, I'm just not going to do it. I'm going to pretend like I'm cool, I'm
going to pretend like I've been here before, I'm
just going to stay in my dressing room, I'm just going to stay here until I go on the
show. And so I'm waiting, I'm waiting and waiting, and all of a sudden
there is a knock at my door, and I look over. And it's Jerry O' Connell.
And he points at my agent and goes "Are you the guy? Are you the stuff white people like
guy? Are you the stuff white people like guy? "
My agent goes, "No, him." And I'm about to open my mouth to say something about how great
he was in "Can't Hardly Wait".
And he goes "Oh my god. I read that blog all the time; it's so funny. Oh. It's hilarious."
I'm trying to get one more really, and he keeps talking about how much he loves it,
"Oh it so funny all the entries. Oh. It is so great pictures where
you get those they're incredible."
I'm like yeah. Sure. Okay. He is like "Look, man. Stick around after the show. There's
some people I want you to meet. But I got to go." -wwisshhh and he's gone. And I just
look at my agent and I'm like "Man, I think I just met Jerry O'Connell. This is
And he's like "You're fine man. It's going to be alright." So then Jerry O'Connell goes
on the show. He is absolutely hilarious. He's fantastic. And
then Tim Gunn goes on the show, and he is great. Then it's my
turn to go on the show. Now, everything that I tell you from this point on is based on
the Tivo'd episode of the show because I blacked out the whole
time I was on there. I don't remember any of this
happening. I remember walking out and I remember getting off the stage. So all this from the
TiVo'd episode.
So, I get out there, and you have to understand the layout of the show. Conan was here, I'm
here, Tim Gunn's here, and Jerry O'Connell's here. So
you get the layout, it's like 3 couch- I'm closest to Conan,
Tim Gunn, Jerry O'Connell. So, I'm out there and the first question Conan asks me, "So,
Christian , what are some things white people like?" I go,
"Well, you know, farmer's markets." Right?
And Conan's like, "Yeah, we do." And Tim Gunn's like, "Uh Huh." And Jerry O'Connell's going
like, "Oh, my god! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard!
Oh, that's where I get my onions."
Right? And so I look over and I'm like, man, this is going great. And then Conan asks me
another Question, "Well, Christian, we've got Tim
Gunn on the show tonight. What are some clothes that white
people like?"
And I'm about to open my mouth and about to say something when I feel a hand, and I'm
wearing a cardigan sweater at the time, because I wear a lot
of cardigans. And I feel a hand pinching me. And I look over
and Jerry O'Connell has reached over Tim Gunn and is pinching my cardigan, looking me in
the eye and is going, "Sweaters, white people like sweaters.
Say sweaters." And I always try to tell myself- like you know what, I am the guy who could
be cool enough to be like "Yeah, hey Conan, Jerry's right, we like sweaters."
No, I'm looking at my fat kid hero reaching over a reality television superstar, pinching
me on national television . And so I just look at him like
[gasping]. I go back to Conan, I-I got nothing, I'm
reaching back I got nothing. I go, [gulps] "Um, shorts." And Jerry hits the floor.
He's like, "Oh, my god! We wear them too early. That's so funny." And I just look at him like,
man this is the greatest interview ever. And then I look
at Tim Gunn and I'm like, "Well maybe not." And go back to
Conan, we keep talking, the interview finishes, and I'm like, oh my god, that was incredible.
I was just on Late Night with Conan O'Brian. I need to
call some ex-girlfriends. Because I will tell you if you ever
do anything that gets marginally famous, the first thing you'll think about is I need to
call some ex- girlfriends. And so I'm back stage and I hear
that huge voice. "Christian, Christian!" I go-"Huh". And I turn around, and it's Jerry
O'Connell. And he goes, "Oh, man, that was the funniest thing ever out there. It was
awesome. Here are those people I wanted you to meet. It's my parents."
In my head I'm like, I didn't know we were at this stage in the relationship yet, Jerry.
But um all right. And so, all of a sudden, his phone rings and
he is like I've got to take this. So now on alone backstage of the
Conan O'Brien show with Jerry Connell's parents, and thank God they filmed that show in Toronto
where I grew up. Because we just talked about intersections and it filled the horribly awkward
silence that was beginning to set in, and Jerry comes
back. And he is like, "Oh, man that is so funny that is so
hilarious. Let me get your info when we get back to L.A., let's all hang out." And I'm
like, yeah sure Jerry. So I take down the info, and, you know, and
I leave, and I'm thinking to my myself.
It's super awesome that I have this information, but like how do you ever contact him again,
and in not a weird way. Like hey man, remember me? You
know like super weird. So, like where does it come
from? I let it go and I thought that was a really awesome experience and I may or may
not have a fake e-mail address here, but I'm just going to
go back home and everything is going to be fine.
So, I go back home. A couple of weeks later, I get invited to be on "Later" with Carson
Daly. Where I was the headliner. It's a pretty big-time show,
if you can't tell, and everyone was really nice though. But it
was kind of weird to be like the top billing. So, I get there and I'm in my dressing room
and everything's great and I look on the wall and on the wall is a picture of Jerry O'Connell
singing. And my wife goes to me, she's like look you are never ever
going to find another non-weird opportunity to send him an e-mail. You need to write something
I'm like, Okay, okay, okay, I'm going to do it. So I take my phone out and I write a quick
message. I'm just like, "Hey, Jerry. I don't know if you remember me, we were on Conan
O'Brien together a couple of weeks ago. I'm back stage
at Carson Daly's, because I'm going to be on the show
tonight and there is a picture of you in the dressing room. Thought it was kind of funny.
Christian." Send.
Boop- Awesome, I'm Tivoing it right now. Jerry. And so, I'm just looking at my phone being
like, what has happened to my life. Like nine months
ago, I was goofing around on the Internet with Miles, and
now I might have to get a restraining order against my fat kid hero. This is insane.
And so that was happening in 2008. I couldn't believe it. So I'd been on Conan O'Brien.
I'd been on Carson Daly. And it was absolutely insane.
And so the book kept doing really, really well. And then really interesting thing happened
with the book, was licensed to do some international editions. So the book went to Australia, where
it was a best seller. It just sold really well in Australia.
There's white people there. Uhh. It sold really well in the
U. K. as well, believe it or not also. White people there. And it was translated into Dutch,
and the amazing thing about the Dutch, they are a
clever people. They, you know, reclaimed all that water .
You know, they know they know what they're doing. Their book is "Stuff White People Like"
It- I don't speak Dutch. But you know. If you speak Dutch you can translate it roughly.
And their cover, instead of the big thumbs up, which I refer
to as the universal white gang sign. You know what I mean.
Like "Yeah!" It's like we recognize each other. You know, they actually have a mirror on the
book so when you hold it up it says "Stuff White People
So, the Dutch are sharp. They are very, very sharp. I appreciate what they did. But it
was really weird to see all my words translated into a different
language. And then this year, this is 100% happening,
this is not made up, this is 100% legitimate, the book is being translated into Japanese.
And... but there's like a million foot notes, you know what I
mean, to explain like the sarcasm and all that stuff. But that
doesn't prevent me from every day, every single day, I have a dream it's going to become a
textbook. I have this fantasy, and it's a recurring fantasy,
of being at the airport at LAX, Tom Bradley International
Terminal. I see Japanese businessmen coming out of the terminal, wearing Fleet Foxes T-shirts,
you know I mean. And leaning forward and go, "What
is organic coffee? " [Japanese accent] Alright? And then
like, then later on I'm at the coffee shop and I see them having a business meeting and
they're flipping through the book and their like, "Oh so, Frisbee
sports?" You know, "Your son is gifted?" You know,
and then somehow being able to negotiate a better deal with the American business. And
you know, it's my small part to create a trade imbalance
between the two nations. I just, I just dream every day
that that is going to happen. It is just unbelievable all the stuff that's happened in terms of
the book.
And then an amazing thing happened. The book was optioned to become a TV show. And I was
hired to write it with a really great director.
It wasn't awesome process. It didn't go anywhere. That's sort of
just how television works. But the concept of the show was the wrong kind of white guy,
learning how to become the right kind of white guy from
a black guy. And, you know, the black guy carried around a
moleskin notebook with all of these notes that he's learned from all of his time with
white people. It stemmed from the fact that when I started
the site so many people thought that was black. And you
know what I mean. Then when they found out I was a white Canadian, they were super disappointed.
Literally, the exact disappointment I felt at 13 years old, you know I mean. Like dammit
I'm a white Canadian, I wish I was something else. And
it's been funny, actually I've met a lot of black people who've
come up to me, they're like, "You know what man? Come on. This is kind of ridiculous.
We've been saying this for years. Why didn't one of us
write it down?" And so, that would have been the TV show, it
would have been really funny, the whole thing was going to be set at like a Tom's of Maine.
Or you know I mean like a Burt's Bees type company
with a tag line "Saving the World through Vanity", which
is sort of the joke, but sadly, ultimately, you know, it-it-it didn't happen.
And then the other thing that happened that was kind of unexpected with the site is the
spin-offs. There have been so many spin-off sites it's
unbelievable. Three books have actually been published:
"Stuff Christians Like" was published, "Stuff Midwesterners Like" was published, "Stuff
Hipsters Hate" was published. And these are just like all; these
are people who got book deals basically using this concept.
And then the sites itself that have spun out of this are amazing. There is: Stuff Black
People Like, Stuff Latinos Like, Stuff Asian People Like, Stuff
Gay People Like, Stuff Gay Parents Like, Stuff Hill People
Like, Stuff Unemployed People Like, Stuff Hollywood Assistants Like, Stuff Dutch People
Like, Stuff Australian People Like, Stuff Korean People
Like, and so forth and so forth and it keeps going and a
few of them really stand out as brilliant. In Australia, they made a site called Stuff
Bogans Like, and-and we have in Australian knows what that is.
The rough translation is it's kind of like a frat boy, but it's
really hard to find a one to one translation. So basically it's stuff frat boys like, but
they also created a website called Stuff Goths Hate that just
redirects back to the Stuff Bogans Like website. And I'm just
like, man, why didn't I think of that?
And then there's another site that someone created, and I actually got to meet the creator
of it and I-I just almost punched him out of jealousy. He
created a site called White Stuff People Like. And its
entries were like: sugar and cocaine and plaster. And I was like damn it, man. I could have
had two. It would just take a little word swap and I would
have had two. So you know, this was sort of the wild
ride that happened. In the last couple of years I've actually had time to think about
answering the questions that people ask me like, why did
the site get so popular? Why did the book get so popular?
What happened? And I keep thinking back to it. I mean, luck is obviously a huge part
of it, but I realized that it was basically two things helped the
site grow.
1. Were people who would get to the website and they'd start clicking on it. And they'd
look through it, and they'd be like okay, yeah, I like
that, all right, yeah I like sushi, who doesn't like sushi? all right I
got it. okay, yeah I like kitchen gadgets. okay, hold on let me just take a look at the
full list here. Oh my god! Did I leave my webcam on? What the hell's
going on here? And it's sort of that fun and horror. Oh
yeah the World Cup is coming up. Uh, you know, like that sort of horror that like my entire
life has been spelled out in this list and sort of sharing
that experience. So, that was one reason why it got popular.
But I think the other reason it got popular and why it got sent around so quickly were
people going to the site going like yep, yep, yep, yep, yep,
yep, I know this asshole, hang on. Forward-Forward, title:
Think you're unique? Send. Boom. And it went from there. It was like a giant check to white
people. And so I think those were-those were some
of the nominal reasons why I think it got big. Those are
the surface reasons, but there were, I think some marginally intelligent reasons behind
why it got popular.
And I think the first reason why is this whole concept of being white. Now, I always like
to say- you don't have to be white to be white, you just
have to be rich. And so to further illustrate that point in
the new book, the regional white person for San Francisco is actually an Asian woman.
That's how I explain the power of San Francisco, a city
so white it can turn other races white. It's incredible. And so
this idea all came from my high school experiences.
So, I grew up in Toronto, Canada went to a very interesting high school called Jarvis
Collegiate. And it is right downtown Toronto. To give you an idea
of how the school worked, we were this amazing, amazing school that drew students from the
richest neighborhood in Toronto, Rosedale; two middle
class neighborhoods, and two of the poorest neighborhoods in Toronto, a housing project
and a place for mostly new immigrants called Jamestown.
We all ended up going to the same high school. And
what was really amazing was that literally every ethnic conflict on Earth played itself
out at my high school. Specifically the wrestling mat, because
we had a gym teacher with a political science degree,
and he thought it was funny to have Tamils and Sri Lankans wrestle each other or to have
Serbs and Croats wrestle each other. And it was believe
it or not actually fantastic, no one ever got seriously hurt,
but when Ned and Marco were on the mat. BOOM! Everyone just poured into the gym to watch
it happen. And so we had this really amazing
mix of sort of immigrants and-before I get back to that,
there's another thing about my high school that was interesting.
We were also um- our football field was very interesting. It wasn't a full size football
field. And I was on the football team. And I was actually a
two year varsity starter at offensive line. That's what
happens when your school is mostly made up of, you know, Chinese and Sri Lankan immigrants.
I am actually one of the fatter guys at the school.
And so, we would practice in the mornings, and the
amazing thing about the school was the area around the field was the main ring for transvestite
prostitutes in the city of Toronto. And so we practiced really early in the morning when
they were ending their shift, and some interesting things
happened. On one hand, they were prostitutes, but on
the other hand they were also Canadian and they had a sense of humor. And so in the morning,
you know, the offensive line would get ready and
every time we would bend over, they whistled at us.
And I always say as a 15 year old boy this causes you to come to grips with your sexuality
awfully quickly. Because you realize you have options. For
the record, I did not have sex with any transvestite prostitutes in high school. And so, back to
the school, so back to Jarvis Collegiate, this amazing mix of
races and cultures all coming together into one place. And what was interesting is it's
Canada, so we had for example we had first generation immigrants
who were brand new to Canada, but we also had
third generation Chinese-Canadians, fourth generation Indo-Canadians, etc. so, all in
one place. And what was amazing that if you liked anything
on the list from the first book or anything on the list from
this book, you were called white. You were called a banana, an Oreo, a coconut, or whatever
foodstuff related to your skin color and had a white
center at the middle of it. And this was just a lesson of Jarvis.
We just knew that was going to be the case, and you were called that by your own people
And so there was one guy at my school, a guy named Long, and was a great guy, but he was
third generation Chinese-Canadian. Long was the
guy who wore shorts way too early. In the city you don't
need to break them out in April. He'd break them out in February. Long wore Teva sandals
all the time, he played hacky sack every single day.
He had a backpack- like a big back pack, he went camping
all the time. He had one of those necklaces, like they were thick and had a random bead
here and then like another one here, no symmetry to it.
You know, he liked jam bands, right. And so every day,
every day at school, Long got called a banana over and over and over again. And the thing
about it was Long in no way, in no way was ashamed to be
Chinese. It wasn't that Long was trying to become white, Long
was just rich. And so because of that, that's where he acquired these tastes, and that's
where acquired the unflattering knick name. And
so that in and of itself was sort of this commentary on
whiteness that was coming through in the book.
Again, that you don't really have to be white, but what's incredible is that it is this group
of people, these progressive, these left wing progressives,
who believe that we are the most progressive people
on Earth possibly the most progressive people in history. And yet our class is still so
overwhelmingly dominated by white people that I could put
a list out like "Stuff White People Like " and people get it
right away, people understand it right away. And so that in and of itself gives you a sense
of the level of progress that we've actually had in terms of the upper-middle class liberal
actually honestly diversifying. And so, when I bring that point up
to people, they're always like, well then you know, what's the solution, like what's
the fix to this? And I'm like look, I don't say I have an answer,
but have some things that white people should stop doing
that aren't making it any better.
And so specifically, one of the things that white people like to do is show off their
ethnic friends, and I don't think this is really helping at all because
ultimately you're not viewing them as a person; you're
viewing them as a Pokémon. And I have this belief that people do view their ethnic friends
like Pokémon. You know, gotta collect them all
and then eventually you know, you have a full set and you
get a little red globe or whatever. And it all- it all works out. But I kept saying like
that is not the solution. Having this group of ethnic friends
is not a racial solution, because all you're doing is saying
look at how progressive I am. It's still ultimately about you. It's not about your friends; It's
not about any progression. It's still about you, and
I just can't stop getting annoyed at white people that do this.
Because the more I write it and the more I realize from my one ridiculousness, because
I- I do the same thing, is a- is that all we want as white
people, like all we really live for is to eventually have, you
know, an old black guy come up to us and tap us on the shoulder and say, "You know what
man, you're one of the good ones." That would justify
our entire existence, literally everything that we do. I mean
ideally our dream is that Che Guevara would come back from the dead and be like "Man,
you're the good white people man. Yeah, I support what
you do. Hey, how did I get on that t-shirt?"
But the reality is if he came back I would be the first person he killed. I mean, it
would be like you're an asshole-BANG. And I would be done and a revolution would
start, but it didn't. When I just think about this whole
process it's just the ridiculousness of what we do and I just want to have this message
to white people: I just wanna tell them take a step
back, like relax for a second, stop patting yourself on the back, stop talking
about how great you are, stop doing everything about you, and try to do something positive.
And stop being so snobby. It's not helping. And
the truth is I thought writing these books and riding the
blog would actually help me stop being so snobby. It hasn't worked at all. I try my
best to listen, and I tried my best to be tolerant. And I
can't do it. And so I always say the snobbishness in white people
is so ingrained that we would rather have you root around in our medicine cabinet than
our bookshelf. Because you can go to rehab for Vicodin addiction;
you can't go to rehab for Dan Brown.
It's true. It's absolutely true. So I hope with the message it will come across to white
people is just take a step back and look around you. Stop being
so full of yourself. And easier said than done look at me.
And so, this is what's happened since I was last here. All this stuff is amazing it has
been fantastic. All of it has been overwhelmingly positive. But I would
be lying if I said everything that has happened has been
overwhelmingly positive. After all, I write on the Internet. And so, I always like to
people that don't fully get this about how dangerous, but how
quickly race wars escalate on the Internet is that if you were to
post a video on YouTube of a laughing, giggling baby, just 30 seconds, just baby's laughing,
it's adorable. Comments #1: What a cute baby. Comment #2: Fuck that white baby. Wait four
seconds; hit refresh. Eight thousand comments, every
ethnic slur in the world thrown back and forth from a laughing, giggling baby.
So you can imagine when you write about race and white people, what sort of response you
start to get. So I get a lot of people criticizing me, like outrageously criticizing me. So,
I have gotten an e- mail before that has come in and the e-mail
actually says: You piece of garbage, you're horrible, I hope you go to jail, and
get raped, and get AIDS, but die slowly so that you can watch the rest of your family
die from cancer. I hate you. Anonymous
And this e-mail came about because I had the audacity to say that white people like yoga.
Right, so imagine, just imagine how much hate is flowing through the Internet that this
is what's coming back to me. So, aside from the stupid
criticism the overly stupid criticism of wishing death
upon me for saying you know white people like Anthony Boardain, you know, this is like this
is what are dealing with. But the other criticism
that I usually get is people would write in and they would say
things like this is elitist, and so I'm like yeah I know. And then they would say you know
like I was saying before, I'm not white and I like all
of these things. And I'm like, well look man, don't worry about
it. First of all you are white, second of all-second of all I never said this site was
stuff only white people can like. It's still called "Stuff
White People like", and people generally get it after that.
But then can keep encountering the same criticism from the same idiot over and over and over
again. It's a guy who's like: Yeah, you know what
man, if you wrote a site called "Stuff Black People Like" it
would be racist. Boom! Like they think they've got me with something.
And I'm just going like, yeah, you know what, you're right. It
would be racist, but I wrote a site called "Stuff White People Like." Here's a picture.
Dude, it's okay. And when I write back, they're like, okay,
all right all right, I guess that kind of makes sense. But you
know what man, still, it so ridiculous. It's so unfair. It's like why is it always okay
to make fun of white people. I don't think that's fair, you know.
You can't make fun of black people, you can't make fun of
Latino. You can't make fun of Asians. Anyone can make fun of white people. That's ridiculous.
That's unfair.
And they're so angry at this perceived double standard. And I always write back and I say.
You know what? It is always perpetually for the rest
of time acceptable to make fun of white people. There is
never an instance when it is not appropriate to make of white people. And he's like, what
now wait, come on man, that's not true. And I'm like,
yes, it-it's very true. Let me explain why.
There is currently no ethnic slur for a white person that actually hurts, dead serious.
Anyone in here who is offended at being called a honky or
a cracker is reaching, okay. We actually are like-if someone
calls us one of that we're like, ooh, yes, is this what racism feels like? This is great.
Like, it is not genuinely offensive, it doesn't hurt. It's not rooted
in anything. It never-never hurts. Even like, old ethnic slurs
from the olden days that might have hurt in like the '20s or something don't hurt anymore,
because it all worked out great. And so, there is no
slur that you can use and this is why I make the joke. This is
why white people always get history degrees, because it always has a happy ending for them.
Think about it, but it's true.
And so then people are like, come on man. I get into fights with white people all the
time. They're so obnoxious. And I just it's just so unfair,
that honky-cracker thing they just want more, but it doesn't
work. Is there anything I can call them that hurts, is there anything out there that hurts?
And I'm like yeah, there is one thing. If you get into a fight with a white person
and it's escalating, and you just want to have that one thing
that one word and you reach back and you're like-BAM! You throw it on the table like a
trump card, call them average. Nothing will hurt them
more. That will sting with them for like a week. They're like,
why did he call me average? I need to talk to him about this. You will literally-if you
can ruin a vacation before a white person leaves if you call them
average. So that is the term , but that is also why it is
always acceptable to make fun of white people. So if you are not white, never shy away from
making fun of white people. Just go for it, it doesn't
hurt. You're going to be fine, don't even sweat it.
So the new book that's out is, "Whiter Shades of Pale": it's a regional guide to white people
across America and I was trying to think of a non-douchy
way to bring this up. But there really isn't. It was
recently reviewed in the New York Times... wait- what was the question? Yeah it
was reviewed in the New York Times. Thanks, I heard it coming in from the audience there
somewhere. Thank you. Thank you for bringing that up. And you know the New York Times called
it preternaturally excellent. No big deal, I
am getting that tattooed right actually over my belly like
"Tupac's Thug Life." I'm getting it done right over here. Sorry I had to bring that up, I
know it's douchy but it was like literally one of the biggest
moments of my life. It was awesome.
So it has all these regional sections on white people, so we have like the Washington, DC
white person, which is actually the Obama family. Because I make
the case that Obama, though he is our first black president,
is also our first white president. Because of the following, you know, he has an organic
vegetable garden, he drives a hybrid, he went to law
school, went to an Ivy League school, and he has the one
accessory all white people want black children. So first-first-first white president not black,
so yes, so that goes through out. And then you know we
have Minneapolis, and all that sort of stuff. And people
always ask me, well, so, how did you come up with this. How do you define a white city?
and I said anywhere where property values out strip income
is a white city. So, Portland, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas basically anyplace
where you wonder how can anyone afford to live there.
That is a white city. Hey San Francisco, hey San Jose, hey everywhere to Bakersfield. So-so
yes, this was the concept, it was this regional guide,
and it was really awesome. I got to have the drawings
done. Little regional drawings of the white people. It was really funny, I did a lecture
in Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas and when I got there, these two seniors, two
senior graphic designers had done 100 unique "Stuff White People Like"
posters for my appearance and I was just blown away.
Cause the logic was there like we're going to do it, it will be a portfolio piece for
our artwork eventually, but let's just do it and see if he likes it. And I got there
and I was blown away they were everywhere and they were
gorgeous, beautifully designed . I'm like, do you guys want to sell these on the website?
Yeah that would be incredible. And then when I got the idea to do this, I asked them do
you guys think you can do line drawings of obnoxious white
people? And they're like yeah I think we got this. And I
was so happy to have designers I could trust and I could work with . They did all the line-drawings
for the site and they are the ones for the book
and they're the ones who've really made this come alive. And I can't thank them
enough, it was awesome.
The regional was a bit of a change from the first one, and the other thing that was a
bit of a change was that I'm a little older now. So when I wrote the
first book I was 29 years old, and so my snobbery was
almost entirely dedicated to music. Like it was just, I literally spent like an hour every
day checking music blogs, and it was just so much work,
it was so exhausting and I was so frustrated by it all that by
the time I turned 30 I realized can't keep this up forever man. I'm exhausted. And I
noticed what had changed was after 30 you replace your music
snobbery with food snobbery . And the reason why we
do this as white people is that you can never be the oldest guy at a restaurant. You know
what I mean, like being at a concert looking around and
being like oh my god, everyone here is 23 years old.
Restaurant looking around your like all right, fitting right in, this is a fantastic. It's
like being at a craps table in Las Vegas. I don't know if any of
you play craps but if you go there and you're under 60
you're always the youngest guy there. It is awesome. You'll feel fantastic. So I realized
that my snobbery had really changed considerably,
and so I thought the book was going to reflect that. So
before I open up for questions I have a couple readings in here. They're good ones.
And you should have a point of pride because in the new book Google made it. It took a
long time figuring out how to get it in there, how I
was going to do it. Additionally, Google appears again, I have a section for "Acceptable Reasons
for a White Breakup". And had an @ e-mail
address was one of the things.
Because I mean, yeah I don't have to explain it any further. You guys all get that.
So there is a few other entries for San Francisco before I get to Google. So I'm going to read
three of them from the new book that I like.
"#58. Hating people who wear Ed Hardy. Often it can be easier to find common ground with
a white person by talking to them about something
you both hate. Discussing things you both like might lead
to an argument over who likes it more or who liked it first. Clearly the safest route is
mutual hatred. When choosing to talk about something that
white people hate, it's best to something that will allow white people to make clever
comments or at the very least to feel better about themselves.
Currently the easiest way to do that is to ask a white person
for their thoughts on people who wear Ed Hardy.
Ed Hardy is a clothing company that makes a wide range of expensive T-shirts, hoodies,
and jeans. These clothes are notable for their use of
elements from classic tattoo designs such as skulls, hearts,
and dragons. On the surface, the use of the words classic, tattoo, and T-shirt would suggest
a logical fit for White people, but that is not the case.
The right kind of white people hate these clothes
unilaterally, and it is advised that you merely accept that at face value. If you were to
ask a person to explain why a regular size dragon
logo is okay, but one that goes around the neck is not , you
would be trapped in an hour long and fruitless conversation.
To put this in proper perspective, Ed Hardy is so hated by White people that it can not
be worn ironically. This is no small feat. As it stands now, the only other things that
can't be worn ironically by White people are Nazi
uniforms, Ku Klux Klan robes, and self tanner.
Since you can not in good conscience have an Ed Hardy-themed party, the best way to
make use of this white hatred is to give your stories
a little more appeal to white people. For example, if you take
the reasonable but not compelling story, I got cut off in traffic this morning and when
I honked the guy gave me the finger. And replaced it with, I got cut off in traffic this morning
by this guy in an Ed Hardy shirt; I honked and then he gave me the finger.
The story will become 60% more interesting to White
people, because it allows them to make a witty response like, I guess that douche bag had
to get you to a UFC party or a nightclub event that he was hosting. Follow this up with a
laugh, a high five, and a compliment about the acceptable shirt the white person is wearing,
and you will find yourself with a brand new friend."
And so this one always makes me think of a "Jersey Shore". And I admit that I still watch
it because like all the self-tanning and the-and the Ed Hardy
shirts. And I have this fantasy I wish I could go back in time to
like the turn of the 20th Century at Ellis Island and see all the Italian immigrants
coming in and show them a DVD of what was going to happen. And
be like welcome to America, here's what's going to
happen in about 90 years. they'd be like you know what , we're going to go back to Italy.
We will just deal with World War II, it's all going to workout great. I in good-faith
can't let this happen to my lineage. So yeah, an interesting world to say the least .
All right, last one before Google. "# 59. Swimming.
Among the physical activities most enjoyed by White people, swimming remains right near
the top. In fact, swimming is the one activity that remains constant throughout the life
of a white person. They begin with swim lessons as a child, join a swim
team in high school, train for a triathlon after college, and then
swim as a way to stay in shape after 50. If you ask any white person over 50 how they
stay in shape, the answer will inevitably be swimming laps
or perhaps more accurately swimming laps in a Speedo.
For those of you at the gym with a pool, you know what I'm talking about. It is hard to
say exactly why white people like swimming so much but
there are a number of theories. First of all the great
tragedies to befall white people in the water, they were actually brought about by white
people. Sharp attacks, getting lost at sea, and the
Titanic, though the latter was technically a tragedy brought
about by an iceberg it was still a white iceberg that did it. Aside from these minor hiccups
swimming has been a pleasurable activity for white people for generations.
Another theory why white people enjoy swimming, is their ability to completely dominate the
sport. Of course, this domination doesn't come from
years of training and crushing competition. It was mostly the fact that white people only
have to compete against other white people. This is in turn because
even at the highest levels non-white competitors are mostly limited to a few over eager Chinese
Olympians or some adorable underdog from a third world country who just learned to swim.
Swimming at the Olympics is actually another example of how good white people are at figuring
out how to maximize the few ways in which they
can eke out athletic dominance. White people have helped to ensure that you can win medals
in swimming for different distances, relays, and most importantly, different strokes. So
White athletes can win upwards of five metals for doing the butterfly,
the back stroke, but in track a support long abandoned by white people, they could not
obtain additional medals for running backwards or
doing a crab walk. It seems right, you know, if you get a
different medal for doing the butterfly you should get a medal for, you know running sideways.
Sadly there seems to be no end in sight for white peoples dominance of competitive swimming.
For further proof, go to the nearest computer and type in "swim team" into Google. Then
click on the images tab and you will see more white flesh than a Morman orgy.
Competition and pleasure are logical reasons why white people would enjoy swimming, but
these are not the only factors that will put people in the water. Many white people will
engage in something called "polar bear events", where they gather on the beach in the middle
of winter, quickly jump into a partially frozen lake or ocean, and then
run back to waiting blankets and warm beverages. This is often done to remind white people
they are alive. Because for white people nothing makes them appreciate the gift of life more
than voluntarily trying to end it. Why, why do we do that?"
And finally "#60 Google.
Thanks to a middle school reading of the book ‘1984', virtually all white people have
an intense fear of a big brother type of organization that monitors
all of your actions and compiles terabytes of data on
you, your family, and everything that you do. A white person can think of nothing more
frightening than some strange company holding all of their
information and using it for their own benefit. That is unless that company happens to be
Google then everything is fine. White people have spent the past decade happily
handing over as much of their life as possible to Google: E-mail, work documents, video chat,
payment system, zoom sources, and all of their Internet searches. If Google offered to digitize
and store all financial and medical records, white people would be among
the first to jump aboard. Partly because this would
make dating much easier for white people, because the ability to use your phone to view
a sexual history report and a 401K statement could
save you hours of indirect thinly veiled questions. There are
a number of reasons why white people have been so eager to hand their lives over to
Google, the first and most obvious reason is simple peer pressure.
If you ever exchanged email with a white person, there is a 100% chance their e-mail address
ended in Of course some white people have
an address, but even those people know they'll need an address if
they want anyone to take them seriously.
But one of the biggest reasons why white people love Google is simply the company itself.
It's famous for providing all of its employees with perks
like free food, ball pits, arcade machines, and pretty much
anything else that will take the misery out of coding for 18 hours a day. Finally, Google
is renowned for having a very selective hiring process that
enables them to bring on only the best and brightest people on earth. So naturally every
white person believes that they should be working there. When a white
person with the job that you covet begins complaining, simply tell them they should
be working at Google. The pool of dot com money, endless perks, and working in a selective
environment will be too strong and they will immediately begin searching for a job. While
they are filling out Google strange questionnaire, inform your superior that the
white person is looking for a new job and enjoy your new promotion".
So, thank you for indirectly getting all sorts of white people fired. But that is my talk,
my update and a few of my readings. If you guys have any questions for me, I'd be more
than happy to answer them. Any questions about white people. Or about ,
or about me. I'd be more than happy to answer them. You just come up to the mic here, so
it's recorded.
female #1: We have one. Hello. We have one question from a distributed office. They wonder
I'm worried I don't care enough about the environment, microbrews, and the evil corporations
not named Apple. Could you give me tips on how better to portray the angst these important
issues cause me?
Christian: How better to portray?
female #1: Yes.
Christian: But they don't legitimately care about it. T-shirts, T-shirt form or bumper
sticker form are the only two things that white people understand. So, just slap an
Apple sticker on the back of whatever car it is you're driving. Everything will be just
fine. Get a thread less shirt- chillin'.
audience member: Stickers on the back of your Apple products.
Christian: Stickers on the... I know I see some of them right now. This is-this is a
big white dilemma, right, because if you cover it up how are
the people at the coffee shop going to know your creative?
It's almost-- it's like the same thing with the moleskin notebooks. Right, you know I
mean if they don't provide any functionality a over 99 cents notebook but come on. You
know what I mean. Same sorta thing.
male #1: I would like to speak about shades of white.
Christian: Shades of white?
male #1: Yes, I came here from Russia which is mostly white. And I noticed when I had
my first questionnaire which has questions about your race, it lists: White, White not
Hispanic, Caucasian, and I had some urge to cross Asian Pacific Islander
Christian: We all want to cross off Pacific Islander.
male #1: I got lost. Because for me Caucasian doesn't make sense because it's like a Chechen
branch of al-Qaeda. I said white not Hispanic and then the conversation
started from there. Do you have a take on what these things are?
Christian: Yeah. I got this covered.
[audience laughs]
Christian: I have been trying to get the census to update for quite some time now. There is
a test at the back of the first book to determine how white you are exactly. Because I think
determining whiteness by skin color is-we're done with that, we're
finished with that. I think you should just check all the things that you like and then
you should be assigned a percentage white that you are. And that should count as your
ethnicity. I think that would probably be a little less confusing than having all of
these things. That would at least be my-my policy
on it. But it's a tough one. I understand. Anybody else?
male #2: What is your favorite single malt scotch?
Christian: My favorite is-- what I like-this is like two level deep question. You already
assume that I drink single malt scotch, which is correct.
[audience laughs]
Christian: You also assumed that I will be snobby about it, which is also correct. The
proper answer is my favorite single malt scotch is the one
I can't afford. For those of you that drink scotch you'll
understand. But other than that, Laphroaig is my favorite. Laphroaig 18 year is fantastic.
25 is what I want, but I don't have $600 to buy one. Good
question, great question. Anybody else? All right. All
right well then I guess I'll let you guys get back to work. And thank you guys so much
for coming out to hear me talk again. And I will stick around
and sign books or if there are any questions too personal about White people that you don't
want to ask in public, which I understand, we are a judgmental people. I've tried to
make that clear. Feel free to come up and ask me or if you want a goofy picture of me
that's fine, too. But make sure that when you get the picture taken, I'm holding the
book up otherwise people will be like "Hey, you met Seth Rogen." Thanks everybody.
[audience claps]