This here is mah last post.
Though Stuff White D-bags Like hasn’t been nearly as successful as its hero Stuff White People Like, I will flatter myself by saying that long after Christian Lander has become a footnote in a Wikipedia entry of the 22nd century, your humble Chunque will be revealed as the most insightful social critic of the Silver Age of American empire.
Over the last five months and the course of one hundred posts, I came to learn a little about myself and a lot about American d-baggery. What follows is the accumulated wisdom of that journey, search, and trial.
I was born into a typical American family of d-bags: My people are mid-Westerners, petite bourgeoisie, and low-grade professionals. Our family business has been in operation for four generations. My father was a lawyer. Me and my siblings got late model cars when we turned 16, took road trips, engaged in recreational intoxication, saluted the flag on the fourth of July, got some college (or maybe all of it), got a job, got a spouse and some kids, got a mortgage, had aspirations to move someplace cool, but settled down to “real” life.
Those of us who saw more than half of the 70s thought we were post-political. To me, American greatness was a no-brainer. Reagan was right to make us feel good again after the shame of Vietnam and Watergate, even if he was a little crazy. Me and my friends, we weren’t religious, but we liked to think we were “spiritual”. We scoffed at religious crazies, new age crazies, ROTC crazies, and the Betas who (where I went to school) were rich date rapists.
When I got my first “real” job in late 90s, the world was my oyster. The internet made it possible to see more porn than I ever dreamed existed. We played the stock market a little, but not enough to get really burned. We were disgusted by Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (in front of our girl friends and mothers), and we did what we could to scrape together enough money for a sweet ride, a nice place to live, and money to spend on drinking and trying to seduce women. (I was largely successful in that mission.) Most of my friends wanted to be upstanding members of the community, but with a drink in one hand and the other wrapped around the waist of a bubbly blond.
But that changed in 2001. I always kind of thought of myself as a conservative. I admit — the only time I ever voted was for George Bush 1 in 1992 (the first presidential election I was old enough to vote in). After that I thought politics was for losers or zealots — people who won’t change their mind and won’t change the subject. I thought rich people ruled the world, and that seemed OK, but that didn’t make them better than me. Maybe just a little more motivated, or maybe they came from money. It’s easy to be somebody when you come from money. George Bush is spoiled brat, but so is Al Gore. I had no love for either of them. Then the world trade centers fell in New York, and everyone went crazy.
I’m not against war, but it was obvious to me from day one that Saddam didn’t have WMDs. This is also a no-brainer: when a problem isn’t a problem until all the talking heads on TV are telling you all at once that death is near if you don’t let them do whatever they want, you’re getting bamboozled. I couldn’t believe that most of America had never tried to buy a car. If they had they’d know what a “hard sell” is, and they’d know why salesmen do it — to fleece you. I’m a conservative because I don’t like to get fleeced, and I couldn’t believe that so many people in America, the land that I love, called themselves conservative when they were really sheep, bleating to get fleeced — or wolves looking to fleece their fellow countrymen. And the wolves did it by appealing to the sheep’s worst natures. I started to rethink my own life, and I concluded that proudly being a d-bag, reveling in my ignorance, resenting people who were interested in the world outside our borders, and hating stuff I didn’t know because it made me feel insecure was the reason why the Bush/Cheney clusterfuck happened in the first place. What made me proud to be “conservative” was that being conservative meant being strong, but the way people who call themselves conservative act is to prey on the weak, pick on the helpless, and call it strength. That’s not conservative. That’s despicable.
And then a friend sent me a link to Stuff White People Like. I recognized Lander for what he was immediately: a Canadian Rush Limbaugh. A movement conservative. His writer’s persona is an effete, liberal snob, but that’s not who he is. He’s a hater who dropped out of grad school because he wasn’t smart enough to hack it. And he blames people who are smarter than himself for his failures. He is the latest and last symptom of our national moral and intellectual decline. I wouldn’t care if work like his hadn’t been part of the cultural movement that has impoverished us with a jingoistic war, made us hated around the world, and given China and Russia the opportunity to usurp us as the richest and most powerful nations on earth.
The basic argument of Stuff White People Like is that wanting to think smarter is snobbery. And thinking smarter is what made America strong and kept it that way. A secondary argument is that you can’t take “white people” (really political liberals) seriously, and sadly, that’s true. Because as the success of his site shows, liberals would rather let douche bags like Lander insult them then stand up for themselves and what they believe in. If you identify as a “white person” and you laughed at Stuff White People Like, you deserve four more years of Bush/Cheney, high gas prices, no medical coverage, a shitty, dead-end job as a corporate drone, and 15 second celebrities like Lander.