‘Stuff White People Like’ vs. ‘The Official Preppy Handbook’

Posted on March 24, 2008

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It was cute, and edgy. Stuff White People Like.

The original 15 or 20 items were humorous and insightful. The blog should have quit while it was ahead. Now Stuff and its imitators have set a land-speed record for running a fresh idea into the ground.

Stuff is at No. 91 and counting. Rocky was a pretty good idea for a movie. And sequels are a no-brainer, from an accountant’s point of view. Can you hardly wait for Rocky, No. 91? Coming soon, Chicken Soup for the Soul, No. 91! And for TV, Big Brother House, No. 91. The Bachelor and 91 babes. Groundhog Day, No. 91.

Recent stuff white people like includes San Francisco, dinner parties, St. Patrick’s Day, T-shirts and modern furniture. Stuff White People Like has become as interesting as eating at McDonald’s. Millions and millions of hits, but little flavor and less nutritional value. Just my opinion.

Now comes word of a Stuff White People Like book, promising new material, no less. Just what we needed, new material. Who does Random House think is going to pay money for this book? People who can’t afford internet access? What’s next? Rocky, The Book?

By the time Stuff White People Like, The Book comes out in August, the 15 minutes of fame for this blogging fad will be history. Time’s up.

BTW, this concept has been done before, and better.

The Official Preppy Handbook was funny and accurate, informative and entertaining. It mixed understated social commentary with dry humor. And the Preppy Handbook had the utility of Dress for Success, with a dash of Emily Post’s Etiquette. Preppy, written by Lisa Bimbach, was the Swiss Army Knife of the bookshelf. After it was published by Workman in 1980, The Preppy Handbook bonded a generation of college students and yuppies, and propelled L.L. Bean from obscurity to cult status.

Maybe publication of Stuff White People Like will spark an Official Preppy Handbook revival. — Bernie Hayden

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Posted in: Blogging, Books, Culture