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The white stuff: Cyberspace lands blog 50M hits and author a forum




What began as a casual conversation with a friend, eventually evolved into a wildly popular blog that at last count had attracted more than 50 million hits (yes, 50 million) and a book that is a runaway best-seller.

Wednesday, Christian Lander, the man who triggered a phenomenon, will discuss both his blog and his new book, “Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions,” at the University of Arizona Bookstore.

Speaking from his home in Culver City, Calif., Lander claims that he is both surprised and slightly amused by the recent success of his blog and book. He laughs and recalls that both were jump-started by a conversation he had one afternoon.

“I was talking to a friend about the TV show, ‘The Wire,’ and I stated I really didn’t trust white people who did not watch the program on a regular basis,” he says. They both laughed and then began verbally listing stuff that white people liked. The list soon included such things as reusable shopping bags, doing yoga, microbrews, Apple products and food co-ops. The more they added, the more fun it became.

“The people we were stereotyping somehow believe that they are truly unique but actually they’re all exactly the same,” Lander says.

He is relieved that his blog and book aren’t tagged as being racist because, he insists, they aren’t. He thinks they are just good fun and in no way mean-spirited. The people who visit his blog and have read his book seem to agree.

Lander, a doctoral dropout, was the 2006 public speaker of the year at Indiana University. He is married to Jessica, a photographer, who contributed many of the images scattered throughout the book.

Returning to Tucson is a homecoming of sorts for the author, who lived here from 2002 until 2004 while he attended the University of Arizona.

“I love Tucson,” Lander says. The food, the climate and the setting all make this city one of his favorite places to visit.

The fact that his book was issued as a paperback was no accident.

“When I first began negotiating on the book, I insisted that it be soft-bound and reasonably priced so that it would be more accessible, especially for readers on a budget,” Lander says.

Several months ago, he helped design a T-shirt to benefit the Children of the Night project, a nonprofit, tax exempt organization founded in 1979 that assists youngstersfrom ages 11 to 17 who are mired in prostitution. The shirts are available at www.fatamerican.tv.

Lander thinks that his book provides all of us with an opportunity to laugh at ourselves, not just people of the Caucasian persuasion. He suggests that we kick back on our IKEA couches and explore the ultimate guide to the unbearable whiteness of being.

After pausing, Lander points out that laughter knows no color or ethnic divisions and is, without a doubt, universal.


What: Christian Lander signs and discusses his book, “Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to The Unique Taste of Millions”

When: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: University of Arizona BookStore, 1209 E. University Blvd., in the student union

Price: free

Info: 621-2426, www.uofabookstores.com


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