What’s with white people and bottled water?

July 9, 2008 | By | 5 Replies More

What’s with white people?  If you’d like to know, check out this Salon interview of Christian Lander, creator of Stuff White People Like.

Here’s an example of Lander’s sharp sword: “The presence of an improper apostrophe on a menu can ruin an otherwise delicious meal for a white person.”  As you can probably already tell, when Lander uses the term “White People,” he’s actually referring to a specific sub-category of “white people,” namely,”left-wing, upper-middle-class.”

At his blog, Lander weighs in on quite a few consumerist tendencies of “white people.”  Here’s his riff on bottled water:

It’s all about ranking. It’s essentially a contest. It used to be that bottled water was a status symbol. You drink Evian, or you drink Fiji, or what is the most expensive water.

But advanced-level white people, the higher-ranking white people, realized that they were creating a lot of waste, and so they switched over to the Nalgene bottle. That also reminded them of going camping. So then they could take a stance of superiority over the people who were drinking bottled water. And then, that whole story came out about Nalgenes leaching I don’t know what the exact toxin is [Bisphenol A]. So then super-advanced white people went even further and got those metal Sigg bottles, and now you have this really solid hierarchy and ranking of white people of commercial bottled water, Nalgene bottle and either the glass or metal, twist-top bottles.

[This example fits well with many of the consumerist critiques on this site].

Bottom line, if you want to keep up with “White People,” you now know where to go.


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Category: American Culture, Bigotry, Consumerism

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsif says:

    gee… when camping or hiking I tote an aluminum canteen. I don't even fit in the group.

    This kind of reminds me of the SNL "Extremely White" skit with Eddie Murphy and Joan Collins:

    "We're WHITE!

    We're WHITE!

    We're EXTREMELY White!

    We walk with our buttocks extremely tight!"

  2. Erika Price says:

    I've watched the Stuff White People Like site with some interest for a while now. The image created by its author stings in its accuracy- a group of people striving toward an open-minded, considerate, worldly ideal often get caught up in the material trappings of the image. The ideas these white people want to value- diversity, health, environmentalism- become prepackaged little novelties in the form of stylish water bottles, asian fusion restaurants and token black friends.

    When any idea turns into a movement, it seems, members become a bit misguided.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsif says:

    Well worded Erika.

    Let's be brutally honest here. We Americans tend to be intellectually

    lazy. It has gotten so bad in the last view decades that we are now seeing such self proclaimed experts as Kevin Trudeau taken seriously.

    What the world needs now are more true skeptics.

  4. Ben says:

    "Can I be a good person and spend that much money on overpriced consumer goods? I don't know. But I do know this: I'd be no good without them"

    "How to Be Good"

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    It was only a matter of time. Now we have a site called: "Stuff Educated Black People Like." http://www.stuffebplike.com/?page_id=38

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