Stuff White People Like: Moleskine

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A tongue in cheek critique of the Moleskine phenomenon…

"So when you see a white person with one of these notebooks, you should
always ask them about what sort of projects they are working on their
free time.  But you should never ask to actually see the notebook lest
you ask the question “how are you going to make a novel out of five
phone numbers and a grocery list?”

[Thanks to Mark, Jenn and the dozens of alerts on this]

Read the full post

21 thoughts on “Stuff White People Like: Moleskine

  1. Is this supposed to be funny?

    Not only is their blog post lame, their page is also riddled with advertisement links. I don’t mind tongue in cheek humor, but this lacks even the faintest bit of humor.

  2. I wonder if I’d get the same exposure if I did a blog on “Stuff Black People Eat.” Oh, wait, I forgot that I am a coward and that we live in a nation of cowards because we don’t engage in the race dialogue. I agree, this is not funny but rather racist and irritating.

  3. of it are funny, and truthful. Most of the real-life moleskine users I’ve come across are doing exactly what the blog posts describes them doing–nothing artistic, and trying very hard to look like a poet or writer.
    I, however, actually a writer, and I wrote before I used moleskines.
    Stuff White people like IS racist, though, but of course, no one likes white people, because it’s our fault for everything that’s so awful in this world. The blog is meant to be racist, though, The entire thing makes fun of people who do unpaid internships, people who get liberal arts degrees, facebook users(which is clearly only for white people), anything from japan, etc.
    There’s also “Stuff Korean Moms Like” run by a korean girl, which her entire blog is based on complaining about her crazy family. It is amusing, though.

  4. I thought this entry was Hilarious. I think Moleskine users do take themselves a little too seriously and should laugh at themselves a little bit more, and SWPL hit the nail right on the head. Like Neona said, SWPL is racist but that’s the point. You can either spend time and energy being offended by it, or have a good laugh at your own expense. I choose the later.

  5. The site is a record and satire of modern pop-cultural trends and kitsch, particularly in the USA (e.g. things white people like: Asian Women, Arrested Development, musical comedy, being offended, modern furniture, promising to learn a new language etc.) Some of them are contradictory (hating corporations, while also likeing bottles of water, modern furniture, moleskine notebooks.)

    The website’s tongue is pressed firmly against its cheek and it’s more painfully true than most people like to admit.

  6. “spend time being offended by it, or have a good laugh at your own expense…” Sure, I wish more black people did the same and stopped being offended at everything as well.

  7. “I wonder if I’d get the same exposure if I did a blog on “Stuff Black People Eat.” Oh, wait, I forgot that I am a coward and that we live in a nation of cowards because we don’t engage in the race dialogue. I agree, this is not funny but rather racist and irritating.”
    I don’t understand — is this comment supposed to start a dialogue about race?

    “because it’s our fault for everything that’s so awful in this world.”
    Are you kidding? I get the impression that you are, but there’s a lot of truth to that statement.

    “”spend time being offended by it, or have a good laugh at your own expense…” Sure, I wish more black people did the same and stopped being offended at everything as well.”
    What the heck is that supposed to mean?

  8. It means that minorities, especially black people, feel that they are the only ones entitled to feel offended at something… “White Men Can’t Jump” could’ve easily been “Black Men Can’t Swim,” no? Face reality… we’ve become a nation of apologists… that’s the reason the whole world laughs at our stupidity. We think that we can come together as one by rehashing the past instead of moving on. I am all for ethnic/cultural/and racial celebration, but enough is enough. If I am white, I can also be offended… it’s not an exclusive right of blacks, muslims, etc.

  9. I’ve gone through many reactions to this post. One of which being that it’s obviously racist bantering. One could laugh at it on the grounds that it speaks to a stereotype but its really not that funny. First let me say that I have used moleskines for everything from journals to a simple work notebook. And I’ve written in them on the subway to work, in cafes and even while in long lines while waiting at the post office. Yes, I am a blackman. I don’t listen to rap and I don’t use ebonics and no I am not in the minority. I think we really need to move on from this kind of thinking as exemplified in this post. There are black people who harbor racists attitudes as well as white people and sometimes being offended by something doesn’t mean that you’re oversensitive, it means that it’s offensive period. I found this post to be very offensive because we as Americans, we as human beings need to get over crap and start honestly dialoging with each other.

  10. “sometimes being offended by something doesn’t mean that you’re oversensitive”

    Amen. True, we can sometimes as a nation be so…careful in what we say that dialogue suffers. But I’ve encountered far more instances of people saying insensitive things than being too sensitive to speak — and I live in a pretty “liberal” state where things like being PC are “supposed” to be so out of control. I think there might be some semblance of sensitivity that goes too far in the media, government, etc. But, at least in my encounters with people in the US, there isn’t a lot of sensitivity in what a lot of people say.

    Certainly white people are entitled to be offended. I encounter anti-white racism all the time in my city, along with other “kinds” of racism. But if we’re going to challenge other groups to not be overly sensitive and then claim sensitivity for ourselves, this is not going to do anyone any good.

    I think our leaders might be apologists, but not most Americans. The world laughs at us for a lot of reasons. Our rich history of racism is one of them. I encounter racist people constantly, who throw around words I won’t even type on here like they’re talking about the weather. I don’t think Central Maryland/Baltimore is so strange a place that the open racism (on all sides) here is unique. Sure, it was a Border State, but it’s a relatively “liberal” state as well. Anyway, I had a [short] conversation with an unapologetically racist lady this weekend, where this person whom I did not know felt that it was fine to say something plainly racist to me about black people. Was I being overly sensitive because my wife is black; was it my own fault that I was offended? Or should people take responsibility for the @#$%ed up things that come out of their mouths? Sure, we have free speech in the US, but we are accountable (ethically, if not legally) for what we say, aren’t we?

  11. I think the post is kinda funny… I immediately fell in love with the moleskine notebooks the moment I saw them, they are gorgeous and, in my opinion, the apex of what a notebook should look and feel like. That said, I also recognize that they are a bit pretentious too, notebooks that look as good as they do seem more like little works of art than something to just write random (and often meaningless) crap in.

    I’ve toying with the idea of starting my own blog, “What black people like” and starting out by listing things like fried chicken, watermelon, fruit drinks, wearing their pants half way down their asses, showing up late for events, etc…” I think it will make for good laughs all around!


  12. That site amounts to slightly racist [?] teasing about contemporary objects and obsessions and almost functions as a “Stuff Hipsters Like” site. I don’t know why it strikes me this way, but starting such a “What Black People Like” blog using decades-old stereotypes seems offensive in an old-fashioned “everyone’s racist, so racism is funny” way. If that makes ANY sense at all. But at any rate, similar comedy has been written by people who are victims of those particular stereotypes at times, like “The Chapel Show” and “In Living Colour.” It’s often funny because the victims of those stereotypes understand them very differently than the rest of us do and are able to show us how ridiculous we can all be.

  13. No, Chapel and In Living Colour are funny simply because they are from a Black perspective… you only have to look at any white comedian dancing around Black themes, while Black comedians run amok about “white people this,” and “white people that.” Face it, it’s a double-standard, and opportunists like Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton jump at any opportunity to scream racism.

  14. Certainly a double-standing exists. I am no fan of Jackson or Sharpton, who jump on small things and let big opportunities pass them by regularly in my experience.

    But “The Chapel Show” and “Living Colour” were funny not just because the perspective was “black” but because the perspective was from the people being portrayed stereotypically. I don’t think they are funny “simply because they are from a black perspective.” It’s the inside perspective, nothing inherent in that point of view in itself. Even when the inside perspective does not illuminate the situation of stereotyping, it might even allow some people to laugh at stereotypes when the targets make fun of them, almost a relaxing, guilt-free laugh at white people making fun of other white people, etc.

    While they are often serious, dangerous and unfair and are always untrue, stereotypes can be a source of humor. When we get past the prejudice that creates them, they are ridiculous enough to be kind of funny, when you strip the hate and fear away and expose the act of labeling people into weird categories.

  15. Bernie Mac was one of the great black humorists that used the constant “white people this… white people that…” routine to great success… so has Chris Rock, and while they also make fun of black stereotypes, they are not penalized for either one. Let’s suppose, again, for the sake of argument… that Robert Kline or George Carlin (RIP) do a “black people this… black people that… ” routine… Sharpton and Jackson would have a field day… well, maybe not with Kline because he is Jewish and therefore (as I have heard it described) a person of color… And how about Carlos Mensa? Rants about white people like there’s no end… how white men are stupid and weak, etc. Oh, because he is a minority he is allowed? Double-standard. How about Reggie White (RIP) saying that Hispanics are only good to make children and live in crowded spaces (as a joke) where was the indignation? None to be found. I understand that one shouldn’t AIM to be offensive on purpose, that’s imperdonable (as in the case of a certain shock DJ who called a women’s basketball team ‘nappy headed hoes’)… but to take offense at anything and everything is silly. Why am I still upset at this? Because in the site about What White People Like, the authors hasty generalized and stereotyped ALL Moleskine users as posers and fakers and even though it was a joke, IT WAS ALSO A LOGICAL FALLACY. Can’t argue with that, Jack. Oh, sorry, forgot you changed your name to what you believe was your ancestor’s… Can’t argue with that, Boipelo (which means ‘proud’ in Tswana, so I hope you are not offended).

  16. I didn’t mean to attempt to justify any double-standards in entertainment and racial jokes. I think some people (like Dave Chappelle — sorry, I mis-spelled his name earlier) have done a decent job of exploring these practices and showing us all how ridiculous we all can be. But they’re still around, certainly.

  17. hey, I like that website! Must I remind everyone that it IS run by a white guy (Canadian!)? No one should take it personally, though it’s just a bit racist. I don’t think it puts down Caucasians, though. It just brings things about them to light, like white people liking moleskines and classical music and dogs.

    I mean, I’m Asian, and all my friends know that Asians can be anti-social workaholic math geniuses. We can laugh at that, even though sometimes we CAN fall into that category (only sometimes! :b though I suck at math). Please lighten up…don’t take it so seriously!

  18. This is on the edge of crossing your own line for policy 1b and 1c. I’m surprised the Moleskine co didn’t have something to say about it.

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