Monday, August 17, 2009

Being a Sheep

So there I was, all smug and content with my spiffy little life - quite happy in the knowledge that I was interesting and different, with unique tastes, interests and attitudes. And then, one humid afternoon, it all came crashing down.

I was in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum waiting for my tour to start (which was actually very worthwhile; it was thought-provoking and memorable) and I was poking around the bookshop to pass the time. I picked up a book called Stuff White People Like and read a few pages at random. It chilled me to my core. It may as well have been called Stuff Eoin Likes. It systematically lists everything I enjoy and respect and dismantles it all. Some of it, I could handle, because it was pretty general - for example No.1, Coffee. That's fine, I told myself, plenty of people like coffee. But quickly it started to cut me deep: No.42, Sushi (until now, I thought that was unusual); No.27, Marathons (honestly, how many people do you know who are actually going to do/have done one? That has to be unique); No.28, Not Having a TV (I thought everyone in the world apart from me had a TV) and so on. Basically all the stuff that I thought made me me is just standard Stuff White People Like.

I think there are two approaches that I can take to this: I can either be heartened that there are enough people with similar tastes to mine for it to be likely that I will bump into them quite frequently over the course of my life and have a pleasant time agreeing with them (and this summer, I have been, which is nice). Alternatively, I can accept the futility of trying to develop into an fully-formed human being and - emm - have a good cry.


  1. gosh, that's terribly racist, no?
    surely these are just things that people in general like?!

  2. Black Music that Black People Don't Listen to Anymore...

  3. And here you thought you were a fabulous Communist! Hah, not likely! I hate coffee, sushi, and marathons! I also LOVE having a TV!


  4. No Saoirse, they are not things that people in general like. Funnily, James came back with the same response as you.

    Y'see there's like a billion people whose list of things they like would be more like

    Clean Water
    Safe Housing
    Access to Healthcare.

    And to give a slightly less guilt-trippy example, there's a pretty significant portion of humanity that's into different stuff from what's on that list. For example:

    Triple Vodka and Red Bulls
    Death Metal.

    Some people are really into those things, and they wouldn't like the stuff in the book at all. The book's great because it's totally got you figured. Hah!

  5. Well, I think we've concluded it's got YOU figured, Eoin.

    Threatening to move to Canda. How did it know?!