Sunday, June 10, 2012

White guys are the worst

A fun article that appeared on the classy site Jezebel (I'm not a regular reader--Tony Horton brought the piece to my attention) does a pretty good job (for an anecdote, anyway) of illustrating the demographic hipness hierarchy that exists in contemporary America. Ben Mandelker, apparently a pretty typical SWPL guy, who is a few months into the P90X workout program, ranks, countdown style, the supporting cast. Like other lists that ostensibly have nothing to do with ethnic, racial, or sexual characteristics, this one allows us to make observations about demographic characteristics that the person or people creating the list probably didn't have in mind when constructing it, at least not consciously.

I've reproduced his rankings in the proceeding table, but replaced names and editorializing with racial and sexual characteristics, as well as a few relevant parenthetical notes. I've inverted from worst-to-best to best-to-worst for ease of viewing:

From best ...
1. Black woman
2. Black man
3. White man* (!)
4. White man (physically handicapped)
5. White woman (bisexual... actually, "omnisexual")
6. White woman (foreign-born)
7. White woman (old)
8. Black man
9. White man 
10. Hispanic woman
11. Asian man
12. White man
13. White man
14. White woman
15. White woman
16. White man (foreign-born)
17. White man
18. White woman
19. White man
20. White man
21. White man
22. White woman
23. White man
... to worst

We know having black friends is hip, even if those friends were immersed in middle class values growing up and they end up living in mostly white neighborhoods (the three black characters' names are Pam, Adam, and Tony, not L'akisha, D'Brickshaw, and Terrance). The lowest ranking non-white is the Asian guy (the West's softest minority target) and he still comes in among the top half. Sexual deviancy and disability provide whites with some limited means for advancement.

In summation, the only black woman takes the gold. The two black guys average a 5 slot. The sole Hispanic gets a 10 slot and the only Asian an 11 slot (a spot also occupied by foreign-born whites). For white women, the mean is the 12 slot, and for white men it's the 14 slot.

Wait, am I describing a specific data set or the modern zeitgeist? Right, I could be doing either thing, hence the illustrative value of Mandelker's article.

* Daniel, who is clearly one cool cat, is my favorite member of the supporting cast, followed closely by Adam (#2) because of how hard he pushes me and Timmy (#20) because he reminds me most of myself.


Anonymous said...

The time of Chuck Norris has come and gone. Impending Chuck Norris jokes need to become Tony Horton jokes instead.

Noah172 said...

I've never watched P90X, so grain of salt here:

#3, Daniel Haas, sets off my Jewdar. If my suspicion is correct, then his favorable placement on the list is most appropriate. Am I way off-base?

Audacious Epigone said...


I'm not sure. Nothing makes him seem particularly Jewish (other than the name, possibly), but nothing makes it obvious that he's not, either. Hard to get a good signal because of the settings (and my Jewdar isn't the most precise--living in the Midwest does that to a person!)

SFG said...

Dan Haas appears to be a German soccer player. Nice work, guys. ;)

And yes, I'm from NYC and half-kike, and he set off my Jewdar too. But hey.