Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hot or not? The White Male

Oh, handsome white boy! You've reigned over our hearts for so long. Your innocuous good looks. Your Abercrombie ads. Your sly, "who me, cultural privilege?" grin. Omg, sooooo cute!!

And yet....

It's an unsure time for The White Guy. Well, sort of. According to Taylor Antrim of The Daily Beast, bookstores around the country are practically swimming in white man anxieties right now:

"[We have] a short stack of late-summer reading that’ll make you wonder: Why is white male discontent so naturally literary?....the novel, better than any other written form, accommodates those small-bore anxieties, the quotidian, often shameful preoccupations that turn us inside out but don’t really measure up to the global events of the day. You’re a white guy who’s a little depressed, your eye is wandering, and you sort of want a fast car? Try putting that into an Op-Ed. But for the novel, nothing is beneath notice."

Well-put, Taylor (and well-quoted, GalleyCat). It's interesting, because for a long-time in the publishing world, the formula has been:

Neurotic literary white guy + literary publisher = BF (best friends)

But according to the same story, white people overall will be a minority by 2042. Now that the White(ish) House is baROCKin', is the Woody Allen-esque hand wringing of well-to-do white guys enjoying its last literary hurrah?

Well in all honesty, anything this blogger could say on that would probably be a gross overgeneralization. Except for this:

Neurotic literary white guy + literary publisher + gayness = BFF (best friends forever!)

(See: David Sedaris).

As we look ahead to the literary tomes of tomorrow, it will be interesting indeed to see whether the White Guy anxieties we all know and love will keep their heralded place at our local bookstore, or whether they'll fade away faster than you can say "my therapist in Manhattan."

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