Christian Lander
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Christian Lander

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Comedy


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The best kept secret in music


In January, Christian Lander was just another wage slave at a California interactive ad agency. Then his blog, "Stuff White People Like," a tongue-in-cheek comprehensive list of everything left-wing, upper-middle-class Caucasians enjoy (from The Wire and McSweeney's to eating outside and self-importance) grew exponentially in popularity to the point that it amassed 20 million hits by the end of March and caught the eye of Random House. Seizing on the site's popularity, the publisher had Lander expand the site into a 211-page, 150-item book, Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide To The Unique Taste Of Millions, which was released in early July. Random House isn't the only one who's taken notice: Lander is slated to appear on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on September 5. While temporarily on leave from his day job and on a full-blown publicity tour, Lander spoke to The A.V. Club about being an asshole with a blog, not deserving all this attention, and accidentally appealing to old people.
The A.V. Club: What's the response been like on the tour so far?
Christian Lander: Unbelievable. It's still brand new, so it could all fall apart in Chicago—but the first stop I did, I was in Toronto. And it was just for media stuff, and it was my hometown, so it was really kind of nice to go back. But it was just radio interviews, and some TV stuff, and print stuff. The first speaking one I did was in Boston, at the Harvard bookstore. And it was fantastic. A ton of people showed up, more than I was expecting. More than they were expecting.
Because I'm just this asshole with a blog, they were like, "It's not going to be that many." But the place was packed. People were standing, and people were sitting in the aisles [with a] totally blocked view, just to hear what was going on. It was jam-packed. And then from there, I spoke at Google, which was fucking awesome. It was really cool to get invited in. They have this big wall of the people they've brought in before: Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, and Bill Clinton.
AVC: Did they put your picture up there?
CL: No. [Laughs.] No, I didn't get on the wall.
AVC: You didn't even scrawl your name up there?
CL: I was just too overwhelmed by the Google-ness, right? I have a thing where I take a picture—I regret not doing it at the Harvard one—but I take a picture of the crowd before [speaking]. Because I can't believe that many people showed up, and I want to be able to show my wife and friends, "Look! People actually showed up for me!" So that went really well. I was in D.C., at Politics And Prose, this bookstore just outside the downtown court. And 300 people showed up, it was packed again.
A lot of old people too, which is awesome, but they loved it. Like, 85-year-olds. They loved it. I was sort of like, "That's amazing!" Because when I wrote the book and the blog, I was speaking as much as I could to my experience, our generational experience, and it is amazing that it transcends.
AVC: Are older people liking it for the same reason younger people like it?
CL: Yeah I think so. They find it funny, simple as that.
AVC: So it's for all ages, for the ages?
CL: No, no. Certainly not for the ages—it's from the Internet. Nothing on the Internet is for the year.
AVC: Is it going to last for the rest of the year?
CL: [Laughs.] No.
AVC: Since it blew up, you've been saying, "This is it. This is probably going to kill it."
CL: Yeah. It's still fun for me, and I was just…This week, because with press requests and the tour, and just the weird stress of it coming out, I've been really stressed. "Is it going to do well? Could I have done more?" It was really tough for me to even write anything, 'cause I spent all this time worrying and moving around doing meetings and stuff, so I wrote one this week. I'll keep doing it as long as it's still fun to me. Internet shelf life is worse than a banana.
AVC: So how eagerly will you go on Jerry Springer in 20 years, or "Where are they now?" segments with the Star Wars kid?
CL: And the Tron guy. Yeah.
AVC: Have you heard from any of those other Internet sensations?
CL: Well, actually, all of them. There's a conference in Boston called ROFLCon. It was amazing. So I was invited, along with Tron guy, the Where The Hell Is Matt? guy, the One Red Paperclip guy, the xkcd comics guy.
AVC: Lonelygirl15?
CL: She wasn't real. She wasn't true. She wasn't of the people, and believe me, the conference was "the people." But it was amazing. The I Can Has Cheezburger? guys were there. Those guys are hilarious. They were awesome.
We were all there in one place, and we talked to everybody. And it's so funny—a lot of the people on Springer have always had the desire to be a celebrity, and are desperate to reclaim it. Everyone at that conference who made it, none of them thought anything was going to happen from what they were doing. They were all like, "I did it because it was fun for me."
AVC: But a lot of people nowadays - The Onion

It seems like rain might have kept us from getting a larger crowd, but the show was incredibly energetic. Those who did attend LOVED the dynamic between Lander and Elon James White; the duo brought up insightful points about race. The auditorium just kept laughing the entire time.

Great feedback from those who attended: even though the show went over by about an hour with the Q&A, about half the audience stayed just to hear more.

Thanks for everything; my committee had a blast with this project.
- Duke University

Christian was great! Everyone really loved him. He was funny, relaxed, and very easy-going. Easy to talk to and very honest and open as well. He was great and the dinner afterwards was very enjoyable. He really enjoyed the campus and we really enjoyed him. He was BY FAR the BEST speaker that I've encountered my time here. If you have any speakers that are half as entertaining and charismatic as he is, I'd be happy to see them. Thank you again for encouraging me to bring him. It was extremely worth it! - Davidson College

Three months ago, Christian Lander was nothing more than an anonymous Internet copywriter living in Los Angeles. Today, his blog "Stuff White People Like" is a heavily-trafficked, much-discussed site that last week netted him a book deal. How did he rise from relative obscurity to creating a pop culture touchstone in just a few months time?

According to experts, he hit the right note at the right time, while — perhaps unintentionally — creating a forum for people to openly mock, or explore, what it means to be white.

"This is a scientific approach to highlight and explain stuff white people like. They are pretty predictable," wrote Lander, who is also white, on the site.

Since January, Lander has used the blog to skewer the "stuff white people like" — or, perhaps more aptly, the stuff that middle class, liberal, white people like — things like Barack Obama, kitchen gadgets, knowing what's best for poor people and having gay friends. - ABC News


Still working on that hot first release.



New York Times Best-Selling Author of Stuff White People Like
White people like: Barack Obama, Wes Anderson movies, non-profit organizations, gifted children, writers workshops, having two last names, wine, Whole Foods, irony, apologies, the movie Juno, kitchen gadgets, expensive sandwiches, outdoor performance clothes, knowing what’s best for poor people, recycling, modern furniture, the Sunday New York Times, and the idea of soccer.

Everybody likes: Christian Lander. 11,854,026 hits in just two months. Appearances on The Early Show, Later with Carson Daly, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Profiled by The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, NPR, Very Short List, the Houston Chronicle and more. Blogged about by Kanye West, Bill Simmons, The Assimilated Negro, Dave Barry, Comedy Central, Best Week Ever, Andrew Sullivan, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Vice, Good, and Wired. Called brilliant by New York magazine’s Approval Matrix.

Like Lisa Birnbach’s best-selling Preppy Handbook before it, Stuff White People Like is a (humorous) anthropological study of upper-middle-class white culture, and a handbook to succeeding in modern, urban, white society. Stuff White People Like is intelligent, witty, and downright hilarious. Honest to blog.

Thirty-year-old Christian Lander was born and raised in Toronto. After spending eight years in the ivory tower of academia (white people love graduate school), he moved to Los Angeles to work in the interactive industry. In the past, he has worked as a freelance journalist and a sports reporter. Lander currently lives in Culver City, California with his wife, Jessica, an advertising executive and food photographer. Lander does not have a car, but he does–of course–have a very nice fixed gear bicycle (white people love bicycles).