Outside of work last week, all that I could talk about with my friends was the fake memoir of gang life survival written by one Margaret Seltzer, and the new blog phenomenon Stuff White People Like.

I have to say I was quite surprised at the whole fake memoir fiasco. I’d have thought folks at the big publishing houses like Penguin Group had learned something from the Oprah-smashing of James Frey a couple of years ago. I mean, if you had never employed fact-checkers before then, shouldn’t it now be a mandate?

But apart from the audacity of her untruths, the idiocy of the editor who didn’t even bother to meet Ms. Seltzer during the entire three years that she edited the manuscript, and the fact that The New York Times clearly violated the most basic and classic rules against conflicts of interest, I have one last thing to say about Ms. Margaret Seltzer.

Peggy, dear, you need me to be your publicist right now.

If I were Margaret Seltzer’s publicist, she would be on every talk show, writing editorials for major newspapers, and coming out the winner out of this whole thing. Because if I were in charge of the cleanup-PR campaign, I would have Margaret Seltzer say something like this:

“Yeah, I lied. And it’s all your fault. All of you in the publishing business, in the media business and all of the people who were so eager to read my book. I lied to expose not only the ease with which any random white girl can profit off of her ‘misery,’ but also the ridiculousness of the people who are so eager to experience said ‘misery’ vicariously through a book about teen gang violence, death, and the wilds of inner-city life as lived by out-of-control black men. I did it to make you all feel just a little bit guilty about fawning over those experiences only when they are written about by a pitiful little white girl who ‘survived.’ I did it because you all know you were going to ignore this other Bloods gang memoir that’s being published in April, that was written by a black man. Oh, what? You say you just can’t ‘relate’ to his story? Gee, why do you think that is?

“I lied, I lied well, and I even spoke Ebonics. I did it all to expose your liberalism for what it is – a sad state in which you have so little experience with urban black people and with poverty that you will believe any insane story about gang life without even doing very basic fact-checking, because this is how you really think life is for these people.

“Now that you know my memoir is a lie, are you going to buy DaShaun Jiwe Morris‘ book? Are you still interested in reading about being a former Blood, even if his house wasn’t photographed for The New York Times?”

But, sadly, I think Margaret Seltzer is just a crazy-head who writes really well.

On another note, I was really enjoying the Stuff White People Like blog. But now I’m over it (the blogs about shorts and The Wire killed it for me). Anyway, Christian Lander, who started the blog, has a witty, snarky tone that’s perfect for blogging. I just hope he doesn’t get a book deal out of it, because, I mean, it’s not worth all that. And we all know what happens when people start throwing around book deals!

But the commenters! Oh the commenters! They are what make SWPL so incredibly popular (more than 11 million hits popular).

But what makes SWPL so nice, is that it’s making a lot of white people really uncomfortable with racism, all of a sudden!

One of my more liberal white friends was visibly uncomfortable, dare I say angry, as I looked through the blog and read some of the funnier parts of the posts out loud. She knew that it was racist, but how do you tell a black person that a blog about white people liking vintage t-shirts and using them as status symbols is racist? After all, it’s not like they can’t get a job because their name is Shaniqua.

This quote from NPR sums it all up: “Critics charge that the list is racist, stereotypical, and conflates race with economic status.”

Duh! Oh my gosh, my whole life people have equated my race with my economic status! But, see, I’m not upset about it!

Seriously, though, the reason I write about SWPL is that I have a blog crush on one of the blog commenters. Mango Girl! She just gets it. She gets it soooooo well. She gets it better than the blog’s creator gets it. Mango Girl, I heart you!

On that note, I’m out.

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