White people, school me...

Mar 15, 2003
12,502
33
91
So I know this is going to come off as anywhere from ironic to racist, but I sincerely don't mean any of this as negative - I view *MYSELF* as the ignorant one.

Being quarantined I've been thinking a lot about stupid things and one thing is my inability to keep up at white mid-to-upper class gatherings. I work real estate (clients range from students, bankers, to that one dutch billionaire), dabble in diy film, and my wife is impressive with her multiple masters and her future phd. - networking is kinda important and we often socialize with aspirational /educated nyc/brooklyn .. The problem is that my Jamaica Queens (hood) born self gets lost in conversation so often that I feel really self conscious because I don't get the references, I haven't read that particular book, nor have I heard that one album EVERYONE seems to know the lyrics to verbatim. .. I feel like a big dumb gorilla, and just close up and keep to myself. When it's a slightly educated crowd (my wifes a teacher and her friends are arty but not snobs, good people) and the jack kerouac quotes are thrown in with bob dylan quotes and.. my inner city schooled brain just implodes. I'm ignorant, I'm not viewing anyone as being wrong in this equation but me - I used to think they were pretentious but you know, I want my kids and family to benefit from knowing those people's kids and not be dismissive, upward mobility and all.

So school me.. Is there like a list of authors, musicians.. cliff notes (Anthology books?), magazines to read.. just shit to read up on in my covid free time to be a little less ignorant and deers in headlights when some cultural reference from 20 years before i was born comes up, that EVERYONE else seems to know about. It's often so weird to me that a 22 year old will finish a joni mitchell lyric from 1967, it's almost like it's keyed in their dna. Note my wife is white, her annoyed response is always "we just grew up around it!" I want a list! hahaha
 
Last edited:

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
53,501
3,762
126
Don't worry about it. Do what you do, and fuck what everyone else thinks. I know some Dylan and Kerouac, but nobody talks about them. People talk about shit that's on tv, and sports, and I look at them with a blank look on my face. I don't care.

If you want to 'fit in'. get people talking. Nobody cares what you think anyway. They just want to make noise, so keep them making noise. Pick something vaguely interesting they just said, and ask them to elaborate on it. You can keep people going for tens of minutes at a time, and you don't have to say anything. Just look interested.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
39,976
3,239
136
💛 lxs. Fuq them. Do you. I can do social butterfly partly because my wife knows everyone. The Govenor/congressional peeps/etc....

I see about some things with the kid. She sees about others...thankfully.

If you want to learn the listed, knock yourself out but you cannot be someone else..... If you'd rather talk shop/tools/property values...do it. Your knowledge in an area sets you apart. Tell them that shit is dropping 30%

Gorilla...big guy? Fuck with them, bodyguard/wrestler/male stripper...😀 Since my kid was 5 or so, he'd ask his Ma if I was telling the truth or not. If you can't fuck with your own kid....

Short story, enjoy and have fun.
 

pcgeek11

Lifer
Jun 12, 2005
16,617
1,513
126
💛 lxs. Fuq them. Do you. I can do social butterfly partly because my wife knows everyone. The Govenor/congressional peeps/etc....

I see about some things with the kid. She sees about others...thankfully.

If you want to learn the listed, knock yourself out but you cannot be someone else..... If you'd rather talk shop/tools/property values...do it. Your knowledge in an area sets you apart. Tell them that shit is dropping 30%

Gorilla...big guy? Fuck with them, bodyguard/wrestler/male stripper...😀 Since my kid was 5 or so, he'd ask his Ma if I was telling the truth or not. If you can't fuck with your own kid....

Short story, enjoy and have fun.

We are on the same page. LOL
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,502
33
91
Don't worry about it. Do what you do, and fuck what everyone else thinks. I know some Dylan and Kerouac, but nobody talks about them. People talk about shit that's on tv, and sports, and I look at them with a blank look on my face. I don't care.

If you want to 'fit in'. get people talking. Nobody cares what you think anyway. They just want to make noise, so keep them making noise. Pick something vaguely interesting they just said, and ask them to elaborate on it. You can keep people going for tens of minutes at a time, and you don't have to say anything. Just look interested.
I completely appreciate the fuck that attitude.. I feel like I've done that for years and now am kinda a loner because of it.. self evaluation leading me to realize alot of it is me feeling insecure in social situations.

Good thoughts on finding my conversation place, focus, niche. I appreciate that advice, I can go on an on about movies or real estate if I get started! I think what scares me is the alpha in the crowd, the wasp guy who notices i'm different and picks at it.. it doesn't happen all the time (trigger: cute wife and kids, happened when i dated out of my league too - alpha beelines it over), but when it does I feel like I'm back in elementary school getting picked on. it's extremely juvenile, i know :)
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
55,610
7,425
126
www.uovalor.com
I rarely know any of that pop culture stuff myself. Just never really been my thing. I watch a TV show or movie, and don't know any of the actors, or hear a song and rarely know the artist etc. When someone asks if I heard XYZ I'm like "I dunno". Without playing it I can't tell you.

Once in a while I might recognize a character as looking like another, like I was watching this movie and I was like "woah that's moss from IT crowd!" But other than that... I don't tend to really keep up.

On the other hand I start talking about something even semi technical and people have no idea what I'm talking about. It seems the average person has lot of useless knowledge and not enough room for more useful knowledge lol.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,625
1,527
136
So school me.. Is there like a list of authors, musicians.. cliff notes (Anthology books?), magazines to read.. just shit to read up on in my covid free time to be a little less ignorant and deers in headlights when some cultural reference from 20 years before i was born comes up, that EVERYONE else seems to know about. It's often so weird to me that a 22 year old will finish a joni mitchell lyric from 1967, it's almost like it's keyed in their dna.
I'd rather have a cigarette put out in my eye. If you have a good sense of humor, use it. You don't have to be assimilated, bring something new to the party.

And the bolded text? yeah man, careful with that, it can go a bad way with some people, but fast.
 
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Tormac

Senior member
Feb 3, 2011
240
42
91
To Slackerinabox,

After I completed my student teaching courses my cooperating instructor gave me a copy of a book titled An Incomplete Education. (https://www.amazon.com/Incomplete-Education-Things-Learned-Probably/dp/0345468902)

Find a copy of it and read through the latest edition of it if you wanted to sound as if you are better read and educated than you really are while making small talk at parties. It has almost no useful information, but it is like an encyclopedia about what the different types of wine are, who are the modern philosophers who educated people talk about, what are the names of the different schools of film in the 20th century, or styles of painting from the 1700's.

Read it twice. It is an easy read, and I think it will help you.

(edited cus I spel gud)
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
59,055
11,189
126
When you say, “Dylan”, he thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas, whoever he was.
 
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Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,539
1,566
126
It's not like that knowledge is white people knowledge just what that particular social grouping knows. I can't identify song quotes for shit and really only read finance or scifi books. So focus on things you know well and speak up during those conversations. Or even bring them up. If they're talking about a bad day at the job jump in with an anecdote about a real estate interaction you had. Most people have some exposure to real estate interactions so that might be an easy one to leverage. If it's important to you to interact more see if there are some common trends. Most people are willing to talk about house/rental complaints/accomplishments, good beer/liquor/wine/coffee/tea, and hobbies so brushing up or engaging in those areas help. If it's the right crowd ask what would recommend. Something like this: "I'm more of a beer guy but have always wanted try and get into wine. I've tried some a few times but it hasn't resonated with me. *chuckle* But there's so many options I'm probably not starting out right. What would you recommend?" and then yo not only have something to talk about, you'll learn lingo for this social grouping AND you have something to talk about next time. Try what they recommend and then talk about how that went the next time you see them.
 

Tweak155

Lifer
Sep 23, 2003
11,288
196
106
I don't see the need to "fit in" from where I'm sitting. You sound very capable of assessing the situation for what it is and have not been motivated to "close the gap" so to speak. I'd suggest this is because you have little to no interest in actually doing it.

Don't waste your time in things you don't see value in. You may think "this is the best for the kids", but the best thing you can do for them is support them in things they see their own value in. If they want to learn about Dylan at some point, I suspect you'll have way more interest in learning about him yourself. At that point, it will be win / win.
 

nakedfrog

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
49,558
2,379
126
Kinda sounds like just study some hippie media.
When you say, “Dylan”, he thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas, whoever he was.
You're saying the man ain't got no culture?


We're doing it right now, aren't we?
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
48,908
2,054
126
I'm white and pretty well off and feel the same way. The difference is I don't give a shit what people think about me and you do. I'm into a lot of nerd shit that other people aren't into.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,502
33
91
Turn your perceived weakness into a strength. Add a few chains and become their pet hood rat who finds them deals because of your shady connections. Kerouac and Dylan quoting pseudo intelligentsia will eat that shit up.
I've thought the *exact* thing, modeling after say a snoop dog that has associates from all walks of life because I bet the guy drops funny ghetto logic and knows how to entertain and sends banging gift baskets (he's been called quite giving by friggin' martha stewart). It's not a bad strategy, if only as a differentiator.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
4,462
471
126
So I know this is going to come off as anywhere from ironic to racist, but I sincerely don't mean any of this as negative - I view *MYSELF* as the ignorant one.

Being quarantined I've been thinking a lot about stupid things and one thing is my inability to keep up at white mid-to-upper class gatherings. I work real estate (clients range from students, bankers, to that one dutch billionaire), dabble in diy film, and my wife is impressive with her multiple masters and her future phd. - networking is kinda important and we often socialize with aspirational /educated nyc/brooklyn .. The problem is that my Jamaica Queens (hood) born self gets lost in conversation so often that I feel really self conscious because I don't get the references, I haven't read that particular book, nor have I heard that one album EVERYONE seems to know the lyrics to verbatim. .. I feel like a big dumb gorilla, and just close up and keep to myself. When it's a slightly educated crowd (my wifes a teacher and her friends are arty but not snobs, good people) and the jack kerouac quotes are thrown in with bob dylan quotes and.. my inner city schooled brain just implodes. I'm ignorant, I'm not viewing anyone as being wrong in this equation but me - I used to think they were pretentious but you know, I want my kids and family to benefit from knowing those people's kids and not be dismissive, upward mobility and all.

So school me.. Is there like a list of authors, musicians.. cliff notes (Anthology books?), magazines to read.. just shit to read up on in my covid free time to be a little less ignorant and deers in headlights when some cultural reference from 20 years before i was born comes up, that EVERYONE else seems to know about. It's often so weird to me that a 22 year old will finish a joni mitchell lyric from 1967, it's almost like it's keyed in their dna. Note my wife is white, her annoyed response is always "we just grew up around it!" I want a list! hahaha
Sounds like you are hanging out with a very specific crowd that talks about very specific topics that you are not interested in. It's not really a white person thing.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
100,462
14,485
136
just be the funny person. also, just be good at what you do. If you don't know that shit, you probably won't care to know it, and it doesn't make you any less of a person. They're probably way more itnerested in your life experiences that sounds like a complete mystery to them, so just talk about what you know. If you care to get close to those folks, go out drinking with some of them and start up with story time.

talk about your music and movies and such.

If you want your kids to be mroe like their kids, then they will do it anyway through school and with whatever friends they choose, if you guys all stick together in the same community for some time. Yoiur kids don't really need you to teach them the things that you never knew.
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
5,050
2,034
136
Turn your perceived weakness into a strength. Add a few chains and become their pet hood rat who finds them deals because of your shady connections. Kerouac and Dylan quoting pseudo intelligentsia will eat that shit up.
*Finds great deals on SlickDeals and tells neighbors*
"Yo dawg, check this out. I got some real low-key connections back home, you gotta keep this quiet otherwise we'll both be in a lot of trouble, but I can get you a brand new KitchenAid Professional stand mixer for 150 bones. You in?"

"Honey, slackerinabox is getting us into some real hooligan street crimes, but I think we should do it! I never thought I'd know somebody with real street connections! This is so exciting!"
 
Jun 19, 2004
24,055
1,491
126
*Finds great deals on SlickDeals and tells neighbors*
"Yo dawg, check this out. I got some real low-key connections back home, you gotta keep this quiet otherwise we'll both be in a lot of trouble, but I can get you a brand new KitchenAid Professional stand mixer for 150 bones. You in?"

"Honey, slackerinabox is getting us into some real hooligan street crimes, but I think we should do it! I never thought I'd know somebody with real street connections! This is so exciting!"
Add three zeroes and everyone suddenly takes it seriously.
 
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pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,114
1,746
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One reason why I've never felt much like listening to Dylan is that I dislike so many of his fans. They almost all seem to be privately-educated. Certainly all the famous ones.

"networking" is a critical part of how a class-system maintains itself.
 
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