Christian Lander: The TNB Self-InterviewBy Christian Lander
November 13, 2010
Hi Christian, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I have to say that you’re shorter than I expected.
So what do you think makes you qualified to write about white people?
Well I like to say that I have 32 years of experience. (CRICKETS). Well, I don’t really think anything qualifies me as the expert. I’m really just the guy who started writing about it. I think I have been especially blessed with a talent for observation due to my being Canadian.
Why does being Canadian imbibe you with an observational acumen?
One of the things you learn very early on as a Canadian is that literally no one outside of Canada cares what’s happening in your country. We have spent our entire national existence trying to get some sort of credit or recognition from the UK and more recently the United States. I don’t mean recognition like an award, just recognition that something is happening in Canada besides hockey. We are literally a self deprecating country. So when you come to this realization, you spend most of your life looking outward and observation what the English and the Americans are doing. Mostly so we can dress better.
Alright, enough with the niceties, are you a racist?
Not really. I have two black friends, which legally qualifies me as not racist. However, you could say that I’m a bit racist against white people. I stereotype them, I get easily annoyed by them, and very very frustrated when they do something predictably “white.” But all of that anger comes from self-loathing. I am often angry at myself when I gush over a fancy restaurant’s modern take on Poutine or Macaroni and Cheese. I’m frustrated when I find myself lusting over sweaters, and mid century furniture, and raw milk. So am I racist? Not really. Am I self loathing? Yes, most definitely.
I was recently informed that you attended your second reggaeton music festival. Did you find that you were embraced by Latino culture?
Not really. But I did impress a number of people by being able to mouth all the words to a Chino y Nacho song.
Chino y Nacho?
Yes, they are a very popular duo from Venezuela.
Okay, do you think that you’re into this reggaeton music merely because such a small amount of white people are drawn to it? I mean, are you trying so hard to be different from other white people that you’ll fork out money for concert tickets and CDs just to remind them how different you are?
Fine, we’ll move on to your next question. How would you define a “White city.”?
Any place where the local economy cannot support real estate prices.
Touche. So have you read any books lately that you’ve enjoyed?
I read Jonathan’s Franzen’s Freedom and I am forced, by law to love all things produced by writers named Jonathan from Brooklyn. I also read the book Our Bodies, Our Junk which is hilarious and the new book from the guys who run Free Darko. All are brilliant and highly recommended.
So tell me about the new book?
It’s really a continuation and a progression of the first one. It still has the same numbered entries like the first one, but this is broken up by regional drawings and descriptions of all the kinds of white people you’ll find across America.
You know, I thought you’d be a lot funnier in this interview.
Sorry about that.
No no, it’s fine, it’s just that for all the success you’ve had, you’d think that you’d be more, you know talented.
Well, luck has a huge part to play in all of this.