73. South Park

Any given statement or situation in a white Brit’s life is likely to occasion one of two responses: “I read an article in The Guardian that said…”, or, “Have you seen that South Park episode?”. While The Simpsons and Futurama are seen as A Very Good Thing, Comedy Central’s South Park is widely considered to be The Best Thing Ever. Despite being cruder, less nuanced and more reliant on toilet humour — or, perhaps, because of these traits — South Park is the animated TV show which white Brits most frequently choose to quote.

Pleasingly lowbrow, yet surprisingly balanced on religious, political and social issues, its brand of idiot satire satisfies a deep need for white Brits. While they will go on, and on, and on about Stringer Bell or Don Draper, white Brits secretly consider Eric Cartman, in all his spoilt and whining glory, to be the most perfect character ever to grace TV.

One of South Park’s most genius moments is its systematic and ruthless destruction of Family Guy, a show which is universally hated by white Brits due to its racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and offensiveness to disabled people. To the untrained eye, South Park may appear to display all of these characteristics. However, the crucial difference is that in South Park these bigoted views are usually presented as Cartman’s, and therefore ridiculed, instead of being woven into the very fabric of the show. More importantly, South Park is actually funny; Family Guy, sadly, is not.


72. Stewart Lee

Although briefly covered by ‘misanthropy‘ and ‘meta-humour‘, Stewart Lee’s elevated status among white Brits means that he requires an entry of his own. His acerbic humour, hatred for the Tories and slow-crescendo-delivery means that his fanbase is entirely limited to white Brits; however, their devotion to him is absolute.

As unashamedly elitist as a left-wing comedian will go (all of his fans have at least one university degree), he takes great pride in his narrow appeal, referring to the frequent walkouts he provokes as ‘refining the audience’. His recent cult TV show Comedy Vehicle has brought him financial stability, but also means a higher number of people who do not like his particular brand of humour accidentally coming to his live shows.

His audience-baiting act, or ‘passive aggressive war of attrition’, consists mainly of:
* insulting other comedians,
* insulting the audience,
* pointing out how badly his jokes are going down,
* repetition of one unlikely concept for 40 minutes (with slight variations).

His attack on other comedians is two-pronged: on the one hand, he criticises comedians who think political correctness has ‘gone mad’ and mistake offensiveness for ‘bravery’; on the other, he despises the observational comedy of Michael McIntyre et al. For this reason, white Brits have realised that they hate all other comedians, and are only able to enjoy Stewart Lee and Daniel Kitson.

Some of Stewart Lee’s extended comedic routines have centred around Scooby Doo, pear cider, the Queen’s vagina, PC World, an encounter with Jesus Christ, buses to and from Stoke Newington, the IRA, and crisps. One of his long-running jokes is that he doesn’t have any jokes. He may make a joke, then accuse the audience of being racist for laughing at it. Otherwise, when the audience fail to laugh at something he says, he casts doubt over their intelligence. This is seen as keeping white Brits on their toes.

Half of Stewart Lee’s appeal to white Brits is that they know they are part of the elect few who ‘understand’ him. Not only a comedian, he is seen as a shining example of morals, intelligence, politics and lifestyle. Together with his collaborator Armando Iannucci, he is part of the sacred group of satirists which all white Brits admire and aspire to.

71. Hashtags

Since circa 2010, white Brits have been physically unable to go one entire day without adding a hashtag (#) to at least one word. This is as true of speech as of writing, and the habit is no longer exclusive to Twitter (a website which white Brits have a love/hate relationship with). There is no hard and fast rule about which words are eligible for the addition of a hashtag, but irony is, of course, involved at all times.

Hashtags are #ubiquitous. Normally, white Brits simply insert one hashtagged word into an otherwise normal sentence; however, if they are feeling particularly bold they may construct a phrase made entirely out of #words #with #hashtags (this pertains to writing only). The quality of one’s choice of which words to add hashtags to is seen as directly proportional to the perceived worth of a white Brit as a human being.

A high profile example of hashtag use is ‘#Fail’ in Dalston Superstars, which in turn inspired ‘#Hashtagfail’. This is an especially useful word for white Brits, who use ‘Win’ and ‘Fail’ to describe any given situation. Adding a hashtag to these words is highly recommended if one wishes to blend in. Other good words to use include ‘Winning’, ‘Epic Fail’, ‘FML’, and ‘Lash’.

70. Fairy lights

Lost in their novels and poetry books like modern-day Don Quixotes, white Brits have a quasi-pathological aversion to reality. Paying one’s bills, waiting for the bus, purchasing toilet paper: these necessary degradations which humans must go through for survival are anathema to white Brits’ breezily aestheticised view of life.

Like ostriches burying their heads in the sand, white Brits surround themselves with possessions and pastimes that maintain the illusion that life consists of fine wines, art galleries and reading À Rebours. Where possible, the big bad real world is something they try to avoid. This is why designer cupcakes, vintage furniture and, crucially, fairy lights are so important to them.

Not just for Christmas, fairy lights are ubiquitous in the life of white Brits. They decorate several rooms of the house with them, and it is a well-known rule that every social gathering, meal, café and bar is made better by some craftily-placed fairy lights. Something about their soft-focus lighting makes white Brits’ lives feel a little bit more bearable. Everything looks more picturesque, romantic, and gentle. The tiny lightbulbs are often shaped like stars or flowers, in order to further increase the impression that one lives in a pink and lovely dream world. Turning on fairy lights is the equivalent of taking photos in Hipstamatic: it is a filter through which white Brits look at the world. This way, what they see finally matches the idealised, ethereal perception of reality that they have in their heads.

69. The word ‘cunt’

From Shakespeare’s ‘country matters’ to every second word Malcolm Tucker pronounces, the word ‘cunt’ is deeply embedded in white British culture. While using it as a descriptor of female genitalia is frowned upon, it is entirely acceptable to use this word as an insult for people in a variety of circumstances.

Between friends (usually male), it is a jocular moniker. If you are describing Keane or Razorlight, no other word will do them justice. Aimed at a Tory politician, it is deadly serious, as demonstrated by Jarvis Cocker’s best song of recent times, (Cunts Are Still) Running the World.

The harsh sounds of ‘c’ and ‘t’ make it a deeply satisfying word to use, which partly explains why white Brits call someone a cunt on pretty much a daily basis. A large part of the comedy lies in the contrast created by the crudity of the word and the relatively posh accents of white Brits, much in the same way as attempting to rap makes them look both adorable and tragic. White Brits take great pride in the knowledge that the word is considered shocking by more moralising outsiders, and the more inappropriate the situation, the funnier the effect is deemed to be. It is worth noting that many white British girls suggest that its status as ‘the worst possible swearword’ belies deep misogynistic tendencies, and they therefore make a point of using it nonchalantly.

Perhaps the apotheosis of this word is its use in Withnail and I, when Withnail exclaims ‘Monty, you terrible cunt.’ This particular phrase is particularly in vogue as a term of endearment among close friends.

68. Brunch in Stokey

Poached eggs and bacon and are the way to any white Brit’s heart. Around 2pm on a Sunday, you won’t be able to go for even a cursory stroll without seeing crowds of hungover white Brits queueing up for smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and smoothies. Brunch is also a good weekly excuse to indulge in enormous amounts of food, with the justification that it will soak up the excesses of the night before.

One’s preferred brunch location can reveal a lot about the white Brit’s age, status, beliefs and lifestyle. Edgier white Brits will brunch on Clapton’s Chatsworth Road, while older and more affluent ones brunch in Angel’s many upmarket establishments. Old Street’s Breakfast Club is the standard choice for the young and trendy white Brits who inhabit Shoreditch. With its retro music and pun-riddled dish names (Ham-so Eggsited, Green Eggs and Ham), it generates queues that span into the horizon.

However, while all of East London proliferates with artsy cafes, Stoke Newington is the culmination of white British brunching. Its green and leafy village feel provides a comfortable environment for the white British community. As they walk into their regular cafe for brunch, locals will find anything they need advertised on the cafe’s notice boards: yoga classes, singer-songwriting lessons, artists’ studios for rent, music festivals, and babysitters. The shops on Stoke Newington Church Street sell vinyls, vintage clothes, retro furniture and, increasingly, children’s clothing. White Brits will wear their Sunday best (making sure it looks effortless), strut along the street, look at the deer in Clissold Park, and meet and greet one another. It’s not called Church Street for nothing.

67. Jeff Goldblum

In any game of Five People You Would Invite to a Dinner Party, there is a 97% probability that a white Brit will name Jeff Goldblum.* Goldblum, as he is often referred to, has the ability to attract 20-something models through sheer will power, has a cult following in France, and is able to make anything he touches become viral. But what is the cause of such success?

White Brits revere Jeff Goldblum with a mix of 90’s irony and genuine admiration. It is perhaps his effortless mix of highbrow, lowbrow and borderline insanity which has given him such standing in white Brits’ collective minds. This unique combination has made him a hero, thanks to his appearance in masterpieces such as The Fly, Jurassic Park, Earth Girls Are Easy, and  The Tall Guy. Any white Brit worth their salt will mention Goldblum at least twice a week for no apparent reason.

Moreover, he would certainly spice up conversation at a dinner party, delivering pithy one-liners that combine danger, sleaze, and obscure new-age mysticism.

* Other popular answers to this game: Charlie Sheen, Werner Herzog, Notorious B.I.G.

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