There’s a type of person who continually tries out a combination of varied yet lame hobbies in a quest to find something to replace the sense of endless possibility that died long ago. For some reason, such people are usually white. I’m not sure what draws them to some of the least cool pastimes ever created. It’s not like people of color couldn’t try this shit if they wanted to. But it is much more fun to sit back and watch as the paler members of the species attempt to convince themselves and everyone around them that they are enjoying themselves doing dumb shit like …
#9. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro’s name might literally mean “White Mountain.” This would be totally appropriate, considering how crowds of white people flock to its many easily-hikeable paths and impressive-sounding name each year. For them, summiting Kilimanjaro is an excuse to talk about training for months while only having to train for weeks. It also offers the rare opportunity to use the word “summit” as a verb, as demonstrated in the previous sentence.
For real, though, it’s not as difficult as the terrifying name makes it seem. The most popular path up Kilimanjaro is derisively referred to as “the Coca-Cola route,” on account of how it’s jam-packed with tourists and gift shops the entire way up. Yes, it’s a long walk, one that takes around five days on average to complete, but there’s certainly none of that “stick a pickax in a jagged ridge and hope it holds your body weight” stuff that you envision when you hear someone say they’re mountain climbing.
Oh, there’s also a path that lets people drive most of the way there. When they finally leave their air-conditioned moving palace, the story they tell their friends is officially ready to begin. There are a number of details they’ll be sure to leave out. First of all, Kilimanjaro rises at such an incredibly gentle gradient that the main challenge is to walk slowly enough up to avoid getting altitude sickness. One trail guide described the pace by saying, “imagine an arthritic 90-year-old walking backwards — that’s probably too fast.”
Another detail white “adventurers” will leave out of the story of their “Kilimanjaro journey” is the porters — or brown people they pay to carry their shit for them while they focus on not walking too fast.
Of course, climbing Kilimanjaro is not without its challenges. As this site explains, figuring out how much to tip the guys who carry your bags and cook your food can be extremely tricky.
Upcycling is when you take something old and useless and *gasp* turn it into something pretty and useful. For most of the world’s population, this is just called being poor. It exists as “upcycling” for the same reason ghetto tourism exists. Eventually, rich white people get bored with doing rich white people shit and turn to “seeing how the other side lives” in the name of entertainment. There’s nothing trendy about having to dig through the garbage for a kitchen table. That sweet find you took home, fixed up, and flipped on eBay could just as easily have ended up in the home of someone who needed a table but didn’t have the resources to swing by IKEA and pick one up. Poverty is not a hobby, and it’s certainly not a vacation. Stop treating it like one.
“Imagine visiting a remote island overlooking a tropical jungle in your 4-star treehouse appointed with the luxuries you would find at any high-end resort.” — Glamping.com
Well then you’re not fucking camping, okay? That’s a hotel room that just happens to be located in a tree. For all you know, a tsunami put it up there. It was probably in a Marriott once. Someone probably drowned in your glamping tree, you savage.
#6. Home-Brewing Beer
Have you ever read The Jungle? We have the Food and Drug Administration in this country for a reason. And recently, the main reason seems to be that we need protection from thousands of white men who think they can make amazing beer in completely non-sterile settings and with no knowledge of food science.
True story: A few guys I know bought one of those shitty Brew Your Own Beer kits. The resulting brew was so revolting that it left all of them spraying pure liquid waste from both ends for three days.
Another True Story: I have a friend who tried making his own beer with the intent of maybe, possibly, if everything went well, knock on wood, being able to sell it to local bars so that he may one day, possibly, God willing, leave his day job to become an independent brewer. A short while into this, he said to me, (and I quote), “My house smells like pussy.” This was not because his life had turned into a Budweiser commercial.
He hasn’t talked about it since.
No matter how badass Ron Swanson made it look, woodworking is not cool. Only Ron Swanson can make it cool, and you are not Ron Swanson. Period. You are just a white guy making a birdhouse for his grandmother. One which she’ll likely just hang from a tree out of sheer politeness, like a parent who puts their child’s macaroni art on the fridge door. Hell, you could carve an astonishing eight-person dining table from a single red oak with a butter knife, and the most impressive thing about it would be if people still liked you enough to eat dinner on it.
It’s not known if nonwhite people can make whittling cool, because they cannot sit on their front porch with a knife in their hands without worrying about being shot.