Sunday, January 06, 2008

Remember Seinfeld?

OK, this isn't news. Not even close, being that Seinfeld is over and done and gone. And I have to admit: I've never watched an entire episode of Seinfeld.
Now, what kind of admission is that for someone writing for a hip cutting edge crew like this one (not that I ever claimed to be hip, mind you)? But why not? You may ask: why didn't you ever watch Seinfeld. Well, I suppose there are all kinds of reasons, but here's a couple: I've never aspired to live in New York City. Yes, yes, I know, please don't gasp so loudly, it knocks over the plant stand.
How could a Jew not want to live in New York? Heck, how could anyone not want to live in New York? I know that lots of cool stuff happens there, and I'm sorry to miss it, yes. And it's not that I don't like NYC: I'm happy to visit from time to time, buy a few sefarim, visit friends, get some good kosher food (although I'm just as happy to get my kosher on in LA or Jslm, if that's an option, in fact, preferred, really), see a show, but I do like you New York, really.
But Seinfeld, I just never really thought that it was all that. Maybe it's just me, alone. But I recently was zooming around looking at things and found this on, of all places, a sociology blog (see, I told you I wasn't hip), Danny Hoch talking about why he turned down a bit part of Seinfeld, and a little of the show as it actually happened.
so... reason number two: I just always felt that Seinfeld was somehow ...off. It seems to me that there's a large helping in Seinfeld of using humor not, as it ought to be, making fun of oneself, to mock power, and to make people's vision clearer about how the world really is, as opposed to how it believes it is, but more of a knowing wink wink, we're superior kind of feeling. And I don't love racism in my humor. Sarah Silverman, when she makes her jokes, gives a very different ta'am there: when she makes you laugh, (if you can laugh, or maybe gasp) you can't laugh without squirming, because inherent in her joke is that she's mocking the person who laughs, because they're laughing, but Seinfeld...it's not there. Jewish jokes, IMO aren't funny when they're racist, and they aren't funny when they're misogynist, and it's time certain folks stopped getting a free pass on "humor" because it was said with a New Yawk accent - to the best that I can tell, that's exactly what New York isn't about, so cut it out.

And just in case, I have to complete the admission: I don't like Woody Allen either. He's creepy, and he's married to his daughter. nyah.

1 comment:

rabjeff said...

I agree in general, though I often like the two folks you mention.
The comic who most fits that description, and whom I never can stand, is Jackie Mason.