AUGUST 26, 2011 6:21PM

The Tao Of Seinfeld

Rate: 7 Flag

 To all those young kids who speed through channels faster than they text, stop when you see Seinfeld flash on the screen.  For those who meander down the Tao of Seinfeld they will discover  a philosophy of life for those of us who have none. The center of this philosophy is the randomness of all things.

Life is just a surging sea of random stuff of which we are required to wade: waiting to be called in a Chinese restaurant; killing off the yappy dog next door, and stealing a marble rye for your best friend.

This is it my friends, we have no real meaning, just loosely put together  fragments of ink blotches that look like Hitler's mustache; showing up at a job and pretending you work there and making out during Shindler's List.

As any shaggy-haired philosophy phd student will tell you, Seinfeld is the ultimate expression of exitential nilislism--oozing with absurd nothingness. The great thing about Seinfeld is you know this is exactly what you are going to get--random, absurd, nothingness and lots of fun.

You have the stoic, Jerry who has no passion or emotion for anyone or anything--except maybe, sex, cereal, and Superman. You have George, the personification of existential angst--he believes the world is out to get him because it usually is--especially in a Hoveround. And Kramer--our beloved absurdist creator who says go without your skivies and wear your dreams on your sleeve because you never know, you might get your name on a billboard! Last but not least, Elaine, whom, I call the anti-woman. Sleeps around like an alley cat, hangs out with the guys but has no real emotional neediness except maybe to get that last bad sub sandwich she is chasing just because it's free.

There are no "special episodes" of Seinfeld where "right thing" is beat about our head and shoulders  and we're all supposed to learn something about racism, sexism, or homophobia.

Okay, there's the episode where the reporter thought George and Jerry were gay--not that there's anything wrong with that. And then there's  the episode where you learn there are people converting to Judaism just for the jokes.

Seinfeld has touched my life in many ways--I use the word ensconced whenever I can.  And if any of me and mine find a great parking spot, we don't say, "Wow, what a great parking spot!" We say, "Now, that is a Costanza spot!" Referring to the episode where George parked his car right by the door in hospital only to have a mental patient jump to his death upon it. Now we don't celebrate Festivus at my house but we do bring up the airing of grievances and feats of strength every Thanksgiving. It always get a laugh.

And that's the point. Seinfeld always gets a laugh. It's not a monument to justice, or morality. It's just four goofy friends trying to muddle through the best they know how like the rest of us. So for the young clueless, what a comfort. And for those of us who want to know how to write a sitcom--the gold standard.

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philosophy, tv

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I've never been able to get into Seinfeld... it's just too "New York", and the world doesn't need any more New York than it already has. But I really enjoyed the passion will which you wrote about it. You obviously know what you like and that's a good thing. r.
seinfeld is a masterpiece of tv created by two masters
of sensitive enraged shattered innocence,
grabbing the pieces of their MIND they
have left, and spitting sweet funny venom
at our
Jungian "shadows",
those aspects of ourselves we dare not admit.
like how one may or may not go to the funeral of a new lover,
if she gets swept away by the hurricane, let's say...
the legitimate excuse could be,
well, i got nothing to wear.
george dying would be an interesting VERY SPECIAL EPISODE

elaine would say, jerry, he was YOUR friend, not mine.
kramer would be busy with hydroponic gardening on the roof
of the apartment.
newman would show up sayin ya goin, jerry, right?

after the commercial...

there would be the question of who gets what in georgie's will.
cuz turns out his parents, who died
in the same freak accident,
were loaded.

hm, they would throw back and forth.

end scene: george in his casket, looking fit and trim,
with a ridiculous weave wig on.
who comes back but... of his gals. with a kid...his!etc
Ah now I would hate to see George's parents die--they are an essay in themselves.
And they seemed to get their comeuppance in the final episode! Nice analysis here, Christine. I wonder how many dissertations have been written about the show: seeing as how it was about nothing, and that's a favorite topic among philosophers (and deconstructionist literary critics!). I was always interested in how the show added to the language: soup Nazi, master of your domain, yadda-yadda-yadda, etc.
Seinfeld is one of those shows like I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith, and The Twilight Zone that I can watch over and over again and never tire of the sheer brilliance.
Wow Miguela, those shows are also on the top of my list. Never get tired of great writing.
What I've learned from Seinfled is that it's okay to eat a Baby Ruth bar with a knife and fork. R
Well done piece. Seinfeld is timeless. I'd add Dick Van Dyke Show to that excellent list below. And feel free to just call me

"T-Bone".. . . .
I never thought about this, but I have to agree. What an interesting piece. I always saw a lot of myself in George, much to my dismay. ~r
It's true, Joan, I have so much Kramer in me, I was kind of upset when he thought of the coffee table book that becomes a coffee table before me.