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In brief: "Seinfeld"

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And just to prove I have as many doubts about New York as about California, this spitting on the corpse before it’s cold: The passing of Seinfeld, that Cheez Doodle of urban fecklessness, into cryogenic syndication inspires no tear in this cave. Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine never spoke for my New York, not on a Southern California soundstage, lean and mean in their terrarium, wearing prophylactic smirks to every penis joke. Without going so far as to suggest that everybody I know wears a DEATH BEFORE MELLOW T-shirt, in Seinfeld I always miss the snarl and the edge, not to mention real politics and real work. Shouldn’t they require, as they go to movies, or eat Chinese, or dump on their parents, some psoriatic qualm about relationships and bicycle messengers and meta-narrative that comes only from trying like Sisyphus to find an apartment, a lover, a cab, a Zeitgeist, or even an ontology? I know we’re all so postmodern-hip that we can be ironic about our own nostalgia -- but nostalgic about our own irony? The worst thing about the sensibility of the eighties is that it bequeathed to us those sitcoms of the nineties in which every young adult on television is either a yuppie or a slacker, and too often both -- sun-dried as if in extra-virgin olive oil; crouched in sports bars and faux bistros to consume minimalist meals, tethered to all that’s trendiest, waiting for either Bret Easton Ellis or maybe David Letterman. Instead of Howl, yadda yadda.


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