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As a child, I watched a lot of Seinfeld.  

I am sure I would occasionally watch it in prime-time with my parents, but since my mom had a propensity to label the show as "the one with all the penis jokes," it is safe to assume the majority of my exposure to the show came via the highly prized and dedicatedly recorded VHS tapes that my brother would bring home with him to share with my parents during his breaks from college.  And since my family only possessed one TV, I watched almost exclusively those shows which my parents watched (which gave me the faulty world view that all of my elementary school peers were also watching "Thirty Something", "Meet the Press", and reruns of "Eight is Enough.")

Of course, my brother recorded all the episodes  in LP mode, in order to efficiently maximize the full 6 hours of available space on the VHS tape.  Undoubtedly, as a result of this, something must have  been lost in the cinematic quality of the viewing experience.  However, lucky for us, poor quality video had no impact on the comedic appeal of the story line, and this was 1992, when we didn't know better, so we muddled through.

Warning to my brother:  In the unlikely event that you read this, I recognize that my introduction may have piqued your enthusiasm, and perhaps given you the false impression that this article is on the Tao of Seinfeld.  Sadly, I must disappoint.  Rather, this tale is about the emotional dissonance I experienced as an 8 year old child from watching these Seinfeld episodes (and how that relates to the current situation with Syria ...yeah, I'm going there.. just wait for it).  

Don't get me wrong, as I got older, the complexity,uniqueness, and 'intertwined-ness' of the story lines won me over, and the visceral sense of frustration I previously had experienced was packed to the back of my mind, refurbished in the style of outdated childish naivete.  But before my artistic appreciation matured, I 'suffered' through  quite a  bit of emotional incongruity,  the result of which was one recurrently unsettling thought, that I now can only imagine was worded in my head as something along the lines of  "No... wait..  Jerry!  Bah! If you just had only paid attention... now you have to wear a puffy shirt.  [giggle giggle] OK. That is funny. But stupid. Why are they all so stupid?"

Or as I'd word it today:  "How the egocentric self-aggrandizing amorality of otherwise intelligent post-modern adults leads to a cycle of miscommunication, deception and an inevitable string of misfortune and non-redemptive tumult (which includes, but is not limited to wearing a puffy shirt)"  

Now, clearly this "failure to properly communicate" thematic element is almost too simplistic and omnipresent of a thing to even bother discussing.  In order for there to be a story worth telling, there must be some tension between the characters.  Each genre of media creates this tension in its own way, but regardless of style or medium, at least a part of this tension is inevitably created by a failure of the characters to sufficiently and honestly talk to one another.

 - If only Anita hadn't told the Jets that Chino had killed Maria in West Side Story... or better yet, if only one of the Jets had actually read Romeo and Juliet beforehand ("oh yeah, wait, Tony, she's not ACTUALLY dead, this same thing happened that Rom-ee-o dadd-ee-o.")

- If only Derborah Kerr had just texted Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember:

             FYI. In the hospital. Bad cat acid trip.
                                                                    ??? WTF?
             Damn auto-correct.
             I meant "Bad car accident."  
                                                                      LOL.  Be there in 10.

- If only Newman hadn't shut down the electrical system in Jurassic Park. Sure, that isn't an actual failure to communicate, but it is treachery and deceit, and more importantly, it is my attempt to reintroduce the Seinfeld 'motif' to make this article seem like it has more cohesion than it actually does.

Point being, the inability for characters to communicate effectively is the fuel that drives any good story.  Lies, deceit, and unstated proclamations of love make for good dramas.  Ineptness, confusion, and just plain questionable social skills make for good comedies.

Sitcoms, particularly those of 1990s variety, were very well-versed in perfecting the art of the 'poor communication leads to whimsical tension' scenario.  Seinfeld did this best, as the failure to communicate was not just some happenstance of the moment, but rather a result of the main characters' chronic indifference and self righteous indignation.  The tragedies that befell them were not a result of an unjust world veiled in a fog of confusion and bad luck, but the inescapable result of their own inability to look past their self-centered immediate needs long enough to actually comprehend what was going on in the world around them.  I believe this is called 'apathy,' which I sometimes manage to confuse with 'antipathy,' but here they seem to actually go hand-in-hand.  Side note, I generally avoid the use of "antipathy" because I never know how to correctly pronounce it (anti-pathy?  an-tip-apthy?), so in the completely unfounded fear that I may be required to do a reading of this article in front of an audience, I choose to avoid its usage.  Irony noted.

The discomfort inflicted upon my little soul as a result of watching these characters devolve as a result of these AVOIDABLE conflicts was repeatedly felt and noted, to the point where I had to make a conscious decision to rectify the situation by comforting myself with the following axiom: "Real people do not actually behave this way." In real life, though people may never fully agree, they can at least UNDERSTAND each other, and if there is any confusion, the confused party will act to resolve this. "Totes Obvi!" so thought my 8 year old self.

And this confidence in human nature made me a rather happy little child.

I managed to maintain this false sense of security through high school, where I was too focused on my practical reality to care about life truths.  And then in college, I was too focused on life truths to care about practical reality.  And then in law school, I was just too focused on mastering the art of the well-timed sake bomb to care about much of anything else.

And then I entered the real world. And I soon realized that only about 15% of anything stated is actually comprehended by the listener, and for that matter, only about 15% of anything stated is actually true.

It was then that I realized that my comforting truism that I had told myself for years, the "people in real life were more sensible and logical than how art portrays them" concept, was, well, wrong.  Or perhaps even worse.  The people in real life were less sensible and logical than how artistically portrayed, not to mention slightly less likely to randomly break out in well-choreographed musical numbers.  And paler. Bummer all around.

If it was only the failure to communicate information that was the issue, it would be manageable.  'Not knowing' something is a problem, but a much less critical problem than 'knowing the wrong thing.'   Communal knowledge, whether of your family,your work, or your all-you-can-drink-mimosas sunday-brunch crowd,  is like a black box.  If the box were but an empty void which it was your duty to fill, though the process might be exhausting, you could at least make some gains in filling it.  However, there is no void.  We don't allow for a void. That box is actually busting open.  And when you reach into that black box for an answer to a question, you will pull something out.  Something ALWAYS comes out.  But your  ability to distinguish the truth of the something coming out, to validate its veracity, well, that is nigh impossible.  Over time, you just learn to avoid the black boxes about you, live in uncertainty, and play lots of candy crush.

However, just as I had lived in my happy place as a child, despite my adult awareness that no one I know has any idea what they are doing, I still continued to hold onto that lingering hope that someone, somewhere, had a state-sanctioned, legitimate, peer-reviewed Black Box.  I mean, our society has done some pretty freakin' impressive things.  We hurl thousands of people through the air in large metal boxes everyday in complete safety.  We shoot atoms through spiraling underground tunnels and smash them together to expose their insides.  We have practically the entire history of human knowledge accessible to us in a tiny fashionable plastic box, available at all times, even whilst we simultaneously hurl ourselves in metal boxes towards other metal boxes over intricately designed roads and bridges and through more spiraling underground tunnels. And when we smash our metal boxes together (because we were too busy playing with our tiny fashionable plastic boxes), and our insides get exposed, our society has the knowledge and technology to put us back together.  And that's all mightily impressive to me.  

At the risk of losing the logical flow of my reasoning (which is to assume it existed in the first place), I must pause to temporarily jump course. It would be dishonest of me not to start this  paragraph without the following disclaimer:  I have a serious crush on MSNBC's Chris Hayes.  Honestly, I can say that I have had a serious crush on no more than 3 people in my life, maybe 4 if we count my ongoing girl-crush of Jennifer Lawrence.  They include 1. Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike "You're in Good Hands With Alstott" Alstott.  2. NSync'er JC Chasez (in retrospect, I clearly should have gone with J. Lake.  oh hindsight!) and, as already stated, 3. Mr. Chrisropher Hayes.  Regardless of this fact, I feel like I can step away from my bias, and objectively state that Mr. Hayes is a pretty swell writer, and he managed to intellectually prod me in all the right ways in his book entitled"The Twilight of the Elites."  I shall save all of you the pain of listening to my attempt  at summarizing the book, and simply assert the obligatory recommendation to read it, and move on to my actual point.

There is one repeated and unanswerable inquiry Mr. Hayes poses throughout the course of "Twilight", which even now, leaves me ever-so unsettled ... almost  to the level of 1992- Seinfeld-watching-small-child unsettled:  

             What happens when we lose all faith in the Black Boxes of the world?

Or as C.H. actually described it, what happens when we no longer have any trust in our institutional pillars.  Those institutions that fill our lives with a sense of security, sound judgement, and structure.  Governmental, religious, academic, or otherwise. The systems and ideologies in whose Black Boxes we trust.  Or at least trust more than we doubt.

If 9/11 shattered our sense of security as Americans, the Iraq war shattered our sense of sound judgment.  It is one thing to know you are vulnerable to an outside attack, but it is an entirely different thing to learn that your most trusted institutions are capable of failing so resoundingly in their obligation to act upon honest information.  

For the longest time, I thought we could compartmentalize the egregious error of an unjust war by blaming those who forged it.  New leadership means a fresh slate.  Obama = Change!  Time to re-calibrate the moral compass!

So my hope, though beaten, still remained .....until this week and Syria.

Until now I had yet to realize that just because we were conscious of our failure in Iraq, and that we had gone ahead and attempted to 'fix' that failure, that did not mean that we had yet been confronted with the real consequences of it.  Awareness of your mistakes gives you absolutely zero reprieve from the repercussions.  It is not until you are faced with a moral choice that forces you to revisit those past mistakes, and question how effectively  they have been fixed, that you really "feel" your failure.  Until that moment, it is all just a case of bad publicity  and image rehabilitation.  Until that moment, it is about how you are perceived. And then, in one quick blow, your focus strays from the shame of your past wrong to the nagging fear that you will be unable to know if you are about to commit a future wrong.  

Which, finally, leads me the intended result of this entire piece: the conflict in Syria as depicted in a plot summary to an episode of Seinfeld.

           Episode Title: The Sarin Gas

           Guest Stars: Basheer Al-Asaad (as himself)

            Summary
            Everyone blames Basheer, Kramer's landlord, for the 'chemical weapon incident'    
            which resulted in Kramer being hospitalized.  Newman tells Jerry that he saw  
            Basheer do it, but Elaine thinks that Newman actually may be have conspired
            with Kramer to make it look like Basheer attacked him as leverage against the
            landlord, who has been trying to get Kramer kicked out of the building.  George
            tries to convince Jerry that they need to get back at Basheer, but has ulterior
            motives, as he is trying to impress a girl in Jerry's building who is also being
            threatened with eviction.  Jerry ends up looking like an idiot wearing a puffy
            shirt.

So, other than diluting an ongoing civil war which has lead to over a million Syrian refugees and over 100,000 dead into a bad parody of an IMDB episode synopsis, I need to confirm that there is an actual point to my pop-cultural drivel.  

Like the characters in Seinfeld, America's well-informed populace are without a moral imperative.  I think it unfair to equate all of us to the aimless, nihilistic natures of an Elaine or a George, or to the pure ridiculousness of a Kramer, but I think it is safe to say we are all a little bit Jerry.  We have the social acumen to know something about all of this is off.  We even are reflective enough to be able to get on stage and self-depricate for a good laugh:

"And what's the deal with Syria?  Chemical weapons, Assad, really?  Who does that?  Honestly, you should have just asked the U.S. for advice on how to undermine your fledgling middle class and get them to flee their homes.  It's called dergulation of the banking industry and the invention of the mortgage backed security. "  Ba-dum-cha

But before our moment on stage, just like Jerry, we actually have to live the story, as a real thing, not just a critique of a thing. And very early on, we get side tracked by introspective, self-reflective posturing.  Just how Seinfeld ended up becoming 'show about show...about a show', we turn a conflict into a conflict.. about a conflict.  We find ourselves paralyzed in a meta induced international relations stupor.  This isn't just about the use of chemical weapons, but about how we are perceived in our reaction to the use chemical weapons. And how we will be perceived in the future.  This isn't just about the president's decision to respond, but about congress' power and duty to be the correct branch to make the decision to respond.  And about how much public opinion should sway that decision. This isn't about the news coverage documenting the inhumanity of what is occurring in Syria, but about how our news coverage diverts to the inhumanity of Miley Cyrus.  Or about how our news coverage diverts to the discussion on how it diverts to the inhumanity of Miley Cyrus.  But this isn't about Miley Cyrus, it's about racism. Or sexual exploitation. Or is it just about twerking?

And in all of that, do we, the "Jerrys" of the world, ever get around to actually finding out what truly happened?  Do we, or even can we, answer the Who and the Why of the conflict itself? And even if we do somehow fall upon the truth, has not all that self-reflective analysis only bread unavoidable self-doubt? Are we not just continually worried we are going to look like idiots, having to listen to my 8 year old self is in a daze, saying "Come on, not the puffy shirt... again."

In Seinfeld, failed communication is what initially propels the conflict of the story.  But it isn't what escalates it. What I failed to notice as a kid was the fact that, occasionally, the characters would attempt to find answers.  They would go over the facts, and try to clarify the situation, in almost obsessively meticulous detail.  And then, in every move they subsequently made to resolve any confusion, the situation, unavoidably, got worse.  They were pulling answers from a black box which they themselves had filled, which offered them no assurances at all.    

Despite what I personally find to be an illuminating metaphor, just maybe international affairs are not like an episode of Seinfeld.  Maybe it's more Mad About You, or Everybody Loves Raymond (though I am almost positive it is nothing like Cheers).  Maybe we'll come up with an answer, and rally behind it.  Maybe a categorical response by our government one way or another will be enough to re-instill at least a little bit of faith in our democracy and our ability to make legitimate decisions with rational outcomes.

Or maybe we will just blame Newman.

Originally posted to flynfinch on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One word... (15+ / 0-)

    Brilliant!  Astute observations coupled with talented writing.  Well done, Sir!

    If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one.

    by von Dutch on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:40:37 AM PDT

  •  shit, i graduated HS in 1991 (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, SteelerGrrl, rini6, caul, JVolvo

    i feel ancient

  •  Very well done..kudos (6+ / 0-)

    That said...the  Keith Hernadez spitball episode comes to mind here with the whole Syrian issue...for some reason.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Comedy Gold.... Jerry should pitch this to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    ... the Japanese TV people. Don't forget the Oranges!!

  •  NEWMANNNNN! (5+ / 0-)

    Jerry's classic line can also be delivered as
    MCCAINNNN!

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:55:10 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (3+ / 0-)

    The comparison is excellent but unfortunately the stakes are far higher in Syria. Any action (or inaction) that we take in Syria will have a major impact on the lives of millions of people and the geopolitics of the region. The worst thing that ever ended up happening to the Seinfeld cast was a year in jail.

    Thanks for the reminder that so much of what happens both in politics and foreign policy depends on perception just as much as reality.

    "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but none that I am prepared to kill for." - Gandhi

    by billyleeblack16 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:01:17 AM PDT

  •  Helluva debut diary. I tip my hat (7+ / 0-)

    to your entertaining and thought-provoking analysis. Very well done; more please.
    It can be disconcerting to realize there's nothing truly authoritative about what's in those black boxes. Or, to use an older metaphor, that the emperor is naked.
    But it can be liberating too.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:26:51 AM PDT

  •  I confess a possible heresy here: (5+ / 0-)

    I tried to watch one Seinfeld episode and couldn't find the humor in the characters' "chronic indifference and self righteous indignation," which I wrote off as narcissism. I had friends and family who watched, though, and they seemed to enjoy the stories and, of course, the sitcom's popularity made it impossible not to learn what was going on in certain stand-out episodes. But reading your analysis of the show and its application as an extended metaphor to our society and elected officials as we all, in one way or other, debate the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons, I feel for the first time that I missed something special by not watching Seinfeld.

    I bet your brother would offer to lend me the video tapes, but please tell him "no thank you" for me: I can probably find them online in better video quality.

    As for your spec plot summary for a new episode, I would not be at all surprised if art were imitating life there. I may have missed this part, returned to the TV room too late after stepping out during a commercial break, but do Jerry and his pals even know what Basheer the landlord has to say about being accused of starting the "chemical weapon incident"? Then again, maybe Basheer's remaining mum after learning from Saddam Hussein's star turn as Beaver Cleaver that any reputation as a liar, deserved or not, means the parents (or your Uncle Sam) won't believe you when you tell the truth.

    The truth is out there, and the only way my faith will be restored in "our democracy and our ability to make legitimate decisions with rational outcomes" is if we actually used reality rather than black-box fantasy as the basis for our actions. But since only one burning question seems to have guided the UN's investigation of reality--"Were chemical weapons used?" and not "Who used them?"--the best I can hope for is that wearing a puffy shirt will be the worst that could happen.


    "Until Justice rolls down like waters and Righteousness like a mighty stream" — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by vahana on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:27:34 AM PDT

  •  The Dangers of Going It Alone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, JVolvo, midnight lurker

    Your point is well taken. The people in our society often don't seem better in any way than the sit-com characters they watch on TV. Part of the appeal of the sit-com is that people can watch someone "just like them" only a little worse suffer for their foibles.

    And we all have foibles. I'll nominate myself as the archetypal foible haver.

    But I still have an opinion, just as everyone else, and the way to get our system to perform better is to put all the opinions (silly though they may be) under the magnifying glass (in a way, just like in a sit-com) and have the system come up with the answer (rather any individuals on their own).

    Where our current system breaks down (and perhaps didn't in the past) is that we don't really allow that process to proceed without interference. Instead of everyone having their say and then taking a vote, we have the representatives of our money have their say and then later, they buy the votes behind the scenes.

    It's not a perfect world. Even so, I think it improved this weekend when President Obama decided to ask Congress for authorization of force. He apparently did that because the British Parliament refused authorization to the British government to use military force.

    This is one of the few instances where democracy has advanced recently. British democracy appears to have supported democracy in the U.S., leading to a shift back to authorization for war coming from Congress.

    Congress may not be a perfect representation of the people of the U.S., but putting this to Congress means getting a much broader support than having the President go it alone. Any person can be wrong on any issue, but when many voices are heard then it's more likely we will get the right answer.

    The world is far too complex to have one person decide whether we should go to war or not. The move back to authorization by Congress isn't just a nice thing or observing the formality. It has the practical consequence of making it less likely we'll suffer from a mistake.

    What we see over and over in the sit-com of life is people making decisions on their own--and suffering the consequences. Those consequences are intentionally not too damaging on TV. But in the RL version, they can be devastating.

    •  Who Has Bought In So Far? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, Liberal Thinking

      France - check
      Saudi Arabia - check
      UAE - check
      United Kingdom - oops

      So far, it still looks like a case of "let's you and him fight."

      Obama went too far, too soon with his "red line" rhetoric. I wonder what was truly behind that. After all, in 1988 one of our favorite despots (before he wasn't a favorite anymore) committed a genocidal atrocity in Halabja, and the US didn't rush in.

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:18:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are describing the Dorothy Syndrome: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    guavaboy

    New hires often enter a business expecting a wizard commanding the work of all around, and eventually they realize that there is no wizard: they pull back the curtain and see mass uncoordinated work.  Alot of people then quit in frustration because they cannot fathom how the system work.  They have been educated to follow instructions (solve the problem!) and there is always a teachers edition with the one right answer in the back.  When they find out there is no teacher, much less a teachers-edition (to life), and certainly no one-right-answer, they tend to lose it.  Others realize life isn't so simple, and if there is one-right-answer, then you aren't really doing anything new and if your job is new design, then you are failing.

    The rules to monopoly are fair and apply equally to all. So what is your problem with joining a game-in-progress where all the properties are bought and the bank is empty...???

    by ban48 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:31:51 PM PDT

  •  The problem isn't 'faith in institutions is (3+ / 0-)

    failing'.  The problem is the concept of 'faith in institutions'.  We should never have 'faith in institutions', we should have 'understanding of institutions', and that is what we as a nation are sorely lacking in.

    Businesses are about making money, don't ask me, read the Wall Street Journal.  Business leaders themselves say they are ALL ABOUT MAKING MONEY.  They are NOT about ethics.  The only thing to trust is that they will try to make money.  Understand business, and not instead have faith in business, and you will understand the housing market crash.

    But we don't have that, we have faith.  So we pass a bunch of silly laws giving hand-outs and free-passes to the wealthy on the faith that they will someone violate the basic business principle of making money and instead pass back that money plus more to us.

    The rules to monopoly are fair and apply equally to all. So what is your problem with joining a game-in-progress where all the properties are bought and the bank is empty...???

    by ban48 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:38:35 PM PDT

  •  Comparing America's vision of the Syrian war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    to a sit-com is probably the most insightful, truest, absolutely dead-on explanation of, not only our dithering about the Middle East, but about everything.
    We have a Congress that does "nothing" except look out for itself because we have a nation of people who do the exact same thing. So why are we complaining, since we are accurately represented by our government?
    Our nation is replete with Seinfeld episodes as our identity:
    Why do we have a military able to take on all the next 13 largest foreign  militaries at once? "Uh, I don't know."
    Why do we relentlessly use energy and resources without care, though the effects of resource shortages and global warming are getting more and more evident? "Gee whiz, I should know that ..."
    How come we view our government as a hopeless, deadlocked morass of corruption and special interests, yet re-elect 90% of those responsible for it? "Ummm, not sure."
    If you look at each and every situation in this country as a Seinfeld episode ("why do we use fracking to radically increase the rates we burn through natural gas, poison our water, increase greenhouse gas emissions, and destroy neighborhoods?""Hmm..uh..er.."), you can truly grasp the huge predicament we're in, with no prospect of getting out of it.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:06:32 PM PDT

  •  Congrats on making it to Community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, cosette

    Spotlight with your first diary.

    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:07:08 PM PDT

  •  If it were my duty, ... (4+ / 0-)
    If the box were but an empty void which it was your duty to fill, though the process might be exhausting, you could at
    least make some gains in filling.
    to fill all the Black Boxes, I would fill them with your brother and his VHS tapes of Seinfeld, so that every time someone reached in, they were assured to pull out the same wisdom you were blessed to receive as an 8 year old.
    If by chance your brother should read this post, I thank him.


    I seem more relaxed lately. I've returned to writing in cursive.

    by glb3 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:58:46 PM PDT

    •  ...And if such a box exists? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, cosette

      Such a dream could become a reality, as I am relatively sure he still possesses every single one of those tapes.  I can't confirm that the box is black, and have my serious doubts that we could also fit him in it, but I am now compelled to go on a hunt for its existence.

      He also made me watch a lot of the Boston Celtics as a little girl (he clearly was still reeling over the disappointment of not getting a little brother).  I'm not sure how influential that was on my life, but I feel like it definitely has advanced me in some manner yet indescribable.

  •  I totally agree on the Chris Hayes thing (3+ / 0-)

    Great book (Twilight of the Elites) and brilliant/crush-worthy guy (The term "worthy" reminds me of that episode with Elaine and the ... I won't go into detail but you remember. Don't deny it.)

    Loved your piece... Every discussion on international conflict and war could use a bit of pop culture ;-)

    An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

    by rini6 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:36:05 PM PDT

  •  I thought this article was (0+ / 0-)

    about Seinfeld Syrian ancestry (from the title). It turns out something different.

  •  In your depicted world, then, Larry David is God! (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:45:52 AM PDT

  •  great writing nt (0+ / 0-)

    "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

    by cassandraX on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Seinfeld is Syrian himself. (0+ / 0-)

    No, really. His mother is a Syrian Jew.

    Somehow I doubt he would incorporate Syria into his "show about nothing."

  •  sorry but my response is 'meh' (0+ / 0-)

    Seinfeld was a show (and imo a rather poor one) that yes indeed tries to portray narcissism and indifference as 'funny'. And no I never really go that.

    Further if I understand the premise of your diary right (the US has no 'moral imperative' here because some of us are more indifferent and narcissist like some of the characters) then I reject your premise.

    More over I question the wisdom of comparing real life events to a TV show. Inherently TV shows are not really about 'real life'  they pump up the drama, the thrills and everything else to entertain.  We really need to not base our ideas off of something artificial.

    Still thank you for the diary.

  •  It’s not about nothing, it’s about Israel. (0+ / 0-)

    Israel safety from weapons of mass destruction is on the line...
    Yada, yada, yada, get to the point….  Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

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