Jerry Seinfeld and Me

That’s a trick title!  There is no, “Jerry Seinfeld and Me”.  I watch a lot of comedy, and have for years.  I saw Jerry do stand-up long before he got his TV show.  The only tenuous relation between Jerry and I, is that, much of his stand-up and most of his television show was about nothing.  So I’m going to do a Seinfeld blog.  This post will be about nothing….in particular.

For example, I was born on the autumnal equinox.  That makes me a Virgo.  Virgos are very cynical.  That explains why I don’t believe in all that horoscope crap.

BrainRants says that opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they all stink.  I find that there are three levels of opinion.  First, people do have them.  The second level is that all too many people feel that they have to share theirs with others.  There’s not really anything wrong with sharing.  Obviously almost every blog is the sharing of someone’s opinion.  The trick is to be able to get away from those who share, and share, and share, ad nauseam, about Kardashian marriages, or Celine Dion’s latest album, or the cost of copy machine toner.

The third level is where the opinions stop being like assholes, and the people holding them start.  This is the level where, fortunately but just as irritatingly, a small percentage insist that you must agree with their opinion, and live your life according to their rules.

Every couple of months, I take my adult daughter, and we join the local Free Thinkers group for a Sunday brunch.  At the most recent meeting there was a newcomer male, apparently thrilled to escape religious pressure to blindly believe in things that he THOUGHT were wrong, or at least unprovable.  He showed the same type of assumptions and non-thinking that he was trying to escape.  He kept asking different people, “How long have you been an atheist?”, as if thinking, and believing in a higher being were mutually exclusive.

If you take all the political analysts in the United States, and lay them end to end, they still won’t reach an intelligent conclusion.

Blogging is good for my girlish figure.  I’m in shape, pear-shaped, but a shape.  My wife is a bit of a compulsive snacker and snack buyer, especially if it’s on sale.  Under the stairs, just off the rec room we have a small storage room.  We have six bags of four different flavor potato chips.  We have three piles of large chocolate bars.  We have four different kinds of nuts, a box of chocolate truffles, some roasted pumpkin seeds from Halloween, some pretzels, some cheese twists and some Toffeefay.  If we go downstairs to watch TV at night, I have very little won’t-power.  She’ll suggest a snack, and our weight goes up.  I should come upstairs to blog more often.  No snacks.  No temptation!  No weight gain.

I went to a business seminar once.  One of the first things that the moderator did, was to ask us to describe ourselves with one word.  Of course he got back, Driven, Successful, Organized, Productive.  He looked at us and shook his head and told us that he was disappointed that no-one had described himself as Honest.  I immediately lost a potential fan, when I pointed out that none of us had described ourself as Mammal, Human or Alive, when we all were.  He countered that all these things were self-obvious.  I pointed out that, to those of us who were honest, it was also self-obvious.  Those of us who might admit to themselves that they weren’t completely honest, didn’t want to draw the thought, to the attention of others.  “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”  If you tell someone that you’re honest, they immediately start to wonder.  I passed the test, but I hope I gave the instructor something to think about.

How do you know when a person in a position of authority or power is lying to you?  Their lips move, or their typing fingers or their TV ads.  Sometimes people lie to you by telling the truth.  Several years ago, when trans-fats were the cause-du-jour, I walked into my supermart and immediately noticed a large product display with red printing on the packages and the banner above them.  It said, “Now With No Trans-Fats”.  I instantly knew that I had just been lied to, twice!  The product was Nestle’s 24-packs of bottled water.  Of course it had no trans-fats.  It never did, but, “Now with no trans-fats” says, not only that it did, at one point, but that the company has taken steps to remove it for your safety.  Aren’t we a great company?  Buy our safe products!

I worked with a young man at my last job.  He was an area union rep.  He was also a compulsive liar and shit-disturber.  He would spread the most horrible rumors, just to see people’s reaction, and laugh to himself about it.  He would say that the union just met with management, who had informed them that a contract had not been renewed, and fifty workers were going to be laid off.  Had folks upset for days before nothing came of it and they settled back down a bit, but there was always the fear in the back of the workers’ minds.  I gave him shit one day, and handed him the above line about knowing that he was lying because his lips moved.  He protested that, that was not always the case.  I agreed.  I told him that there were times when he lied that his lips didn’t move.

There was a terrible collision nearby, recently, where eleven men were killed, nine of them migrant workers.  Two local University professors have organized a group of sympathetic, socially influential people to improve the lot of such workers.  I think that’s a great idea.  I just don’t agree with the newspaper headline which reads, “We’re sick of seeing workers die.”  That’s another great thought, but it’s a lie because it has nothing to do with a traffic accident.  When they died, they weren’t “workers”.  They were commuters.  They were van passengers.  They weren’t run over by a tractor, or caught in moving machinery, or sprayed with deadly chemicals.  Their chauffeur missed a stop sign.  How they gonna fix that?  Sounds impressively concerned though.