Saturday, May 03, 2008

Icons of an Era

Periodically in American history there are movements that define a generation.

In the early 1800s anti-masonry and the Anti-Mason Party helped alert America to the evils of that band of apron-wearing back-room-deal-making weirdos.

In the 1870s thru the early 1930s it was the Temperance movement. This army of bitter house wives struck a blow for wives everywhere sick of cleaning up their husbands alcohol induced vomit. This poorly aimed vomit proved, coincidently, that one can't puke in a chamber pot when sloshed.

TV forever transformed the homes and communities of America. Instead of meeting at taverns to discuss things while getting hammered, American men now met to watch sports (in which they could not participate because of their ever expanding waste lines due to watching sports instead of playing) while imbibing of the devil's brew. Concurrently with this trend the poodle skirt and leather jacket manufacturers of America created a movement based on bad musicals set in NYC. This proved the first and most important maxim of American manufacturing. "Get kids to want it and they'll pester the parents into buying it". This maxim has effectively created our society of conspicuous consumption.

Fast forward to the 1990s and a new movement appeared. This movement was not only paradoxical in name but represented the apogee of American cultural life. This was the movement of the "do-nothing generation". A generational swath of time wasting, ambitionless people, lazed about the land at Starbucks and Borders, discussing the difficulties of their sex lives and Nietzsche (and hopefully not how the two meshed).

This high point in American society was embodied in the greatest program in television history. Yes, I speak of Seinfeld.


From feeding Beefarino to a Handsome Cab horse, to the Soup Nazi. From stomping on a flaming Puerto Rican flag to getting beat up by a large group of....well queens....for not wearing the AIDS ribbon. Seinfeld encapsulated in a half hour every week the life of every lazy 20-something still living in their parents' basement. Seinfeld was their life story, and thus the greatest of all television series.

And yet....

Dare I suggest it...

Dare I say it....



30 Rock is better!

12 comments:

Astrid said...

This is really stupid...

"We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States."

Also, I never really cared for Seinfeld.

La Yen said...

I thought I was the only person who felt this way.

Long live MILF Island and Sandwich Day. And the #1 Beeper King of Long Island

Mia said...

YES!!!

dastew said...

Sorry Astrid. That's what I get for embedding something not from YouTube. Just take our word for it, 30 Rock is awesome.

mr. jo bloggity said...

30 Rock, all the way. Besides being a great show, it's re-invented Alec Baldwin as... someone who can act.

Alissa said...

Kenneth slays me. "I don't vote because it's a sin to choose. That's why I always write in the LORD'S name."

Jon & Chelle said...

A movie with Cramer and Tina Fey would be a hit! Also, your foster cat looks really fat.

Roy @ CNM said...

My greatest sorrow is that high council meetings are twice a month on Thursdays, so I'm out of the 30 Rock loop. It may be my first (and likely only) TV series DVD purchase ever. Also, Summer tells me that in the most recent 30 Rock, Tina Fey was signing her (Summer's) theme song...

Kristi said...

Yes, we must concur. Also, you can catch all episodes online (you just have to watch the same psychadelic Herbal Essences commercial 8 times).

Rick and Ryan said...

Well, I'm a big fan...I'm just not sure if it surpasses Seinfeld quite yet. Perhaps with time...patience, patience. However, my personal motto has always been, "me want food!"

Coops said...

Just a late comment here, this post inspired me to check the show out because of your ravings - we have watched the first 3 episodes so far ... I have to say, so far I am struggling to find any real entertainment in 30 Rock ... I will battle on as I have already downloaded more episodes, and I have nothing better to do while I am in hospital the next few days. It is probably good that it doesn't make me laugh, no risk of splitting stitches so far though :(

Waldo said...

I have to agree that the '90s were the cultural high point of American life. Good TV, good movies, GREAT music (I mean, Nirvana, the Pixies, Sonic Youth, new Beastie Boys albums, c'mon), and the Frappucino.

Oh, and I got married, and you met me. Everyone wins in the '90s.