If you read anything on the internet that should fully encapsulate the sad state of the highly, easily, incredibly stupid and way too often offended world we live in today, this following article is the epitome.
Seinfeld- Often said (by me, right now) to be the Citizen Kane of TV shows, starting off not reaching too wide of an audience but in the end considered to be one of, if not, the greatest TV shows of all time. It ended 20 years ago. At the time nobody thought we’d live in a world where you carry computers in your pocket, there’d be more than two genders, or the Cosby Show wouldn’t air reruns, for whatever reason. We had Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to keep us entertained and make us laugh at nothing in particular, but still somehow to everything that we could relate to. Yet here we are, in an era where people feel the need to cry about topics from TV shows that haven’t been on in two decades, to cry foul at what others find funny, because they’re running out of things to call racist, offensive or hurtful relevant to today.
The writer- Angelica Florio, a freelance writer (unemployed) with a private twitter account that can’t take criticism and refuses to defend her opinions. This is my first time hearing her name, and I’ll take a look at some of her other stuff later, because I’m sure it’s going to be as fascinating as this article. But for now, lets break down her paper thin skinned opinion on the greatest sitcom of all time that doesn’t have Michael Scott in it.
13 things from Seinfeld that if you find yourself being too lazy to look for something totally unoffensive but want to be offended for attention and because your parents never said no to you, you can be offended about. That’s her article. As someone who’s seen every episode probably between 1 and 1000 times each, I know all these episodes well.
1.The Soup Nazi.- She went for the obvious and easiest choice here. Not because it’s winter and everyone loves a hot bowl of soup, but for the word Nazi. This was her headline grab, and she knew it.
“What might be the most well-known joke from Seinfeld is also one of its most disappointing ones. Maybe in 1995, when the episode (titled “The Soup Nazi”) aired, it felt okay for viewers, but in 2018 when groups of Neo-Nazis have become noticeably emboldened, using the term “Nazi” to label someone as a joke doesn’t sit so well anymore”
Yes its a well known joke from the show, mostly because it’s funny. Also highly quotable and fun to call people who are acting like asshats. When people hear “Soup Nazi” they immediately think of Seinfeld. They don’t think of Hitler, World War II era Germany, skinheads with swastikas tattooes on their bodies, or dumb ass racist narrow minded fools holding the Confederate flag. They think of Seinfeld and “No soup for you!” being screamed. Had it been the “Soup Neo-Nazi”, it’d be a different story. He probably wouldn’t even have served Jerry and would have made him leave due to being Jewish and all. The guy was also clearly a villain, he wasn’t sympathetic, he was just an asshole who was particular about his soup. There weren’t any Holocaust jokes or Nazi sympathizers. The character was the joke, not the word Nazi, but calling him one definitely added laughs, and rightfully so. It still does to this day. Right off the bat, this woman shows she clearly doesn’t know what a joke is. Which is why it’s shocking she only chose 12 more.
2. The Indian Giver– A term we all used to use when we were in elementary school. We watched Pocahontas, ignored the true story of her being raped and everything, proudly wore Chief Wahoo, and gave classmates our Pogs only to immediately want them back.
Joking about a Native American person being an “Indian Giver,” was never okay — and it’s definitely not okay now. Joking that a racial stereotype about an oppressed group is actually truthful is a dangerous road, and Seinfeld probably couldn’t get away with doing that in 2018.
Except it was OK, Angelica. It was OK 20 years ago when I was ten and immediately decided I wanted something I had given someone back, and it’s OK today. It was (still is I hope, for the sake of today’s youth) a term used by kids on a playground, in this case on Seinfeld when Jerry’s hot native american girlfriend wanted her TV Guide back. He didn’t take her land, hell you’re living on Native American soil, if you want to defend the indigenous people. Go find a Native American and give them your apartment your parents pay for, if you want to make it right. Otherwise you’re a hypocrite. In the meantime, I’ll be over here wearing my Chief Wahoo hat til the day I die.
3. Kramer Stomping on a Puerto Rican Flag– OK, this one I won’t fault you on. It was actually found to be pretty offensive then, which is why NBC took the episode out of rotation and apologized. I guess they saw the influx of crybaby spoiled brats that was going to be gunning (sorry, is that offensive?) for them 20 years later.
This episode actually caused a controversy in 1998 when it aired, as The New York Times reported that the president of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Manuel Mirabal called it an “unconscionable insult.” Mirabal said, “It is unacceptable that the Puerto Rican flag be used by Seinfeld as a stage prop under any circumstances,” theNew York Times reported.
Over 20 years later, the joke is still sour.
Oh, so you know it caused a controversy? Yet we felt the need to bring it up again. Since this was the one that actually was found to be offensive at the time, maybe it should’ve been number one? That wouldn’t have garnered as much attention as using the word “Nazi” though, so I understand your hypocrisy and attention seeking decision.
The episode was offensive because Kramer burns the Puerto Rican flag. Yes this is wrong, I do agree, flags should not be burned. I would hope anyone who agrees flags should be respected also would agree that we should stand and honor them when the national anthem is being played for whatever respected Country you’re in, but that’s another argument I’m sure Angelica disagrees with, continuing her ride down hypocrite way. As for this in regards to Seinfeld, I agree it was offensive, as did NBC 20 years ago. That’s like calling up your mother and crying about the time your brother threw you into a pile of VHS tapes 20 years ago causing you to need stitches. (That was specific because it happened and yes, I do continue to hold a grudge.) Either way, you’ve moved on, they’ve moved on, forced apologies were made, get over it.
4. The ‘Joke’ That Someone Thinks Jerry And George Are In A Same-Sex Relationship- Here we go, you’ve stumbled upon a nice example of homophobia you can use to continue streaming those snowflake tears.
In Season 4, Episode 17, a journalist thinks Jerry and George are in a same-sex relationship and it’s the basis of a whole episode’s worth of bad jokes. Even if this same joke recurred in Friends years later, it’s really not that funny now.
Well the jokes weren’t bad, hence people laughing at them then, and for those who watch reruns, continue to now. You’ve also decided to ignore the famous line from the episode, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Two heterosexual men, afraid they’re being labeled as gay. Even in todays homophobicphobic (new word, you’re welcome Websters) world, most straight men would not enjoy being accidentally called gay. Not wanting people to think you’re into the same sex, when you’re trying to score with the opposite sex, is pretty natural. Considering Jerry and George actually didn’t say anything homophobic, and made sure to make it clear there was nothing wrong with being gay anyway, there isn’t much to be offended by. Even homosexual men have had to have laughed at this joke. Which I don’t believe you are, so maybe don’t try to speak for all of them?
5. When Kramer Has Houseguests From Japan Sleep In His Dresser Drawers– OK you’ve hit homophobia, now we’ve got our stereotype joke to cry about. Asians are considered small and can fit in small places. That’s the joke. And in the episode, it hits.
Kramer has visiting Japanese businessmen stay in his apartment, and since the space is limited, Jerry’s neighbor has the house guests sleep in dresser drawers. That just wouldn’t fly now.
Why wouldn’t it? There were no air BNBs and Kramer didn’t have much room in his apartment. We all don’t have parents funding our lives so we can write our blogs about being offended about what they found funny, so we all don’t have that much room to share. Kramer found a way to fix it. There’s three of us on this site, one of us is Asian. He’s been to China, he agrees the average height there is much shorter than ours. He also agrees calling Asians bad drivers and dog meat eating tourists with cameras too big for them is funny. Again, he’s Asian. So don’t assume what his ethnicity finds funny. We’re not supposed to assume anything these days, right?
6. When Jerry accidentally gets a man deported- I’m actually shocked you didn’t get angry at the stereotypical Pakhistani character that gets deported. I guess some things fall through the constantly offended cracks?
Again, so much of Seinfeld’s humor relies on the misfortunes of its main characters who haplessly fumble into misunderstandings that often have major consequences for other characters. That’s exactly what happens in the episode when Jerry mistakenly causes Babu Bhatt to be deported.
You actually didn’t specify why this is offensive. In fact you give very little info regarding the episode or characters at all. So if someone hasn’t seen this episode, we’re supposed to be offended that a character was deported? People still get deported today, right? So not knowing the background on this is kind of lazy “journalism” on your part. Nice try, good catch on a possible subject to stomp your foot and moan about, but really came up short here.
7. Cedric and Bob– OK, so now you’re just using names. Hopefully your tiny blurb you put very little work into will help us understand this.
Cedric and Bob appeared in three episodes, per Seinfeld’s Wiki, including the “Puerto Rican Day” episode. In each episode they appear, the two characters who make up a gay couple play up stereotypes of both of Latinx and homosexual male cultures.
OK, so they’re stereotypes of gay and latino men- stereotypes of Puerto Ricans and homosexuals. stereotypes. Puerto Rico. Homosexual. Got it, you’ve nailed the trifecta, however again, added no substance. You’ve also kind of let your hand show you haven’t actually watched Seinfeld, as you need Seinfelds wiki to give you the absolute minimal amount of info related to this cry for offensive sympathy.
Also- they were funny. They bullied Kramer, and it was great. They weren’t dancing around poles in speedos and singing the Village People. They were just kind of obviously gay, and the joke was them tormenting Kramer. Not much else to it, maybe research the stuff before crying about it?
8. When George Got Caught Staring At A Teenager’s Breasts– OK, this was flat out wrong and creepy. Not sure who it was offending though? If a man today were to be sneaking a peak at a teenage girls chest that was popping out, he’d be called a creep right there. He’d also be doing what probably every other man in the world would be doing.
Everything about this storyline is awkward, and it’s probably enough to make any die-hard Seinfeld question the show if they think about it for too long.
OK, so you’re calling yourself a die-hard Seinfeld fan here? Or you’re just speaking for them? I’m going to go with the latter. You also chose to not mention that the actress in question for this episode was 22 year old Denise Richards playing the teenager. Even Cedric and Bob would probably be caught leering down 22 year old Denise Richards shirt if she bent over. It’s not offensive, its creepy, and also common, especially for someone who looks like Denise Richards.
8. The Chinese Woman– You can probably convince us with the title that it will be offensive against Chinese, so lets see what clever words you’ve managed to scrounge together to make your point.
“If I like their race, how can that be racist?” Jerry asks after telling Elaine that he “loves Chinese women.” Hopefully the issues with that exchange don’t require further explanation for anyone in 2018.
Wow, floored me with that Pulitzer prize writing. “Hopefully I don’t need to explain my point because I don’t have the time/patience/writing ability/or intelligence to do so” is how I read that. Anyway, as far as the episode itself being offensive, its a man having a type. That’s pretty common today I think, in both the heterosexual and homosexual dating world. Women also have types, be it a tall man, man with a dad bod, big bank account, big heart, blue eyes, brown eyes, whatever you get the point. Being attracted to someone because they’re Asian is their own thing, how dare you give them grief about their own individual attractions?
10. The Joke About The ‘Pigman’ -Are you really about to stand on a pedestal and rant about how Pigmen deserve equality? Have you really scraped the bottom of the barrel that much that you need to fight for pigmen??
Kramer thinks he sees a “pig man” while at the hospital, and then later he discovers that the person was a “fat little mental patient.” Yikes.
Oh, ok, you’re “ranting” (I think it needs more than 2 sentences to be a meaningful rant, especially when one sentence is literally one word, but anyway) about mental health. Another common issue you can now checkmark as you fighting for. Except it wasn’t really a joke about mental health. This guy really thought he was a pigman and, even though we didn’t see him (right, you watched the episode? ;)) we were led to believe he might be too. We find out later he’s not, in a quick joke that honestly, I am chuckling about as I type this. If this offends you, take your pills and grow up.
11. When George Pursues A Woman Because She Can’t Speak English-Again- we’re going to shake our fists at the clouds due to someones weird fetish.
In Season 4, Episode 18, George and the crew volunteer to help the elderly. Once George learns that a housekeeper who works for Jerry’s assigned patient doesn’t speak English, George says he’s interested in dating her. The joke here is that George finds a woman who can’t talk to him attractive and, ew.
Yes it’s a weird thing to be attracted to, but after reading the 200 words you put into this “article” I can understand why men might be turned off by what some women have to say. I am also sure some women are turned off by what men have to say. I’m sure men are turned off by what other men have to say… yadda yadda you get my point (another Seinfeld reference, since you’re clearly a big fan)
Not sure who this would offend though? George finds something attractive, no its not conventional, but I don’t think he’s the only guy who has ever lusted after a Spanish speaking woman. Are you angry nobody taught her English? Is that it? This misplaced anger of yours confuses me.
12. The Joke About The Handicap Spot – Handicapped people!! We haven’t gotten to stand up for them yet (no pun intended, that would be rude)
In a Season 4 episode titled “The Handicap Spot,” Kramer convinces George to park in a handicap spot, and when the group returns to the car, they learn that a person in a wheelchair got into an accident because the handicap parking spot was taken.
The fact that a big laugh comes after a woman describes the person in a wheelchair falling down an incline and into a wall might make you feel a little bit icky, and for good reason.
OK, so the episode actually shows why you shouldn’t park in a handicapped spot. Instead of it being a simple lesson where George and the handicapped person have a simple conversation, shake hands, and go about their separate ways with a better understanding of one another, a funny story had to happen. I guess that makes sense since it’s a sitcom and it relies on comedy to thrive, but we’ll ignore the obvious here and cry foul.
Have you seen a person fall down? It’s funny. Even if they’re hurt, your first instinct is always a cross between trying not to laugh and (for some) seeing how you can help. Its natural. It happening to someone in a wheel chair, with a ramp included, is also funny. Awful if it happened in real life, but, which I think is a main point you’ve been missing, it was on a television show and no handicapped people were harmed during production. You don’t need to fight for the fake. Sorry to the small population of people in wheel chairs who have had this happen to them, I have a feeling though even they probably laughed (well after it happened) Jackass made millions off watching people get hurt, a simple joke about it shouldn’t anger the masses.
Also- the episode has the good message of DON’T PARK IN HANDICAPPED SPOTS IF YOU’RE NOT HANDICAPPED. Which I think we all agree is kind of a good message. We like to ignore positive qualities when look to complain about something though. Good job sticking to the script.
13. The Joke About George’s Girlfriend’s Big Nose– We’re here, the one minority you almost left out totally. People with big noses. As someone from an Italian family, I can totally get behind this. Honkers run big on my dad’s side of the family (honkers=noses, pervs) so it’s about time someone who has no business getting involved in this issue gets involved in this issue.
In Season 3’s ninth episode, George dates a woman with a large nose, and she decides to get a nose job after Kramer says that she needs one. It’s so wrong on so many levels.
This is to a world where girls idolize the Kardashians and random housewives in Beverly Hills, all of whom are like 75% no longer real humans, but a mixture of silicone, Botox, wine and poor choices. You’re now going to get angry that a woman gets a nose job because someone rudely says she should? Maybe that was for the best, maybe she’s more comfortable and happy in her new small nosed face. I think it’s wrong to go around insulting people for how they look, 100%. It was rude of Kramer to do so, but in the end, it was for the best. The woman turned out to be happier in life. Don’t knock others for doing things to their bodies that only make them feel more comfortable. That seems to be on the continued path of hypocrisy that you seem to have residence on. Who is this offending? Is it telling girls they need to conform to society standards to feel comfortable with themselves? Is that the argument you’re going to make? I think if someone of either gender wants to make a change, they should have the right to do so. Don’t thumb your nose (pun!) at them. Grow up and get a life and stop thinking you need to stand up for everybody who didn’t ask you to.
As much as you want your favorite show in the world to withstand the test of time, Seinfeld fans might have to find out that their show is a problematic favorite in many instances.
Wrong, us Seinfeld fans will continue to watch and laugh, because it’s one of the best shows of all time. I honestly feel bad that you are such a sad excuse of a person you need the attention that comes with crying about anything even slightly offensive. Comedy is comedy for a reason, people find things funny. If we need to tiptoe around to avoid hurting peoples feelings we’re going to live in a boring world filled with boring lives, which from the sounds of it, is right on the Hypocrite St. next door to your studio apartment paid for by your parents.
This woman wrote like 2 sentences for each “offensive” thing. How is that writing? That’s lazy, and the fact she probably hasn’t seen the actual show is pretty evident. Steve Carell has said he wouldn’t do an Office reunion because the jokes wouldn’t work today. Angelica Florio is the reason those jokes wouldn’t work. People are afraid to offend babies like her who are just colicky adults. I think we have the person we can now blame for keeping us from getting Michael Scott back and killing any hope for an Office reunion. For this I hate her, as a person, in general, not because of any race/religion/sexual orientation or any of that, but just because she sucks as a person. Angelica Florio, No Soup for You!