The landmark television program “Seinfeld,” which anyone with basic cable can now watch 15 times a day if they so choose, was famous for analyzing the minutiae of everyday life. Giving away unwanted gifts, double-dipping potato chips in a public dip bowl, pretending to admire ugly babies — it was all fodder for the “Seinfeld” writers.
The thing is, “Seinfeld” ceased production in 1998. American life has changed a lot since then, and the show never got a chance to comment on some of the things that are ubiquitous now. But what if “Seinfeld” were still on the air? What would it be like? I think it might go something … like … this …
JERRY: You got a new job? Why didn’t you tell us?
ELAINE: I posted it in my blog.
JERRY: Your blog?
ELAINE: Yeah, my blog.
JERRY: You have a blog?
ELAINE: What, you don’t read my blog?
JERRY: Why would I read your blog? I see you every day. What are you going to say in your blog that I don’t already know?
ELAINE: Well, that I got a new job, for one thing.
JERRY: So that’s what it’s come to? We don’t have to talk anymore, because I can just read your blog to see what’s new?
ELAINE: Pretty much.
JERRY: I don’t get this whole “blog” thing. Everyone’s gotta tell you what THEY think about the world. I don’t care what anyone thinks. Why would I care what some idiot in Florida has to say about the new sandwich at Subway?
ELAINE: You get some interesting perspectives sometimes on the blogs.
JERRY: I don’t buy it. The only difference between bloggers and those crazy guys who talk to themselves on the street is that the crazy guys don’t have computers.
ELAINE: So you don’t have a blog?
JERRY: No, I don’t have a blog. What do I need a blog for?
ELAINE: Everyone has a blog! Kramer has one.
JERRY: (to Kramer) You have a blog?
KRAMER: Oh yeah.
JERRY: (after a pause) You can type?
KRAMER: (waggling his fingers) 80 words a minute, my friend.
JERRY: What’s in your blog?
KRAMER: Oh, you know, this and that. Observations. Thoughts. Recipes.
ELAINE: See? Everyone has a blog.
JERRY: I barely understand him when I’m talking to him face-to-face. I can’t imagine what that blog of his is like. Does George have one?
ELAINE: Eh, George, who cares?
* * * * *
JERRY: So when are you seeing Karen again?
GEORGE: Karen? I’m not. We broke up.
JERRY: You broke up?
GEORGE: We broke up.
JERRY: Why did you break up?
GEORGE: She kept sending me text messages.
JERRY: What’s wrong with that?
GEORGE: All the time. Like 10 times a day.
JERRY: Ah. Did she write with those stupid abbreviations?
GEORGE: Yes! I didn’t know what the hell she was saying half the time! It’s just a random series of letters!
JERRY: Those are the worst!
GEORGE: “MT 7 CAF”? How am I supposed to know what that means?!
JERRY: It’s like all of a sudden everyone started speaking Esperanto, and we’re just supposed to pick it up as we go.
JERRY: So you broke up.
JERRY: When did this happen?
GEORGE: A couple weeks ago.
JERRY: A couple weeks ago? Your MySpace page still says you’re “In a Relationship.”
GEORGE: Yeah, I know. I hate to change it.
JERRY: But it’s misleading! People are going to think you’re in a relationship … if dating a woman who sends text messages like a 14-year-old girl can really be called a “relationship,” that is.
GEORGE: It’s so hard to change it. It’s like admitting the whole thing is actually over. It’s so … final.
JERRY: Going from “In a Relationship” to “Single.”
JERRY: So you’re saying if you were married, God forbid, and then you got divorced, it wouldn’t be signing the divorce papers that brought it home. It would be updating your MySpace that would really make it sink in that it was over?
GEORGE: Yeah, pretty much.
JERRY: You know, the MySpace has been great for dating. You can see what movies a woman likes, what she does in her spare time, and what she looks like in a bathing suit, all without talking to her — which used to be WHY we talked to women, to try to find those things out.
GEORGE: It’s much more efficient. It used to take me a month to be rejected by a dozen girls. Now I can be turned down by 10 girls a week, easy.
* * * * *
KRAMER: Jerry, you gotta see this!
JERRY: What is it?
KRAMER: It’s a video I downloaded from YouTube!
JERRY: What, I gotta go over to your house to watch it on your computer?
KRAMER: No, it’s here on my iPod.
JERRY: Nah, I can’t watch those things. The screen is too tiny.
KRAMER: But Jerry! It’s a high-definition screen! It’s got millions of pixels! Pixels, Jerry!
JERRY: I don’t care how many pixels it has, I’m not watchin’ some stupid video on your miniature little TV screen!
KRAMER: Why are you such a hater?
JERRY: I’m not a hater! I don’t get the whole iPod thing anyway. Why do I need to walk around with 5,000 songs in my pocket? I can only listen to one at a time. And where am I gonna be that I’m gonna be listening to music for 250 hours straight? Am I on the space shuttle? Am I in a coma?
KRAMER: OK, but you’re missing out.
JERRY: What’s the video, anyway?
KRAMER: It’s this comedian in a nightclub, and he totally freaks out and says the N-word over and over!
JERRY: OK, this I gotta see.
Here is the thought process that led to this column: I was thinking about how everyone has a blog nowadays, and how if you don't have one, people think there's something wrong with you. "You gotta get a blog!" I imagined people saying. And "You gotta get a blog!" sounded, in my head, like the nasally woman on the "Seinfeld" episode who kept saying, "You gotta see the baby!" That led to Kramer's voice saying, "You gotta get a blog!," which led to me realizing they didn't have blogs when "Seinfeld" was on, and so forth.
The part about not changing your relationship status on MySpace came from a real conversation I had with someone who had recently broken up and was reluctant to update his page to reflect that.
This sentence -- "You can see what movies a woman likes, what she does in her spare time, and what she looks like in a bathing suit, all without talking to her -- which used to be WHY we talked to women, to try to find those things out" -- came from my friend Daryn when I told him I was working on a "Seinfeld" column. That's why it always pays to have funny people on your IM list.