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The George Costanza Method

Posted on | June 16, 2009 | 2 Comments

One of my all-time favorite shows, when I bother to contemplate and can recall it, is Seinfeld. In the beginning, when it was the Seinfeld Chronicles, I used to wonder how long it would last before NBC killed it. It was incredibly funny in a New York area inside-joke kind of way.

In the beginning, the show had low ratings, and there was an air of a show trying to feel itself and what its niche was. The show came alive once the quartet started to gel. Also, back then, I think network executives were more open-minded about letting an audience find a show.

Today, they don’t have such patience. I used to watch Reaper (online, since I do not own a television set!), and it was so funny. That was a show where nearly every line and situation was damn near hysterical. What made it funnier is that no one ever chuckled at the jokes and the show didn’t have a laugh track.

It was so good. Alas, it was canceled. Today, network executives are looking for instant hits that slowly bleed away their audience as opposed to the opposite track. Good luck with that strategy.

George Costanza

My favorite character was George Costanza.

I once spoke about him with a co-worker, and she loathed him.

I asked, Why?

She replied, He lacked morals, was dishonest, and willing to do anything to get what he wanted.

I replied, That’s what I liked about him.

Psychoanalysis, or Something Like That

It has been years since I read up on Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, psychoanalysis, the Id, ego, and super-ego. Please forgive me for not getting the psycho stuff up to par.

I always saw Seinfeld as a guy, observing himself, in which his personality was split in four distinct ways. He was an introvert, watching, observing, very detached, and critical. He even admitted in one show that he had all the friends he could manage when another person tried to become a friend of his. That is classic introvert behavior.

Kramer was all impulse (id).

Elaine was the only adult in the group (ego). She was the planner, the studious one, and almost always honest.

Seinfeld was a neat and fussy perfectionist (superego). The show took off once it allowed him to date and evaluate what was wrong with every woman he met. The hilarity with the “man hands” woman, the lady with the one dress, the mutterer, and the designer who forced him to wear a ruffle shirt, among others, are instant classics.

Say what?

George was the composite of all these characteristics, warring with each other, and that’s why he was my favorite hot-ass-mess of the show. He seemed to be the only real person on the show.

The show’s most pivotal, and interesting point, came when George decided he was going to change from being a loser to finally winning at life. And how did he do it? He was going to ignore his gut feelings, and act on the facts in front of him.

It may have taken George all of his life, but he realized something about himself. His gut instincts suck. They mislead him all of his life. Every conclusion he had reached about social situations, career advancement, and people were completely wrong.

The light bulb went off when he decided to do the opposite of what his gut told him.

Do I believe it?

Fight or flight is a legitimate feeling in some circumstances, but relying on responding to the same situation in the same way, each and every time, is also known as insanity. Your experience and gut instincts have been failing you for some time now.

I don’t think it has to be a radical switch, but trying the George Costanza Method every once in a while will yield different results.

Go break the mold, you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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2 Responses to “The George Costanza Method”

  1. MsMellody
    October 18th, 2012 @ 9:43 AM

    I too loved Seinfeld. At my previous workplace I would spend my breaks watching Seinfeld with the all white maintenance crew for the massive building that housed my workplace.

    We would all laugh out loud at the inside-y jokes, play on words and the unarguably sharp wit of Larry David!!

    I was always aware that I would be the only black female in the immediate area tuned in and laughing with the all male all white crew for our building. But it didnt matter to me what my fellow black co-workers thought of me…I freakin loved Seinfeld, and I was not in any way about to let the side-eyes I used to get from the ABC’s deter me from enjoying what I loved.

    I was always chit chatting with a lot of those maintenance guys about some of the books they would see me reading, and yes on cue someone from the ABC would swoop in afterward with some kind of stupid comment. But – back to Seinfeld…did you know the “Puffy Shirt” as it was nicknamed is in the Smithsonian Broadcast museum? I will go and look for that article where I read about it and post it here.

    Serenity Now!!!!

  2. MsMellody
    October 18th, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

    Here’s the link;

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61463-2004Nov18.html

    I still celebrate “Festivus” to this day!! Thank God George’s father finally delivered unto the “rest of us” a day of celebration!!! lol !!



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