Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The television show Seinfeld
The media item I chose to write about it a television show called Seinfeld. It is an American sitcom that originally aired in NBC; it had a total of nine seasons. The show was written and created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. The set of the show is in New York City’s upper west side. The characters in the show are Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer. The main story about the TV show is basically about the encounters of the four friends in their daily life’s (Wikipedia). The episode I am writing about involves the character Cosmo Kramer. Wikipedia states, “Kramer was the archetypal "wacky neighbor" and Jerry's friend. His trademarks include: his humorous upright bouffant hairstyle and vintage wardrobe; his energetic sliding bursts through Jerry's apartment door; his assortment of comic pratfalls; and his penchant for nonsensical, percussive outbursts of noise to indicate alarm, skepticism, agreement, or annoyance.” I chose this media item because it reminded me on the reading in class called “How Our Skins Got Their Color” because in the episode Kramer was dating young attractive black women. When I went to meet the parents he gave of an image he did not mean.
In the episode of Seinfeld Cosmo Kramer is dating a young attractive black woman. Cramer was going tanning everyday in a tanning bed to get some color because he thought he looked better with a nice tan. As the episode went on the woman he was dating wanted Kramer to meet the family. The woman he was dating liked that he was white and the daughter was raving about him to her parents. So the woman’s parents were expecting to see this nice white gentleman their daughter has been raving about. Well the night before Kramer laid in the tanning bed as usual, but this time he fell asleep. When he woke he was extremely a dark tan color, he almost looked as if he were back. This episode reminded me of the reading “How Our Skins Got Their Color” by Marvin Harris. The media item relates to the reading because the episode was an example of what Harris was talking about in a way. For example Harris explains, “Human skin owes its color to presence of particles known as melanin. The primary function of melanin is to protect the upper levels of the skin from being damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays” (7). This explains the basic understanding of how the skin color works. Cosmo Kramer was tanning because it wasn’t summer and he was not getting any sun, so he thought the tanning bed was a good way for him to get some color. Harris stated, “During the frigid winters, only a small circle of a child’s face could be left to peek out at the sun through the heavy clothing, thereby favoring the survival of individuals with translucent patches of pink on their cheeks characteristic of many northern Europeans” (8). This episode with Kramer is related to this reading because it is an example about skin color and what can happen with tanning. The media item also reminded me of race because the woman Kramer was dating was black and she preferred white men, she was raving about Kramer to her black parents. When Kramer went to meet the parents he was extremely tan almost black and the parents were in shock because they where expecting this white male. It almost seemed that the parents felt that Kramer did it on purpose to mock them, but it was an accident. This piece of media contradicts with what we are used to hearing about race and black and white. In the episode the white male and black female are dating and the parents are expecting to meet a wonderful white male, when Kramer shows up as a darker skin color that is when the argument begins. In the reading “Drawing The Color Line” it stated, “Or, to put it differently; is it possible for whites and blacks to live together without hatred” (23). I believe this episode of Seinfeld is an example of what Zinn was saying until the episode ended with Kramer accidentally changing his skin color to dark. This media item is a goes example about race and how two separate races can agree or disagree, and it also is a good example of how skin color is defined and used in our world today.
I believe that race is a never-ending argument. When Zinn asks is we can ever give up the hatred between black and whites, I do not know if everyone will agree on one side. There are too many people in this world who have different opinions and feelings on these issues. I thought the media item of Seinfeld was a perfect example to show that one two races start to join there are always so king of complications involved but know one says they cant be worked on to stop. The issue with the skin colors and just understanding how we got our skin color is easy to understand because it is more fact than an opinion. The media item used was perfect for both of these issues because it was an example and explained them in a way I could understand.