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Samizdata quote of the day – Jerry Seinfeld college address edition

“If I messed up a funny story around my relatives, they would go ‘That’s not how you tell that joke. The prostitute has to be behind the drapes when the wife comes in.’ You went to Duke—that is an unbelievable privilege. I now have an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Duke University. And if I can figure out a way to use that, I will. I haven’t figured anything out yet. I think it’s pretty much as useful in real life as this outfit I’m wearing. But so what? I’ll take it. My point is we’re embarrassed about things we should be proud of and proud of things we should be embarrassed about.”

Jerry Seinfeld drops some humorous truth bombs at a college speech.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – Jerry Seinfeld college address edition

  • Ed Snider

    He’s smart, funny, a nice guy, good-looking, with a beautiful family, wildly successful and beloved by millions, a billionaire, and his biggest sin is that he’s Jewish. No mystery why the wokesters walked out on him.

  • Fraser Orr

    I’m afraid I don’t really care for his eponymous sitcom. I find the nihilism and elevation of rather unpleasant people unedifying. But he does seem like a decent chap, and I agree with some of the lauditory things said about him.

    However, I do wonder about the whole idea of these commencement speakers. I was at one just recently and they gave out a few honorary degrees. For the speaker they had the choice of this lady (which I can say for sure because she informed us of her pronouns) who was an architect who designed for sustainability and equity on the one hand, and on the other hand the guy who invented the Web browser and vast amounts of the practice and theory of network computing. Needless to say they chose the “let’s rebel against the colonialism of white nationalist architecture and save the world, one community garden at a time” gal.

    In fairness, the insipid garbage she spoke as supposed advice to the graduating students was about as jejune as most of the non vocational stuff the poor students had had poured down their throat the previous four years.

  • Paul Marks

    By the time the young people get to college many of them are already part-way corrupted – by schools (even down to Kindergarten level – let alone High School) and a media that push endless lies, lies about just about everything.

    College (the universities) just finish the job of indoctrination into a system of beliefs that are lies.

    And as Ludwig Von Mises noted so long ago – it is the “good students” who hurt the most, the ones that study hard and try to make logical sense of what they are taught. Lazy or stupid students will come out of college with a confused interventionism as their world view – but intelligent and hard working students, who have taken what they have been taught to its logical conclusions, will come out vicious Collectivists.

    And it is these intelligent and hard working students who go on to get the top jobs in the government and corporate bureaucracy.

    “But what of resisters?” – yes there are intelligent, and unintelligent, students who even in their youngest years (say at junior school in England) will think “this is all lies” – but such people are a minority (and rightly so – as Jordan Peterson points out, a person who goes around assuming that everyone in a position of authority is lying to them, is going to have a horrible life) and it is not really a matter of intelligence – it is a matter of personality type.

    Some people are really difficult to “brainwash” (indoctrinate) – but such people are often a bit weird (I should know – I remember at junior school thinking “the teachers are not telling the truth” – normal people do not think like that, especially at a young age, and it is, in a decent society, RIGHT that they NOT think like that), and they are certainly not happy people. For most people, including the highly intelligent (indeed perhaps especially the highly intelligent) indoctrination works – that is why such effort is devoted to it.

    Lastly, it is often not really “lying” – as the teachers and, later, the college lecturers actually believe the false world view they are pushing.

    The best indoctrination is done by people who do not believe they are indoctrinating.

  • Marius

    Seinfeld was brilliant. I still watch episodes on Netflix every now and then. I don’t consider it nihilistic. It had one aim: be funny. And it was.

    Jerry does indeed seem like a top chap and not afraid to speak out either. I appreciate that’s easier when you have f— you money in abundance, but even so.

  • Peter MacFarlane

    My favourite commencement address: https://www.frombearcreek.com/rule-five-ninth-annual-commencement-speech-friday/

    BTW why is it called commencement when it’s actually at the end of something? No doubt I am just an ignorant Brit.

  • jgh

    I never got into the Seinfield TV series, I could never get past all the cast holding their mouths in that weird half-open manner that makes them look like inbred sub-IQ yokles.

  • staghounds

    Commencement of life outside the education system.

    And this one is worth a listen- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDYXaaT9sA

    I wish I could find a recording of Condolleezza Rice’s speech at Vanderbilt in 2004. It was chilling.

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