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Jerry Seinfeld, Meryl Strep, and Intellectual

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Jerry Seinfeld, Meryl Strep, and Intellectual Sophistication

The Jerry Seinfeld Show is perhaps the most popular rerun comic show on TV. I suspect that I have seen every episode of that show at least twice. The four characters Jerry, George, Crammer, and Elaine work together marvelously.

I have seen each of these individuals play other parts in other shows and I must say I have been disappointed each time. Together they are great but apart, in other roles, they just do no work nearly as well.

Many decades ago I decided I wanted to learn to act. I took a late evening course in acting at a local College; upon completion I auditioned for parts in plays being produced by our city production group that put on plays in our local “In the Round Play House”. This was, of course, just amateur productions for local audiences.

I did get a few acting parts and served as an understudy a few times and had a great time performing and going to various performances. One particular actor in one play I saw just “blew me away” with his great performance. I was especially impressed upon learning that he was playing his very first part in a play. I thought to myself that this guy is a natural in that he was able to do such a great job with such little preparation.

I later met the guy, his name was Jimmy, and quickly realize that Jimmy was not performing in the play that I saw but was just being his natural self. In the flesh this guy was just as he appeared in the play that I saw him perform.

Jerry, George, Crammer, and Elaine in the “Seinfeld Show” and Jimmy in his first play were all just doing pretty much what they can do naturally. Each could play one type of role very well but could not often play any other role.

Whereas you take someone like Meryl Strep and she can play any role in any kind of situation. Therein we can see what sophistication is all about. Meryl was a very sophisticated actress.

There are many definitions and synonyms of the word “sophistication” but my choice for synonym here is “cultivation”, which means “to improve by labor, care, or study”. Depending upon the unique natural talents that we each have, we can, through the cultivation of those talents become intellectually sophisticated; thereby we can become more Meryl-like in all of our actions throughout our entire life.

Do not allow the anti-intellectualism that is pervasive across our culture deter you in your quest for intellectual sophistication. Many who make policy decisions in our (USA) nation wish us to remain unsophisticated and docile so that they can better realize their selfish goals by manipulating our behavior. Our present economic Waterloo is an ‘eye opening’ example of what can happen to us as a result of these selfish goals, which we, through our lack of sophistication, have allowed to happen.

Our problems are not due to lousy politicians and CEOs but our problems are due to our lack of intellectual sophistication.

“We have met the enemy and it is us.” Pogo

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Edison

“Intellectual sophistication is 1% inspiration and 99% the study of the books written by great minds.” coberst

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