Yesterday I started my top ten list of cultural impacts of Seinfeld. Here are my top five:
5. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” – There is an evolution to talking about sensitive topics on television. First, it is taboo. Next there are veiled references. Some show will then be brave and be open about it. After time, it can be discussed but in order to be politically correct the show will go overboard showing that it is on the correct side. Later the topic can be discussed without any fear of having to prove what side you are on. Seinfeld found itself in the 90’s talking about a homosexual character. Television had moved beyond the taboo and veiled reference and was in the PC stage. In both playing the political correctness game and wholly making fun of having to prove political correctness, in the episode The Outing, whenever a character is referenced as gay, the Seinfeld character immediately says “not that there is anything wrong with that”. It was an immediate hit and the phrase took on a life of its own and has been used both to help talk about sensitive subjects and to mock political correctness.
4. Shrinkage – In The Hamptons, George had gone swimming in the pool and afterwards, he removes his bathing suit when Jerry’s girlfriend walks in. She looks at him and George desperately tries to defend the size (or lack of) of his manhood by yelling that he was in a cold pool. Later in discussing the event the term “shrinkage” was used to describe what happened. I can’t think of any better reference.
3. Festivus – Seinfeld made fun of virtually everything, so why not the holidays as well. In The Strike, Festivus is introduced by Frank Costanza. As an alternate holiday to Christmas and Hanukkah, it is celebrated on December 23 and involved an unadorned metal Festivus pole, Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances. Festivus is now mock celebrated by thousands each year and the commercialism it was created to mock is now benefitting by the selling of Festivus related gear.
2. “No Soup for you” – The soup Nazi. This episode is so famous I feel a bit silly explaining it but in the episode The Soup Nazi, the characters visit a new take-out restaurant where only soup is served. The chef/owner is overly passionate about his soup and he has very strict rules about conduct in his establishment. Because the soup is so good, the characters are forced to step up to the counter, say the name of the soup they want and then step sideways to pay. If any other comments are made the soup nazi becomes enraged and removes their privileges for having soup from there ever again by proclaiming “no soup for you”! This phrase is used everywhere to tell others (often in a mocking fashion) that they can’t get something. I know I use it all the time with my family.
1. Master of your domain – In one of the funniest episodes ever to be on television, in The Contest each of the four major characters bet they can go the longest without masturbating. In order to not use graphic language or other direct references to the act, they ask each other if they are still “master of your domain”. The phase has become a socially acceptable way to discuss a topic that in many ways is still taboo. One of the funniest parts is shortly after the contest begins, Kramer spies a naked woman in another apartment. He leaves and in very short order walks back in, slams money down on the counter and says, “I’m out!”. This is followed by 15 seconds of audience laugher, an almost unheard of length of time.
A delicious dish for your Seinfeld watching.
This was a big ole hunk of pork with the bone. I ended up cooking it longer to make up for it. Use your meat thermometer!
Spices and red onion on the pork.
Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin
prep 15 mins ∙ cook 1 hr 20 min ∙ makes 8 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source Foodnetwork.com
- 1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- Equipment: roasting pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Trim any excess fat from the pork loin, leaving a thin-layer of fat over the top.
Evenly rub the entire pork loin with the Dijon mustard followed by the onion, salt, pepper, and garlic. Make sure to really rub in the spices, and then sprinkle the
rosemary evenly all over the top.
Place the pork in roasting pan lined with a rack and roast for 20 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F, and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145 degrees F, about 1 hour more. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and pork and arrange on a platter garnished with rosemary sprigs.