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Jerry Seinfeld’s mistake was not saying “I like a real man.” It was overlooking how great it is to not be a real man

Jerry Seinfeld.JPG

Jerry Seinfeld, seen at Netflix’s “Unfrosted” premiere in April, calls its star Hugh Grant a real man, but Vinay Menon says Grant is more of a gentleman, a raconteur, a metrosexual.



At the height of his sitcom fame, Jerry Seinfeld was apolitical.

But now everything is political, including Jerry. In recent months, the comedian has made headlines for his opinions more than his act. He is anti-woke, pro-Israel, anti-PC, pro-free speech, anti-overthinking, pro-meditation, anti-futurism, pro-nostalgia …

His latest “controversy” arrived this week when Seinfeld longed for the days of “dominant masculinity.” As he told the great Bari Weiss on her “Honestly” podcast: “I like a real man.”

Newman!

The outrage was predictable. How could Jerry, he of the puffy shirt and non-fat yogurt, pine for the “agreed-upon hierarchy” of a halcyon yesteryear? Why is a man-boy who is obsessed with Pop-Tarts, Superman and baseball fouling out in the gender wars? Does he want to time travel back to when a husband could berate his wife if she failed to pour his beer in a frosted mug while barefoot in her third trimester?

Of course not. Nostalgia is a narcotic and Seinfeld is an addict. There is no 12-step program to tint the rose-coloured rearview mirror in his 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder.

His coming-of-age observations animate his world view today.

The “real men” archetype when he was growing up in the ’60s now seems extinct. That’s all he was saying. Little Jerry wanted to be just like John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Sean Connery or Howard Cosell when he grew up.

But then he never grew up.

Seinfeld’s mistake was not in saying, “I like a real man.”

It was in overlooking how great it is to not be a real man.

What even is a real man? All I know for sure is I’m not one. What a relief. It’s liberating. When something breaks around here, my wife looks at me in dead silence. I can see the hamster wheels spinning in her head. But she never asks me to fix the problem. Why? She knows I can’t.

So she calls the Real Man Hotline, some burly dude in overalls shows up with power tools and I go outside to refill my bird feeders. Everyone is happy.

If someone breaks into my house, I’m not crouching into a karate pose to confront the intruder with an unspooled crane kick to the face. I’m hiding under the bed and calling 911. I will get pistol-whipped faster than Jerry can say, “What’s the deal with losing consciousness?” Now if someone breaks into my house and wants to chat about Polynesian petroglyphs or the Roswell incident, I’m happy to be the unreal man in that social dynamic.

Seinfeld admits he is not a real man. He just doesn’t appreciate how wonderful it is to not be a real man. No sensible army would put this guy in a foxhole. As the real men are firing grenades, he’d be twiddling with a Pez dispenser.

If Jerry was a firefighter, a lot of people would die in fires.

Real men don’t have time to neurotically fret about the size of their Levi’s or grouse for hours because another motorist didn’t offer a thank-you wave. Real men are too busy changing flat tires and opening jars of pickles.

You know why Seinfeld has no bits on pickles? He’s never opened a jar.

I wonder if he is also confused by what it means to be a “real man.”

Seinfeld says Hugh Grant, one of the stars in his new Netflix movie “Unfrosted,” is a real man because “he knows how to dress, he knows how to talk, he’s charming, he has stories, he’s comfortable at dinner parties, he knows how to get a drink …”

That’s not a real man. That’s a gentleman. That’s a raconteur. That’s a metrosexual. That’s suave. That’s urbane. Mr. Grant may know how to get a drink, but is there a little umbrella in it? Do his “stories” involve thread counts or backup generators? You know who’s not comfortable at a dinner party? A real man. Not unless that dinner party involves him shooting an elk and searing it over a wood and charcoal grill he made out of an old dome-top trunk.

It must be horrible to be a real man. They are expected to fight the wars and build the skyscrapers and clean the eaves. Yes, women also do that stuff. My point is simply that I don’t want to be a man or woman who does any of it.

When I hear one of my daughters shriek, I know a spider is in the house. Thanks to gender stereotypes, I am expected to kill it. A real man would squash that bug into the arachnid afterlife with a closed fist to the wall. I fetch my Dyson and pretend I am not terrified.

To be a real man is to be burdened with unfair expectations in the modern world.

Jerry Seinfeld is lucky he never grew up.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.thestar.com

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