Though Jerry and Elaine make repeated references Vintage Seinfeld you want a piece of me shirt throughout the series to a past romance they once shared, their history doesn’t necessarily add anything to any of the episodes. In fact, both Jerry and Elaine often mention their past relationship when mutually meeting someone for the first time, but the person they’re meeting either doesn’t care at all or feels mildly uncomfortable and put off by the irrelevance of the information. No other show was doing anything like this in the early 90s. Where the other sitcoms of the day unerringly seemed to employ vomit-inducing morality lessons and cheap plot twists to keep viewers (small children?) tuning in week after week, Seinfeld alone managed to circumvent all that hoity-toity, scrubbed-clean happy horseshit. This, in turn, only served to endear the show’s (adult) audiences and me, growing up. You see, characters on Seinfeld have no conscience.
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They are truly liberated from the guilt tactics that society Vintage Seinfeld you want a piece of me shirt and morality to impose on us as individuals to make us conform. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are modern-day hunter-gatherers, acting in pure self-interest and foraging for day-to-day satisfaction. They don’t have an inherent perception of right and wrong; they work simply to further their own aims. While today we spend our real lives figuring out how to manage reputation, limit conflict, and achieve mental and ideological consistency, Seinfeld offers a very liberating fiction: it is a world without morals, without responsibility, without commitment, without ideology and above all, without hope or desire for redemption. The show is a giant fuck you to the highly evolved social order that trains individuals make sacrifices and work towards some common good, under a fuzzy promise of righteousness.