Friday, January 3, 2014

Cosmo cuts a cool figure in our hearts

I love Kramer. You know who I'm talking about, Cosmo Kramer from the Seinfeld show.


You love him too, and probably for the same reasons.


We love Kramer because he's an oddball who thinks that being the oddball is  a very cool thing to do.


Kramer tells us that it's okay to have a strange personality with peculiar habits as long as we live life with zest and confidence.


In fact, Jerry, George, and Elaine have great affection for Kramer, especially because he carries out his antics as if he lived in a state of complete normalcy.


For example, Kramer doesn't believe in shaving cream. It's his view that butter from the refrigerator softens the beard and leaves the user  a nice clean shave.


He refuses to carry a wallet because he insists that it will throw his delicate frame out of kilter. He's obviously not afraid to be his own orthopedist.


Kramer is also quite frugal. He has solved the healthcare crisis by insisting  people be treated by veterinarians. He reasons that the tremendous variety of species treated by animal doctors demonstrates their superior mental faculties.


And leave it to Kramer to stroll straw into the office of a major publisher and convince the publisher to buy into Kramer's brilliant idea: a coffee table book about coffee table books.


We laugh right along with the rest of the cast and the audience because it's not the antics of Kramer that make us want to be friends with him.


It's the way that he convinces us that his crazy activities are completely natural and in sync with the core of his personality.


For him.


We know that if we did the things that Kramer does  we would be embarrassed and unable to face our friends the next day.


We've all experienced this kind of person.


When we are at a  party, some guy is acting like a cutup and engaging in some bizarre behavior that makes us laugh.


We think that the person in question is sort of an exhibitionist and we're willing to whisper that we think he's an idiot.


But deep down we have a little bit of admiration for him.


That's because inside each one of us, there is a Kramer.


The desire to do something outlandish, which we never do because our social governor indicates that we must not violate the bounds of propriety.


But we secretly wish that we could be that kid that challenges the teacher openly in  class.


We don't reveal it, but we wish that we had the guts to be the guy that wears a gorilla suit to the Halloween party.


The fact is that we need the Kramers of the world to remind us that sometimes it's okay to violate protocol.


Historically, some of the great inventions and ideas have found fertile ground only in the hearts of those willing to tilt at windmills.


We need the Einstein's, the Eddison's, and the Galileo's.


And all of us need a Kramer.





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