It’s Rosh Hashanah, so bear with the Jewish theme. I’m not particularly religious -- not a fan of organized religion, or any regimented belief system, in general. Still, I embrace my roots and like to engage in my own way some of the annual traditions. For all the early bird Mel Brooks sightings at Canter’s, for instance, it shouldn’t kill me to get over to temple for an hour or two with my parents on the high holidays. Even if generally, I find that whole scene increasingly uncomfortable: peacocked right-wing suburbanites clawing over each other to get in front of the line; tight, folding chairs crammed in so the
business congregation can be as profitable welcoming as possible; thugs taking tickets; high school classmates ignoring each other 10 years after the fact. This year, though, was supposed to be different. As anyone who saw the season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm knows, we Jews have to -- gulp -- buy (scalp, counterfeit, do "favors" for) actual *tickets to temple on bigtime holidays like RH. Yes, you pay for temple membership, but you aren’t guaranteed seats. And like all things Jewish, there’s a hierarchy: you can buy unreserved seats, reserved seats, I'm a bigtime Jew Pew Seats, etc. And they’re not cheap - think U.S. Open semifinal prices. The Jews run Hollywood, right? Who cares if you don’t know Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein, temple policies imply: Prove your financial mettle. Give it up, yo. It’s time to spread the wealth. But I digress: This year Dad did try to get us four seats together, but guess what, he couldn't! Hundreds of possible chairs, lots of community involvement, and what did we end up with? Two reserved Samsonites and two unreserved (which essentially means standing room). No, this year, despite all the genuinely earnest involvement from the parental units, we couldn't even sit together when all four of us showed up at the same time, lest we even figure out how to get past the bouncer at the door who won't even let you back into the sanctuary if you need to get to the bathroom. So you call it: Was Larry David so "wrong" by writing an episode about getting bounced for buying scalped temple tickets? I, for one, couldn't even find unusual humor in the show, despite my love for the guy. To me, it was the most genuine attempt at reality TV I've ever seen.