First of all, I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’ve loved the show since a friend of mine first lent to me seasons one and two; I now own all six seasons on DVD and just finished watching the second episode of the new season. You’ve taken this new season up another notch in ridiculousness; I agree with what you have to say about those damn plastic packages I can never open, and although your response on the show was ridiculous, I know that that’s the point.
Regarding other things that are happening this season, though, I’m a little bit concerned. You see, my father recently died from Carcinoid Cancer, at the much-too-early age of fifty-four. He suffered for about a year and a half, and that suffering ended on September 14th of this year. The first two episodes of the show portrayed Cancer victims as being lazy and as using their illness to receive special treatment. Up until the latter stages of his illness, when he became weak and frail, this was not the case for my father. He was as strong as he could be and fought hard. He fought until his very last breath. With these last breaths of his fresh in my mind, watching your show portray Cancer victims as helpless and taking advantage of those around them offends me. It makes watching the show very difficult for me.
I realize that you haven’t done this to offend me; I’m sure that you’re aware that there are many people fighting hard against Cancer and doing so in a dignified manner. You’ve done this because there most certainly are people out there who use their Cancer to receive special treatment. Because of this, you’re actually not making fun of people with Cancer: you’re instead making fun of people who use their bad situations to make others take pity on them.
Generally speaking, as well, I don’t want to say anything to stop you from offending me. People (I include myself in this) are far too concerned about offending others, and this has gotten ridiculous. Offending others puts that which our society represses out into the open. People certainly think these things, so why shouldn’t they say them? How can we ever get past something if we repress it? If your show hadn’t offended me, I wouldn’t have written you this email, and I wouldn’t have had a chance to think about your perspective. I think that it’s always beneficial to explore others’ perspectives.
I only wanted to express to you that your recent show was difficult to watch. It didn’t make me feel the pain that I need to get through in order to move past this difficult time; rather, it made me feel disgusted that you’d poke fun at something that hurts so many people. I suppose that feeling was misplaced, though, because I do think that you’re only making fun of the type of people who use their disadvantages to receive special treatment.
This “poor me” attitude is perhaps something that helps Cancers grow—I strongly believe that Cancer’s physical manifestation, destroying the body, stems from an emotional/mental/attitudinal difficulty or anomaly that is likely similar to this “poor me” attitude—so, perhaps your show’s response to it is beneficial.
I don’t know. I suppose my father’s death is too recent to make a completely logical argument regarding something so closely related to it. I’m glad for the chance to explore these ideas, though. That is, of course, the point of this email; I highly doubt that you or anyone at HBO will take the time to read it.
So, to bring by attitude full-circle, if you do actually read this email: I want to thank you for your work on this fine show. I’ll likely continue to struggle with the jokes related to Cancer, but regardless of how I respond to them, I’ll keep in mind that you’re not a mean-spirited man. I’ve found every one of your episodes to be very entertaining, and I don’t think that anyone mean-spirited could make me laugh as well as you have.
-C L (aka Jefferson Jefferson)