Somehow, Larry David teaches us what community means

Some weeks ago, my husband and I were walking to church when we observed a peculiar scene: a man in a white Mercedes paused at a stop sign, blaring his horn and yelling at a couple in the car in front. Unwilling to let this man's impatience disrupt Sunday worshipers, my husband approached the man in the car and demanded he hush. Of course, the curmudgeon turned his ire on us, telling us precisely whose business we could mind. But he did stop honking.

Something worked.

It's easy to imagine a similar scene occuring in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, of which its tenth season debuted last week. Everyone's favorite misanthrope, Larry David, certainly would have likely been a bit more invective than my husband in scolding the stop sign offender, but such incidents make for good—if slightly awkward—television.

But with a more critical watch, "Curb" is good for more than just a laugh. It unmasks something crucial in our society: Our desperate need for accountability.

A recurring scene in "Curb" involves LD confronting a person for something selfish—someone cutting in line at a buffet or taking up two parking spaces. He's become famous for giving voice to what viewers are thinking. Often, bystanders in the show come to LD's defense, affirming the reprimand of the selfish citizen.

There are some superficial similarities between the way that Larry David operates and the soft, overly-sensitive culture that has sprung up these days as a result of leftist relativism. You might even call Larry a sort of "social justice warrior," though one with a very particular definition of both "social" and "justice."

But there are crucial differences at play.

David is a staunch defender of near-universally accepted norms of etiquette that affect people on a day-to-day basis. The principles he invokes are not about controversial and divisive political ideals, but rather, he usually confronts someone because their selfishness has inconvenienced others in a practical way. His call-outs aren't empty posturing about social politics or a signal to his friends of his self-awareness. He just doesn't like thoughtlessness, and none of us should.

He just doesn't like thoughtlessness, and none of us should.

Unlike the knights of social justice raging on Twitter today, Larry David's confrontations are nearly always in-person, too, which is better for the simple reason that face-to-face scoldings are less likely to happen. The transactions costs are far lower in shooting off a sarcastic tweet than in confronting a real person in the street. So, then, they're much more likely to happen only when they're warranted—not at slight and unforeseeable offenses.

It seems that while the angry and political get caught up in the outrage mob, we've forgotten all about the most basic niceties that come with being human. We have lost an important respect of the social infrastructure we erected in order to co-exist in the first place. It's worn down our own understandings of what is necessary to live together in community. The result is a much more fraught society that makes living together unnecessarily difficult. It's not surprising that, as a people, we are rather divided.

We're forever trying to rid ourselves of the concept of "norms," but cultures throughout time and place have had them for a reason. Of course, the mere existence of norms has never been enough to stop people from breaking them. When we do shrug them off, we do so for bad yet widely-accepted reasons. We break them to make a political statement, such as women forgoing bras in the name of social and gender equality. We break them because our selfish impulses overpower our desire to maintain conscientiousness behavior. (We're rude to a cashier because we're having a bad day or we fail to hold the door open for the woman behind us at the cafe because we're too busy thinking about work.) And, ultimately, we do these things because we know that selfishness is the way of our world—and we'll encounter no objection.

But we need objections from real people, because we ought to be taken to task when we're actively squashing the community we so desperately need.

That kind of accountability doesn't need to come from our formal institutions. Yes, our federal, state, and local governments were established to limit the negative consequences of people's selfishness. Our formal institutions protect us from, and deter, thieves who might want to rob us and companies who might want to defraud us.

Larry David, though neurotic and obsessive compulsive, is on to something.

Yet formal institutions alone are insufficient for a fully flourishing society, because they only address the most egregious examples of human selfishness. Informal institutions and norms, then, ought to take care of the rest. And that's the way we want it keep it, lest we bring upon ourselves something akin to China's horrifying Social Credit system. An acerbic Larry David-type is infinitely preferable.

We are individuals, but we're more than that. We're people who need other people, and when we shirk our duty to customs, norms, and basic human kindness, we're insisting we don't. Though if we're to find community once more, we need to take each other to task—not for microaggressions, but, rather, for forgetting we're not islands. Community is equal parts building up when deserved and tearing down when needed.

Larry David, though neurotic and obsessive compulsive, is on to something. Instead of just chuckling at his ridiculous antics, perhaps we should all be taking notes instead.

Alexandra Hudson is a writer, Young Voices Contributor and Novak Fellow based out of Indianapolis. Follow her on Twitter @lexiohudson.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere reacted to a recent Washington Post op-ed in which the author, Ron Charles, suggests that "as Confederate statues finally tumble across America, [and] television networks are marching through their catalogues looking to take down racially offensive content," perhaps the next items that should be up on the cancel-culture chopping block are "problematic books."

"Monuments celebrating racist traitors, which were erected to fabricate history and terrify black Americans, are not works of art that deserve our respect or preservation. Similarly, scenes of modern-day white comedians reenacting minstrel-show caricatures are not ironical interrogations of racism that we have to stomach any longer. But complex works of literature are large, they contain multitudes," Charles wrote.

He goes on to argue that "calibrating our Racism Detector to spot only a few obvious sins" is but an insidious source of self-satisfaction when compared to the process of critical debate on the values and intentions of history's literary legends.

"If cancel culture has a weakness, it's that it risks short-circuiting the process of critical engagement that leads to our enlightenment," Charles wrote. "Scanning videos for blackface or searching text files for the n-word is so much easier than contending with, say, the systemic tokenism of TV rom-coms or the unbearable whiteness of Jane Austen."

Could cancel culture really spiral all the way down to book burning? In the clip below, Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that this radical progressive movement is really about erasing America's history and overturning the foundation of our country. The fundamental transformation of America is happening now.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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It's been a tough year, America. Our news media is inundating us with images of destruction, violence, and division in attempts not only to desecrate our nation, but to make us turn our backs on it. That's why now, more than ever, we need to take an up-close look at America's history to remember what it is we're fighting for and how to fight for it with practical action.

Join Glenn Beck, broadcasting from Standing Rock Ranch, as he takes us to Plymouth, Gettysburg, and Federal Hall on an important journey through America's remarkable history to inspire a brighter future. Glenn asks the hard questions of every American. Is this system worth saving? Is there a better way? Where do we go from here, and how do we answer those questions?

Featuring performances from the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, David Osmond, a very special children's choir, and guests Bob Woodson, Tim Ballard, David Barton, Burgess Owens, Kathy Barnette, Anna Paulina Luna, and Tim Barton.

Watch the full special presentation below:


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"Restoring Hope" has been a labor of love for Glenn and his team and tonight is the night! "Restoring the Covenant" was supposed to take place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. but thanks to COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped. "Restoring Hope" is what was left after having to scrap nearly two years of planning. The Herald Journal in Idaho detailed what the event was supposed to be and what it turned into. Check out the article below to get all the details.

Glenn Beck discusses patriotic, religious program filmed at Idaho ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge from Beck's corner of Franklin County to anyone who will listen: "Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth."

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD buses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck's ranch to record their portion of the program.

Read the whole article HERE

The current riots and movement to erase America's history are exactly in line with the New York Times' "1619 Project," which argues that America was rotten at its beginning, and that slavery and systemic racism are the roots of everything from capitalism to our lack of universal health care.

On this week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck exposed the true intent of the "1619 Project" and its creator, who justifies remaking America into a Marxist society. This clever lie is disguised as history, and it has already infiltrated our schools.

"The '1619 Project' desperately wants to pass itself off as legitimate history, but it totally kneecaps itself by ignoring so much of the American story. There's no mention of any black Americans who succeeded in spite of slavery, due to the free market capitalist system. In the 1619 Project's effort to take down America, black success stories are not allowed. Because they don't fit with the narrative. The role of white Americans in abolishing slavery doesn't fit the narrative either," Glenn said.

"The agenda is not ultimately about history," he added. "It's just yet another vehicle in the fleet now driven by elites in America toward socialism."

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


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