Oh Oprah

November 5, 2010

Variety is the spice of life. If I don’t vary my writing topics, what kind of journalist would I be?

I know this. And I try. Really, I do.

My rantings about the current landscape of television sludge, the absolute chaos that makes up the celebrity world and our society’s obsession with beanpole women–I try to keep these to a minimum. There’s an enormously vast landscape of information still to uncover, and yet I find my struggle to be somewhat in vain.

I make every effort to look the other way, to ignore the stupidity, to focus on the bigger picture. And then I make one false step. I turn the TV on for five minutes, shielding my eyes (and ears) as I quickly flip to a station airing a “personally approved” show with actual entertainment value. But, alas, it seems I am never quick enough.

Today, it was the Oprah Winfrey Show.

I think this personage tops the list of people in need of a reality check.

Maybe after 24 years on television and with the level of fame she’s received, her reality has become a tad skewed. Because, what viewers, in their right mind, willingly submit to an hour of blatant home videos of Oprah and Gayle what’s-her-name attempting to camp? (Really realistic, might I add. That whole roughing-it, surviving-on-your-own storyline. Yeah, that survival element kinda disapates with the appearance of the camera crew and the invisible assistant who we know is waiting on the sidelines with a bottle of water and a masseuse.)

Does fame make a person that delusional? I guess the difference is that most celebrities, while knowing that people will watch whatever crap they put out on the tube, do not have the easy access to do it. Oprah, however, does in fact rule the world. Her 80 million delirious fans will tell you that.

I keep dreading the inevitable–which is, if I ever want to really understand her appeal, I must do the unthinkable. Watch her show. I have tried before and almost made it through a full hour, but my nausea got the better of me. I fear I will continue to roam the earth without the life-changing understanding of Oprah’s powers.

Fortunately for me, her reign has about ended. But you can bet, before it’s all over, her audience members will traipse off with new homes, Africa will be cured of AIDS and poverty will be a thing of the past.

At least, that’s what her female army expects.


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