So, as I hear it, the scuttlebutt according to some women in front of me in line at the grocery store who decided to ask me about twins and post partum depression, is that tomorrow is the big day in the Church of Oprah. Brooke Shields is going to be on, and we will get to see if the big O dresses her down for having a kid, becoming afflicted with a documented mental illness that affects thousands of women, and then doing something about it. Or can she go all sycophantic as per usual on Brooke, and still get Tommy to bow down to her whilst simultaneaously bitch slapping her all around because he's so in love with Dawson's girlfriend? What will O do? We have to find out so we know whether to be on Tom's side or Brooke's. We wait with anticip.....ation for her to tell us what to think.
Please hold for a minute while I collect my tact.
It's not that I hate Oprah. Really. I don't. She seems like a pleasant enough woman who tries to do positive things with her celebrity. Obviously her resume is impressive. Her rags to riches story is a great one. She sure beats Jerry Springer. But every time a woman (mostly its women) comes up to me and starts talking about Oprah I start looking for the nearest exit out of the conversation, or the room, whichever is quickest.
Maybe it is me. Maybe it is because I associate Oprah watching with illness and unemployment. For most of the brief phases of my life that I've turned on Oprah at 4:00 on a regular basis, it has been when I was sick, unemployed, or depressed--usually about being sick and unemployed. Oprah watching is for when you are recovering from kidney surgery and you are too tired to reach for the remote. Oprah watching is for when you've been up all night with 2 two-week old children and you don't want to fall asleep because you'll just have to get up again in an hour, so you turn on Oprah so you can let your mind and body completely check out and go as far into a coma as possible while still technically being awake. Oprah watching is when you spend all day at job interviews where people say you're credentials are the best they've seen but they just can't afford a liability risk on a disabled employee, so you actually NEED Oprah to tell you that you are a phenomenal woman. Oh, yes, you are. No, really, you are.
Maybe it's that theory of mine that when humans reach a level of too-much power, they actually undergo psychological transformations in the brain that make them insufferable, narcissistic fools that have their own likeness on every cover of their own magazine bearing their own name.
Maybe it was the time she said that to research her role in "Beloved," she had someone blindfold her and then leave her in a forest so she could better feel what it was like to be a slave; thus insulting both the skills and resourcefulness of every blind person in the world as well as her entire race of fore-bearers in this country that had to suffer slavery.
Maybe it was the time when she tried to go to an upscale department store in France after it had already closed and they would not open the store especially for her and she cried racism and said it was the most humiliating experience of her life. I guess the blindfold experience didn't really teach her that much about slavery.
Maybe it was the time she said that her new multimillion dollar mansion in Santa Barbara was a gift from God because when she was young she dreamed someday she would live in a house with trees out the window and this property had 4 million trees or something. But then I found out that God intervened and gave her this gift by having her kick out the existing owners who were not selling until O waved a shitload of money their way.
Or, maybe its because her magazine tells you on one page how to save $1000 dollars a year by cutting costs, but then on another page tells you that you HAVE to Have a $800 blouse.
Maybe I'm just jealous and I wanted a new car and didn't get to shit my pants on her show to get one.
In any case, Besides whatever I might think of what Oprah does, she's free to do it and I support that. So I think my real problem with her is not so much about her, but it is that freak show of an audience she has and all of the other followers in the congregation at large.
I'm not talking about your occasional Oprah viewer here, the ones who watch out of laziness like me or who can take her or leave her. I'm talking about the ones who have found Oprah as-their-Lord-and-Savior. You know you know what I'm talking about. The ones who have managed to climb so far up Oprah's ass that they are now roaming her brain so they can quote her chapter and verse. The ones who jump up and down in tears when she walks in the studio and if they are lucky enough to get Oprah to touch their hand out of the pile of manicured nails coming at the poor woman--well, they might as well have been blessed by the Pope. (Actually, this is my favorite part of the whole show. It's like a Benny Hinn healing every episode. I am waiting to see someone fall backwards and be caught be Gayle and start speaking in tongues.) I also like how they almost piss their pants when they get told their getting a free T-shirt that is designer label (a MUST HAVE) and costs $67. I'm sure if you gave them an equivalent $6 T-shirt, it would say, "I stood in line for 5 hours so I could act like a demented, bat-shit crazy banshee on the Oprah Show and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Why do so many women need an Oprah to self-help them into any sort of self-esteem? Why do they need an Oprah to tell them that it's a good thing to donate money to African relief charities? Why do women need an Oprah to tell them that even though they have the career, family, car, house, etc. that they still aren't happy and need to "self-actualize"? Why don't women see the contradiction between an episode where a woman goes to Africa and breaks down in front of a dying woman with AIDS who received no treatment; then comes back to the States and throws a multimillion dollar birthday party for herself. I know that even Oprah can't singlehandedly save Africa...but doesn't that seem odd to anyone else but me?
Why do some women need Oprah to tell them what to buy, eat, read, watch, and think? Don't they see that she, like Martha Stewart and the Olsen Twins, is a queen of cross promotion and consumerism dressed up like friendly advice. She is telling you that X is the best product and she's getting paid a load to do it. So go buy, buy, buy because that is in her job description: making you buy stuff you don't need and didn't want before she told you that you did.
And please, if we are sitting down to chit chat about our emotions or whatever, I have a rule: There is a one mention maximum of reference of what Oprah (or Dr. Phil for that matter. I DO hate him.) might say about our emotional states. I'm being liberal by giving you the one, now. Any continuous constant references to WWOD, and I'm hitting the door and leaving you with the tab.
So I don't hate Oprah herself, I mean, thank God she is a basically good person and not offering out the special kool-aid. It's her beautifully coifed and manicured, stepford-style cult that has me a'feared.
And for the record, I'm on Brooke's side, and I decided that WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING what O will say about it. I'm not planning on watching to find out.