Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oprah Worship and You

First of all, let me say that I admire Oprah, who as a poor Southern girl with little family background or wealth, made very good indeed. But I have a problem with the large segment of the population that have elevated her status to sainthood. First of all, she started in the newsroom, not a plus in my book. Then her show early on was actually the springboard for the likes of Jerry Springer and other domestic trainwrecks that have graced our televisions for the past ten or more years. I don't watch that kind of stuff. I can see that same level of intelligence on the local evening news. I don't need counseling and play by play repartee with it. Then there was the EPIPHANY. Oprah didn't want to do "that kind of show" any more. So she changed. And while it is change, I am not sure exactly if it is positive. For one, there are items pushed upon weakminded folks that are luxury beyond what the average person would even consider spending. I mean, sure a week at a spa is nice, but it's the old issue of Wants vs. Needs. What seems to be the prevailing theme in all of these "Best of..." and "Oprah's Favorites..." is not that we need these items, but that no matter what the cost, we are ENTITLED to these things. I've always tried to teach my kids the difference between Wants and Needs. You NEED food to survive, you don't necessarily need the finest sirloin. You NEED water to live, but it doesn't have to be bottled (If you see Jerry Seinfeld you might tell him that, because I have it on authority that at a charity performance in Las Vegas, he spit out bottled water that wasn't to his liking. So I guess he isn't really acting when he's being annoying and vain...) The few times I have watched, or been virtually forced to due to the overwhelming influenece of relatives, I have noticed this glassy eyed vehemance in the audience's attitude that I find frightening. Is life really all about getting the "best"? And who, exactly, gets to make that decision? What if the brand I like isn't the "best"? Does that make me less of a person? And what about this worship of Oprah? It makes me uneasy the way that her power and wealth can swing fortunes into and out of someone's reach based on her opinion. Sure, she got fleeced by the writer, but in supporting him blindly, she helped him to fleece others. There's a lesson here about following blindly those who are not necessarily more informed or smarter than you. So please, tell me why so many people are willing to give their time, money and lifestyles over to the whims of this talk show host....

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