The International Writers Magazine -Comment- Talk Show Queen
Winfrey: Love-Child or Spawn Of Mediocrity - Does It Matter?
can you decry Oprah? Easy, shes the living embodiment of the
dumbing down of American discourse.
in the hell can I bully a billionaire who outweighs me by several 100
How can you decry Oprah? Easy, shes the living embodiment of the
dumbing down of American discourse. Granted, I do not subscribe to terminal
Golden Agism - where the past is always filled with virgins, flowers,
and great Twilight Zone episodes- but I can simply argue that the pre-Oprah,
talk shows were far more intelligent, and dealt with substantive issues
that now are ghettoed to Sunday morning, PBS, & cable tv talk shows.
I will list just a few of the innumerable sins that OW has committed,
and start with this. The king of pre-Oprah talk was Phil Donahue, who
dealt with many substantive issues, as well as occasional pop fluff.
It was not until the exploitative OW arrived that PD started wearing
dresses & interviewing vampire lesbians who slept with their brothers.
People seem to forget that it was OW who brought topics like sexual
deviance, sensational murders, the KKK, and other now classically white
trash subjects to the fore. This is how OW became a billionaire.
It was only because of her success as Black Americas vengeance
on bourgeois White America that the parade of even more shameless and
exploitive talk shows sallied forth- Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera,
Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Montel Williams, Jenny Jones, & Ricki
Lake among the more successful of that ad-nauseam bunch. Then, just
when her first gimmick ran out of steam, and she was overtaken
by her imitators, OW turned to an even sicker, and more diabolical version
of exploitation. Having shaken Americas closets free of sickos
and perverts destined for later appearances on TV court shows, OW decided
her new schtick would be to get religion. Not just that
old-time brimstone mind you, but an odorless, colorless fart of a brand
of New Age Spiritualism of the sort shilled by Madison Avenue carnies
like the soulless Deepak Chopra and brainless Marianne Williamson.
Instead of exposing how sexually screwed up your average American tater
tot was, OW would now detail how lacking in brains and self-esteem U.S.
spuds were. All that carnality, I presumes, was too much for the lonely
billionaire who still could not get her a man to love- save her appendage
of an escort, Stedman Graham, who slickly parlayed his association
with OW to prime time gigs as a lecturer, author of banal self-help
manifestos, and magazine writer for Inside Sports magazine. Others
also palled up to the seemingly limitless personal desperation of this
media titan to save their careers, or shill their dubiously uplifting
wares, diets, or books on her show. Even though it was nice to see others
blatantly using OW the way she had used and abused others, I for one
preferred the older, baser, lucre-hungry OW, if only that she was more
honest about what she was doing and why- exploiting others
(willing others, I grant) so she could remain the phattest sister on
Now, so many people seem to buy in to OW as a modern Messiah its
both sickening and genuinely bizarre. Aside from her Christ-like delusions,
OW, a few years back, foisted upon the already banal American literary
scene her nauseating Book Club - basically a slickly designed and heavily
promoted marketing vehicle for Junior High level confessional dreck,
written mostly by women, about how inspirational it is to
simply breathe in a world where every man alive merely seeks to deposit
coinage into your holy box. Things got so surreal that many
a narcotized hausfrau would wander down to their local Barnes &
Noble in the late 1990s and mindlessly ask for the latest Oprah book-
regardless of its content, title, or author! After a handful of bad
male writers publicly complained that OW was being literarily and financially
unfair to their self-determined birthright to poison Americas
literacy alone, she backed down (in the exact ways she counsels others
NOT to do when confronting bullies), axed the book club, leaving a void
in asinine celebrity book endorsements of PC novelry that was swiftly
filled by almost-as-vapid talk show host, ex-soap star, & bleached
blond Kelly Ripa of Regis & Kelly shame.
In retaliation OW relaunched her Book Club, focusing only on dead white
male writers, so not to offend Academia. This has now led to OW misinterpreting
and debasing classic American literature for a whole new brood of cyber-morons
grown fat on Super Mario, Sim City, Barney the Dinosaur, & Teletubbies.
With such near-omnipotent wealth and power I might hope OW would put
both to good use. Surely I jest. Why encourage intellectual discourse,
rationalism, and responsibility when OW does not practice nor understand
the tenets of such fundaments? Even worse, for someone so well-regarded
and iconic its amazing how little OW knows about day-to-day America.
Yes, she knows that men like to masturbate & women like to talk.
Wow! But she is clueless as to how little people really
Oy! In truth, neither Oprah nor Rush could tell you the average price
a gallon of gas or milk cost in their respective neighborhoods! Thats
because mansions do not exist in neighborhoods- they are entities unto
themselves- just like OW. OWs latest sin was that she rooted out
the even more moronic Dr. Phil from obscurity. This monotonous, balding,
Lurch-like monstrosity of an addle-minded shrink has an even lower opinion
of his audience than OW has- probably because hes smarter, but
it could be hes even more resentful that he needed OWs help
to succeed. Together, with OW, he has accepted OWs passing of
the torch to convince another generation of obese middle-brow women
that, despite constant appeals for them to empower themselves, the only
way out of their dull routines is to whine & blame others. OW raised
this to a near-scientific skill; an audience which ever seems filled
of Prozac zombies, ADHDd brats, & incest survivors
so mealy-mouthed and pathetic that one wishes a Saturday night with
drunken Hells Angels whove spent 3 weeks out in the Mojave
upon them as proof that no good victim goes unpunished.
The proof of OWs evil, for lack of a more true or apt qualifier,
is that no competent psychiatrist nor sociologist would tell you that
encouraging two decades of whining and hand-wringing in public can do
any good. Instead, OW could use the massive influence she wasted on
making the inane Toni Morrison and despicable Maya Angelou household
names and feted authors on higher pursuits, like attacking the real
hard issues and sinister institutions that make possible the very oppressions
she hypocritically bandwagons upon- corporate oligopolies, organized
religion, and exploitative media outlets, to start.
But, that would require
1: real effort, unlike her highly touted gift-giving sprees to starving
Third World children
2: risking daily ego-stroking by ticking off powers that could actually
stand up to her. And why would OW actually want to effect real change
since she has gotten so much from massaging and bilking the status quo
for all its worth? The masses manifestly prefer her ultimately
apathetic poseur handwringing, and they are as responsible for her hideous
rise as she is. So, I guess when OW starts foisting her latest diet
scam guru upon her stooges it should be no cause for alarm - after all,
they want it, and Im not that dumb. Still, I viscerally hate that
sort of exploitation - to me its little better than those phone
scammers who bilk senior citizens out of their savings by playing to
their fears that their banks are in imminent bankruptcy status. This
is a woman who has literally made her fortune by targeting a specific
marketing group (women 18-49), surveying their vulnerabilities, and
shamelessly pandering to the worst aspects of it. When Madison Avenue
targets that same demographic and feeds them images of anorexic supermodels
as role models OW & her minions cry foul & label the bloated
white middle aged mullahs as all thats wrong with the age.
OW well knows that her future earnings are dependent upon her audience
knowing they are failures in need of a role model like her.
The proof of this ls- the odious O magazine- a sort of postmodernly
unintended spoof of earlier generations womens magazines.
This mag has featured such edifying topics as what failure can teach
a woman, how to ease the need to please, and how to learn to say no.
Ironically, OW - herself - seems to never have learned a thing from
these, and other inane, articles. The subtle (only to her George
Romero zombie-like fans) tone behind all of these articles, and
her shows, is that her audience is worthless and needs OW to show them
the way. OW has thus made herself the Mother Superior for her bratty
minions by fiat, yet deceived them into thinking it was all their idea.
Such actions, when applied in political revolutions, are called cults
of personality. Oprah is the media equivalent of Josef Stalin,
Mao Zedong, or Saddam Hussein- the lone difference that OW kills slowly
- a neuron at a time, rather than a bullet to the head. Which method
of self-annihilation is worse is debatable. This self-loathing, yet
oddly egomaniacal, media whore seems poised for a long run, even beyond
TV, vamping on the weaknesses of feminine America. Would that I, or
this article, could live up to my wifes fears I would take small
solace. Instead, I am left to sly parody. And Sisyphus dared to bitch?
© Dan Schneider, Jan 2004
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