Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'll just start off by saying I loved The Color Purple, and I loved the shit out of Oprah in The Color Purple. She's a natural actor, and a pleasure to watch. She's also a savvy marketer and has built an empire, and good on her. I'm happy for her. Lately her hair has been some of the best ever, and that's just ducky.

What I have a problem with is that piece of shit show of hers, and all the obsessing that happens on it. The few books I've had the misfortune to read that she recommended there were TERRIBLE. These books were trite schlocky crap I could've stuck a pencil in my bum and penned more masterfully, but I digress.

Oprah does shows on topics that are "relevant" and even "vital" to have a fulfilling life in western society. In honesty, I've watched her show about 3 times in the past 5 years, so most of what I know of the show comes directly from other people who watch her daily. One of the shows I saw was about proper digestion of food, and the audience had the privilege of hearing intimate details of Oprah's poopy habits. Joy. Talk about an overshare.

On another episode of her show an "expert" talked about how static electricty from your car upholstery and cell phone can make you explode at the gas pump when you stop to fill up your car. Seriously. If this were true, considering how surgically implanted most people's cell phones are, then gas pumps would blow people up in every city, every day of the year. Honestly!

On the phone with someone today, they were freaking out about today's show about the bird flu, and how we'll all be housebound for 4 months and that we're all just totally screwed. To this I respond: Why bother with anything, if we're all just screwed? Why don't we just not get out of bed? Why leave the house? Why not just snuff it?

Fuck that billion dollar whore who can afford to insulate herself from life and all the while she's scaring the shit out of people!!! Has she done a show on the nuclear winter we'd experience when a comet collides with earth? How about alien invasion (oh wait, she had the Tom Cruise episode -same thing)? How about the epic tragedy of countless millions without the gumption to leave unhappy, unfulfilling loveless marriages? Oh, she doesn't do scandal anymore, right?

These scary shows are leavened with the respite of extravaganzas where Oprah heaps millions of dollars worth of gifts on the lucky studio audience. There is a certain good cop/bad cop quality to this style of presentation, and it seems like a recipe for manic-depression, to me.

I'm not saying there is no reason to fear bird flu or whatever, just that there is a certain boy-who-cried-wolf quality to being a shrieking Cassandra about every little thing that could go wrong in life, and eventually, a healthy person will be emotionally worn down by the sheer fatigue of pondering every conceivable doomsday scenario. Life is just too short for that bullshit, in my opinion. Yeah, a lot of things in life are shitty, but we have to suck it up and find something worthwhile despite the deck stacked against us, right? Am I right about that? I think I'm right.

There is so much great shit to watch on tv, that I can't believe so many millions of Americans - predominantly women - go back to the Oprah show trough on a daily basis to get slopped, and especially when what is presented is so bleak. This stuff is depressing on the order of a cavalcade of Dickensian horrors. Can someone splain me this, because I just don't get it?

Whew! That WAS another rant, wasn't it? I feel better!


The Mistress said...

I just watch her show to see what shoes she's wearing.

:P fuzzbox said...

Angry Joyce and I were discussing Oprah the other day. She pointed out her charitable nature. I made the point that her charity was only self-promotion. Sometimes you have to spend money to make more money.

Tickersoid said...

At my age, I've found a phrase I oft' repeat, which ought to become an abreviation for oldies. OFFS. 'Oh for f*cks sake'. I use it when people throw away good food because the best before date is up, or won't give the dog fatty food because of its cholesterol. Oprah has me saying OFFS on a regular basis, or it would if I watched it. My experience of it matches yours.

I can't seem to shake the image of you with the pencil up your bum whilst wearing a pair of fine quality shoes.
I'm sure it's just me.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I cannot explain it to you, as I don't get it either. Have never watched the show - have no desire to ever do so. I am puzzled as to why she has this godlike aura, in some people's minds.

phlegmfatale said...

mj - she DOES have some great clothes and shoes - mad props to her stylist.

fuzzbox - I agree - It's only charity if you notice the loss of what you gave away - Oprah would have to give an awful lot to notice it. It's just like Madonna talking with "humility" about what a crap mother she is for being such a workaholic, but talking about Kaballah as a path to enlightenment and humility. The wind cries "bullshit!"

tickersoid - THAT is a great expression - I'll be using that today when I see Napoleon Hitler for the first time in over a week. Oh, and I'll be using that expression when someone mentions Oprah to me again.
Me and the pencil - well, it was meant to illustrate that my posterior has more writing capability than the authors she promotes, but I should have known someone would find that a sexually compelling image - pervert! I knew there was a reason I liked you. Oh, and you're spot on about the shoes, of course.

Maven said...

Oh lordy...

I agree with you, I don't watch Oprah all that much (unless I'm home sick, and happen to stumble upon the show). It's not on my "must see" list. However, I will tell you straight up I blogged about the POOP episode!!!

The most recent one I saw had the president of Liberia and Queen Rania of Jordan on it. (Rania is GOR-GEOUS!!!)

I'd sooner buy Alice Walker's book, "The Color Purple," and read it cover to cover before I'd pay good money to see Oprah's clap-trap on Broadway.

All things considered, you have to admit, the movie, "Color Purple," was fantastic, and chock full of quotable quotes such as:

"Beat her"
"A woman ain't safe in a house full of men."

Maven said...

PS: Are you jamming your pencil in your ass to sharpen it? Or is it like dipping a pen into an inkwell:)

phlegmfatale said...

nugget - *L* SEE people! I TOLD you Oprah had a show about poop!
I won't be seeing the musical of TCP - I'm not a broadway musical kind of gal. TCP was a fantastic movie.
Um, the pencil thing - wow - it didn't occur to me this would be mulled over in comments - um, superior pencil-grip capabilities and my bottom having more profound story ideas than the typical Oprah author. But thanks for the expansion of the image. *L*

Anonymous said...

Great post, I hear you and I have had the same thoughts at times.

I get the idea from the media that Oprah's daily loyal followers (6 or 9 million or something) would follow her right off the cliff. She has a lot of power- as clearly proven by her book club. I will say it's good she has got many people reading again, though it's ironic that someone on TV had to tell grown people to read. I have read a few of the Oprah books,but mainly because they were so promoted by local bookstores.
I would really rather not have her name and O logo on the books I buy, because it makes me feel like a sheep.

Her massive TV power, bloat of her show, and wealth has caused her to lose touch with the real world. I am sure Regis, Barbara W. and all tv stars are not living in real world but her persona depends on the image- so there is the disconnect. For me the tipping point was the show where she had her personal gardener design various rose gardens around her estate and then decorate various rooms in her mansion to match the various roses, and be filled with fresh flowers daily. How her followers could stomach that, I don't know.

The kissing ass to Johnny Travolta and Tommy Cruise and for the love of god Kirsty Alley is sickening.
Still what I tell myself is who else is out there to fill the void of what good she does(fundraising, awareness, Africa)?

LJ said...

TV, now that I haven't had it for a number of years, stuns me. I realize there are great programs - HBO series and the like, and I rent them eventually or borrow them from friends. But it's the talk show/reality show/true crime/CNN style of non-news shows that sickened me to the point of giving up. I figure so many people are living in a false reality now...have an idea of the world so weird and far-fetched that they have ceased to be able to see the world in any kind of direct way (present company excluded, by the way).
Have you seen the film, "Good Night and Good Luck"?...because Edward R. Murrow's speech about television at the beginning of the movie -(and concluding at the end)are worth the price of admission.
And by the way - yeah. I think you're right.

Crazy Dan said...

This is a comment in hopes that you can help Fuzz with his problem we are holding an intervention for him any help would be tremendous. I know that you visit his blog at times and I hope with the help of friends we can get him the treatment he needs.

Dick said...

Oprah who?
Oh wait, I'm a middle aged white guy who doesn't buy into hype of any kind.

Jay Noel said...

There's somthing cult-ish about Opera and her followers. I think that's why she and Tom Cruise get along so well.

phlegmfatale said...

jacquie - While it IS a public service to bring awareness to charitable causes, I agree with the earlier comment that her charity smacks of self-promotion. I love the way Kathy Griffin has lampooned her - no one else in the country has had the balls.

LJ - didn't see Good Night & Good LUck, but will prolly watch it on cable sometime soon - that sounds a good speech. Yeah, better off without broadcast television - kills more brain cells than smoking a bale of pot, methinks.

crazy dan - thanks for making the rest of us addicted bloggers aware that fuzzbox shares our abiding passion. I always knew he was for real

dick - I expected no less, and you grow in my estimation!

the phoenix - Yes, cultish, well-stated. Yes, that would explain a whole lot. Pact with lucifer, perhaps.

Kelly said...

I can't watch Oprah. That's about all I've got to say about that.

Perplexio said...

I may not always like or agree with her but I do have to give her book club props for getting at least SOME of America's cake-eating housewives to put away the clicker and pick up a book for a change (even if many of those books make much better toilet paper than literature). I say the same about the Harry Potter books-- they aren't my bag, but I give Rowling credit for getting the masses to actually pick up a book.

With some readers (albeit far too few) that will lead to them reading OTHER books that aren't within the popular mainstream. And that I see as being a good thing.

On the flip-side is her rampant fear-mongering and diet/fitness cult-guruishness that I find incredibly off-putting. What has worked for her won't necessarily work for others. We all have different body chemistries and while certain diets can help certain people, it can do serious harm to people whose body chemistries are substantially different.

And then there was her bird-flu episode-- just one of many instances of her fear-mongering. The bird flu has NEVER passed from human to human and it may never happen. Steps are already being taken to prevent it from ever happening before any of these scary doomsday scenarios have any chance of happening.

Liz said...

I've only watched Oprah once at which point I was so horrified at the banality of the show that I have never watched it again. I could care less what her gift picks are or whatever. Like I'm going to buy anyone except me a cashmere sweater.

I will say though that I prefer screaming Mimi to shrieking Cassandra. At least Cassandra had the whole Greek god thing going on.

What Does It Matter Anyways? said...

Oprah was pretty good in The Color Purple, but I'd never watch her show in the this life or any other. When I see or hear her, or someone talking about her, I head in the other direction. And regarding the Black Fig Tea, I was given some as a birthday gift by a friend, I'll ask her were she bought it and give you the link.


phlegmfatale said...

o.g. - all the better for you

perplexio - yes, encouraging reading IS a good thing, and the charity stuff is good, I suppose, even if a bit self-apotheistic. Yeah, it's the birdflu shit that annoys me. It just freaks people out for no good reason, in my opinion.

Liz - never figured you for the Oprah type, either, you not being a touchy-feely sort of gal.

what does ima? - Yeah, TCP - great movie, great performance. I guess another thing that bugs me is when people act like they're having some fabulous common experience because they watched the same tv program daily. dull. Do let me know about the Black Fig - it sounds lovely.

Anonymous said...

Operah recommended the Poisonwood Bible... which is a fascinating discussion of christianity within the context of other cultures, among other things... so occationally there is a gem.

phlegmfatale said...

anonymous - I know she also recommended books that are pre-Oprah era, such as one of my favorites' Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. However, the contemporary writers featured whose books I read at the behest of friends turned me off in a big way, and then there was that flap about the Million Tiny Pieces guy. *yawn* I am prepared to concede that inspiring people to read more is a good thing, but I take umbrage at the idea of someone trying to guide my literary explorations in certain directions. If my library is a volume-for-volume replication of someone else's, it's not my own at all, is it?

Ms. M said...

I have decided that Oprah is so self righteous and so affected by her fame and money, only she doesn't want anyone to think that way of her so she tries hard to make us think she's "every woman." WHAT THE FUCK EVER. She's so self important and narcissistic. I'm through with Oprah. Can't watch her anymore.

phlegmfatale said...

ms. m - she is damned tedious, at that!

CP said...

OOoh. I do love some of Oprah's bookclub suggestions. She came up with going back to the classics.

Future Jihad? Amazing book.
Night by Eli Wiesel? Timeless.
East of Eden? House of Sand and Fog? White Oleander?

The best authors, Leo Tolstoy, Pearl Buck, John Steinbeck, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou.

Oy. The only books that she suggested that I balked at completely was A Million Little Pieces, which I thought was pretentious bullshit and Jewel, which bored me terribly.

I don't watch Oprah, but I do take heed in her book selections. They are usually right on the money with my literary prowess.


phlegmfatale said...

cp - it's true that she has inspired a lot of people to read, and I agree that's a good thing. I think it's sad that people need prodding to discover Steinbeck or Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, so I guess whatever works. Primarily, I was referring to the sucky contemporary authors and the sensational scare-the-pants-off-people episodes.