Sometimes you will come across a subject that most of your immediate circle of friends would advise you to avoid conversing about. These topics experience a kind of banishment from civilized conversation. Such topics include, but are not limited to, religion, politics, paper or plastic, global warming, who was the better Willy Wonka Gene or Johnny, or Apple or Windows. These are topics fall into the realm of taboo. And one of the most volatile topics I have ever managed to come across is the topic called Oprah.
Now before clicking on the “Leave Comment” link and calling me a variety of slang words combined in such a way so that you hope when I get home my mother runs out from underneath my front porch and bites me on the leg, or you choose to announce to everyone reading that my parents were never married, or possibly that the area resting on my neck is made out of excrement, please read the whole thing first, then comment all you want. In one of my earlier Smirks I was writing about a headline a friend had sent me that Fox News had put out. There was one reader who, the second they got to the part where I mentioned Fox News, wrote a comment about how Fox News is good and those who disagree are not so much bad people as they are wrong people. There was more to it than that, but other readers pointed out that the Fox fan was missing the point and needed to go back and read whole thing. When he did, they kindly retracted their initial tangent and told me to keep writing.
As for Oprah, in my opinion, for many she is the big “It”. She is the medal at the Olympics, the little gold man statue at the Oscars, the bacon in a BLT, and the idea that is responsible for the creation of peanut butter. For some she is the dream at the end of the dream, the Grand Poobah of “It”. She is the icon and reward of success to many people across this country. There is a shared belief out there that the second you step on stage with Oprah on her show you have officially “made it.”
I’ll admit, I don’t get it, and I think on the average men just don’t. I mean we know there is a power there… mainly because we’ve been told there is by our significant others. If your partner, lover, wife, husband, significant other, etc, is an Oprah fan, you learn very early on that any negative connotations about her, even in a jokeful setting, just aren’t worth it… ever.
I could say that Oprah is one of those people you either love or hate, but she’s not. I mean sure people either love her or hate her, but there are plenty of people that just don’t care either way. I, for one, am quite ambivalent towards the great and powerful O. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a fan of all the good she has done and the help she has given to so many people in need. It’s the type of action I appreciate. It’s just that neither Oprah nor her show are topics that are of any real interest to me…
Unless I hear the phrase from my cutie-baby-sweetie-pie, “I watched Oprah today.” Then it’s time to take a little interest. It’s important not to dismiss it. Do I care that Angela watched Oprah? No, not really. But I do care that watching Oprah has made her happy and her being happy is what’s important and worth paying attention to.
The interesting thing I find about Oprah is that she’s becoming more of a thing, a brand, an idea… a verb. Oprah is a type of symbol or status instead of a person. Also, I think everyone has an Oprah, but not everyone’s Oprah is Oprah.
I was recently having a conversation with a friend about this very topic. I have been thinking of my “made it” story and who person my Oprah is. For Angela, it’s definitely Oprah. Pretty cut and dry, and no surprises there. For me though, at this point in my life I’m going to have to say that Jon Stewart is my Oprah. The opportunity to walk onto his show and be interviewed by him to talk about my latest book really is one of my quintessential Oprah moments. That’s the great thing about the Oprah verb, we all have our own Oprah, and I like that it’s not the same for everyone.
So, who’s your Oprah and what is your Oprah moment?
Google Images, key words: Oprah, BLT, and John Stewart.
I have to admit that I love Oprah, but I do think that sometimes the subject of Oprah can become a little too intense. So I just choose to love her, a little more silently, to myself. Like a Polly Pocket, I just put Oprah in my pocket and save her for a rainy day. I love your Smirk!
I cannot remember when, it must have been some time between that point when marriage turned from a constant ebb and flow to an ever evolving mass of waking up to the pillow of blame to the face, which left you shouting, in between bobbing and weaving, “What the hell!?”
See, there is that “Ah-Ha!” moment that cannot be blamed on the terrible band from the 80’s. The moment, typically right after the first blow lands, that you recall a conversation at the dinner table from the night before.
“Do you like that “experimental” dish I just served you?”
which, as you all know, means “I just sprung a trap, now how would you like to go about chewing off your own leg to escape it?”
This is similar to walking in from mowing the lawn on a Saturday morning, flooded by your wife’s tears, wailing about the loss of someone’s child or healing moment with a panel of idiots-I mean “experts”-on the secret to a fulfilled life. WHY am I suddenly the enemy? What did Oprah’s panel of finger pointers just tell you, via Tivo, that must be my fault? I was mowing the yard, minding my own business and now I am on the brink of a nasty fight, egged on by the media Khaun of womanhood, that I have no ammunition to defend against.
On a side note, Doctor Oz once had a segment in which he “tried” to get women to focus more on their man’s um…need? desire?…medical means to have sex a certain number of times a year for good health. Brilliant suggestion!
Anyway, when did women turn to this anti-Christ for guidance? She is a big fan of Tom Cruise…shouldn’t that tell you ladies something about the Kubla Khan you think is a human, but really goes home and mutates into a giant sponge that squeezes out millions of your dollars into a giant vault, kept inside a massive spaceship that will carry her and her minions to planet Rugnar, somewhere in the Alpha Centauri region. Then what will you all say, Hmm?
I would dare venture that you are one of the Oprah haters. 🙂 Or at the very least if you had the choice between watching her show and hitting yourself in the head with 2×4 you’d probably go the route of the 2×4. Sure I’m indifferent towards her, but I think one thing to acknowledge is that even if you hate her and despise how successful she is, it’s from being that successful that she is able to assist and help so many people in the world. Question her motivations for helping others all you want, I mean at the core it’s either because she truly wants to help or it’s because it gets her more viewers, either way I do think helping others is pretty groovy and kudos to her for doing so to improve people lives that really need a push towards accepting their own self worth.
There, that’s my attempt at making the peace. 🙂 The “bad mouth Oprah” ball is now back in your court. 🙂
I agree with you on the subject of Oprah..we get reruns of her tv show on this side of the Atlantic too. .she gives the impression that she is a fairly decent sort who appears to want to improve life for others, and best wishes to her if that is the case…but it’s all a bit too sugar coated for my taste…..we also get Jon Stewart’s show here too and given the choice I would watch him any day (bring on the sarcasm and satire!) 🙂
Hear Hear Siobhan!
And believe when I tell you that when the day finally comes and I get the call to go on the show (Jon’s show that is) everyone is going to know about it! 🙂 Well maybe not everyone, everyone. But definitely the everyone that has ever read my Smirks.
I typically occupy my time on late weekday afternoons with class, homework, internet/music/tv/video games/etc. On the rare occasion that I happen to, by whatever circumstance, glimpse a minute or two of Oprah, I am amazed at how everything is a production with her, how she gets excited about things that no one should get excited about, or tells people about herself, or how she acts ignorant with a guest to make them talk down to her and the viewers, or when she tells people how to feel good about themselves for no reason. I think, “Why does this need to be on the air?”, “Can’t this just be some weekend seminar that no one has to hear about?”
Great Smirk, Rich. In our house we do have a split opinion of Oprah and we have had debates as well. I really think you’re great for being such a wise and understanding husband. It’s wonderful how respectful and observant you are to your “cutie-baby-sweetie-pie”. We all are individuals and we don’t necessarily want to be friends with every person we meet but to recognize their good points in spite of the fact we don’t want to be friends is mature.
Jon Stewart tickles my funny bone, Oprah inspires me. Both shows serve a purpose. Fortunately we all have a remote control and can choose how we spend our time for entertainment.
I can’t wait to see you on Jon’s show. I can’t wait to read your books.
Thanks for writing yet another great Smirk.
Bad mouth Oprah? NEVER. Finding myself mystified by how on one side she seems righteous and giving, and then read about her money grubbing ways on another end of the spectrum and see how her faithful point out only the good in her-Yes. Its very…Tea Party??? Contradictory??? self-serving perhaps. I never understood helping people out THERE when there are so many in need HERE. She could expend all of her contributions to society at home and do far more good than opening a school in a third world country that only abused its children from the get go. And on a side note, Stewbeef is good and all, but you have to had a side dish of Colbert to fully engorge yourself in a buffet of satire.
When will you smirk on the Catholic Church, my friend? There is, at least, a hundred smirks in this topic alone. I am here to assist with the comments whenever you need me. 🙂