Monday, November 15, 2004

Breaking up with Oprah.

There, I've said it. I am breaking up with Oprah Winfrey. This may prove to be as difficult as breaking up with diet coke (which I failed miserably at, thanks to the new "with lime" feature). I have loved Oprah through thick and thin (haha!). I have watched Oprah religiously since I was a teenager. I remember rushing home from highschool with my friend Christine B. to hole up in my bedroom to watch O.W. and drink the aforementioned diet coke and eat chocolate chip cookies until Christine's mom came to pick her up. But it's grown old. I now feel dirty when I'm done sitting through an hour of her shilling her bullshit self-help propaganda "look at me, I had nothing, but I believed" swill. She charges companies money just to give out their products to an audience of greedy shrieking women on her show - and then she takes credit for it. Like the OWS hasn't become an hour long commercial with commercials. The cracking point for me (not the breaking point...) was that "America loves its military" baby shower in - wait for it - Tennessee. (What the hell is Ben Affleck doing in a baby shower show?) The breaking point wasn't the show where she gave away a bunch of cars. The breaking point wasn't the preview to her gawdawful "Oprah's favourite things" Christmas special. It wasn't even when she suggested that America should toss out its closet every season and wear only "clothes that make you feel alive" (wtf does that even mean?). The breaking point was when I finally, begrudgingly, thanks to my mom, got off my ass and read Stephen Lewis' article on Oprah's trip to Africa to visit with AIDS orphans. Go ahead, read it. I dare you to. You'll have five free hours each week that you didn't have before.

7 comments:

  1. I read from Oprah's mag (yes, I buy it sometimes) her visit when she gave out millions of gifts to thousands of children in Africa with her mentor, Nelson Mandela. I don't remember the date and the correlation with this article.
    I'm upset over this (her cutting the trip early) and I'm not making excuses for her at all. But cut Oprah out? Well I can understand because it's become a marketing tool. But I won't cut her out of my life.
    Very very interesting that you point out the fact how long you've been watching her...every time I watch Oprah now, her audience is full of white folks. Is she part of the small minority of Black folks who are deemed "non threatening?" With Condi Rice, Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby? And not the whole NAACP crew, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Angela Davis and those uncouth hip hop artists?
    Good thoughts, very good.

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  2. Wow! That's a crazy article. I watch Oprah very sporadically, but I did see the beginning of that We Love The Military baby shower one and turned it off immediately because I just couldn't take it. Overcoming adversity is admirable, but it doesn't automatically make you a good person for life. All of Oprah's self-agrandizing generousity ("I gave you this! Look how great I am!") does not equal kindness. Just because she started with nothing it doesn't mean that her greed is any more justified.

    J.

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  3. Well, well, look what I found!

    There are actually women who don't like Oprah? That's like finding Kryptonite! I always thought something was up with that woman.

    anyways, keep on blogging Kat. I must say that in your wedding picture, Scott looks like Max Payne (from the video game series of the same name).

    Later

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  4. solitaire - yeah, I have been watching OW since she first started out. I suppose that if one were a white person with a "safe list" that Oprah would be on it. I don't have such a list. Oprah's skin colour is as interesting to me as her gender in that you don't see that many women who have the magnitude of success that she has. The fact that she is a black woman only makes it more extraordinary. What bothers me is that she has this incredible, as you say, marketing tool and she uses it in a way to market herself. It isn't about her causes anymore, it is about what is Oprah doing for these causes, isn't Oprah amazing and a good generous person for what she is doing. The causes are truly secondary.

    J - that article is crazy - I loved that we finally got the perspective of someone who lives the cause, and doesn't just "drop in" to check it out. I suppose that if Oprah just did her little movie-hype, Julia Roberts expose type shows I could handle it. The Oprah saves the world nonsense is too much to handle.

    Big N - hey you! Glad you like the blog. And yes, there are many women out there who don't like Oprah. I wonder what Scott will think of you saying he looks like Max Payne...

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  5. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Like all of us, Oprah has her contradictions. They just seem so huge when backed by all that money and celebrity. My breaking point with O came when she made such harsh judgements of a teacher who, in the midst of a midlife crisis, posed for some porno shots. They became public,and...you know the rest of the story. Even Oprah's friend Gayle told her she had come down too hard on the woman. Oprah then invited the woman back and basically did her in again! This is the same Oprah who did a special on Victoria Secrets and Pole Dancing....advising us all that we need to spice up our lives. Hmmmm.....

    mb

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  6. Congratulations! I think that it's important to remember that the first step is the hardest, and before you know it, she will just blend into the mass of commercialisim that saturates us every day. One day, you won't be able to distinguish the big O from any of the mind-numbing sitcoms and 'reality' shows that don't really reflect reality at all. Welcome to an Oprah-free future! :)

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  7. Thanks for the support Tammy :-) One day at a time...

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