Monday, December 10, 2007

Oprah Worship

This is not a political rant, but it is my thoughts on Oprah and her shenanigans.

Years ago when Toby worked for Allied Waste, we attended a convention in Chicago. One of the other wives at the convention asked me to go to the Oprah show with her. I explained that I did not watch Oprah very often, but the Waste Wife was insistent that I go with her - it would be a lark. You know me, I am game for new experiences and site-seeing. Once at the Oprah studio, the line of ladies were ushered into a large waiting room filled with TV monitors showing different past episodes of the Oprah show. The ladies in the room were oohing and ahhing over the shows exclaiming and squealing when one of their favorite Oprah episodes was shown. My first thought was, “Wow, this is like a cult.” These ladies were over the top on hero worship. You had to wonder if that sort of worship was harmless or not. On most issues, I would think Oprah is pretty harmless, but as she has gained popularity, she has become more and more of a leader - even a spiritual leader and I think that sort of worship is out of line.

In 1996, Oprah was sued by the Texas Beef Council when a show she produced made misleading remarks concerning beef. The price of beef made an immediate nose dive after the show aired. The cattlemen claimed that Oprah’s remarks and misleading information influenced people and cattle prices dropped. Oprah acted as if her show and info and words were nothing - that her show just put out info and she had no influence on how that info or her remarks were taken by the public. The judge sided with Oprah, but the question remains: does Oprah have a huge influence on what people think and do in America? The obvious answer is yes, she has a huge following and yes, she tries to influence people. That is exactly what her show is about - getting people to change - usually for the better, but are Oprah’s views always better? Each one of her shows is geared to changing folks - helping them lose weight, helping them dress better, encouraging them to give more, encouraging them to read certain books, etc. How can she say she has no influence over people. Then she gives away huge, expensive gifts and throws lavish parties - do you think that influences anyone? Well yeah! That is what she is all about!

These are thought I have had concerning Oprah for over ten years. But what really bothers me, is her spirituality and her talk of a “higher being”. Because she is a “good person” and so “helpful” to society, people follow her as if she were an evangelical preacher. She is a religion (did I just cross the line into a full blown rant?).

Okay, so now she has thrown her hat and money into the ring to support Obama. What is up with that? Why not Hillary? She asked people to “follow the dream” - what is up with that? Are we to vote for Obama because he is such a wise man and has a great record or because he is black? She even mentioned "amazing grace" that she was doing this. I really feel like Oprah stepped over the line this time. It always irritates me when some movie star starts talking politics and throwing around his/her money, but I figure they have a right to do so. If Oprah can throw a big shindig for Obama, why can’t the Southern Baptist or the Episcopal Churches or whatever support a candidate? Okay I’m ranting again. I know that Oprah pays taxes and churches don’t.

Bottom line, Oprah may seem like just a nice, rich lady, but I think she is dangerous. If that needs more explanation, just ask. I will answer. Watch Oprah if you want, but be wise.

10 comments:

Catherine said...

Lou, I got the giggles and couldn't concentrate on the serious Oprah review after I read the statement: "but the Waste Wife was insistent that I go with her-" I started to conjure up all sorts of images about what a "Waste Wife" might be/look like...now that would be a fun dialog to have! Is a Waste Wife the opposite of a Stepford Wife, for example?....

So glad you're home and the blog is back in action. You go girl!

Bag Blog said...

Catherine, actually, I had a nickname for this Waste Wife. I called her "Miss Dallas" because she was from that area, graduated from Texas Tech, and was just a typical Dallas socialite - sorority type girl. She married a rich boy form Georgia whose father owned a trash company. She was very political minded, but clueless. And yet, she was lots of fun.

Bag Blog said...

PS. If I had said she was a "Trash Wife" that would have conjured up all sort of odd images, too.

Buck Pennington said...

If I had said she was a "Trash Wife" that would have conjured up all sort of odd images, too.

Yep. ;-)

re: Oprah. At one point this weekend I seriously thought I'd lost my mind. There I was...on the couch, reading a magazine, the TV tuned to Fox News Channel but on mute. I glanced up and saw John Frickin' Kerry in a small window on the left side of the screen...pontificating away... and an empty stage in the main screen area with a title bar message saying "Waiting for LIVE Oprah speech for Obama in Des Moines" or some such blather. On Fox News, of all places!

Serious cognitive dissonance...

So. I pretty much agree with everything you said about Oprah, Lou. The mystery, to me, is why anyone would support the guy after all the gaffes he's made during the last three or four months. He's intelligent...you have to give him that. But I think he's lacking in the experience/judgment areas. But Oprah obviously knows something I don't, eh?

Jo Castillo said...

Bag blog, too true. I have never watched a whole show but I know many that are 'hooked'. I'm amazed at how much credence is given to celebrities. They know more because we make them famous ... I don't think so!

Becky said...

I don't really understand the obsession with Oprah. Sometimes I watch her show, but other times she just makes me mad. Not too long ago, she had Michael Moore on there, and was just a gushing over his Sicko crockumentary, just as if he were right about it.

And to answer your question, yes she supports Obama solely--or at least primarily--because he is black. Oprah is one of the most racist persons I know of. She's more subtle, but she's right up there with Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton.

LT Nixon said...

Oprah and the celebrity worship phenomenon has always been a little strange to me. Here's more on Hot Air about the Oprah-Obama event.

Mrs. Bear said...

Fox News was on at lunch yesterday in the breakroom of the medical clinic I work in...our staff is made up of three anglo american girls and three mexican american girls...we are all very close...somewhat like sisters...while watching the Oprah speech we all noticed the same thing...there were three or four anglo (white) people positioned directly behind the stage where Oprah was speaking...the majority of the rest of the crowd seemed to be black...it looked to us that the white people had been staged so the camera would show that there were white people supporting the "cause" We all had a good laugh. I don't know much about the "cause"...I try and stay away from politics...lunch yesterday at work was interesting with the various comments...we also noticed that we didn't see any Mexican in the crowd..so we all spoke spanish for the rest of the lunch hour in honor of the missing hispanics....I'm glad I'm not a "waste wife" I guess I'm a "paint wife" or a "Contract Wife" now that could be interesting.....Have a good day..I'm off to save the medical world!!!

Bag Blog said...

Lt. Nixon, after watching the link you provided, it seems that the media is also soft on Oprah. They talked about O getting the women's votes, but did not mention the black vote - Odd.

Becky and Mrs. Bear, well, I guess there are a few of us rational women out there - you give me hope. Anny, you just crack me up.

the friendly neighborhood piper said...

i can see it now...

2028 heavy bold on the O.

Due to your readership...i'll be nice, i, personally, can't stand that...wench. Reading your post, it was reminescent of a nationally syndicated sports radio show i listen to on occasion. One of the rules to calling in to the show is, "Have a take, do not suck". (Translated: Make your point(s), it better be good.) Travelling through your post i was like, "Take, take, take...NICE!" I have NEVER had a good feel for that, man i gotta be careful, woman. She's full of dead man's bones.