Re: virus: Why does everybody love Oprah?

Zloduska (
Tue, 02 Feb 1999 02:21:52 -0600

Reed wrote:

>What does she offer? A "fraud" would be someone that offers something
>and then intentionally doesn't deliver. Oprah offers light entertianment,
>discussion, and positive thinking. She delivers. I don't think
>she pretends to be an expert on anything. In fact, her appeal is mostly
>a result of her willingness to let you in on her human frailty combined
>with a strong spirit.

I used the word "fraud", but I think I meant "phony", as in the way her show is fake and pretentious, pretending to be something more than it actually is. Kind of like 'salvation', judging from the kind of worship I've seen demonstrated by the national Cult de la Oprah.

>You're putting the cart before the horse. Oprah has great ratings becuase
>she's consistently sincere about a message people want to hear. She's
>the only talk-show host I know who encorages her audience to read books.
>I think that's pretty cool, don't you? I mean, reading is a good way to
>become informed, right?

Not if it's freakin' Danielle Steele! I know, I'm being very cynical here...but I think it's not only a case of Oprah spoon-feeding the public what she thinks is good for them, but also feeding the public what they want to devour, which is usually junk food, so to speak.

>"Whore myself out?" Gee, that's real non-biased language.

I never said I was "non-biased"! I told you from the get-go that I really dislike (but not hate) Oprah Winfrey.

>Can you see
>how your perspective is inhibiting you from having greater influence?
>By associating mass appeal to prostitution (which we agree is "bad") you
>limit your ability to help people.

Why do you keep assuming that I want greater "influence" over people? The only people I think I have influence on now are my friends, and we already think so much alike that this isn't hard to do. By the way, aren't you kind of "selling yourself" when you promote yourself to the point of becoming a huge celebrity?

>All together now!
>gimme a break, OK? Everyone cares what other people think of them.
>It's all about how you let people influence you and how you influence
>others. But if you deny it, that just means it all happens outside of your
>conscious control...pretty dangerous, if you ask me.

Gah, no need to mock me with a little song and dance. I still would like to know why you think I should want to take over the world! Stop telling me what I do and do not feel or want. Besides, that was a bit out of context. See, I don't deny that I care what my friends, family and others think of me, but I believe I said that I don't want to get on national television and preach about myself and what I think is right because "I don't care what others think of me". At least not enough for it to effect me greatly.

>Funny, I hope that my rants might help people to think differently.
>I don't characterize them as little, or self-indulgent.

Well, I was being mostly sarcastic anyways, because of what I assumed was a very condescending attitude towards me. My ranting *is* self-indulgent, however I don't think I'm wrong or stupid, of course.

>See..."waste their time" you see how you are continiously negating
>meaning? Oh,'s just a joke right? But it's a serious joke. It's
>a joke which made you excitied enough to defend. There is something
>of significance here FOR YOU, or you would have let it pass. But you
>invested the time.
>Don't negate that investement by calling it a waste...there is so much
>meaning to find here.

I don't follow you here.

>Is that an assertion? Or do you have some evidence you'ld like
>to back it up with?

Well, do you have evidence that Oprah's show cures the world's ills? The words "a better place for everyone" seem a bit far-fetched and like an exaggeration to me.

>I see your point. You don't have time to watch becuase you are too busy
>doing. I have a lot of respect for that. But there are other people who are
>less powerful than you right now...and many of them are served by Oprah.
>Eventually, they may not need her anymore. And what greater success
>could she hope for than that her audience grows beyond the need to watch

My only problem with this is all the people I've seen who watch her. My memory reminds me that those I've known are mostly elderly folk who do so because they have nothing better to do, and it's the mental equivalent of bubblegum. And isn't that self-defeating to her, if her goal is to somehow free her audience? I doubt it.

>People have to feel good about themselves before they can learn to love
>others. If Oprah helps people to accept their bodies and to master that
>part of their allowing herself to be made an example...then
>that is good. You have to master a sense of self first, then you can address
>issues like Middle East foreign policy. I know it might seem very trite
>to you...but body-image is really crippling for some people.

Point taken, and I'll accept that she could positively influence someone to say, "Hey, I'm alright, look at what a mess she is!" Body-image is all well and good, but I still think too many people are zonked out in front of the tube, when they don't even give a damn about the atrocities committed by their own government.

>Anyone on this list who liked Oprah will feel, by reading your posts,
>that goodness is opposed to her message. You would make them choose
>between Oprah and Iraq, or between Oprah and the Women's Shelter.
>Both are flase dichotomies. We can respect both...and that is the most
>effective message.

Well, my point is, so what if they do, and I have changed their minds? I still think I'm entitled and justified to be critical of Oprah and not like her. If others on the list are convinced I'm right, then their opinion of her wasn't very strong to begin with...And if everyone on this list hates her, so what?! She's her own woman (and every woman, as the case may be) who can take it, so it doesn't matter.

>No, I don't think you're anything like that. I think you're a very good
>hearted person trying to help people around you. The other stuff is just
>a protective shell you don't need anymore. I think you could cut Oprah
>a break, is all.

But why does she deserve one? She is not aware of my existence at all, yet she has publicly put herself on display, and therefore open to criticism. And if Oprah did know me, it would be her right to insult me as much as she likes.

>I'm having a hard time figuring out what's wrong with that. Would
>you rather she said: "I'm better than you" or "I'm worse than you"
>or "you'll never be able to relate to me"? What would you like her
>to say...
>..."Philosophy is just two old men arguing with each other"?
>Does that appeal to you?

No, as I don't necessarily agree. But I like to avoid the topic of philosophy. (There's something else I have an aversion to.) I guess it doesn't matter to me what Oprah's slogan is anymore... But something _honest_ would be a nice change.

>But, I suppose that would be "whoring", wouldn't it? University is
>a search for fulfilment like any other, and it involves sacrifices. It
>is tough...and that you find the energy to volunteer at the same time
>is really amazing. Your life could really be an example to other
>people. From what you've told me so far it has a number of very
>inspiring elements. I'd bet you'ld make a great talk-show host, if
>you wanted to.

*mock horror* "Nooooooooo!" I think if you knew me in real life, you'd soil yourself in laughter with that mental image in your head.

>I suppose that's one way of looking at it. I'm doubly impressed that
>you're so motivated despite having such a bitter view of the world.
>One can only imagine what you could accomplish if you sincerely believed
>that you could speak to "every woman". That potential excites me, I

Ah, I really don't have a bitter view of the world. Actually, I think it's more positive than most. A lot of people think that human nature is awful, the world is lost, and with some "apocalypse" approaching, we are doomed unless we find some solution or salvation. Instead, I think that Nature is perfect, everything in the world starts out *right*, only most of us humans screw it up. People are born perfect as infants, but unfortunately we don't stay like children for long. I don't believe in Original Sin or that all people are inherently wicked, or in "evil". I do believe in Love, though. I think the state of reality is mostly beautiful. I don't think there is any certain meaning to Life, except perhaps the personal search for meaning itself, but I'm perfectly happy with that, or without a God or saviour exisiting.

I'm an extreme person, with little that exists as in between for me. I only seem pretty sour now because we're dealing with what I do *not* like. Had we been talking about something I love, I could go on positively raving for hours. What I love/like, I *really* love, and what I don't like, I really despise. I've been told that when I find something I like, I latch on to it tightly and spread it like the gospel, but the opposite is also true.

>>>So, not only is philosophy beyond most's also worthless
>>>to those people who can understand it? Why do you even bother?
>Oh, I got the joke. I just felt that there was more of a story there.
>I think you'll agree I was right. ;-)

Nope. I can't help but get the feeling that you've been trying to psychoanalyze me with your replies so far. You're a nice guy and all, but I just can't fight the feeling that I've been hotly conversing with some intrusive quasi-motivational-speaker clone of Alex Trebek. Although I don't really care for Philosophy, and at certain times it also bothers me, that original "joke" was simply that, and I think you're picking apart my comments just a little bit *too* much.

And so I'd like to question you...exactly WHY have you been acting as Oprah's special Guardian Angel, and donning a purple cape to defend her? Is it because you feel a strong, unwavering devotion to her and must speak on her behalf to keep me from tarnishing her image, or are you merely taking an opposing position just for the hell of it, and to prove me wrong? (Which I can understand, as I often argue with myself over what is both true/false, wrong and right.)

And most importantly, if I breathlessly give up- utterly defeated, and say that I just love Oprah to pieces, will you bake me cookies?