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Poetry and snark blogger who also has a creative side (who knew?)

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Big O (No, Not That One!)

I'm just a vessel for God...
I was flipping TV channels last night for my evening's mind candy (don't judge!) and came upon OWN, the new Oprah Worship, I mean Winfrey, Network. Out of curiosity and the law of inertia, I remained on OWN and watched for a while. I have come to the conclusion that Oprah Winfrey is a bit scary.

Unless you live under a rock, and perhaps even if you do, you know that these days Oprah is EVERYWHERE. She has her own TV show, her own magazine, and now her own TV network. She's richer than God and probably more famous. Her visage is pasted all over billboards, television, internet, magazines, and newspapers, and she's one of the most recognizable people anywhere. Her rags to riches story is a tale of self-empowerment, and there are many worse celebrities who could be held up as role models than Oprah. At some point, however, Oprah seems to have slipped down that slippery slope from self-esteem to self-aggrandizement. She sees herself on a "mission" to save the rest of us from our pathetic non-Oprah'd selves. And whenever someone speaks of having a "mission," I start to get worried.

It's not enough for Oprah to be a TV personality, a movie star, a magazine magnate, a famous celebrity, and a gazillionaire. She sees herself as a "vessel" for God. Oprah isn't doing all of these things for herself; she is doing the Lord's work. And from her recent ubiquity, Oprah could possibly challenge God for omnipresence! The Church of Oprah is spreading across the land, and her followers are tuning in to hear her speak the gospel. Just listen to Oprah and you too can be all you were meant to be. Oprah will tell you what books to read with her book club, what magazines to read ("O," her magazine, obviously), and what shows to watch (you have an entire network from which to choose now). Oprah acolytes will tell you how to manage your money, your relationships, and your health. Just follow, and let your inner Oprah emerge in pseudo-religious, wishy-washy spirituality!

I have visions of an Oprah tinted future. It has begun with "programming that reflects her world view, her vision for the future, and her very sense of purpose, not just in the media universe, but in the grander scheme of life."  Her divine Oprahness will spread beyond multimedia and reach farther and wider. Soon, there may be Oprah Reeducation Bureaus (ORBs), Oprah Holidays (OHs), Oprah Winfrey's Own for Women (OWOW), a clothing line, Oprah Winfrey Land (OWL) Theme Park,  and, of course, the Oprah Worship Network (OWN), which will begin with the TV station but will expand to include meeting places and internet sites for followers of Oprah to study her teachings and eventually become certified Oprah masters (OMs). Conversely, those who don't hop on the bandwagon, Oprah Doubters and Deniers (ODDs) and Oprah Unbelievers and Taitors (OUTs), will soon find themselves outcasts from society.

Before we find ourselves with a close-up of Oprah's face on our next $100 bill, I suggest we think about whether any one person should be so influential. Sure, I give the woman props for the good works that she's done. And her personal story is inspirational. But it should inspire us to find our own personal bliss in our own time, not because Oprah says we should. If Oprah's book club got you into a book store or library for the first time in years, great! Now, after you've finished one of her picks, find some books that inspire you that aren't on her list. In a true spiritual paradox, to achieve genuine Oprahness is to do whatever the hell you want to do and not give a damn what Oprah says.


  1. Dave from the "male" roomJanuary 7, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    You are SO right! I think that this reflects very badly on society in general, just as I think "reality TV" reflects badly on society. Instead of going out and living your OWN (pun intended) life, you read what Oprah tells you and you watch what "exciting" things Snooki et. al. are doing. I would love to see just 1% of the people who do these things change their voyeuristic and uninspired, unoriginal ways and just get creative and expand their own horizons and live their own unique lives.

  2. Just because others put you on a pedestal doesn't mean you're vying to be there. It's just like ministers/preachers/priests: we may look to them for guidance and think they do no wrong, but they're still human. They are not perfect. The problem is that people love Oprah to the detriment of their own intuition and judgment. I love Oprah, too, but I have a mind of my own. Which, consequently, is why I haven't been to church in two years. Personally, I think there are worse people to look up to.

    You are my second very good bloggy friend who has expressed a dislike for Oprah. Hmm...I need to think about that. Could it be that not everyone loves Oprah as I do? Wow! Who woulda thunk it?

  3. Let me start by saying, damn girl you can really write! You have a way with words and I really enjoyed this post a lot. I agree with your analysis completely. Good Job.

  4. Orbs,Owows-and best of all Owns!
    Inspired me to put back this poem which is the only one w/one of "those"words-I accept authority is many realms but not spirituality.
    Hormonally challenged-who isn't?

  5. Mrs. Hyde,
    I was a big Oprah fan for a long time. I remember her from her time in Baltimore! What's bothering me now is her whole "I'm just a vessel for God" business and her incessant "let me tell you all about me so that you can be inspired" interviews. It seems that she is starting to believe her own hype, and that worries me. As I said in the post, there are many worse role models out there, and I've happily skewered some of them too. But it would serve Oprah well to remember that not all of God's messengers have fared well in the past, and she better keep her ass grounded.

    Love the poem, esp. the last lines! Check it out everyone.

  6. I am convince O is the antichrist, here to take over the world. And I won't go into my tangent (again, I already laid into her on FB) about her damned NWO channel taking over one of my Discovery Channels. I was fit to be tied.

    Then I see that she's throwing Ro O into the puddin' on some damned show on her Nazi network. It's just too many things.

    If my TV fit in the toilet, I'd flush it.

  7. I agree with Rabbit. I have thought that for a long long time. Damn her. I want my channel back!!

  8. This made me giggle - which is what a good rant should do - but I agree with you.

  9. OH, Lolamouse, you are one punny lady. We have all seen the fruition of your dream coming true for years, and the endorsement of Obama was just the beginning. Oprah for president has been a buzz in the air for a while now. Perhaps all of the other dreams won’t be necessary with the power to reach far more. Oprah as Ambassador to Africa has also been thrown around. I for one still enjoy seeing her at what she does best, TV. Her dramatic presentation has kept audiences captivated for decades and now she has a new network to continue beating the odds. I was pleasantly surprised to hear at work today that my very own employer DISH Network is the proud OWNer of OWN in HD, before Comcast or Direct TV. You go Oprah!


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