Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I wrote and re-wrote a book, in 1999, 2000, 2006, that still hasn't been published. It's about a woman born January 1, 1900. I wanted the dates in her life to synchronize with the dates of the major events in the Twentieth Century. And as the story is ending, in 1999, my heroine is reminiscing with her granddaughter.

"Cordelia nodded thoughtfully, remembering her husband. 'He'd have loved Tiger Woods, worried about terrorism, blamed it on our foreign policy. Chuckled over the hullabaloo, hated the hullabaloo over President Clinton's love life. Wouldn't be thrilled about more women commanders, the military announcing there'll be more lady bosses by two thousand and ten.'

"Cordelia hummed a few names. 'Oprah, Hillary, Madeline Albright? Who'll be the queen pin, king pin in two thousand and ten? Some new person we never heard of? Maybe it's a good thing Cordelia Benedek-Elliot retired from congress.' "'

Yes, I knew back in 1999 -- Emily, the author, knew that Oprah was a woman to be reckoned with.

I don't watch Oprah. I have never seen an entire Oprah Winfrey show because ...

Because I am uncomfortable with her marvelous, breezy, relaxed, confident focus.

Because what she conveys , as she speaks, is a sincere, full-out, genuine awareness: of me.

Because she doesn't seem to suspect that I don't want her opinions laid on me.

(Of course, she's not aware of me, she doesn't know me, but the image on the television set says that she does.)

I don't want Oprah Winfrey's ideas. They're like hand-me-down clothes that she is sure I'll love, and she's putting them on me, dressing me in them.

I don't mind wearing hand-me-downs, but Oprah picks them off her rack that's part of her personal collection, and she slips them on me. I am not only uncomfortable in what she so generously, lovingly dresses me in, I'm annoyed -- yes, repelled -- the color, the style, the shape of her things are not my taste.

I've avoided Dr. Phil. (He's smart, he's perceptive and caring.) I don't like Dr. Mehmet Oz. (I don't like the exercises he promotes.) I won't watch Rachael Ray. (I've peeked -- she's charming.) But the Oprah Seal-of-Approval on Phil, Oz, and Rachael turns me off.

I checked-out Oprah's new " OWN Network." I read the names of the programs throughout the day and evening. I don't intend to return to that channel and watch any of them.

I have to admit that I like Oprah's energy. I found her heartfelt support of Obama, during his campaign touching. But I don't want to "be my best self" based on her concept. I don't want to latch on to Oprah's favorite things, Oprah's famous people, and the inspirational stories that Oprah loves, touts, and recommends.


Am I a dope?

The OWN Network will succeed without me, I hope.


Carola said...

I'm not crazy about Oprah either (I don't watch her show). But I like her better than Dr Phil, Dr Oz, and Rachel Ray.

Linda Phillips said...

I am not, nor have I ever been an Opraph fan and unlike you, I find Dr. Phil to be a total jerk.

Oprah is a very very very successful woman. Good for her. She is NOT for me.

An all the time all Oprah network, filled with all Oprah and all of her sycophants is way way way too much Oprah. BARF!!!!!

Kevin Daly said...

For all the good she does, something about her strikes me as disingenuous. The television shows, interviews and personas are all part of her brand. I have no use for her, her ideas, her products or network. (Then again I am hardly a demographic she cares about).

Her giveaways remind me of Howard Beale's ratings spectacles in "Network." Underneath the hilarity of watching seemingly rational people lose their minds over material things, I'm not-so-vaguely uncomfortable.

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