I want all my readers who find Oprah Winfrey annoying to raise their hands. If you do, and don't want to make yourselves known, I understand. Admitting that you can't stand Oprah is tantamount to admitting you hate puppies, kittens and babies. I happen to love all three, but I can't stand Oprah. There; I said it.
For 25 years this woman has made a career (and several boat-loads of money) out of inflicting herself on millions of television viewers five days a week. Now, she's finally decided to move on, but she can't until she showers the world with every last drop of her narcissism. Then it's on to her OWN network of original programming, which includes her protegees, Gayle King, Suze Orman, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. It's gonna be a 24 hour a day Oprah extravaganza. Well, it already is, but Canadians are going to have to wait until March 1. This is one Canadian who won't be tuning in.
The problem I've always had with Oprah is that too many people pay attention to her. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against zoning out in front of the television, but the intensity with which millions of her viewers hang on her every word and action really bugs me. It's like, whatever she talked about never existed until she discovered it. Everything from liquid diets, to personal chefs and trainers, books, concepts, illnesses...you name it; if I had a dime for every time someone I know started a sentence with, "I saw on Oprah...", I would OWN my own publishing company.
One of Oprah's latest revelations is her discovery of a half-sister who was given up for adoption when she was a baby. Again, a scenario that never existed until Miss O herself experienced it. I find it hard to believe that "Patricia" is the first person to crawl out of the woodwork and claim sibling status to a particular celebrity. But, it happened to Oprah, so we are all paying attention. Considering the misery of her childhood, I can't say I'm shocked this happened, but it really doesn't make a difference to me. Maybe if I was the one with the "surprise" sibling, I could relate, but I'm not. I'm one of those people who often wonders whether or not my parents brought the right infant home from the hospital; that would certainly explain a lot. Not that I'm losing any sleep over it; plus, I bear too strong of a resemblance to the rest of my family.
I'm a sucker for good reality TV; shows about hoarding, addiction, behavioural disorders - things like that really grab and hold my attention. I'm really not into playing the role of voyeur in the life of someone like Miss O. I don't want a fleet of cars, a stack of cashmere sweaters and a lifetime supply of her favourite moisturizer. I want to be true to myself. Watching Oprah made me feel weak-minded; if I had to listen to her, I had no business listening to myself. If you're a stickler for detail the way I am, credibility is negligible from someone whom the world perceives to have it all. That point was driven home a couple of weeks ago when I happened to tune in to see Suze Orman berating Nadya "Octomom" Suleman while Oprah held her hand. None of us has the capacity to save everyone. Exploiting someone who obviously requires more care than that from a shrill financial advisor and a billionaire talk show host, accomplishes nothing other than to make those with power feel more powerful. Not only is that wrong, it's downright cruel.
I look forward to the day when Oprah signs off the air. Maybe the apocalypse will occur soon after. Maybe this is the one event the Mayans weren't counting on. The loss of Oprah might indeed cause the earth to shift its axis or change its rotational direction. If that happens, so be it. I'll stick my head between my legs, kiss my ass good-bye and feel grateful that I never fell under the spell of Miss O.