Friday, April 23, 2010

There's only one place left for Oprah to go: The Church of Oprah

Oprah Winfrey's had her own massively successful daytime talk show for twenty five years. She's got her own magazine, and will soon have a nighttime show on her own television network.

She's yet to have her likeness appear on a stamp or a coin or the side of a mountain, but she's gotten more exposure than Jesus Christ.

What is there left for her to conquer?

Having set herself up as a guru to the bovine millions who've abdicated citizenship for consumership, there really is only one place left for Oprah to go: open a string of churches in her name.

The Church of Oprah Winfrey.

The headquarters of C.O.W. would have to be the size of small city. Oprah would preside over congregations like Joel Osteen -- and he's a man man. And South'ren, at that.

Although there are growing suspicions inflatable sex dolls purchased in industrial quantities make up the majority of Osteen's audience -- at least in the hard-to-see further reaches of Covenant Stadium -- no one doubts that Winfrey will pack them in to C.O.W.

The Oprah-centric theology preached by Winfrey is popular, already, among many church-going women, but it's the promise of giveaways that will have worshippers waiting in line for entry, as they do right now for her daytime program.

Rumors are floating that Winfrey will give away a piece of the original cross, a palm-print in clay from the late Michael Jackson's late monkey/companion, Bubbles, along with Target gift cards.

That might not sound like church to traditionalists, but if there's one thing Winfrey has shown it's her ability to turn a very healthy buck while bucking the system.

C.O.W. promises to be a cash-cow, no one questions that, but it may also pay off in other ways -- possibly, in Winfrey finally receiving that long-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.

If there was a Nobel Prize for Television, not only would Winfrey have won that already, it would have her likeness on the statue.

Oprah: America's Cult by Paul A. Toth

Kitty Kelley, quasi-journalist, turns flashlight on Oprah, and it's not the dirt that keeps me blinking. Rather, it's the undeniable power of our first-name pal, who created the perfect American cult: cheery; appealing to the Lane Bryant crowd; and offering so many failed cures and remedies that I'm surprised a snake charmer doesn't open the show. In other words, Oprah is the P.T. Barnum (no relation) of our times. Barnum once said that "we've got something for everyone." So does Oprah. Despite the plethora of failed diets and the psychological catastrophe known as Dr. Phil, Oprah plugs away. And she plugs. And plugs. And plugs. If put in the typing hands of Kakfa, Oprah would turn into a three-pronged plug.

This site makes an excellent point: "Oprah, being the doyenne of making or breaking books, was thought to be immune from an unauthorized biography because…well, she is the doyenne of making or breaking books." That a woman with no literary credentials whatsoever sets the reading agenda for most Americans comes as no surprise; the major publishers can always take over with an equal lack of credentials should a crisis literally erupt. However, the same site notes that Kelley was blacklisted by "Larry King, Charlie Rose, David Letterman and Barbara Walters..." Charlie Rose? But I thought he took ISI (Integrity Stimulating Hormones)?

ABC News quotes a "Penn State professor" as saying, "She started the down-and-dirty exploitative show, the trailer trash, the unwashed parading of dysfunction. Donahue tried to compete but he couldn't do it as well or as badly. He was too smart." But Oprah was smart enough to pull back when others took over the trailer trash, leaving her almost total control over the subtle exploitation of dysfunction. Who can forget "tough guy" James Frey (one letter shy of the truth: fey) weeping before the pope of publishing and, in exchange, winning a second chance to write a second novel, except this one wouldn't be labeled a memoir. What did it matter? Oprah fuel continued propelling him into the dying hell of American "literature."

Meanwhile, Kelley's biography reveals that Oprah takes her own advice: "I really like me, I really do... When you mention great actresses, you’ll have to say my name.... I know people really really love me, love me, love me." Apparently, she also exhibits clear signs of psychosis, speaking of herself in the third person and proclaiming, "Oprah does not walk... Oprah does not do stairs." Oprah's mantra is obviously...Oprah.

Why walk or "do the stairs" when magic diets sell themselves even before Oprah gives them the boost? And how can you feel bad about your own life when, over here, in the corner, the Incredible Incestuous Daughter proclaims how she continued having sex with dad long after puberty? And why waste time selecting a book that appeals to you when Oprah and staff will happily perform the work, increasing their power within IQ-depleted Publishers' Row? In fact, why think at all? To think is an inconvenience in a nation of convenience, a morbidly-obese economic culture that produces P.T. Barnums and Oprahs like so many widgets.

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