Published on December 14th, 2011 | by tomkolovos8
aControlledSubstance “Waste of Time Person of the Year”
Surprise! It’s not Kim Kardashian. It’s……
This year, the insufferable “Oprah’s Farewell Season” made it impossible to hold my tongue any longer.
Funny isn’t it? How prescient must “The Protester” as TIME magazine’s Person of the Year seem to you regular readers now?
Below, I’ve included the posts that substantively express how I think she put the “waste” in the television wasteland, culminating with the most comprehensive post “What if no one challenged the status quo.”
“Oprah” was really the very first reality show, and it trafficked in her own personal misery of racial prejudice, weight, sexual abuse and self esteem issues. It was not until 1998 that she started “change your life TV,” which means she spent half her time on television making her fortune from the lesser angels of her nature, and the entire “Farewell Season” making sure you forgot about the first half of her 25 year reign of error.
She really started getting spiritual on you and brought you the time tested philosophy of “The Secret.” You know the idea that you if work hard enough at imagining what you want, it suddenly materializes? How’d that work out for you around September 2008? How’s that working for you on the unemployment line right now? How’s that working with your mortgage lender and your impending foreclosure? And if the secret works, why is Oprah still fat? Shhhhh.
Congratulations, you now don’t have a Masters in Sociology. You have a Masters in Scientology.
You gotta love the current celebrity fascination with drafting African children into their money laundering schemes. Could it be that they think Africans are so dumb that they won’t notice they’re mere pawns in s(l)ick self serving marketing campaigns that appeal to liberal white guilt?
Just asking because the same clebs, Oprah chief among them, find it much easier to justify vanity projects in Africa than real hard work on the 3rd world conditions here in the US, including prison reform for black men who somehow get life imprisonment for minor drug dealings when the overwhelming drug consumer is affluent and white. The criminal justice system since the Reagan administration is the Holocaust of the black community but apparently among fashionable people of any color, that’s an unfashionable truth. African babies can at least be shopped for as if they were Ralph Lauren paint shades. And what’s more fun than duty free shopping?
In what must be the most surreal “Oprah” show ever, there was Alan Bloom on her show, with a Cheshire cat grin on his face, as Oprah Winfrey, who clearly did not know who he was or read his book or understood that he despised her intellectually–just as I still do, by the way–was running around the audience asking people if they could answer such questions as what is this or that country’s capitol city. Seriously deluded then– as she still is today– she had no idea how out of her depth she really was or exactly how much glee Alan Bloom took in what happened to her on air.
Her success– she has never understood–was never not due to God’s will, as she most laughably preached on her farewell show a few months back.
It had everything to do with a fateful date with Roger Ebert who told her exactly how syndication would benefit her if she owned the show herself. Beyond that fateful business lesson, which she has claimed she does not remember, her success was due to the fact that she was the unwitting beneficiary of what had begun to trickle down into the popular culture from what had begun on college campuses among intellectuals.
Race, sexual abuse and feminism were fault lines in the culture wars and here was a woman who came along at a time when she was willing to talk about such things–and about her own experiences, no less–on television.
Oprah apparently still has no more sociopolitical understanding of her success now than she did when Alan Bloom came on her show to prove that she didn’t.
The unfortunate part for popular culture and imagination is she got almost everything wrong about the lessons of the culture wars. Her personal experiences did not ultimately illuminate race or sexuality or gender in any meaningful way because she got mired in the culture of victimization. Good God, remember how every woman in America was supposedly suddenly the victim of sexual assault and molestation every time you turned on her show?
Camile Paglia tried to set her straight, but she was often invited on the show in those days as an object of derision. Camile Paglia. it turns out, had it exactly right and Oprah had it exactly wrong.
And by the time she realized that she was mistaken, she set up camp with the likes of Marianne Williamson (talk about a cult of personality!) and later with the equally ridiculous people behind “The Secret” and turned each and every serious discussion about the politics of race and gender and even sexuality into some faux spiritual new age paradigm.
Good luck in visioning your way out of this recession. Or being fat. Or anything else. At all.
Yes, she became a billionaire by turning herself into the subject of the gaze and not the object–a perfectly laudable effort by Foucault’s standards–but instead of using that to produce any any deepening of the real sociopolitical understanding, she used it to promote a cult of personality and a mega brand to which she laughably– but not atypically, for anti intellectuals– attributed to Divine intervention.
It has clearly never dawned on her that the reason all this visioning/ self help mumbo jumbo ever resonated with people in the first place was that we were living through one of the most expansive economic booms in our country’s history, so of course people who were otherwise ignorant of socioeconomic forces could come to think that they were the masters of their own fate.
Until we all found out that it was an economic Ponzi scheme– where toxic mortgages were not unlike tulips once upon a time– that was really behind those forces. Of course, “Oprah” was a Ponzi scheme of its own–now OWN–but that’s an inconvenient truth, if you were one of her regular cult followers–I mean, viewers.
Given that the history of modern political freedom began with John Locke dismantling the religious reasons for the the Divine Right of Kings, having the Queen of Talk television resort to faux Divinity to explain her attempts at social equality sets the culture back 400 years.
You don’t promote gender and racial and sexual equality by deceiving yourself or other people. But you do get awfully rich that way, don’t you?
Modern political thought began by throwing women under the bus in the name of equality and liberty, and Oprah threw pretty much everyone under the bus but herself. I don’t think Rosa Parks would be proud. Do you?
Now that’s change your life TV!
Tom Kolovos is editor in Chief of aControlledSubstance.com and would like you to send your hate mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org