.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Grand Ole Oprah

Predictions, like peanuts, are persnicketty things.

A: You can never have enough of them.
B: You look a fool publicly if they go down the wrong way.
C: They're worth almost nothing.

Nevertheless, I've decided to go to way of Jeanne Dixon and The Amazing Kreskin, and get into the predictions game on my blog.

Are you ready? Good.

Prediction: Oprah Winfrey will run for a Senate seat from Illinois one day.

Possibly for Dick Durbin's seat, or even Barack Obama's seat, should either make a serious bid for the US Presidency in 2008, or more to the point, 2012, one year after Oprah's contract is set to expire.

Barack Obama's seat would be doubly meaningful, not because she harbours any anti-Obama sentiments, au contraire!, but because it's the seat once held by Oprah's old friend, Carol Moseley-Braun.

Although Miss Winfrey's first political contribution on record is to a Republican, Susan Engeleiter's Wisconsin senatorial bid in 1988, to which Oprah contributed U$1,000, her second was to Carol Moseley-Braun (ten more Benjamins), in 1992.

Moseley-Braun famously went on to lose her bid for re-election to Peter Fitzgerald, who, in turn, opted not to run for his seat in 2004...which Barack Obama then won.

It's coming home, mama, it's coming home.

So, reason why I think Oprah is running for office one day?

Well if "just a gut instinct" is not good enough a reason for you, hear this:

Do you remember when Oprah was a likable, down-to-earth television personality, who took herself just seriously enough to be respected in what is surely one of the least respectable professions on TV: afternoon talk show host -- the preserves of the Rickis, the Sally Jesses, and especially, the Jerrys?

I do too.

Her feel-good shows were a good momentary diversion around 4 o'clock, should you be channel-surfing at home at that time.

Talking of transformations...

Then something changed.

Her manner became a little more posed.

Her accent a little more WASPy.

Her dress and look a little more polished, and her attitude a little more condenscending, in that same plastic way Barbara Walters, Andrea Mitchell or Starr Jones have.

She even looked a little whiter. Somehow.



(There's an untranslatable word in Spanish which describes this type of woman very well, and that word is creida -- a cross between stuck-up and phony, but also that they think they are, in what I can only describe on this family blog, as hot excrement)

It wasn't that Oprah had suddenly discovered her power. I'm sure she knew she always had that.

But what happened to her was that she discovered her celebrity.

This is the death knell for famous people in the United States.

The moment an actor or actress goes "Hollywood", they stop being a good actor and actress, and start being celebrities -- with all the cloying silliness that entails. The same is true of singers, dancers, or indeed, news anchors...

She was the perfect talk show host, for the perfect era, too.

The 1990s transformed America from a culture which of the rich and famous which Robin Leach had made so alluring, to the celeb-papparazi culture which cannot convict a famous person for murder or child molestation even if there is a papertrail of evidence which would make the Library of Congress swoon.

(And, of course, one which ultimately cost a beautiful, if troubled young woman her life in the Pont d'Alma, since the syndrome is world-wide)

If we're living in that Warholian world that gives everyone 15 minutes of fame, Oprah Winfrey has discovered the secret of endless exposure.

It's unthreatening exposure at that, which combines the tasks of genteel benefactress-cum-hostess to a very receptive audience.

Which brings us to the second reason.

My mother once observed that Oprah Winfrey can make white women jump through a hoops of fire for her.

For I've met more than one African-American person who disliked her (I never knew why, and felt too uninterested to ask), but I've yet to meet a white woman who doesn't like her.

That's a very important "base" waiting to be exploited, or more charitably, waiting to be led.

Where Oprah goes, women follow. Perhaps an exaggeration, but not by much.

And finally, the last reason.

Ever since Oprah's tussle with the Beef People, she's been careful to construct her image as a populist, who despite her billions, is just one of "us":

Just the granddaugher of Mississippi sharecroppers born in Koscuisko, who was sexually abused, and went on to daily smoke crack inside her beat up old car.

All this before, in classic Americana Horatio Alger fashion, pulling herself up by her bootstraps to become the 9th most powerful woman on the planet -- at least according to Forbes Magazine.

Why even the French give her a hard time! Of course, she's just folks, right?

And it was all these reasons primed her for latest media adventure, as a kind of celebrity Eliott Ness.

Yes, Oprah Winfrey is getting into the criminal-napping game!

She's just launched "Oprah's Child Predator Watch List".

For every successful capture of a child predator, she is giving the tipster U$100,000 hard cash.

Unsurprisingly, her Watch List has already bagged two sex offenders, WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ITS DEBUT, courtesy of two viewers who turned the fugitives in.

This is how she announced her plans, on her Tuesday 4 October 2004 show.

"Today I stand before you to say, in terms that I hope are very certain, that I have had enough.

"With every breath in my body, whatever it takes, and most importantly with your support, we are going to move heaven and earth to stop a sickness that I believe is the definition of evil that's been going on for far too long. Children of this nation, the United States of America, are being stolen, raped, tortured and killed by sexual predators who are walking right into your home.

"How many children have to be sacrificed? What price are we as a society willing to continue to pay before we rise up in the streets and say, 'Enough! Enough! Enough!'"

Watch the video of her announcement here. Now tell me her cadences are not that of a politican making a speech.

All it needed was "My Fellow Americans", and some babies to kiss, and it would've been a proper campaign launch.

That she would be elected, goes without saying for all the reasons I've mentioned.

Oh, she might be corporate, but she's not MacHalliburton corporate. She might not have much political experience to be a Senator (or anything else), but she can run a billion-dollar business, especially without those annoying barnyard sayings of H. Ross Perot.

And she's bright. And generous. And you get the point.

I'm not sure if the world will ever see a Condi v. Hillary race.

But those of you who collect political memoribilia will have a "Vote for Oprah!" bumper sticker at your eBay mercy before long.

4 Comments:

  • What a busy Sunday I've had Victoria, I finally get home and read my favorite blogger at 10:15PM and you have to make perfect sense over someone that I do not like, have not ever liked and your logic may very well keep me awake tonight. I hadn't thought of Obama's seat, worse, I hadn't thought of President Winfrey; maybe a subliminal supression each time I mistakenly passed by her show. I still thought her as someone holding a magic over people, as you say, but had not thought of her political animal. You are right, why would she be satisfied catching pedophiles without more than altruistic behavior. The nightmare never ends.

    By Blogger Paul, at Sun Oct 16, 10:30:00 pm GMT-4  

  • What a busy Sunday I've had Victoria,

    Busy, but happy, I hope, Paul. :)

    I too have had a busy day, BTW! My mother corralled me to do some post-Katrina charity work at the rectory of our church.

    Fortunately, we got a special treat for our "bothers". Read above. ;)

    I finally get home and read my favorite blogger at 10:15PM

    Awww.

    You're so lovely, Paul...erm, unless you meant Althouse!

    and you have to make perfect sense over someone that I do not like, have not ever liked

    I was neither pro-nor-anti Oprah before 2001ish.

    I just liked that she at least help people, and she was generous.

    But as a person, she left me cold.

    Since then, she's changed, and I frankly think she's a big phony.

    I don't like her now either.

    and your logic may very well keep me awake tonight. I hadn't thought of Obama's seat, worse, I hadn't thought of President Winfrey; maybe a subliminal supression each time I mistakenly passed by her show. I still thought her as someone holding a magic over people, as you say, but had not thought of her political animal. You are right, why would she be satisfied catching pedophiles without more than altruistic behavior. The nightmare never ends.

    Ah well you see -- maybe it's not Condi or Hillary MSM are priming us for, but Oprah!!

    Just kidding. I don't think she has the gravitas needed to be US President.

    However, that's because Americans take their presidency VERY seriously.

    If this were Venezuela, with their mobocracy, President Oprah would be a reality.

    All you need sometimes in South America, is to be a populist.

    Oh dangerous thing...

    P.S.: My mother read my blogpost, and wasn't convinced. Then she clinked on the video, and heard her announcement. She said, "You're right. That's a politician in the making."

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Oct 17, 03:09:00 am GMT-4  

  • Fortunately, we got a special treat for our "bothers". Read above. ;)

    I did read the above and am envious. My day was happy by the way, thank you.

    You're so lovely, Paul...erm, unless you meant Althouse!


    Ha! She's good, but second. And thank you again.

    Since then, she's changed (Oprah), and I frankly think she's a big phony.

    Exactly what I wanted to say.

    I don't think she has the gravitas needed to be US President.

    I hope you're right but should she, or Kerry get elected, do you know of a country similar to that which this one was prior, to where I can immigrate? I'm thinking South Seas area.
    See, you have pointed out Oprah's certain direction to your Mom and I. Once she moves for office, I hope her magic fades with her Legions. I don't think it will, as long as she can persuade companies to give her products to bribe us with. Wonder what I'll get? Oh, wait, I think I know.

    By Blogger Paul, at Mon Oct 17, 10:42:00 am GMT-4  

  • Interesting idea.

    I have to wonder, though, how appealing a Senate seat would be. I'd venture to say that Ophrah has had, has now, and will continue to have more influence through her current path--and with a great deal more freedom, to boot. It's interesting to ponder that CEOs and the like tend to have a tough time in politics: too much compromise and coalition, too little "my way or the highway."

    Even being president can be very confining! And after eight years, at best, you're out. Oprah strikes me as someone with interest in a long shelf-life.

    On the other, if she were to bankroll a variety of like-minded politicans, she could have quite a bit of effect, and over the long term.

    Appropos of nothing, does she still own her farm in Indiana?

    Last thought: If she DID become president, would Stedman be "First SO"?

    By Blogger reader_iam, at Tue Oct 18, 02:32:00 pm GMT-4  

Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


 




Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.