Jan 25, 2007

Oh No. I Bought An Oprah!

Okay, Iadmit it. I bought a copy of Oprah! magazine today. Wait: is the ! reserved for her TV show title? Oprah! Maybe she's eliminated the ! altogether. It not the Oprah empire large enough that it needs an exclamation point to get noticed? Wait, I just checked. Her magazine is just O. She's more famous than Madonna. She's just a letter.

So, I bought my first copy of O, The Oprah Magazine today. I had to do 45 minutes of cardio at the gym and had nothing to read (I can't do cardio without something to distract me. I might realize what a waste of life it is to be running in place on a stationary machine in a gym run by minimum-wage college drop-outs, while real life is going on outside in the sunshine)..

So I stopped by the grocery store to buy something to read. I'd finished Vanity Fair, I had several New Yorkers at home. Vons was limited to Women's Day, LA Latino Angeleno, and the glossy gossip rags OK! In Touch! People was outdated. Justin and Cameron's breakup? Sooo last week. The current US Weekly cover story was on "Britney's New Man." Britney doesn't even have time to put on underwear, and she's had time to find a new man? Why is this news? Why do we care? Why is this happening? No. No I can't buy that magazine.

I am also trying to distract myself from my growing suspicion that America is truly falling apart in a this-time-it's-for-real-folks fashion. in a Rome Is Burning, can't you smell it? No, because you've got your head so far up up britney spears smelly uncovered ass,that's why you can't smell ROME BURNING!

The only justifiable magazine left was O. I perused the cover. . "David Sedaris gets dumped!" on the cover. I love most everything he writes. Something else about improving your relationship without taaaaaalking about it. Compared to everything else, this was Chaucer. I bought it, went to the gym, hopped on the elliptical trainer and read.

David Sedaris' piece was three short paragraphs. It was a series of Firsts. My First Crush, My first Job (Donna Karan), My First Day Off (Colin Powell). I was disappointed I only got three paragraphs of Sedaris, but the rest of it was pretty good. An article written Lance Armstrong's ex (not Sheryl) on how to get over. Pretty good..

There was an article about couples with at least 10 years difference in age. It was fascinating in a train wreck kind of way. I admit this is x sexist, but it wasn't the older men/younger women who made me squirm. It was the younger men. Men who were 10 to 18 years younger. For on thing, only one of the pairings were married, and many of them had only been together for two years. Come on, you’re not really a couple until you buy real estate or have kids.

I guess it made me squirm because I recognized myself. I almost always dated men who were younger. In retrospect, I was avoiding dealing with myself, by dating men who needed babysitting. Larry is 7 years older than me. Given our age, experience, maturity, life experience, he’s just such a great fit. For Me. And I have to deal with myself.

I’ve still got to read that article about “how to improve your relationship by not talking about it.” And I haven’t gotten to the Oprah-worship pages. I’m worried about that.

But I did notice Oprah's Mission Calendar. This month Oprah's mission is Love. The Banner read:

Let love rule—give it your best, and receive it with open arms.

Who wrote that? That's just horrible. Fingernails on a blackboard horrible.

Look, Oprah does a lot of great things for people. She has amazing power and influence, and I respect her. The fact she has all that and is black and a woman makes me smile, considering the role minorities and women have played in our culture. Good on you Oprah! But she’s just a little too ... self-focused?

Maybe I should sample more Oprah before I make generalizations about her media empire. But what other celebrity has her face on the cover every month? I have several friends who love Oprah. One of them, I am no longer friends with. Because took Oprah's self-actualization, self-worship theology too seriously.

One afternoon I was at the gym and they had Oprah on the TV. Susan Sarandon was on to promote a movie. Oprah asked her about a Susan was part of wherein she bought a sheep for a mother in Africa. Susan talked about how the sheep empowered that family, and how it really touched her as well.

Oprah then said, “Well we have flown that African Mother out to the studio today!” and Susan and the matriarch had a startled, overjoyed reunion.

Then Oprah announced she was giving 50, count em, 50 sheep to that village! Wow Oprah! Susan may have given one. But you just gave fifty. Mad me think of that verse in Matthew: Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired ... don't shout about it as the hypocrites do ... they have received all the reward they will ever get ... Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”

Again I know she goes great stuff. More than I have ever done. But if she’s going to call down James Frey for writing a fiction book and calling it nonfiction, why hasn't she called Tom Cruise back to excoriate him for acting out an entire fictional life on camera? Come on Girl! You can do it!

If I ever get to meet Oprah, I will probably brown nose her, stumble over how much I respect her and how she's helped so many people self-actualize, and how I admired her ... in The Color Purple. And that will all be true. Hopefully she won't ask me how I like her show. I might have to lie.

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