Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Night at the Oprah

I was raised on television. Not by television, but, rather, it was a big part of my life. I watched a lot, everything from Saved by the Bell to National Geographic to hours of the Home Shopping Channel. I credit television with most of the general knowledge I have in my brain. From world politics to stain removal, the corners of my mind are stuffed with needless information. Jeff always marvels at the range of topics I'm able to discuss. I don't strive to remember that John Tesh eats his Corn Flakes with water instead of milk, I just happen to. But Jeff didn't grow up watching television, so he thinks it's all useless. I, on the other hand, think that a discerning viewer can learn a lot.

It should come as no surprise that I'm an Oprah fan. I've been watching for nearly as long as she's been on the air. As a kid I'd come home from school, get a snack together, and saddle-up to the television, a borderline religious ritual that has remained to this day. I get that she's bat-shit-crazy, but I just love her. Almost as often as I daydream about accepting my Oscar®, I fantasize about appearing on her show, chatting like old friends. I'll ask about Stedman and we'll laugh and laugh.

I know what you're thinking: Oh god, but she's ridiculous! She's so self-righteous and preachy, so annoying and self-satisfied! I know. And I too cringe at her foibles, her near-sociopathic ability to interrupt others and that bellowing! But, like any good demi-God, she draws me in and makes me feel warm inside. Pimping authenticity to the masses, her do-gooding is undeniable. Dr. Phil and singing her own theme song notwithstanding, she's played a clean game, the O brand nearly spotless.

A Chicago blogger, Robyn Okrant, is ten months into a year-long project where she lives every one of Oprah's whims. When Oprah says jump, she says in which $400 pair of shoes. When she recommends (read: implores) that you "must have" ergonomically-correct gardening tools, Robyn fetches a set right away. She's documenting the entire thing on her blog, Living Oprah, a clever social experiment about the price we pay our icons, literally and figuratively. She wonders if she'll truly find happiness if she commits to Oprah's "Live your Best Life" ideals. So far she's spent 600 hours and over $3000 trying. Take a read, it's awfully interesting.


  1. thomas of washington dcOctober 19, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    i heart oprah also! i've started to dvr her show.

  2. I love Oprah too! She is a great inspiration. Check out my blog at

  3. I absolutely fantasize about appearing on Oprah!

    Corn flakes and water sounds gross.

  4. She looks so severe in this picture. Also this: I don't strive to remember that John Tesh eats his Corn Flakes with water instead of milk, I just happen to.

    I hear you.