Saturday, December 18, 2010
Santa -- an anagram of Satan.
Evil is everywhere and protean, ever reinventing itself in forms as various as reality television, Madonna's new clothing line and, of course, Oprah Winfrey.
Anyone who happened to see her recent "Oprah's Favorite Things" show would have to agree. She was giving things away to her packed studio audience. The gifts weren't cheap and there were enough of them to dole out to each and every person in the audience, which was made up almost invariably of women.
An army of FedEx elves trouped in with Santa hats and cartons of stuff, the cheapest of which appeared to be an electric grill and it just went up from there.
It was the last word in decadence. The audience went berserk. There was weeping and wild screaming. Greed had transformed everything, even sexual demarcation because people were making out willy nilly, it didn't seem to matter with whom.
Beneath the folksy drawl and the illusion that she's just like you and me, Oprah is a truly scary woman. It's bad enough that her so-called book club has made her a player in the business of literary taste-making. She's had political clout too, of course, since Obama probably couldn't have been elected to the American presidency without her. Suddenly race had become a commodity as marketable as anything else.
Much the same thing has happened to gays and lesbians, the trade-off of more tolerance and leaving marginality being a drop into the tyrannical vortex of the market and mainstream culture. In other words, insult by homogenization.
In a previous show, Oprah took the whole studio audience to Australia to see Hugh Jackman. The final gift on the most recent show was a seven-day tropical cruise on the world's biggest ocean liner. There was a momentary intake of breath, then the ravishment and shrieking began. The camera turned to Oprah, beaming with casual celebrity, her expression beyond smug, as sure of her place as Cleopatra.
Posted by lee bacchus at 2:23 PM