Heather Havrilesky has a quasi-jokey column that precisely illustrates the reasons for my long-held view that Oprah is the opiate of the (white middle class female) people.
Yesterday, when word got out that Oprah will be wrapping up “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which has been on the air since 1986, so that she can focus on her new cable television channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (or OWN), a nation full of women collapsed into the fetal position. Our husbands or roommates or dogs found us in a crumpled heap on the rug, mumbling through tears, “I want my imaginary black mommy! I want my imaginary black mommy!” Will we be like this for almost two years, until Oprah is really gone? Probably.
I predict that, without a daily national TV audience to monitor her, as Oprah continues to marinate in Oprahnality (a proprietary blend of gold, frankincense, myrrh, Hawaiian real estate, and empowerfulized consumerous tabloidism), she will become increasingly weird. We have seen this in Howard Hughes, Elvis, Michael Jackson; the descent into eccentricity is an immutable rule of megacelebrity.
I look forward, after she cracks up, to the collapse of American femin-o-capitalism predicted by Havrilesky as the only possible outcome of Oprah’s abdication from the National Women’s Moral Compass throne.