14 September 2004


Oprah is normally not even a blip on my radar. The mild brouhaha over the Jonathan Franzen novel was the last time her name came up in conversation beyond a generic pejorative for mindless, empty consumption.

Well, with this latest stunt, she's outdone herself in tasteless self-absorbtion and egotism. She--get this--she gave a car to every member of her studio audience the other day. 276 cars.

When actors or rock stars or playboy millionaires throw around money, it's humorous decadence. They don't pretend any selflessness and we don't expect it. Their selfishness is selfish, but it's honest. Oprah may give to charities and may be truly philanthropic at times, but a stunt such as throwing her spare change at a grateful audience and basking in their praise is bad taste at best. At worst, as others praise her, it's a sign of a morally shallow America.

[ posted by sstrader on 14 September 2004 at 10:28:34 AM in Culture & Society ]