Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

May 9, 2007: Oprah on Larry King Causes Unusual Type of Celebri-spiral

If you dislike fawning, then run, don't walk, to the Blog exit.

I saw Oprah interviewed by Larry King for his 50th anniversary celebration.

I'm writing about it because, while watching, I celebri-spiraled in an unusual way. Instead of feeling conflicted over watching a celeb on his show, I was impressed with how inspirational she is, launching a school for girls in Africa and new projects aimed at boosting child predator laws. I felt like I can't possibly do enough, like Oprah does.

Disclaimer: no, I don't know what Oprah's really like, or what her bad habits are. She has them. We all do. Nor are celebrities the best role models. That moniker is reserved in my mind for many an unsung hero; a caring teacher, selfless parent, and anyone who acts on behalf of evolution-personal, social, spiritual, scientific....I know all this.

Despite my celebri-spiral conflict, I am the first to say, "Don't put celebrities on pedestals. It's a huge celebri-spiral mistake."

Still, I watched with a mixture of feeling-great-about-Oprah
as uber-celeb Ms. Winfrey spoke in the contagious language of vision and positive energy. There's a great poem from Emily Dickinson called "I dwell in possibility." I have the saying Dwell in Possibility on my refrigerator. It's a profound thought for me, and for some reason, Oprah embodies and expresses that idea.

On the show, Oprah made a few comments that fit with my celebri-spiral theme:

Without dismissing celebrity culture, or her very clear role in fostering it, she said,
"Celebrities are great and fun and all, but the real stories from real people are most important."

She spoke of her dream legacy that far surpasses TV fame: "I want to have changed the laws, the laws, state by state, for child predators in this country. That's what I want to have done. And I won't be satisfied until that is done. I want the laws to change because you know, every time we are outraged as a citizenry and as a country. All over the world people are upset when a child is snatched, when somebody goes into somebody's house, you know, and molests a child, kills a child. It's inconceivable. But every time it happens people say, oh, we're outraged, it shouldn't happen, the law, he should have been put in jail, he should have been able to stay in jail. Well, I want to change that. So that's my big goal. So no, I'm not even kind of done. I haven't even gotten started."

She talked about how celebrities can and should add value to the world through their fame platform that's handed to them: "I've got a great platform. And you were asking me the question about clout. What's the point of clout if you can't do something with it?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I think of good deed-doers (why does that phrase remind me of the Man Behind the Curtain in "The Wizard of Oz?"), I think of Ralph Nader. I did not research him before I decided to comment on this blog. However, what I do know of him is that he is an unsung hero of great proportions who is clear and unwavering about what he hopes to achieve and honest about who he is. And who he is, is this: He is a man who goes about his quests for a greener, safer, more community and global conscious society without fanfare, without continuous and narcissistic promotion of himself via celebrity culture channels, and without approval-seeking from the celebrity masses, or any masses for that matter. He appears to be a man who lives life simply, who lives life true to what he preaches, and who doesn't have to justify the lifestyle of a celebrity because that isn't at all something he pretends to be. He is probably someone you either love or hate, and he doesn't try to cover up his views and missions with fluff and stuff. He can never win as a Presidential candidate because he isn't good at faking or lying or waffling or distracting or deceiving or being glamorous or charming or charismatic. The man just is who he is, and he just can't help himself. He is someone most of us consumer- and celebrity-culture addicts won't (and I say "won't" on purpose here) admire because he doesn't seem to allow for that weakness in ourselves that seeks to justify our selfishness and self-absorption which many of us flaunt in the face of impending global warming, insensitivity to suffering in the human race, and intolerance of differences in those who are, well, different from us.

Something to ponder when one gets tired of one's navel....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 8:28:00 PM  

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