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
-but-bad-about-myself 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?"