Oprah was in full bore huckster mode today, giving away thousands of dollars of “her favorite things” to Maconites who earned the honor by worshipping Oprah the most, watching her more than anyplace else.
Oprah always grates on me when she does the hooty inflections of a carnival barker, something she often does when she wants to punch something up. When she combines this with the entitlement of a privileged woman — “No one has ever bought just one thing at Target! It’s so cute you have to buy more!” — it gets right under my skin.
Of course, it gets under her audience’s skin too, as they turn into a mob, salivating, hooting and urinating at every new twist.
If Oprah knew she was a huckster, like strike-breaking Ellen DeGeneres knows, that’s one thing. But with Oprah, everything seems like a gift to the world, a celebration of the spirit of consumerism, a prayer to the desire for what other people don’t have but want.
It just gets to me, especially as I have to prepare dinner with her shrieking on.
I know part of it is just the sound of it. I hear the cadences and crescendos of the sacred pitch, and that’s enough to set me off, especially knowing that it is all both unconscious and manipulative, Oprah just wanting to stop the show, thrill the crowd, bring the excitement higher with no real thought about the implications of her rap.
Part of it is the separation of it. I was never one of the crowd of girls and never will be . The girls are bonded in consumer lust, and I am not one of them
And part of it is just the whole celebration of disposable income, of going over the top with gadgets, gimmicks and snobbishness. Hell, wrap it all in a few pieces of Hallmark “Red” paper and think you are helping AIDS in Africa, and it WON’T make it all right.
I know that money movement is important, that I need to affirm other’s desires, that the economy is the economy, that not everyone who wants to fill their life with machine-made stuff is evil. I bless their desires.
It’s their deliberate ignorance and rationalizations, though, that grate.
Tonight is Transgender Day Of Rememberance. I didn’t go to the local center for a number of reasons; there is work to do here, it’s a lot of work and stress to change in hiding (but not in secret), they are showing a pimpass film produced by Gloria Alred, most of the people will be young and shallow, just lots of reasons it didn’t seem worth the limited resources I have.
And when TBB called at 2:15 on Sunday wanting me to be an hour and a half away in an hour and forty-five minutes (4:00) to spend a half hour, well, that didn’t work either. Car, father’s paper, Sunday dinner in the oven, just too much.
But all those women shrieking with ecstatic delight at the expensive products they were being pimped, well, they gave me quite a headache I can’t even imagine a holiday like that, like anything really. I can’t and won’t buy into Oprah’s vision, and the other visions, well they dead.
On this transgender day of remembrance, I remember all those transpeople who lost their lives and who lost life to the fear of others, lost to the acting out and abuse that our stole life energy, that demanded our self-sabotage to keep us in the shadows.
I vow to hold the stories of those who loss to keep them alive, and to remind us to claim life while we can, for them and for us.