Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yes, I watched Oprah’s final three shows and must admit to a little eye glistening.  I’ve known her a long time.  I remember the years I wanted to somehow find a way to be a guest on her show.  Then came the years that I wanted to be Oprah.  Then followed the years of disenchantment.

Oprah has been and continues to be a formidable influence on our culture for affirming Life.  She attracted millions to the Church of Oprah; she changed lives and attitudes.  Her generosity is well documented, most especially on the Oprah Show. 

Did I stop watching Oprah years ago to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of envy?  Perhaps.  Yet my discomfort also springs from mild revulsion at her incredible self-promotion that increased with each new season.  Oprah believes her own PR in a way that appears to go beyond healthy self-esteem.

Her final shows prove my point.  To attend a party in her honor shown on national TV, a party organized by her paid staff to highlight celebrity after celebrity paying homage to herself, along with clips of “regular folk” touting her impact on their lives diminishes, in my mind, Oprah’s influence.  I do not doubt that everyone who spoke genuinely loves and admires Oprah.  The queasy feeling I have is my asking myself how it was any of my business.  Her final show, a one-hour sermon extoling all that she has learned and accomplished, marveling at her rise from a “little black girl,” from Mississippi to “Oprah,” made me squirm.  All that she said was true and yet I ask ,why did she feel the need to remind us?  

No one can possibly deny her impact on our society.  She transformed the talk show genre from one of screaming idiocy to education, honesty and faith, from ridicule to compassion.  She was brilliant.  Did she think perhaps we missed it?  Her final three shows left no doubt.  

It was a spectacle for sure.  I just wish I hadn’t seen it.


  1. I stopped watching Oprah about 2 years ago. I observed that she spent a lot of time offering her own opinion instead of letting her expert guests talk. Why have a guest if you are not going to listen to her/him? I,too, got disenchanted.

  2. I so agree with Dale and Robyn. I have watched some shows this last year and benefited greatly from 1 or 2. All in all her being there mattered. I was thinking this morning how her final party resembled American Idol finale pomp, going for your dream, etc. Definitely experienced wanting to be on her show, be her, tired of her show and envy. I mean, how many people can live up to that?? Also, noticed her talking over her guests. I did share a tear or two at her last show. Haven't watched all three of the finales in full, not sure I will, think I've seen enough. At the end, I know I am better for having seen some of her shows, that she is human just like the rest of us, with an ego and hiccups, etc. Thanks for writing your thoughts on her Robyn. I love your take on things!!

  3. I had a similar reaction, initially, to the Oprah finale hoopla. Lord knows we live in an overhyped, in-your-face media culture -- it can certainly be hard to digest.

    Here’s a question to ponder… if Oprah were a musician or such, say like Elvis, who was retiring -- and there was an avalanche of praise, promotion, parades, ceremonies, “where he came from” stories, and “he changed my life” stories, would we find it distasteful? I seriously doubt it.

    But, when it comes to our “agents of change” we expect different behavior. We want them to be less inclined to bask so deeply in that glorious spotlight.

    But here’s the thing… the evolution of our human consciousness needs ALL the help it can get. Folks who play a role in changing things in a big way, whether it be spiritual teachers or their “door openers” (like Oprah), deserve all the hoopla that she has received, and more.

    IMO, there is no level of praise or adoration or ceremony too great, too verbose, too over-the-top for those individuals who bring transformative ideas and information to the masses. They are the real rock stars -– and they give me hope that we will be able to save ourselves and the planet.

    I can only hope and wish that the world has many, many more Orpahs -- of all shapes, sizes, and flavors -- in its future.

  4. Love the comments! And Cathy, I agree she deserves and has earned all the above mentioned praise and accolades. My only reservation is that seemed awkward for it to be planned and produced by her own staff, on her own show for "her" audience. Compare this with her being honored at the Kennedy Center Honors for her amazing contribution to our popular culture. She accepted that honor with grace, poise and gratitude, as well she should.

    Obviously, the lesson for me is to examine my own discomfort.

  5. One of my biggest regrets with the "end" of the Oprah show is that I never got to see ROBYN featured. Oh well, there's the OWN network now, so... I'll be watching for you. :^) BTW, hugs to you. We are seriously overdue for some catch-up time. Enjoying your blog. XO.

  6. Hey R... a further thought to share with you and your blog readers...

    In 2002, I went to the Amazon rainforest with Carolyn Myss and an international tour group. While we were there, it was known amongst the group that Carolyn was being a diva, complaining about the heat, no hot water for showers, the bugs, etc. So, I thought "jeeze"... Its the friggin rainforest. What the F does that crazy heifer expect?

    Then, it occurred to me... this is a woman who -- thru her amazingly transformative work -- is changing the vibration of the planet. She's changed ME in ways that words can't begin to express.

    So, if she needs her diva moments -- then, go for it. You earned it, Carolyn darlin.

    From that moment, I decided anyone and everyone who does what it takes to change the collective, deserves the mega-bucks and celebrity that inherently comes with it.

    Just wish I had the cojones. ;-)

    Cathy's Amazon story...

  7. Now wait a darn minute. Who is Cathy????? I was on that amazon trip too!!!!!!!!!!!!! I signed in anonymous cause I cannot figure how to "sign in" etc. Sharon Gallagher


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