Both Oprah and Obama were members of Reverend Wright’s church. She quit out of careerism, early. Less calculating, Obama hung in until he ran for president
BY PAUL KAIHLA — Whenever I open my mouth about Oprah!, scud missiles rain down upon my space (link to the Led Zep-tune, Kashmir).
Usually, those scuds form their craters during conversations with women who are totally focused on their careers.
Maybe . . . probably, it’s a projection. Do we feel a “missing-ness” in our jobs, yet throw so, so much of our energy into making them so, so good?
What does this have to do with Oprah? She pitches to that careerism that’s alive in each of us, and reflects it. She’s the most successful double-minority, media careerist on earth.
The shadow side of careerism is a sense of missing-ness. Missing this, missing that. Missing that which we really love. Because we’re at work, and selling our precious time for a pay-check. Are the highest highs you’ve ever felt in life produced by your job, an experience at work ? Not bloody likely.
The reason I do not trust Oprah as a trusted source on how to resolve that tension, and instead see her as a self-serving opportunist, was reinforced by this week’s Newsweek.
It shows once again how deeply Oprah is cathected in a self-image that morphs into fame and fortune. Like Barack Obama, she too was a member of Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church. But unlike Obama, expediency prompted Oprah to cut out after a couple of years — while the future presidential nominee naively hung around for 20.
From Newsweek’s Oprah kiss-up: “Something Wasn’t Wright”:
“Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey’s personal sentiments. “She’s always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn’t be smart.”
It’s natural to take offense, defend Oprah — and have affection for her. You want to be rich and famous? Great! Memo to Oprah: Don’t strike a pose as spiritual, a way of being that — by definition — is aimed at obliterating and undermining the very identifications that holds a mass audience in your thrall.
I follow Oprah’s movements, I respect Oprah — I do not trust Oprah. I trust the women that this site calls The New Female Mystics.
What’s the difference? Spiritual teachers like Byron Katie, Pamela Wilson and Catherine Ingram seem like they have surrendered what Oprah has not — and have little interest in promoting a self-image.
Why isn’t the same deference, fierce loyalty and emotion that Oprah enjoys extended to the likes of Byron Katie, Catherine Ingram and Pamela Wilson ?
They occupy a place of peace and acceptance that media celebrities can only imagine. They have a knowing. They do not have money, or media profile.
Is is that what they have is actually not wanted — and what they do have, really isn’t?