OK, almost of America. (Deep breath and getting ready for the vegetable throwing). Because I am not. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate her. I don't even dislike her. I really do admire her. This woman has overcome so much in her life. Poverty and abuse I can not even imagine. How she rose above it with grace and determination is the story that inspires us all.
In addition, she has given back... and so freely. Whether it be founding a girls' school in Africa or her "Oprah's Favorite Things" shows. This woman is a giver. And passionate at that!
So what is my issue? What is it that bothers me? What makes me an "Oprah Scrooge"?
I think it is what Oprah - or her persona - has become. Oprah suggests a book and it immediately becomes a bestseller. Oprah endorses a candidate and the world follows her lead. Oprah decides "meat is murder" (Remember the Texas beef debacle?) and it becomes national news - for weeks. Watch out if Oprah disagrees or passionately condemns you... You can hang it up in the eyes of public opinion. Even her new cable network's letters spell OWN. That seems a bit egocentric of her people in my book. (I know they stand for Oprah Winfrey Network, but come on.) I'm now waiting for the gospel according to Oprah to come out. I'm sure it will top the charts. I find it bizarre and a little frightening.
But perhaps all of the hoopla is our fault, not hers. And I feel that we do this to so many famous people. We put them on pedestals. We listen to everything they say. (And if we don't... well then we should!) We bestow on them the power to create and influence the many decisions we as Americans make - whether they are accountable or not. We build them up to be almost God-like. We blind ourselves to the fact that in the whole scheme of life, they are just like us.
And so I'm sorry Oprah. But I think she, herself, just may agree... At least a little.