Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Book Of Oprah

In the beginning, God created the earth and the firmament and all manner of entertainment media. And the viewers did verily enjoy the dramas and the quiz shows and the situation comedies with laugh tracks.

When God created television, He created the late night talk show and He made Steve Allen in His own image. And Allen begat Paar and Paar begat Carson and the people rejoiced.

And then He created morning talk shows, both network and syndicated, and made Barbara Walters from the rib of Hugh Downs. And Walters begat Pauley and Pauley begat Couric and again the people rejoiced.

And yet God was not pleased. Although the people were happy with the abundance of programming selections, there was a void in the mid to late afternoon time slot. And so God created Oprah.

She was born of Linkletter and Shore and Donahue but she was not of them. For hers was not just a time slot for idle chatter and light entertainment. She had been placed in the pre-supper hour demographic to lead the viewers to the Promised Land.

At first, Oprah was lost. She did not know the true path intended for her. Instead, she followed the ways of the morning pretenders.

Like the heathens Springer and Raphael and Povich, she invited harlots and Jezebels and all manner of sinners on to her show. She had adulterers and fornicators and even weight loss experts. And the people watched.

But Oprah was not happy. She knew that God had chosen her for greater things. So she prayed and asked Him for guidance. And God told her to abandon the weight loss cures and the theme shows and lead her viewers on the path of righteousness.

And so Oprah led her followers on a new journey. No longer did she entertain them with the stories of the fallen and the misfits or the siren songs of the diet gurus. Now she taught them to follow in the ways of Oprah. And the viewers rejoiced.

She found a personal trainer named Bob to teach the world how to become physically healthy. She found a psychologist from the land of Texas named Phil to show everyone how to achieve mental health. And she gave the world the first letter of her only begotten name to create a magazine to teach the viewers to read.

But it was not enough to be literate and to be mentally and physically healthy. So God created a mate for Oprah called Stedman. And Oprah showed her audience how to achieve emotional health.

And when she saw that she had achieved everything she wanted, Oprah taught the world how to share. She gave of her riches saying verily unto each of the poorest: "You get a car! You get a car! And you get a car!"

But the struggle was not over. Oprah still felt a void. She wanted everyone to be intellectually healthy, too. And so she resurrected her book club.

And authors from far and wide came to worship at her feet. And those who bowed before her were rewarded with royalties and untold riches and fame. Oprah saw that her viewers read the books that she chose and she was pleased.

But one named Franzen would not bow down and was banished to the local daytime talk show circuit for all eternity. And another of her chosen authors, a man named Frey, betrayed her. His story of redemption had touched her and she had bestowed her blessing upon him.

But the man’s memoir was not all true. It contained falsehoods and exaggerations and outright lies.

At first Oprah defended the one called Frey but once she asked the people and checked the ratings, she knew that she must smite him. And so he returned to her show and prostrated himself before her. And, yea though she was angry, Oprah did not smite him but only chastised him and granted him forgiveness.

And so it came to pass that Oprah became the viewers’ spiritual conscience. And where there once had been confusion and darkness, now there was the light of Oprah to show them the way.

Whether it was the devastation of famine or hurricane or war or the mystery of sofa-jumping celebrities, she guided the viewers and showed them how and where to care. The multitudes cried out and demanded that the prize of Nobel be bestowed upon Oprah. And God, the Supreme Ironist, smiled and changed the channel.

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