As I remember it: first there was God, and then there was Oprah. Then for maybe a week or two there was Dr. Phil, but Oprah from her very, very high place in the blue, blue sky saw she had created a beast (think: fallen angel), and so finally, there was just Oprah again.
And she was the Word.
And no one questioned the Word because the Word was powerful and fun–spunky even!–and when we thought about it, we’d love to have the Word over for coffee (we’d serve it from a silver urn!), and if the Word wanted to stay for lunch maybe her chefs would come over and whip up some sort of deliciousness (truffled egg salad on multigrain!), and if lunch bent into evening, and the Word wanted a white wine spritzer, who were we to question the Word?
Well, questioning the Word is exactly what’s happening. Newsweek‘s latest cover story claims that the Word abuses her influence to spread wild health claims. Don’t want to age? Take these 60 daily supplements recommended by the eternally young Suzanne Somers. Don’t want your child to be autistic? Just say no to the life-saving vaccinations your doctor is forcing on him. And–possibly my favorite–are you fat? Well, woman, it’s because of a thyroid dysfunction caused by a lifetime of “swallowing” the words you’re aching to say!
(Frankly, the only words standing in my way of being skinny are a polite “No, Thank you” when the waiter offers the dessert menu. But that’s a whole nother post…)
I guess our only hope for redemption is Angelina Jolie who just yesterday stripped the crown from Oprah and now reigns as “Forbes Most Powerful Celebrity in the World.” If only Jolie could do for the lit mag world what Oprah did for the novel. Can’t you see it: the masses reading PBQ on the subway? Start: here. Or here. Or here.
Ah, Words. What do you think, reader? Oprah: Word or Wash? Jolie: Capable of filling such big, mythic shoes or will she go the way of…the way of…well…of…far too many words?