Sunday, December 09, 2007

I'm Back

I'm back. It's far too long since I've posted, this admitted despite my "Blogging Without Obligation" banner.

I've got some catching up to do. I could tell you about the wonderful prize I won from the give-away that generous Amy ran a few weeks ago. I could write about the truly worthwhile two-day professional development seminar that I attended, the outcome of which was that I agreed to co-organize the next annual meeting of the group. I could review the book that I managed to get read in my down-time this week. I could even show an picture of where I am with the Jacob's Ladder blocks (where I am is quite the windblown look -- I lined them up on the rug in the lower level, and Bodacious apparently did not care for the arrangement, and has strewn them all over). And at some point, hopefully before too long, I'm going to catch up on all of that.

But what is on my mind today is something I've not read about anywhere else (granted, I am not that well read), nor have I heard anyone talk about it. I was sure my buddy Chez would take this issue on and perhaps with a bit of nagging he will.

Does anyone have any opinions about Oprah and Obama? And their new relationship? I need to tell you that it worries me.

It isn't that I don't like Obama. I do. He strikes me as a decent human being (probably an outright contraindication to White House occupancy). I've not decided who my particular candidate is (although when Andrew was home at Thanksgiving I asked him to spend a little time giving me some things about Hillary to feel good about since it looks as though she has it pretty well wrapped up -- or at least at that point that was my impression).

My problem is Oprah's endorsement. I don't have any feelings one way or another about Oprah as a person. Frankly, I've never even once watched her program. But I know that a lot of people -- even supposedly intelligent and supposedly sophisticated ones -- do watch it. And I know that any book that she endorses skyrockets to the Best Seller List within a week, be it decent writing or tripe.

Oprah is a powerful and influential person, the likes of which I've no recollection of, apart from folks like Jim Jones. My belief is that she has a huge piece of the Black community in her pocket. Similarly the afternoon TV watchers.

Barak Obama may not be the best candidate for President. Then again, he may well be. As I said, I'm undecided at this point.

But if he gets the nomination, if he wins the election, don't you think it should be because he is the best person for the job? And not because "Oprah said so"? Is anyone else at all concerned about this?

14 comments:

DPUTiger said...

I really enjoyed the TV show "The West Wing." They had a particularly spectacular episode that they did off-the-cuff just after 9/11. In that episode, they used a phrase that I really believe: "The United States is Advanced Citizenship!" Meaning that you have to do your homework and pay attention to what's happening in your world or you're apt to lose the things that make this country special.

As much as I would like to be on the Hillary bandwagon, and would love to feel confident voting for a woman, but I'm just not. At this point, I'm OK with the Oprah/Obama thing because it could prevent Hillary from running away with the nomination because "Someone" decided that she should be "it" (Saturday Night Live poked fun at the media's love affair with Hillary on their last episode before the writers strike)

Now if Americans would do their election homework and not just vote like sheep, we'll all be in better shape. Sorry for the extra-long comment. You must have hit a nerve with me! :)

The Calico Cat said...

I have to say that I feel the same... (I feel a bit "bad" for admitting it & it took me a while to figure out what it was that was bugging me, but beside the "you should vote for the skin color 'rule' that is also flying around" this would be it...) But really, how many Americans are knowledgeable about who the vote for? How many times have you gone to the polls to vote for the lesser of the two weasles? How many times a day do I say, TG Cheney isn't in the scramble...

The Calico Cat said...

Oh & I am rather unnerved by the 2 Oprah's... When she was campaining for Obama in the south - she sounded far less "Chicago" than she does when she is doing her TV show - if you catch my drift. Like she was playing to her audience...

It was creepier that Madonna's British accent...

Suzan said...

The Obama/Oprah thing doesn't concern me any more than any other celebrity campaigning or endorsing a candidate. Dems/liberals/whatever need to think long and hard about who is going to run against the Republican nominee. Four more years of the status quo is scarier to me than anything else.
Also, as a note to the comment about Oprah "playing to her audience" - I have very dear friends who are black. When I am with them or they are in a business setting, if you overheard the conversation you would never know who was black or white. However, when they are together, their language is different and their accents are different. That's just the way it is.

Greyhair said...

As you know, I've written about this. I think it's a symbol of American shallowness that Oprah (or any celebrity) endorsement means anything. Is Oprah's opinion really any more informed than mine or anyone else's?

Ms. Jan said...

How many times have I heard His Greyness on a rant about Oprah's endorsement of anything, let alone Obama. What makes her the goddess of all things good? Further, at this point, who knows enough about any of them to make an informed choice?

It frightens me because if the Dems don't get their act together soon, we'll get stuck with another Republican because they are far better at this game than we are. Sigh.

Chez said...

Wow. I put up an entire post saying basically what you just said -- albeit with a whole lot more thoroughly unnecessary triple-word-score words -- without having read your post first.

What do they say about great minds?

Or is it sick minds?

Greg said...

Obama inspires me. I realize, however, that inspiration alone should not determine a personal endorsement. Nonetheless, due to a number of factors, at least at this point, I am pulling for Obama. --But NOT because Oprah is!

I agree with greyhair that the hype over Oprah's endorsement of Obama reveals the shallowness of our culture. We each have brains, hearts, and guts, and why SHOULD a celebrity's opinion mean more than anyone else's? Sure, Oprah seems like a "nice" person, and she has done a lot of "nice" things for people in need. But she is not infallible, and I fear that the extent of her involvement with a political campaign (no matter what candidate it is) may hurt her reputation in the long run rather than help it. I just kinda feel that politics has a nasty, ugly side that rears up when you least expect it. But so does the Church and every other system of human organization. So who am I to say?

In regards to "playing to an audience"...well, I think that is a technique used by any trained public speaker. An effective public speaker knows the importance of taking into consideration her or his audience - their culture, education, social status, geographical location, race, etc. etc. As a minister, I have learned to fashion the sermon, first and foremost, with the respective congregation in mind. If the speaker wants to be heard, he or she must frame the argument/statement/whatever in "the language" of the audience - and "language" meaning more than just words.

Sharon said...

Well, they ARE talking about Oprah for President, I mean Obama and Oprah...Keith Olberman had a very interesting piece last night about how Oprah's endorsement is different than say Bruce Springsteen's for Kerry and other Hollywood type endorsements. There's never been another personality like Oprah where so many WOMEN follow her like sheep without question. I agree that the Dems have got to get it together - they have their chance now. And it looks like the Republicans are going down fast too. Scary at this point that there is no one better than what's out there...I think I need to go back and look at John Edwards again ($400 haircuts and all).

atet said...

Ok, as someone who has actually voted for Obama in the past let me say I do like the guy. I like his stance on issues, I like his politics. Having said that -- yeah, the whole Oprah endorsement thing is a bit troubling. But then again -- I'm a bit ambivalent about Oprah. I think it's just another reason/place where attacks can come in -- and no Dem candidate needs that. *sigh* There are no easy answers here. If her endorsement meant that people would actually take the time to look at the candidate and his positions -- then great. I have the nasty feeling it won't though. 'Cause that just takes too darned much time for most of the folks out there.

Elaine Adair said...

It's all very scarey -- Let's realize, we are going to vote for a person who presents him/herself well on TV, who says the right things, who looks the best, has the most $, and most power, who is getting along best with the media, and we haven't the foggiest idea of who can actually LEAD the nation. We are listening to sales pitches, who SAID the best things on the debates, who APPEARS more attractive, etc.

I don't think what we see/hear on TV/media has anything to do with anything -- it's all a 3-ring circus and we'll see who is the last clown standing. (ouch!)

Oprah is always up to something - she's brilliant and clever and seems to be able to do anything. I've got to hand it to her, coming from humble beginnnings, she done GOOD!

Greg said...

Indeed, the media has a LOT to do with who we decide to vote for. Nancy, this post has got me thinkin'. And, I've been reconsidering...taking a much closer look at each candidate, regardless of political party. I'm still not sure as to who I will ultimately pull for (probably none unequivocally), but I also must say that Ron Paul has some pretty good things to say about independence - both individual and national. We Americans have developed this mentality that we must "lead the world." Even Obama says it on his website. Why do we we think the world depends on us? Well, it doesn't. Most all candidates are purporting this American empire mentality; some are just more covert about it than others. We as a nation are VERY young. This world was turning long before the United States was established. And we cannot last as long as we are sticking our nose in everyone else's business.

Sure, there is poverty and injustice in other nations, and I am all for eradicating that -- that's where the church and other organizations come in. But I think our national government needs to stay out of it and rather concern itself with ensuring that the constitution remains our foundation, and liberty and safety is guaranteed to every person in this country.

Greg said...

Maybe I should rephrase this:

Sure, there is poverty and injustice in other nations, and I am all for eradicating that -- that's where the church and other organizations come in. But PERHAPS our national government needs to stay out of it and rather concern itself with ensuring that the constitution remains our foundation, and liberty and safety is guaranteed to every person in this country.

Just some recent thoughts.

Greg said...

Maybe I should rephrase this:

Sure, there is poverty and injustice in other nations, and I am all for eradicating that -- that's where the church and other organizations come in. But PERHAPS our national government needs to stay out of it and rather concern itself with ensuring that the constitution remains our foundation, and liberty and safety is guaranteed to every person in this country.

Just some recent thoughts.