Saturday, November 22, 2008

A phenomenon called 'O'

Long before Obama was Chicago's most famous 'O' there was the other O, the real O - Oprah. The O that has ruled pop-culture-America like no one before her, for about a quarter of a century now.

They say Oprah Gail Winfrey has more credibility than the President of the country. She has been consistently ranked most powerful women time and again and is beyond doubt, not just a media icon. She is beyond icon. She is an Institution by her self.

What makes O tick? I once put this question to my cousin sister who lived in Chicago for 15 years. 'What is the big deal with her?' I asked. Of course my cousin, a suburban 'soccer mom' herself, was Oprah's prime demography, the perfect target audience if you will. I assumed, she would know better. And she did. Her answer was simple - "She chooses the 'right' topics and good topics'.

I wonder what are those topics that can be so devastatingly popular. I haven't seen any of her shows till date. I mean a complete 1 hr (I am assuming it is hour long at least) show. I have seen glimpses of the re runs in passing, but haven't sat through an entire show. I guess I am more of a Jay Leno kinds - quick, fast consumption audience. But again, O's success is fascinating for me nevertheless. She surely is not only talking women on her shows. Or to women. I have a feeling her reach is beyond the fairer sex. Else you can't hit it such big.

I think the reason she ticks is because she's REAL. That is the only way you can explain this phenomenon called Oprah. FAKE will last only so far. But REAL will last much much longer. Her durability is testimony to that fact.

Again, it is hard for me to gloss over the fact that a poor Black girl, born to abject poverty, sexually abused in her teenage can reach such enormous heights in her career. Again salute to you - US of A. Yo gotta somethin goin far ya. For sure. If you got talent, you can go places in this nation. Thanks, USA, for not suffocating the rise of this immensely talented individual, who was lucky not have been born in a Venezuela, or a China or Europe.

O is the richest African American in the world. And every bit of her success is well deserved.

"I mean this is a woman that came from nothing to rise up to be the most powerful woman, I think, in the world. I think Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman in the world, not just in America. That's — anybody who goes on her program immediately benefits through the roof. I mean, she has a loyal following; she has credibility; she has talent; and she's done it on her own to become fabulously wealthy and fabulously powerful"

These words were not spoken by a NY-Times journalist or a media mogul or some random politician but by - hold your breath - Bill O'Reilly. For some, this dude is the very anti-thesis of Oprah herself. And if O can bring out such massive praise from a guy who stands almost at the opposite end of her spectrum, you know she has DONE IT.

You Rock 'O', you do.. and this coming from a guy, who probably does not understand women or her issues like AT ALL.

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