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Sunday, January 29, 2006



The whole James Frey & Oprah thang is irresistible.

I saw part of her original interview with Frey and her gushing over the gory details of his story. It struck me as a bit strange and immature, but then lots of things that are designed to please Oprah's core demographic make no sense to me.

As I watched part of Oprah's Embarrassment Show yesterday, I was struck by her position on the whole affair. She did seem wedded to the idea that there is one truth and that is the only thing she is interested in. Does anyone else think this is a strange reaction for a talk-show host? Her show is often about varying opinions and beliefs. In another show, she interviewed a family about their decision to hire a stripper to perform at their son's 16th birthday party. She even seems comfortable showing different sides of the story and not wrapping everything up in a nice cosy resolution.

I think Oprah is missing the lesson here, the one that is challenging her to develop. It is instructive to watch her struggle with this issue; her discomfort with what she says on screen is clear, and the drive to growth is evident. I think she has the potential and the ability to expand her concept of truth and start approaching her show at a deeper level. I would love to see it happen.

It is incredibly scary for anyone to step forward into a new worldview, casting off old beliefs and growing into something larger. For someone as successful and public as Oprah, the pressure to remain as she is must be enormous. If I could talk to Oprah today, I would call her forth into the next phase of her life, to the place where the line between truth and lies melts away. She could take it.

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"...to the place where the line between truth and lies melts away." I believe intent, reality and attitude play parts in this. For me, if the intent is to deceive then the line will never melt away. If I think I know reality then the line will not melt. I guess it comes down to attitude -- what I accept as true in the moment may not be accepted in the future. Interesting phrase.
The book was written with intent to deceive and make money; it was deliberately presented as fact, not fiction. That's not a melt away line, that's called fraud. Many people would likely never have bought the book if it was fiction (who knows why...not relevant here).

As a would-be writer, you should be able to distinguish between personal integrity and integrity with your readers, and an act of outrageous bullshit intended to suck in a willing but gullible public. The latter is the arse-hole's way to making a living - ripping people off, in other words.
Thank you both for your comments.
Whoa, I wasn't commenting on the book or your opinion. I was commenting on myself and the thoughts that your phrase spurred. I like the phrase and agree with my interpretation of it. (OK, lame humor.) I agree with you -- we need to seek "the place where the line between truth and lies melts away."
That's what this post was commenting on, too; my reaction to Oprah's reaction!

It's always a challenge to express my thoughts, especially as many of the things I believe, I cannot adequately express in words. I was delighted that you "got it", I_Wonder, and it makes me feel a little less alone.

I can also understand your rancour, caz. All I can ever really understand are my own actions and sometimes even those are a mystery to me. How could I possibly judge another's decisions? All of us are just trying to be happy in the best way we know how.

I couldn't agree more with your position here. This whole situation with the laced joint and the people involved is pressing me to face the same sorts of issues. It's a tough one when you are a strong person with strong opinions...and a perfectionist with high standards for yourself and others.

It is such a bitch to realize people are fallible. How do you find a place for these imperfect souls in your world? How do their actions align comfortably with your value system.

Again, I reiterate, life is a bitch.
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