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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yes, but did she throw 276 air freshners into the deal?

It's been years since Oprah Winfrey's show really interested me (then again it's been years since most television really interested me). Back in the day she could find something that would grab anyone's attention at least one day out of the week. But that was before "The Oprah Winfrey Show" became about... well, Oprah. Her magazine and book club always struck me as self-serving gimmicks and I understand that there's an entire show on Oxygen or Nitrogen or whatever that women's cable network is that covers nothing but what happens behind the scenes of her other show. Go figure.

But I had to smile yesterday when I heard that to kick off the 19th season of her show, Winfrey gave a new car to each person in her 276-member studio audience. The massive giveaway of the new Pontiac G6 sedans was part of a plot hatched by Winfrey and General Motors. I didn't see it but I heard that after a bit of teasing the audience Winfrey ran across the stage screaming "Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!" Granted, Winfrey herself didn't buy the cars herself (they were donated by General Motors, which when you figure the cost of regular advertising versus the ratings of the Oprah show it comes out that the $7 million giveaway actually saved money on the advertising value alone) but given that everyone in the crowd had a loved one who wrote to Winfrey about how that person needed a new car, you can't help but appreciate that there was at least a sliver of charity at work here.

Still, the whole thing was the beginning of the theme for Winfrey's theme this season: "Wildest Dreams Come True", and I've got to wonder if getting a new car really qualifies as a "wildest dream". Your greatest dreams shouldn't be about getting material things, or finding yourself covered in fortune or glory, or waking up on a pile of money with the most attractive person imaginable beside you. They shouldn't be about the acquisition of something, at all.

My "wildest dream come true" would be to make it as a successful writer, to also have some luck as a filmmaker, to someday be as good a servant to my family, my friends, my church and my community as I can be. And yes, I do want to have a bit more money than I have now (actually a LOT more money wouldn't hurt) but if any of those things were given to me outright, I couldn't appreciate it. Instead I need to earn my dreams, and let them come or go based on my own vision and temerity. With all due respect to her, I'd love for that to be God making my wildest dreams come true, not Oprah. If she or anyone wants to really let me have my "wildest dream" become a reality, all I ask is that I be given a real shot at something, without bias or favoritism, and whether I rise or fall or please or fail, to know that I gave it my best. It's not the destination that makes the dream worthwhile... it's the journey.

It has to to be noted though that it's been awhile since I've seen a new picture of her and I must say... Oprah looks HOT!


Anonymous said...

"but if any of those things were given to me outright, I couldn't appreciate it"

I would :-)