Monday, January 17, 2011

Oprah in Australia: Avoda Zara?

Oprah at her 50th birthday party / Alan Light

Coverage of Oprah's Ultimate Australian adventure', in which Oprah brought 300 US guests to tour Australia and film four shows out of her final season, reveals an inordinate degree of 'Oprah-worship':
  • Australia spent $5 million to bring Oprah to Australia
  • Sydney's landmark opera house was re-named the "Oprah House" for the filming
  • BBC's Nick Bryant: "Her eight-day tour has felt like a presidential, papal and royal visit all rolled into one."
  • Australia's Herald Sun: "If it was even possible, 6,000 of her dearest fans who gathered to worship her on the steps of the Sydney "Oprah" House for her first show this morning, found more love in their hearts for their hero. Oprah grooved her way through the audience onto centre stage to the beat of I Come From The Land Down Under, her bright orange dress swaying in the wind, opening the show with an obligatory chant of 'Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi.' It was church, Oprah style. The object of worship? A much-loved TV icon, all smiles and full of words of affection. The congregation? Screaming Oprah-files, the lucky 6,000 who beat 350,000 others to score tickets to her first of two tapings. Another 6,000 will see her second show this afternoon."
  • Oprah, in her final words to the camera: "This experience for me and my 300 guests has been of a divine order, really heaven sent. We thank you. We thank you for your open faces, we thank you for teaching us it much better to work to live rather than live to work. Thank you for teaching us how to do it."
  • Oprah: "I have made myself an official ambassador of Australia and I have a big mouth and a big platform. It is immeasurable what four hours of a love festival about your country, broadcast in 145 countries around the world can do." She vowed to share Australia's 'open faces' ("There’s a sense of openness and warmth I haven’t seen in any other country") with her global audience: "I have the biggest mouth on earth and the biggest platform, aren’t you glad I like it? When we do cooking shows and people might do something I don’t like, I just say I don’t like it."
  • Oprah told the audience she now understands why they call Australia 'Oz.': "Because it truly is at the end of the yellow brick road. After being here a week, I know this. I love Australia."
  • An audience member: "Oprah made me the person I am today. She is my inspiration."
  • The Herald Sun:"Another fan in the audience said she had skipped her child's sixth grade graduation to be at the Sydney show."

  לָמָּה, רָגְשׁוּ גוֹיִם; וּלְאֻמִּים, יֶהְגּוּ-רִיק

Why are the nations in an uproar? And why do the peoples mutter in vain? (Tehillim 2:1)

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