Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Oprah Winfrey Opens School in South Africa

I don't what it is exactly, but there is something in the way Oprah Winfrey promotes herself, that I find a little bit creepy. I mean, here is a woman that through her long running T.V. talk show has developed this huge following of devotees, who are loyal to her to the point of obsession. In fact, Winfrey has so much influence over her audience, that an endorsement or discouragement (thumbs up or thumbs down) from the talk show queen can single-handedly make or break a company's fortune. To me, this degree of authority (and obedience) should be enough to merit her middle-aged studio audience minions with a "cult" status ;)

No longer content with just her T.V. empire, it appears that Oprah has decided to extend her realm of influence to those without a television, by opening the "Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls" in South Africa. Now don't get me wrong, providing disadvantaged girls a chance at education is wonderful thing; but honestly, does it always have to be about how "great" Oprah is... or did she decide to name the school after herself because "Jonestown" was already taken?

The way I see it, naming a school after someone is alright provided that it's in the context of a memorial. But when it's a "leadership academy" and it's named after the architect, it has the tendency to come across as a wee bit smug. I mean seriously, what kind of example is Oprah Winfrey setting for these children on how to be a "leader", when she had to pay the $40 million out of her OWN pocket to get the place built? ;)

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