My friend Christa, who I call my best friend I haven’t met yet, likes to call herself a Pop Culturalist. What makes her a Pop Culturalist? Her willingness to dive head first into things she know she will probably not enjoy but that have gained some sort of pop culture status. See: her willingness to read Twilight books even though the first one is so completely awful it’s been known to induce vomiting.
I, on the other hand, am probably the anti-Pop Culturalist. Or, in the words of the common people (and my sisters), a Haughty Snob. While I don’t abandon that which I love when it becomes popular, I am more than likely to eschew those things that are wildly popular. Why? Because I’m a Haughty Snob. Duh. No, the real reason is I believe that more often than not for things to become wildly popular with all kinds of people they have to be watered-down drivel or brainless and obvious (please see the continued popularity of “Two and a Half Men” and Nicholas Sparks books for further evidence).
Now there are things that are wildly popular that I love. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but trust me there are. Though sometimes I wonder if I just think they’re wildly popular because these things are popular with the people I surround myself with and I rarely peep my head outside my cloistered world filled with people who have impeccable taste and above average intelligence, just like me.
But you know, I like to try new things. At least today I did. So at 4 p.m. I cuddled into my La-Z-Grrl and turned my eyes to the very last Oprah Winfrey show ever. I know ol’ Op can be something of a lightning rod. People love her or hate her. I’m apathetic. She inspires neither devotion or rage in me. However I was curious. I know to legions of people Oprah is some sort of spiritual leader. The woman has mad influence and I couldn’t resist hearing her parting words before she stepped down from her pulpit.
Part me tuned in because I really was hoping for a spectacle. I didn’t get it. Instead Oprah stood on stage, alone and spewed an hour of her Oprah-speak. People eat that stuff up– that brand of Hallmark Philosophy that’s meant to inspring or empowering, but I find just kind of nebulous nothing. She filled the hour with talk of your energy and how everyone just wants to be heard and gratefulness and thanking America. It was bland. Kind of boring. The exact reason I eschew the wildly popular!
Of course, I can’t diss on her too hard. Endings are hard. However, I think it was a missed opportunity. With the eyes of the world tuned to her, I wish she would have said something concrete, something more than “be the change you want to see in the world” (which is basically what she said).
When it comes to endings, I think Conan did a much better job.