Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oprah Who? (part 2)

Day Two of the Three-Day Extravaganza accompanying Oprah (Harpo spelled backwards) Winfrey’s departure from daytime network television brought us Will Smith, Jamie Fox, Queen Latifah, Maya Angelou, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and what looked like half the student body of Morehouse College in Atlanta and even Stedman Goodman, Oprah’s long-time live-in significant other. Frank Sinatra would have been there too, but he’s dead.

Did you know that although Oprah may be Harpo spelled backwards it was never intended to be that way? Her name was supposed to be Orpah, same as Naomi’s other daughter-in-law from the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, but somehow it got spelled wrong on her birth certificate. True story.

It was reported this week that Monday night on The Late Show, David Letterman’s program, Lady Gaga or GaGa or whatever it is tore off part of the page of questions Dave was using to interview her and ate it. Television just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Mrs. RWP and I watch quite a bit of television but we don’t watch what the hip crowd watches. We watch Antiques Roadshow and reruns of All in the Family and quite a few crime shows (Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, CSI: Miami, NCIS, The First 48, 48 Hours: Hard Evidence, Dateline. Unsolved Mysteries, Cold Case Files, Without a Trace, and probably a few others I can’t think of at the moment). We do have our standards, however. We refuse to watch Nancy Grace.

We used to watch the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) and the Food Network a lot, but eventually we tired of Cake Boss and Chopped and Barefoot Contessa and Paula Deen and Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse and The Iron Chef and that couple that have that barbecue place in Memphis and Property Virgins and Flip This House and House Hunters and even House Hunters International. We stopped watching Jon and Kate Plus Eight when Kate went off the deep end, or maybe it was Jon, or both. We didn’t watch a single weekly episode of Dancing With the Stars or American Idol or The X Factor or Desperate Housewives or Glee. Currently we watch reruns of something called The Glades as a sort of run-up to a second season of it that starts in a few weeks. We have been known to watch an old Bill Gaither and His Homecoming Friends rerun occasionally just to keep our toes in the Southern Country Gospel Music pond, even though half of Bill’s friends are dead now too, including Jake Hess, Eva Mae Lefevre, Vestal and Howard Goodman, Rex Nelon, James Blackwood, Rusty Goodman, J.D. Sumner, Glen Payne, George Younce, Big Chief Weatherington, the list goes on and on. Just like Frank Sinatra.

Oprah probably never heard of any of them.

Eventually all of us will be dead, even Oprah, replaced by upstarts and newcomers and wannabes who, if they look back at all, will probably look back on the people of the late 20th and early 21st centuries with amusement, or disdain, or utter contempt.

Then, in the great cycle of life, they will become has-beens themselves and shuffle off this mortal coil (copyright, Will Shakespeare, circa 1601).

Sic transit gloria mundi.

I’ll tell you something though, I’d rather be a has-been than a never-was.


  1. I have just been watching some TV in my rat-infested cardboard hut in Bangkok. It was LIVE and it starred a dignified, intellectual, fair-minded and far-seeing American arriving at England's Houses of Parliament. You may have heard of him. His name is Barack which is kcARAB (!) spelt backwards!

  2. I found it interesting that you and Mrs. RWP and I watch many of the same TV programs. Should we have majored in Criminal Justice rather than otherwise?

    To my clearest recollection, the only Oprah show I ever watched was when she was in west Texas defending herself against the cattlemen.

  3. i have watched every episode of the ophra show, couldn't miss it

  4. YP, the latest BHO gaffe in the news is twofold, that he continued speaking his lengthier-than-usually-permitted toast to Her Majesty during the playing of the national anthem and that he dated his entry in Westminster Abbey's visitors log yesterday as May 24, 2008.

    Pat, that was when she met Dr. Phil.

    Daniel (or Putz or whoever), I could not have lived one more minute without learning that piece of information.

  5. Diego & Joana, obrigado. The last thing I expected to find when I clicked on your name was a blog about Canada written in Portuguese!