So Oprah’s in town. Have you heard?
This past week, it’s been the biggest (almost the only) news on Australian TV and radio. Oprah is finally here.
Now, I’m not what you could class as a fan of Oprah. I don’t watch her show, even when I’m home and it’s on. It doesn’t appeal to me greatly (from the highlight reels there appears to be far to much “woo”-ing for my Anglo Australian male ears). Likewise, while I’m aware she’s done some wonderful stuff throughout her career, and probably her life, I can’t claim to know much about that either.
The fact is, though, Oprah’s visit down under is a story I haven’t been able to avoid. It really is huge. And throughout every moment of footage that I’ve seen, one thing has become apparent.
The woman is class personified. She is a consummate professional. Every single moment that she has been in the public eye she has been gracious and graceful, respectable and respectful, engaging and engaged. Even going so far as to wave to the helicopter filming her having lunch.
This is a woman who knows her brand, and remembers when she still needed a surname to be recognised. Heck, she remembers a time before that, and knows how precarious a position like hers can be. Compare and contrast to, say, Mike Tyson. What the comparison might tell us is that a sublime skill-set may well get you to the top of your field. But a shrewd intellect and a sense of perspective gives you a far greater chance to remain there.
(I couldn’t help feeling a small sense of irony when Oprah took a Sydney Harbour cruise with legendary grumpy-drawers, Russell Crowe.)
Oprah seems to be a prime role model for anyone who wishes to put themselves and/or their work out in the public sphere. Should I ever achieve even one fuckteenth of the fame that Ms. Winfrey has, I believe I will struggle to cope and achieve balance. There is a long and sad list of people who cannot adjust to their fame. Sportspeople, actors, musicians, authors…the end is listless.
But I have seen the way.
PS: congratulations to CFE's own Emma Hillman, who is not only still competing in Alison Tyler's Smut Marathon, but won the most recent round hands down. Well done, lady.