Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: Opracadopra: It's Like Magic

Daze of My Life
Opracadopra: It's Like Magic

I don't know exactly why Oprah Winfrey started her book club. Yes, I realize she is supporting literacy programs across the country and providing authors with unexpected and unsurpassed opportunities. All well and good, but I can't help thinking that something--maybe everything--is being overlooked.
If the influence of Ms. Winfrey's involvement, attention and affiliation is enough to create recognition where none previously existed, and if her participation encourages action among her loyal minions, then perhaps she should expand her horizons. Perhaps it's time for Ms. Winfrey to not only educate the non-literate masses, but also direct and control them in other areas as well. After all, who knows better than the daytime diva? She's not worth $500 million (reportedly) for nothing.
As an example, just think what Oprah could do for the state of New Hampshire: a small sparsely populated state that adheres to its Yankee tradition and independent streak. Every four years New Hampshire takes primary importance as politicians invade and hopefully conquer as the race for President begins (and ends for some). Maybe the Granite state would prefer a more constant flow of visitors. If only they would change their motto to "Winfrey or Die," they might attract a more diverse group of tourists.
Most Americans frequent sporting events, movies, concerts and museums; many even attend the theater. But the least understood and most under appreciated art form to the hoi poloi and the one whose revenues could stand a boost is opera. A celebrity of Ms. Winfrey's status could do wonders for this highbrow music. So, the next time you're in New York, you must visit the Metropolitan Oprah!
Moreover, as popular as the Theater/Broadway is in New York, many of its productions start elsewhere. If they are successful, they move to the Great White Way. But what if New York was not the only Mecca for such theater goers?
What if another more centrally located state, and one with a rather famous musical title to its credit, was to begin staging big time productions. All they might need to pique the public's interest is a hook. Perhaps if Ms. Winfrey's given name were used, fans would flock to "Oprahoma" and this midwestern state would be popular sooner rather than later.
And since Oprah is popular throughout the country, perhaps she might also lend her name and influence to that historic venue in Nashville. The Grand Ole
Oprah could attract a whole new audience while retaining its core constituency.
The participation of Ms. Winfrey's viewers could translate into millions of dollars for the capitol of country music.
And while we're heading west, I imagine many of us are familiar with the most recent advertising campaign by the state of Nevada promoting tourism in its most famous and popular city: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Well, that slogan, that inference, might not appeal to as many potential visitors as one utilizing Oprah's surname. Who wouldn't be intrigued by the new slogan:
"Win Free in Las Vegas"?
There's so much more she could do. There's a misunderstood vegetable that needs her help: okra is in fewer homes than Ms. Winfrey's highly rated daytime show. A permanent name change to "opra" and a new national spokesperson could do much to stimulate production, cultivation and ingestion of the edible pods from this much-maligned and cotton-like shrub.
Imagine what Ms. Winfrey could do for rhubarb, turnips and chard. Oprah could revive stagnant segments or our agricultural base and move the nation toward a more health diet. And don't be surprised if she launches a vegetable-of-the-month club soon. Her name carries a lot of weight.
I hope Oprah's most recent publicity with one of her former book-of-the month
selectees, first she supported him, then she sauteed him, on national television, no less, won't sully her reputation. Apparently it hasn't. Reportedly, Oprah has signed a three-year, $55 million contract with XM radio to do something "The View-ish" on their satellite feed. Is there no stopping her? What next? Politics? I can almost see her campaign strategy--stay in studio and let the country beat a path to her studio. "Winfrey for President. Tomorrow on Oprah!"

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

Printable version

<< back to Articles on Community
<< back to All Articles