Thursday, May 30, 2013

O – No.

It's a fast paced world; you can either be informed or have an opinion. We don't have time for both. —A Softer World

Now, I’m all for free speech and whatnot and I accept the fact that if people are free to speak they are perfectly likely to assert something breathtakingly ridiculous. But still. We have to do something about the epidemic of idiocy that is engulfing us all, even at the supermarket. 

The other day, I had to buy the current issue of O magazine. Don’t ask. I initially wanted to go to a different market than my regular one to minimize the likelihood that somebody I knew would see me buy the magazine. In the end, the law of least resistance won out and I went to the regular store down the hill. In my defense, I also needed obscure stuff that I know how to find in my familiar market.

So anyway. Looking for the particular article I wanted to read, I had to page through the entire magazine. Big mistake. Oprah has an organic vegetable garden. In Maui. And an expert stooge to run it for her and pose next to her while she stands in her field wearing $600 jeans and holding lettuce or something. She has some incredible advice for people interested in growing their own vegetables, presumably even those who can’t buy fertile land in Maui or hire a master gardener to plant and tend it.

Then, there are some apparently regular articles by Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Suze Orman. All of them have some amazing self-help advice for people who couldn’t help themselves to move their hand from a hot stove without professional advice. This stuff is aimed at people whose lives are such a mess that they apparently couldn’t sort things out unless they listened to these pompous experts explain that their mommy was a drunk because they were a crybaby, or that their spouse’s gambling problem just might be the cause of the family’s financial insecurity.

Then there’s shit you simply have to buy, to read, to wear, to eat and to think. You simply have to, or you will remain mired in the stagnant meaningless muck of your own Oprahless life, condemned to wander around messing up your personal relationships, your finances, your complexion, your organic vegetable garden, and your spouse’s gambling problem.

I’m not a complete cynic. I’m all for feeling good about myself  -  even for having a lifestyle if I can’t manage to have an actual life. Who could argue with improving their wellbeing and intellect, and growing as a person and shit? But Christ, there are some things I can actually figure out for myself without paging through shiny magazines with bright pictures of beautiful people and advice about coping and inspiring stories and sage advice about more stuff I should buy to assure my own happiness and fulfillment.

I have to admit though, that I did learn something valuable from this experience. Like for starters, not to buy this narcissistic woman’s vanity magazine ever again. I’d rather be lost in the wilderness of my own devising than trampled in the herd of sheep blindly following her and her self-proclaimed experts with life-changing advice and opinions. 


Natalie said...

I just love the quote that you have shared "you can either be informed or have an opinion. We don't have time for both."

Martha in Michigan said...

There are worse things than O, I fear. Ever since I was bereaved, a helpful relative has been buying me a subscription to Guideposts, a Christian good-news digest of inspirational stories. It goes straight from mailbox to recycling without touching a surface in my home. Otherwise, there would be large bald patches from the hair-tearing that might ensue.

Weeping Sore said...

I could get you a subscription to Highlights for Children. It might make a good counterpoint to Guideposts.