And now, Scary-Crayon presents...


september 2003 cover review

by: Wes

Yes, damnit, it's time for another fucking review of "O, The Oprah Magazine" -- like last time, only the cover, because I couldn't stand to go through the interior in depth as well. I did open the thing this time, though, and even reading through a few pages was enough to cover my soul with tiny little papercuts that gushed like waterfalls of intangible pain that was made worse by the fact that every fucking page was laughing at me with its little smug "O" mouth and a hearty, "HO HO HOPRAH IT'S ALL ABOUT OPRAH!!!" Do I sound angry? Damned straight -- I've just been to a place I never wanted to go again, but then the other day Oprah had this interview on television (a family member of mine and the source of these articles loves that bitch, so it's almost like Oprah lives in the fucking house too) in which she went on and on about the "value of education" and whatnot and attributed her success to education. Now I'm all for education, but Oprah championing it and crediting it for her success is utter bullshit. Consider that any "education" had by anyone who digs Oprah is negligible, since everything Oprah does is totally devoid of any true intellectual merit and is really only another float in Oprah's massive ongoing vanity parade. I mean seriously, look at the cover of the September 2003 issue.

Bloody hell, not again...

ANYONE WITH A LICK OF "EDUCATION" WOULD NOT BUY THAT SHIT! He/she would look at it and say, "This bitch sure is conceited and this magazine is obviously full of shit and WHY THE FUCK IS HER MOUTH OPEN??? I HOPE SHE CHOKES ON AN AIRBORNE CICADA!!!!" and if he/she picked it up at all it would be a) to write scathing reviews of it in the hopes that someone who loves Oprah will SEE THE LIGHT, or at least that people who can't stand the bitch can find some internal solace in a world overrun with Oprah's zombie-slaves, or b) to search the pages for the secret magic words that, when read aloud, summon the demon god Abbadon and send the world spinning into a vortex of dark and horrid shit with lots of corn kernels and clumps of stringy hair. You know what? That made no sense. Don't expect a lot of things in this article to make sense. OPRAH WILL DRIVE YOU MAD. And not in the way that pretty girls/boys drive you mad, either. In the way that flatulent grannies who consistently refer to themselves in the third person and make you spoon them at gunpoint would drive you mad. Assuming you don't have a conceited gassy old lady fetish.


So it begins. As you can see, we're doing this one in OPRAH-VISION, which means I'm sticking stretched Oprah photos all over the place to recreate the experience of reading the magazine even though I didn't entirely do so -- this one's for your benefit, folks. See, if you enjoy reading these little pieces, taking into account that they truly cause me pain to write, that makes you something of a sadist. And like Piggy would've told you before that rock smashed him flat, nobody likes a sadist -- they're no give and all take, like the Cutting Crew lyrics say. Roger was an asshole. So at least if you're feelin' the pain too, we've got an S&M sorta thing going on, which is much better. A+++. And hey, I wasn't just rambling on aimlessly there, since the first magazine headline deals with PASSION! And sadly, that's one of the few pieces in the mag that I did actually read. Now of course Oprah's mag isn't going to tell YOU how to find whatever the hell it is you want out of life. HOW THE FUCK COULD IT? But there on the cover it tries to get your hopes up.

HA HA HA''GO FOR IT! Find the PASSION to get what you really want out of life''HA HA HA

No, inside you'll find all of the regurgitated "inspirational" cliched advice you'd come to expect from a Nike commercial or the Pokémon theme song, followed by a bunch of spotlights on people who have supposedly achieved their goals. Well FUCKING GREAT FOR THEM, but how does that help you? And then -- I kid you not -- in Oprah's special letter direct to you in the back of the mag, she basically brags about how great her life is. WOOOO! I guess this is all supposed to convey the message that YOUR LIFE TOO CAN BE SPENT AS A MONEY-HUNGRY SELF-ABSORBED BITCH QUEEN WHO BRAINWASHES PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD YET NEVER HAS ANYTHING WORTHWHILE TO SAY, except it can't, because a) hopefully you're not willing to sell your soul like Oprah and these other folks have and b) actually, I pretty much covered all I wanted to say along these lines with (a).

Oprah will piss on your dreams while standing up.

But seriously, if you flaunt your dreams in "The Oprah Magazine" with an insanely giddy grin on your face, that's the equivalent of pissing all over yourself in your sleep and dreaming you're swimming in a warm river with sparkling waters. No matter how great what you do is and how much it's enriched your life, by appearing in "O" you've essentially soaked yourself -- and by extension, your dreams and all that you value -- in tangy yellow-orange urine with a slight brown tincture, because you've just stamped Oprah's name all over it. Now people will come up to you and say, "HEY! I heard about your stuff in OPRAH!" So you'll get more business and exposure, sure, but people will only flock to you because Oprah endorses you. They'll praise your shit, too -- whether it's worthwhile or not -- just because Oprah endorses you. Hell if you care! Pretty soon you'll be advertising your own stuff by writing, "As featured in 'O, The Oprah Magazine'..." Then next thing you know you're being fucked up the ass with the pointed handle of a pitchfork while a teething baby rabbit gnaws on your earlobe and an obese hamster shits in your coffee mug. While dancing.


Next up, The fight that can save your relationship. Oh ho hoprah, where to begin? First of all, you've got a really fucked up relationship if a fight can save it. I mean hey, I'm not that guy hiding out in your bedroom closet with a camera and filming through the blinds while you and your lover do the nasty (I just saw a few clips from the tape, and damnit that guy wanted too much cash for the full video), so it's not like I know enough about the intimate details of your relationship to make an informed call about it... but like I said, you've got a seriously screwed up relationship if balling up your fists and knocking your lover's bloody teeth out on the carpet rug actually saves it. Same goes if we're talking about a really heated verbal argument, for that matter. I mean, I could see the resolution and making up that might follow from such a conflict perhaps saving the relationship, and maybe some of the issues that need to be worked on could come up during a (verbal) fight, but it's not the fight itself that saves your relationship. On the other hand, "The conflict resolution and thoughtful discussion of problems that can save your relationship" doesn't sound nearly as sensational and make idiots think, "OMG MUST BUY THIS MAGAZINE BECUZ FIGHTING WILL SAVE MY RELATIONSHIP OPRAH U RULE LOLZ!!!!!" so I can understand why Oprah chose to go with the above. Unfortunately, I don't have too much faith in the readers of Oprah's magazine -- I'm inclined to believe that anyone who read that headline and actually expected fighting to solve his/her relationship would march right up to the lover with a 2x4 and bludgeon him/her over the head. And then the topic of the next "Oprah" could be about lovers who murder their mates in attempts to save their relationships. Hey, maybe that's the plan? Where spreading her name and furthering her fame and corrupting minds and souls are concerned, Oprah's always thinking two steps ahead.

Well up jumped the devil...''BURNING CALORIES -- The startling truth about your metabolism''ONE, TWO, THREE!!!

Okay, I read this article too. Surprise of surprises -- there's nothing "startling" about your metabolism. Now, if the article had talked about how your metabolism actually manufactures tiny donkeys who run around inside your stomach spouting various comical one-liners and looking at dragon porn (because hey, everyone's gotta get a Shrek reference in somewhere), that might've been startling. But the article didn't say that. It pretty much said stuff you already know, like building lean muscle will help you to burn more calories even while doing jack shit. And even if you didn't know it, I don't see what's so startling about it. I find it startling (and depressing) that people continue to buy this fucking magazine.  :(

I BRING YOU PAIN!!!''How to grab a SECOND CHANCE at happiness''I BRING YOU PAIN!!!

AGAIN, I skimmed through this one. Do you get the idea that this "yes, still painful, but not quite as painful" cover review turned out to be more painful than it should have because I actually looked through the magazine? If so, you are rrrrrrright. This feature starts off with an ultra-cliched quote from a random painter -- one of those "you can do anything you set your mind to" shits you've heard time and time again. The fuck? HEY OPRAH, platitudes do not become fresh just because the speaker is someone I've never heard of before. And then you get a couple more spotlights on people who have "made it," including actress Holly Robinson Peete. Now I'll admit that she's done some great things in her life, but by "some" I mean "one" and it was way back in 1986 and involved a duck named Howard. I believe she's presently starring in one of UPN's many shitty sitcoms... which means her "second chance" at happiness only served to bring stupidity and garbage to the world at large. Holly, my dear, you should've stayed miserable. And then the article highlights a few products that will supposedly enrich your life, and I fucking kid you not the iPod was in there. Not like I was going to anyway, but now I wouldn't buy an iPod on principle -- fo first iPod asks you to shoot terrorists and now Oprah's selling it as the route to happiness. Fuck it, it's time for a BONUS Crayon Haiku.


What is this bullshit?
You've gotta be kidding me.
I despise Oprah.

Aaaand in case you've chalked my ranting thus far up to exaggeration (but stuck with it for whatever reason), no, I've been fucking serious all along. Sure, the cover and the articles were bad enough, but if this doesn't drive my point home I don't know what will. Now YOU TOO can register for "Oprah's Live Your Best Life Tour" online, folks. And if you can't read the text, it says, "Experience the interactive version of Oprah's Live Your Best Life workshop, customized for you, on! Oprah's life stories and life lessons along with the complete Oprah-guided Live Your Best Life workbook will be available Summer 2003. Reserve your 'online ticket' on today!" Well. Supposedly sitting at a computer and reading through Oprah's life stories and life lessons and filling out an Oprah-guided workbook is going to help you live your best life. Yup, Oprah's crap has always had a cultish flavor to it, but this is just blatant and in your face. At least it's out of date -- given that this is the September 2003 issue, the advertisement is a little late. Perhaps instead of spewing dreck about how to live your best life, Oprah should get her fucking calendar straight.


See, here's the thing -- unless we're talking about a prison gym, escape isn't really necessary; you just kinda get tired and walk out and that's that. You're a member, you paid the fees, and I don't think any buff people are going to bar your path and/or laugh at you when you try to leave. Still, #@*$(@)#@! me, I flipped open the magazine to find out about these exciting exercises that'll make you say YES! And damnit I'm not kidding you when I say that there's a photo of a flippin' trapeze artist on the first page of the article. I guess if that's your exercise routine you'll be capable of escaping from the gym should you need to do so, but I digress. And then the second page has a picture of someone kayaking. So I guess the message here is that if exercising in the gym bothers you, take up a strenuous athletic hobby and/or career with the circus. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Thank you, Oprah Winfrey, for that wonderful terrible and extremely impractical advice. Oh, and I know I do it sometimes too, but that bitch just ended a clause with a preposition ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE. Not only is Oprah trying to corrupt your soul, but your grammar as well. And that's going just a little too far. I guess living your best life includes bad grammar and swingin' from a trapeze.

!!!!LUOS RUOY EMUSNOC LLIW IOprah talks to SALMA HAYEK -- ''One of the smartest women I've ever met''!!!!LUOS RUOY EMUSNOC LLIW I

Is that so, Oprah? Salma Hayek is really "one of the smartest women [you've] ever met"? Wow, that's some compliment -- but given that she's so smart, you'd think Oprah might, I dunno, SHARE THE COVER WITH HER??? I mean even as conceited as I am, I'd probably share the cover of my magazine (assuming I even put myself on it) with my featured guest of the month, and especially with someone I deemed to be one of the smartest people I've ever met. Not Oprah, though. By the way, you'll note that I used the word "people" in place of women there. What, by saying that Salma Hayek is one of the smartest women Oprah's ever met, does she mean to distinguish dear Salma from the men -- as if to say that compared to the men she's met, Hayek's not really all that smart? In any case, given that Oprah tends to surround herself with idiots (i.e. people who actually listen to her and think that what she's saying is even remotely valuable or worthwhile), perhaps this isn't as great a compliment as it seems.


And then we get to the picture of the two together in the magazine. As you can clearly see from the above photo, Oprah puts her hand on Salma's back and pushes her down in a display of dominance and to make herself look taller. From the look of the photo, we're meant to think that someone offscreen -- note that Hayek is pointing to something -- has said something so funny that it caused Hayek to double over in laughter, but given that look of sheer sneering malevolence on Oprah's face I'm pretty skeptical. No, I'm inclined to think that Oprah has just whispered a horrible threat and shoved Salma Hayek down with an admonition to "look as fucking happy as you can or I'll bite off your nipples," whereupon Salma did so, but also raised her middle finger to the camera. Or at least she meant to. See, that's not her middle finger, but her index finger... and since she's obviously confused the two, she doesn't seem too damned smart to me. But I guess that was a given too, since she thought it would be a good idea to appear in "O, The Oprah Magazine".

Bloody hell.Bloody hell.

And unholy crap I think we're finally finished. Sure, we haven't learned much today, but half of learning is reinforcement and we've seen quite a bit of examples to drive home the point of each one of these Oprah magazine reviews: Oprah is an egotistical monster and thrives on subverting the public and making her fans confound excrement with enlightenment. (Oooh, that was catchy.) Not only have we seen her put forth a number of cliched "inspirational" bullshit about passion and second chances at happiness, we've also seen her offer guidance on how to live your best life in the form of an Oprah-guided workbook. We've also seen advice about fighting saving relationships and encountered some utterly unstartling information about your metabolism, among other things involving the intelligence (or lack thereof) of Salma Hayek. But all along the way, friends, we've rejected Oprah's influence. And though we may not know how to live our best lives, though we may lack that passion to get what we really want out of life, though we may miss out on that second chance at happiness -- we can at least take comfort in the knowledge that when they torture us, we'll not feel the need to run... for though we die, La Resistance lives on.

-- Wes --

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