Friday, January 27, 2006

The Wrath of Oprah 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDid anyone watch Oprah taking a verbal green switch to James Frey’s backside last night for lying and making her look like a fool? I did, and the entire time I had to fight the urge to go run and hide under my bed like a child. Having been on the receiving end of several (well deserved) childhood reprimands dealt by loving but firm Southern African American women, I can tell you there is nothing more terrifyingly effective to make you straighten out. I'll certainly never ride my Big Wheel in the middle of the street again!

I hope that Oprah doesn’t stop choosing living authors for her book club. She has made the careers of many worthy, deserving authors who would have most likely remained obscure without her endorsement. I was overjoyed that she returned to living authors for her book club, but my joy was tempered by her choice of A Million Little Pieces, which I had attempted to read a year or so earlier. I thought the book was awful and unbelievable. I have an open mind, but even I could tell from two early scenes that this book was bullshit.

1) The supposed memoir begins when Frey wakes up on an airplane and finds himself covered in vomit, snot and blood, 4 of his front teeth broken. You can’t even board an airplane in this country with profanity on your shirt. I’ve watched enough Airline to know that a passenger would never be allowed on an airplane in this condition. And Airline features the truly lax Southwest, which practically has zero standards, and allows men aboard wearing cut off sweatpants so you have to see their half boners.

2)This is followed by the whole root canal without anesthesia scene that he lifts straight out of Marathon Man. He claims that the dentist couldn’t even give him a topical anesthetic like Novocaine because he was in rehab. His only analgesic is a tennis ball to squeeze, which is an effective device for him to show everyone what a man he is, and also so he can fill pages with “Oh, the pain, the pain the White Hot Pain.” Bullshit. If he had to have an appendectomy in rehab would they do it without anesthesia as well?

I quit the book after the dentist scene. I’ll read anything, and I mean anything, but the book, even if it's fiction, has to have at least some semblance of authenticity and characters that are plausible, which is why I also despised Memoirs of a Geisha, with its cardboard, inscrutable characters.

Here’s an awesomely mean review, which eviscerates the book efficiently and effectively. With the exception of Hunter S. Thompson and Philip K. Dick, the reviewer pretty much hates everybody, but he reserves special vitriol for Frey.

I did once, one a lark, after several, well 6 martinis, forced the guy i was dating on to BART to Oakland airport and the airline let us purchase tickets to Portland! Piss drunk and no luggage. we could not even stand!
I'm with you, but you at least have to give Frey credit for sitting there and taking it. As Clarence Thomas said, it was a high-tech lynching. Martin
Hey I'd let Oprah shit on my face to sell more of my boks.
Hey, comment leaver #3? Are you German or Cartman's mom?

Cartman: Mom? If you were in a German Scheisse video, you... you'd tell me, wouldn't you?
[short pause]
Mrs. Cartman: Sure, hon.
Martin, what else was he going to do, walk out? Frey may have sat there, but he didn't answer any questions sufficiently. There was nothing remotely brave.
O: Did you have a root canal without anesthestic?
F: I don't remember.

Frey was eerily flat and emotionless, like he was drugged. Maybe he does have some sort of autistic personality disorder, like Dolan suspects.
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