The video below, from The Oprah Winfrey show 20th anniversary DVD, paints a rare glimpse of Oprah’s talk show roots. In the mid 80s she was hired to host a local morning low budget talk show in Chicago, that was airing in the same time slot (and right down the street) from the great Phil Donahue, who at the time, was the number one (daytime) talk show in the country.
No one in their wildest dreams thought Oprah would ever beat Donahue. For he was the best in the country and she was black (which was considered really bad in the 1980s), female, and overweight.
“I don’t know another overweight jheri curl person who can say ‘I made it!'” laughs Oprah.
Not only did she make it, but she would go on to become the World’s ONLY black billionaire and the most influential woman on the planet.
Not bad for an overweight jheri curl!
When Oprah first arrived in Chicago she had so little clout she had to bribe strangers on the street to sit in her audience with heat and doughnuts.
My favorite part of the below clip is when she says “We were successful IMMEDIATELY! We were so successful, so quickly, it was STUNNING…”
Earlier this month, the literary world was rocked by the death of Toni Morrison. She was 88. In 1993 Morrison won the Nobel Prize in literature, making her arguably the most academically accomplished African American of all time; certainly of her generation.
Today the correlation between IQ and academic success is only about 0.55, but in the mid-20th century, when Morrison was coming of age, it was a potent 0.7 and was likely about the same in the black population.
It was once suggested by Garth Zeitzman that when estimating IQ from the 0.7 correlation between IQ and academic achievement, the academic Nobel Prize is the pinnacle of the latter.
Thus if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and academic success, Morrison’s IQ would be 78 points above the black mean (one in 9.28 million), but given a correlation of 0.7 in Morrison’s day, we’d expect:
Morrison’s IQ = (0.7)78 + U.S. black mean
Morrison’s IQ = 55 + 85
Morrison’s IQ = 140 ( 95% confidence interval 119 to 161)
Further evidence of Morrison having a 140 IQ is her schooling a BBC reporter on the difference between a porch and a terrace, the fact that she has a very good long-term memory for her childhood (according to Fran Lebowitz), the fact that she excelled at typing when young, and like her biggest fan Oprah, she learned to read by age three.
Indeed Oprah was such a huge fan that she chose not one, not two, but four Morrison books for her coveted book club, and loved Beloved so much she bought the movie rights.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, Beloved is based on the true story of Margaret Garner, an escaped 19th century slave who loved her baby so much, she killed it rather than allow it to live a life of slavery. In Morrison’s brilliant vision, once slavery is over, the baby returns as a flesh and blood ghost to live with her now free mother (played by Oprah in the movie).
It’s a testament to Morrison’s high IQ writing style that Beloved is considered way too difficult for university undergads, and Oprah was warned by director Jodie Foster that it was way too literary a novel to ever become a film.
Nonetheless, it became arguably the most underrated film of all time.
I’ve never read the book, but I loved the film for its sheer beauty, originality, haunting score, and how the simplicity of the 19th century characters captured the Flynn effect, especially the mesmerizing scene of the escaped slave men clumsily dancing to Baby Sugg’s preaching.
Or the white girl Amy Denver who dreams of going to Boston to buy “the pertiest velvet”.
There was a childlike innocence about the characters that revealed the Flynn effect, juxtaposed against the stunning beauty of pre-industrialized America with its vast wilderness, traveled by horse and canoe.
Sadly, despite being promoted by Oprah and directed by Jonathan Demme, the film flopped at the box office, perhaps because the average moviegoer is too low in IQ and too high in psychopathy to appreciate such emotional non-linear symbolism.
Morrison’s first book was The Bluest Eye, inspired by a beautiful little black girl Morrison knew as a child. The girl became an atheist after her years of praying for blue eyes went unanswered. So powerful was racism that this girl would rather look like a freak than accept her natural black beauty.
Like a lot of black Americans who were raised in segregated times, there was an anger lurking beneath Morrison’s soft-spoken eloquence.
In one book she imagined a U.S. town without white folks.
“What would it be like if they just weren’t there?” Morrison asked.
The title of the book: Paradise.
When a white interviewer asked Morrison why she didn’t include more white characters, she reacted with a calm yet defensive rage.
Despite the fact that Morrison was a Nobel Prize winning literary giant who exudes gravitas with every breath, there’s something about the white woman’s smug gaze that made even Morrison look small.
A character in the film Beloved said it best, when describing a white man riding a horse:
There’s a look that white folks get. Righteous look…
To learn more about this American legend, I strongly recomend the following BBC documentary:
Black nationalal merit finalist GondwanaMan wanted me to write about Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.
While much of America is just discovering this woman for the first time (she was the most googled candidate at the end of June), longtime Oprah fans have known of this woman for decades.
In 1992 she published a book called A Return to Love. Oprah was so inspired by it that she went out and bought 1000 copies, and soon her audience was also buying it in droves, making it a massive bestseller.
In 2001 Williamson appeared on Oprah’s show immediately after 9/11. While the establishment wanted war with Afghanistan, Oprah and Williamson were virtually the only public figures urging restraint.
It was great to see two of the most intelligent and spiritually evolved voices in the subject coming from women.
Had America listened to these two brilliant women, it could have avoided the longest war in the country’s history.
It is interesting to ask what Williamson’s IQ is.
Although her cranial capacity is much smaller than Oprah and Chris Langan ‘s, she was Oprah’s spiritual guru and has a Langian type philosophy, calling the universe self-organizing and self-correcting.
What she lacks in brain size, she may makeup for in high IQ Ashkenazi genes allowing her to punch above her brain weight.
On the other hand, she sounds kind of flaky in the first Democratic debate, talking about how she’s going to defeat Donald Trump with “love”. Rhetoric that works well on a new agey daytime talk show does not always translate to more political forums and Williamson has yet to adapt.
In the following video Tulsi Gabbard warns America NOT to invade Iran.
However not even Oprah could stop the war with Iraq, despite hosting a series of anti-war shows to it in the few months before it began:
Why are these wars so hard to stop? And why do even Presidents like Trump , Obama, and George W. Bush, who campaigned against them, suddenly start supporting them once they get into office?
Commenter philosopher believes there’s a secret elite he calls “Master” who orders the Presidsent around once he gets into power. So why do people run for President if they’re just going to be bossed around once they get there? Perhaps they think that by getting elected President, they’ll be in charge, but only once they get there does Master reveal himself.
While this may sound like a psychotic delusion, there are similar theories to explain the Fermi Paradox. In the fabulous after-on pocast, it was suggested that the reason we’ve never been visited by aliens is that a Master species of aliens has ordered all advanced life in the galaxy to leave us alone, and if we too become technologically advanced enough to visit distant planets, these Master aliens will reveal themselves to us too, and tell us what the rules are.
It could work the same way in American society. You never find out about the secret elite running things until you gain enough power for Master to reveal himself to you.
Do I actually believe this? Not in the literal way philosopher does. I believe “Master” is better understood as a metaphor for the huge lobbying groups that buy politicians, but I don’t believe there are any independent individuals ordering most recent presidents around. But it would make a great horror film!
Both Oprah and Michael Jackson were allegedly sexually abused as a child, but Oprah led millions of abuse survivors to recovery, while Jackson may have dealt with his issues more destructively.
By 1986, Oprah was the #1 talk show in America, and by 1993, Michael Jackson wanted to jump on the Oprah bandwagon, so she interviewed him live from Neverland around the World. Even back then, Oprah sensed there was something strange about Michael’s sexuality.
“Are you a virgin?” she asked him.
“I’m a gentleman,” he replied.
She was also cleverly suspicious of his childlike persona.
“A child did not build on this,” she told him, pointing to his huge empire.
She also had no choice but to ask him if he bleached his skin, given the shocking change in color the public was obsessing about.
There’s no such thing as skin bleaching, Jackson insisted.
Actually there is, Oprah informed him. She recalled seeing commercials for it growing up. Jackson claimed his lighter skin was caused by a skin disease he had no control over.
Oprah seemed skeptical, perhaps because she understood what a big deal skin colour was among African Americans of their era. When she was a little girl, and was sent to live with her unwed mother in Milwaukee, the landlady was a very light skinned African American. She adored Oprah’s light skinned half-sister, while Oprah was stuck sleeping on the porch because she was dark skinned. It was never something that was said, but even as a child, Oprah intuitively understood.
Oprah was far too shrewd to call Jackson a liar to his face, so she found a more passive aggressive way of venting. When Elizabeth Taylor came out and took Jackson’s seat, Oprah let Jackson stand. So while Oprah and Taylor chatted like two A list celebs, Jackson was left standing like a second class citizen in his own home. He could have humorously ask for a chair, but instead he just stood there looking stupid.
For Oprah it was the ultimate alpha power play. It was as if she were saying “I’m the top star in this country now, so you’re gona stand until I allow you to sit”. Jackson lacked the social IQ to adapt to this unexpected aggression.
Oprah and Jackson would continue to talk after the interview. He begged her to have his friend Deepak Choprah on her show. “If she marries me she could be Oprah Choprah,” Deepak joked.
But when sexual abuse allegations came against Jackson, Oprah decided to keep her distance. When Jackson died in 2009, the vast majority of Americans decided he was innocent and returned to celebrating his music, and Jackson fans were expecting Oprah to comment within hours like every other celeb. But Oprah waited months. It was reminiscent of the Queen not commenting on the death of Princess Di.
Tonight part 1 of HBO’s shocking documentary about the alleged sexual abuse, Leaving Neverland, airs on HBO (airing later this week in the UK). Jackson fans and his estate are going absolutely ballistic, even suing HBO for $100 million. In the decade since Jackson’s death, his image had been whitewashed and he had become a wildly popular brand again, and this documentary threatens everything.
With all the controversy and anger the film has unleashed, you would think Oprah would keep her distance, but instead she’s diving right in, hosting a special on HBO and her OWN network that airs after part 2 of the documentary where she interviews Jackson’s alleged victims and film maker Dan Reed in-front of an audience of sexual abuse survivors.
Oprah predicts she’ll suffer a huge backlash for doing this, but feels compelled to do it anyways, because the film explains what Oprah had tried to explain to the World for decades on her syndicated talk show: sexual abuse is sexual seduction. It’s not about the physical damage it does, it’s about the shame, the cover-up, the secrets you must carry. It’s about who you must become to cope with it. In Oprah’s case, she became a promiscuous teen who was pregnant by the age of 14.
Sexually abused by a series of men from age 9 to 14, Oprah knows all too well what it’s like to be molested, and what it’s like not to be believed. She knows all too well how abusers charm, seduce and groom the victims. She once recalled how a cousin’s boyfriend took an obsessive interest in her when she was just a kid, telling everyone how Oprah was smarter than everyone. The family turned a blind eye as he would follow her around like a lost puppy dog.
There’s a scene in Leaving Neverland where the mother of one of Jackson’s accusers says she did the moonwalk when Jackson died.
The audience of sexual abuse survivors roared with approval.
Because historically, craniometry and Social Darwinism were used to diminish women, blacks, and the lower classes, I have long found it incredibly inspirational that Oprah (a poor black girl from the rural South) grew up to rank so high on the two most Darwinian correlates of intelligence: brain size and money/power. And with the recent release of Forbes annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans, she is once again the only African American on the entire list, and with a net worth that briefly hit $3 billion, the first multibillionaire black in North American history. Don’t get me wrong, there have been two other black billionaires in North American history: BET founder Bob Johnson became a billionaire in 2001 when he sold BET though lost his Forbes billionaire status when a divorce reportedly split his fortune with wife Sheila Johnson and has almost never made the Forbes 400 since. Meanwhile here in Canada, we are all extremely proud of Michael Lee Chin who Forbes has ranked as a billionaire many times on their international rich list, though not lately. Although Lee Chin has two Chinese grandparents, he can be socially classified as black because his other grandparents are Jamaican. But neither Johnson or Lee Chin ever hit or exceeded the $3 billion mark on any of Forbes lists as Oprah just has. I figure $3 billion is the minimum net worth you need to be a multibillionaire. Dictionaries define a multimillionaire as someone having several million, so by extension, a multibillionaire is someone who has several billion.
If one excludes socially classified black billionaires, who are perhaps less than 50% sub-Saharan at the genetic level, Oprah was the only black billionaire on Earth from 2004 to 2006, in addition to being the most influential woman in the world according to Time magazine. However with rising oil prices, black billionaires and even multibillionaires have been emerging in Africa, so Oprah is no longer richest black black on Earth (even when “black” is defined narrowly).
On May 23, 2014, 22 year old Elliot Rodger unleashed a massacre in Isla Vista, California, stabbing to death three men in his apartment before driving around town shooting three college students. A striking aspect of this tragedy was how much it resembled a horror film, with Hollywood savvy Rodger, the son of the assistant director for The Hunger Games affecting an evil chuckle in the web videos he posted, fantasizing about turning humanity into mountains of skulls and rivers of blood.
And like the killer in a 1980s slasher film, Rodger targeted sexually active young adults, stating in his manifesto:
I often fantasized about barging into their rooms while they were having sex and slashing them to death with my knife.
In his manifesto, Rodger, a self-proclaimed virgin, is obsessed with taking revenge on those who have more sex than he does. In the slasher sub-genre, the killing of the sexually active had become such an overused cliche that it was openly parodied in the 1996 film Scream. This slasher convention, largely originated with Halloween (1978), where the killer first murders his sister after witnessing her going upstairs to have sex with a boy, and then returns to his small town to murder other sexually active teenagers (the only survivor being the virgin played by Jamie Lee Curtis). In Friday the 13th (1980) the killer targets sexually active camp counselors because they were making love while a young boy allegedly drowned. In Silent Night Deadly Night (1984), the killer dresses up like Santa Claus and punishes sexually active young people for being “naughty”. In all of these films, the murders occur on a single day (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Christmas); similarly, Rodger did all his killings on May 23, which he labeled “the day of retribution”.
From his manifesto, and other online comments, what bothered Rodger most was not so much his virginity, but the fact that women rejected him for men he regarded as inferior to himself (full-blood minorities, short men, ugly men, non-rich men, dumb brutish jocks). Nothing makes humans angrier than that which violates our expectations. In his manifesto, he describes the rage of learning about a black boy’s sex life:
And then this black boy named Chance said that he lost his virginity when he was only thirteen! In addition, he said the girl he lost his virginity to was a blonde white girl! I was so enraged that I almost splashed him with my orange juice. I indignantly told him that I did not believe him, and then I went to my room to cry. I cried and cried and cried, and then I called my mother and cried to her on the phone.
How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British Aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. I tried not to believe his foul words, but they were already said, and it was hard to erase from my mind. If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthly scum, but they reject ME? The injustice
Seriously, today at my college I saw this short, ugly Indian guy driving a Honda civic, and he had a hot blonde girl in his passenger seat. What on earth is up with that?!?!?! I would climb Mount Everest 10 times just to have a girl like that with me. I drive a BMW Coupe and I’ve struggled all my life to get a girlfriend. What’s wrong with this world?
In the manifesto, the rage of learning about an Asian boy’s sex life:
I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only ones I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them?
Rodger apparently grew up feeling special because he was half-white, and I suspect his mother told him all the girls would swoon over his exotic Eurasian good looks and he was even given a BMW to further entice them. So when women not only didn’t swoon, but rejected him for mono-racial shorter Asians with crappy cars, it added insult to injury in his twisted young mind, and he lashed out violently against his Asian roommates. It reminds me a bit of Rae Dawn Chong who was a rising mixed race star in the 1980s. When she first met Oprah on the set of The Color Purple circa 1985, she assumed this unknown overweight full blood black woman was no competition for a thin, pretty mixed race light skinned star like herself. But when Oprah went on to become the richest and most influential African American of her generation and Rae Dawn turned into a has-been, she lashed out in a horrific racist tirade.
Time magazine just released its annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people (with Beyonce on the cover). The list is not ranked, but the most influential people are those who appear on the list year after year, as opposed to the one year wonders. The list began in 1999 when Time named the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century, and then beginning in 2004, Time began publishing an annual ranking of those who continue to change the world. Unfortunately no people from the horror industry have been consistently recognized, but that makes sense since slasher films no longer dominate the culture like they did circa 1980. On the other hand one of the hottest shows on TV is The Walking Dead.
However just because there is no one from the horror industry, does not mean there are no people who have done horrific things to achieve their great power. Pumpkin Person believes that psychopathy (evil) especially when combined with high intelligence is sadly, an incredible competitive advantage in our cut-throat society. However many of these people achieved their success through incredible talent, luck and good old fashion hard-work, and they should not be smeared by the psychopaths who may walk secretly among them.
Hillary Clinton. The Time 100 list has recognized her influence eight times.
THE FOURTH MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON ON THE PLANET:
Angela Merkel. Recognized six times.
THE FIFTH MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON ON THE PLANET:
This slot would go to Steve Jobs but sadly he has passed away, so it’s a tie between Aung San Suu Kyi, George W, Bush, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Hu Jintao, Condoleeza Rice, and Jamie Dimon, all of whom have been recognized four times,
THE 12TH TO 16TH MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ON THE PLANET:
Rounding out the list are Tenzin Gyatso, Rupert Murdoch, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Pope Benedict XVI who all have been recognized three times. Nelson Mandela has also been recognized by the Time 100 list three times, but sadly he has passed away, and thus can no longer be considered one of the most influential people on the planet.
It is interesting to ask who the most influential person of all time was. According to a controversial book called THE 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential persons in History by Michael H. Hart, the most influential human of all time was the Prophet Muhammad, followed by Isaac Newton and Jesus Christ.
On Sunday Lindsay Lohan ended the first (and possibly last) season of her deliciously dark docuseries on OWN with a bombshell. She stated that the reason she had behaved so unreliably on the show (sleeping in until the afternoon, being late for scheduled events) was because she had a miscarriage, and was in such physical and emotional pain, she often couldn’t move. As Pumpkin Person watched her tell the story, I had an ominous feeling, worried that the haters, skeptics and evil vultures would accuse her of lying to excuse away her bad behavior and trying to get sympathy and publicity in the process. It’s no surprise that anonymous internet message board posters would talk trash, but my darkest fears came to fruition when even mainstream media figures like Sharron Osbourne of CBS’s The Talk said “she’s making it up” adding “she probably had diarrhea or something.” TMZ also piled on, claiming that Lindsay had lied so much over the years that it was reasonable to question the story.
As the media world continues to fragment into hundreds of TV channels and zillions of blogs, media figures must get more and more outrageous and extreme to stay relevant in such a competitive landscape. Although there have always been skeptics and cynics, and Lohan has certainly earned a lot of the skepticism she attracts, in the past people would have been more circumspect about expressing their skepticism about such a sensetive issue. But that era is long dead. These are dark days in media land and it’s a very scary time to be famous.
Pumpkin Person loved Lindsay’s docuseries and I admire her for allowing such an unsanitized look at her life, completely surrendering the editing process. Most celebrities control their image so aggressively that it was very refreshing to see a celebrity actually allow such a raw look at her life, showing the good, the bad, and the oh so ugly, and the show’s haunting atmosphere and dark tone was the icing on the cake. But instead of praising her for her courage in offering such an unfiltered look at her life, so many are trying to tear her apart.
Pay no attention to the haters Lindsay. As your mentor Oprah preaches, what you focus on expands. Constructive criticism is great, but the haters will overwhelm your psyche, contaminating your very soul. Instead focus on the new movie you are trying to make, Inconceivable. Hopefully it will have a dark theme so Pumpkin Person can blog about it.