It’s been ten years since Oprah officially retired from the highest rated talk show of all time but she remains a force to be reckoned with, landing the most anticipated interview since Monica Lewinski sat down with Barbara Walters. Oprah almost landed that interview too but Lewinski wanted money. Did someone say money? Absolutely not! was Oprah’s attitude.
In a statement released by CBS they said:
Winfrey will speak with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure. Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family
While the couple could have been paid millions of dollars and appeared on any show in the World, they chose to sit down with Oprah for free, and for 90 minutes, with no questions off-limits.
Oprah didn’t pay a penny.
She’s so powerful, she doesn’t have to.
Cunning and smart, Oprah got herself invited to the royal wedding and shrewdly parlayed that into a friendship with the couple and Megan’s mother and from there, they moved close to Oprah in her exclusive Montecito neighborhood, and eventually granted her the interview everyone wanted.
And now the castle is in a frenzy and the British press has gone ballistic, wondering how in the World did this overweight black woman from poverty checkmate them all and end up with more power over Harry and Megan than the Queen herself.
I wonder what people thought back in May 2018 when a mysterious black woman dressed in pink showed up by herself at the Royal wedding, wearing a jumbo-sized custom-made hat to fit her supersized brain.
“Who’s that?” a British kid might have asked.
“That’s Oprah” someone might have answered, “she’s like the Queen, except of America, and by extension, the World”
Back in 1991, Oprah had on a guest named Sanford Strong who gave STRONG advice to women being physically attacked:
NEVER LET THEM TAKE YOU TO THE SECOND LOCATION!
This advice resonated deeply with Oprah and she knew it would have the same effect on her viewers.
Over the years Oprah’s intuition was confirmed as she got letters from viewers about how this advice saved their lives.
But I bet not even Oprah is aware that none other than Maria Farmer (the alleged victim who brought down Epstein) heard this advice. When a thug was allegedly sent to kill her she remembered the advice she heard on Oprah:
NEVER LET THEM TAKE YOU TO THE SECOND LOCATION
So Farmer began clinging to house and did everything in her power not to leave. She would survive to report everything to the authorities and that’s what brought down Epstein.
Commenter Philosopher often mocks Bill Gates and other math Geniuses for lacking social IQ, recently stating:
Whenever I see gates in that pink sweater for big interviews i laugh as well. It reminds me of Terry Tao wearing that jumper on Colbert’s show. These people are missing a part of their brain.
This got me thinking: Is our choice of clothing a measure of intelligence? At first glance it sounds silly, but the granddaddy of IQ testing himself, Alfred Binet, included aesthetic judgment on his test, famously asking children to pick the prettiest face from each of three pairs.
This requires the same aesthetic judgement as picking what clothes look best on you. An important part of social cognition.
In 2015 Gates ranked as the 13th worst dressed billionaire on the planet. Of the 562 U.S. billionaires, Gates was the 9th worst dressed. This implies he’s in the bottom 1.6% of billionaire fashion, or 2.13 standard deviations below the billionaire mean.
How aesthetically intelligent is the average billionaire. When it comes to conventional IQ, self-made billionaires recently averaged IQ 133 (U.S. norms), though this number continues to fall as billionaires become more common. Of course only 2/3rds of U.S. billionaires are self-made. Billionaires who inherited their wealth likely average an IQ of 115, given the 0.45 IQ correlation an individual has with his spouse or child. Thus all U.S. billionaires combined likely average IQ 127. Meanwhile, aesthetic judgement has a g loading of 0.6 (see table 6.14) so we might expect them to average 0.6(27) + 100 = 116 in fashion sense.
Thus Gates being 2.13 SD below the average billionaire fashion implies an aesthetic IQ of:
116 – 2.13(15) = 84.
Of course one shouldn’t take these numbers too serious. Gates’s poor dressing might simply reflect a lack of social motivation or a mind with more important things to consider. But if the number is corroborated by other evidence of social obtuseness (i.e. Gates’s distracting hand gestures), it may serve as important proxy.
By contrast in 2005, Oprah was ranked as the third best dressed billionaire on the planet, behind only fashion moguls Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. She was the second best dressed in America.
In 2005 there were 341 billionaires in America so Oprah’s second place fashion put her near the top 0.5%, or 2.53 SD above the billionaire mean. This implies an aesthetic IQ of:
116 + 2.53(15) = 153.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing Oprah’s overall IQ is higher than Gates’s. Overall Oprah is probably around 140 while Gates could be anywhere from 150 to 170.
But when it comes to abilities related to social IQ, Oprah’s off the charts, as even conservatives admit:
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.