The Rich: How They Get That Way
Kids, you have to read this smart — and smart-assed — work of art by a performance artist named Revolva (h/t to B-town’s hoop queen Paula Chambers for pointing it out.) Revolva has made tsunami-high waves on the interwebs for busting the heretofore beloved Oprah Winfrey’s chops.
Revolva & Friend
See, the world’s most caring, powerful, brilliant, spiritual, all-knowing woman was throwing a great big narcissists ball in San Jose, CA this past weekend, charging up to a grand a ducat, and had asked Revolva to perform for free at it.
The SJ event was part of what the Oprah Outfit calls The Life You Want Weekend. It featured scads of self-help snake-oil peddlers, phony-baloney mystics, and shrewd entrepreneurs telling huge arenas of goggle-eyed woman how they control everything that happens to themselves and how they can attract good things by thinking sweet thoughts. The audience was cooed at and cosseted by the likes of bullshit artist Deepak Chopra and literary self-exalter Elizabeth Gilbert. For this, I repeat, many of the attendees shelled out a thou a ticket.
Kari Revolva writes in an open letter to Oprah (all sic):
The life I WANT does not involve mega tours netting unfathomable amounts of real, tangible money, while local artists are coached to accept all or most of their payment in the least stable form of currency: exposure. If the “trailblazing” I do today is being an upstream voice, then I’ll at least make a bold statement about the life I DO want:
I want a life in which people are not asked to work for free — by people who can totally afford to pay.
Kari Revolva is an Oakland, California-based comedian/actor/dancer/writer/hoop artist who apparently does circus-ey things with the Hula Hoop and throws in some fire while she’s at it. She got a call from one of Oprah’s Harpo Studios producers asking her to work an outside stage at the last stop on the Big O Life You Want tour. She was shocked when she was told there’d be no pay. Not only that, she’d have to pay her own way from one end of San Francisco Bay to the other. Oh, and whatever else she had planned for that particular day that might have made her a dollar or two would be out of the question as she raced to donate her services to Oprah’s money-printing machine.
The Life You Want Weekend last month was skewered in a New York Times style section piece written by Jennifer Conlin.
In one day, your arena tour (capacity around 18,000, each ticket $99 to $999) is raking in more money than most people will make in a year. In ten years. In their entire lives. And yet, your side stage, featuring local acts, is paying in that old tap-dancing, phantom promise of “exposure.” As I was choking on my own tongue (stroke!), your producer also mentioned there was the added bonus of a ticket to the event. Unfortunately, her call coming just four days before your San Jose stop, I didn’t have the whole weekend free. I also texted my landlord, and it turns out he does not accept rent payment in Oprah Winfrey tickets. Gah!
I’ve long gagged over the genuflecting America did before Oprah, whose daily TV love fest (she retired from her show in 2011) regularly featured junk science, quack medicine, self-help bushwa, and the likes of fraudster Mehmet Oz. Today her magazine (which, by her own order, displays her sacred mug on every cover) features a column written by Herself entitled “What I Know for Sure,” which sounds just a tad presumptuous, no?
The sold-out arenas at which O put on her Weekends prove she’s still a huge draw. As Malcolm Muggeridge once observed:
One of the peculiar sins of the 20th Century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.
Now this might sound macabre, ghoulish, and even tinfoil-hat-ish but the question just occurred to me: Who’s going to get shot at first, Elizabeth Warren or Pope Francis?
Warren & Bergoglio
[E. Warren photo by Tim Pierce; for more visit Tim’s flickr page.]
I also include in the realm of possibilities food poisoning, trumped-up sex scandal, or — gulp! — plane crash.
Go ahead, laugh at me. I hope I’m wrong as wrong can be. I hope to hell I’m making an ass out of myself.
This mad, mad, mad, mad world lets troublemakers rock the boat — but only to a point. I’m guessing Warren and the Pope long ago went way past that point.