Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yeah, I know Montel Has that....

My Mom called me today to tell that Oprah was having a special episode with none other than Mr. Montel Williams and his amazing incurable disease. I am sure my interest in Montel is evident as you tune into my blog here, however, Montel aside, I have a bit of a rule in my house, there are a bunch of rules in my house, but one of the most sacrosanct is: No Oprah.

I really can’t stand this lady. She seems to have all the answers. The words that slip from her perfectly botoxed lips, the gestures that issue from her well manicured hands, the opinions that inform every cloistered plebian in the lower 48 is enough to make this bald guy grow some hair. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she is only a step away from being canonized by the Pope. I would imagine she wouldn’t be surprised either. I just find it hard to believe that a multi-billionaire knows how I should live. Yeah, I got your favorite things right here lady. No one mouth should have that much power. She all but bankrupted the meat industry. To be fair, though, I’m not sure she realized that her voice was that influential at the time. Yet I still hold a “beef” with her because of what I call the “Tom Cruise Incident”.

We are all aware of Mr. Cruise’s indiscretion a few years ago in announcing his love for Katie Holmes while he jumping on the couch like a mentally challenged pigmy. Ahh so very very cute. Hearts were melting across the country. Tom, “You had me at hello.” What’s the big deal you say, he spoke his heart, he let the world know his true feelings. It was romantic. Well, I’ll tell you the big deal, Tom then went on to jump all over another talk show host, (equally as insipid in my opinion) and let the world know that Post Partum depression was a fallacy. The whole thing seemed rather laughable to me, a moment for youtube and maybe a few super market rags, but nothing to get upset about. However, for whatever reason the world chose to listen, the medical community became upset, the First Lady of New Jersey made a PSA about the reality of Post Partum depression. Here is the rub: PSAs are paid for with tax payer money. Somehow this great comedy of errors spun the wheel of fate and pegged us the tax paying community to help pacify the tongue of one Tom Cruise. This is where I became incensed.

I do not live in New Jersey, but I know a few unfortunates who do, and I was angry for them and for the public at large who were now victims of a celebrity spouting at the mouth. Not that I believe a celebrity needs to keep opinions to themselves. Just because they are famous does not negate their opinion. They are famous, not God. Although, I suppose asking for a little responsibility, common sense, and maybe a touch of reality for the ridiculous things that come pouring out of their mouths is just too much.

Now what does this have to do with Oprah? Well, I imagine that we are all aware and quite honestly in awe of the power of Miss. Winfrey words. It is my humble opinion that she was the flash point of the “crazy” Tom Cruise persona, the jumping on the couch, know it all, larger than life celebrity. All that she had to do was come out and say, “Tom Cruise, while entitled to his opinion, has no idea what he is talking about.” She didn’t and for this I feel that Oprah is complicit in wasting the hard earned tax payer money of New Jersey. It was suddenly clear that the state government was being held hostage by TV personalities. Forcing the average citizens into a situation they never even knew they needed to worry about. I have to believe that New Jersey has better things to do with their tax money, I mean, have you ever been there? They definitely have better things to do with their tax money. Get’s a bald guys blood a boil, it does.

Truth is this movie "Magnolia", maybe one of my favorites, and I think Tom Cruise is pretty great in it. Although I can only think that his performance is so great because he is really just playing himself.

Anyway, today I had to lift the ban. God I wished I hadn’t.

I tuned in just in time to see Montel in tears, which was a regular occurrence through out the hour long love fest. However, these tears were not for the incurable disease coursing through his body or the unstoppable pain he has in his legs. No these tears were for her Highness Oprah herself. I suppose at some point in his career, Montel, was compared to the big O and he needed to thank her. It was all very touching, no vaulting from the couch, but touching nonetheless. The rest of the episode was taken up with Montel’s battle with depression, more tears, his work out routine, more tears, his love of fishing, more tears, oh and his new book. It was all a bit much.

Now please don’t think that I am coming down on the guy because he openly wept. There is nothing wrong with it, I am as guilty of it as anyone else. Sometimes things get a bit much and a guy has to let it out. The issue I had with the show was it all seemed staged for the cameras. If you ever saw Montel on his show he was famous for shedding a tear or two in response to the latest depravity he chose to parade on his stage. The tears, no matter how real, rang very hollow for me. I’m not sure what I had expected, there was little information for a person like myself, dealing with the inevitabilities of MS. The episode was far more for the average Oprah or Montel fan than for those of us out here fighting. I often felt like I was watching the “Last Temptation of Montel”. When he choked up as he told Dr. Oz he takes 26 pills a day and an injection, “365 days a year.” I was very close to flipping the channel. Perhaps it is the fact that I, like so many of you, deal with all of these things everyday. We don’t have TV shows, we don’t get applause. We quietly live our lives, wishing, praying that whatever it is we have today is what we still have tomorrow. We all know how terrifying this disease is, and I am sure it is just as horrid for Mr. Williams. However he has been fortunate enough to have carved out a very lucrative living, and bravo to him, however, he will never know what it is like to truly worry, not only about your disease, but how the disease is going to deplete you’re your savings. Depression, paranoia, guilt, fear, nervousness, not only stem from MS, but every time the mail is delivered these feelings are compounded by envelops from the health care companies.

I suppose all I am trying to say is that I am glad that Montel was able to go on Oprah today to speak about MS. Any awareness is a positive thing. Although I do wish that it was less about the trials and tribulations of Montel, and had been more informative about treatments or perhaps the future of treatment. At the very least the guy could have made the point that he couldn’t jump up and down on the couch because MS affects his legs and he would just fall off.