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.

10 comments:

Kelley said...

OMG, I wholeheartedly agree! I got extremely sick of hearing how brave Montel is, fighting for his life, etc. etc. Talk about REAL people who deal with this disease who are struggling to pay for medication, keep their jobs, etc.

Blech.

Peace,
Kelley

Diane J Standiford said...

LOL and good points all. What bothered me the most was O saying she didn't know much about MS. She reads up on the celebrities she interviews...GEES!!!

Tracys Ramblings said...

Ben,
I haven't read your post yet but I just read your comment on my blog and before I read your post, I feel I should apologize to you for my post.
I did admit in the beginning of my post that I had not seen the show. I don't watch Oprah, yes because of the time her show is on, but also because I think that she's not capable of real feeling. She sits there, nodding and listening, but I've never felt like she cares about what the person is saying, she's just thinkgin "Oh this will be so good for my ratings".
In truth, I hate Oprah.
But when my MIL told me that he was on her show and told me that he talked about how badly he dealt with it in the beginning, I thought "finally, someone is admitting that this sucks."
But I didn't see the show so I didn't see the part where he swallowed all of those pills. I have swallowing problems too.
And did he say what any of those pills were that he was popping?

And let me tell you something, in the little bit of time I've gotten to know you (in blogland of course)no post that you could write about Oprah or Montel could ever change my impression of you.
If anything, I've learned a lot from your posts, as I'm sure I will from this one.
And trust me, I'm one who is very hard to offend.
Now, I'm going to go actually read your post and learn something.
Love,
Tracy

Tracys Ramblings said...

Ok, I'm back as promised after reading your post.
I have to say, I completely agree with every word you wrote and even though I didn't see the show, I am now as outraged.
Doesn't he have some charity thing that helps people pay for the medicine that insurance won't pay for?
Why didn't he mention how hard it is for us to get our insurances to approve our medications?
After I went through all of the tests to prove that I had MS, I had to wait two months for my insurance to approve the medications that I needed. I had to have my doctors write letters to them explaining why I needed such silly medications as Rebif, Provigil, anti-depressants, migraine meds, and the list goes on.
I have to do this every time I send in a new perscription as well, you know, just in case my MS somehow went away and I'm trying to get the MS therapies to sell on the street corner. I guess there's a big market in the illegal drug trade for Rebif and now my Tysabri.
Why didn't he talk about how hard it is to get through stores on the provided motorized carts because the clothes racks are too close together and the isles are too cluttered, even though by law they are supposed to have everything accesible to us?
And what about trying to prove to your insurance company that you need things like walkers and scooters at home because there are times when your MS makes it so that walking to the bathroom from your bed is impossible?
And I'm sure he wouldn't even know how to approach the subject of trying to find childcare for your children when you can't take care of them yourself, even though you're the stay at home parent.
You're right, he could have opened so many people's eyes, including Oprahs, on the trials and tribulations that we go through everyday just to get by and instead he turned it into the Montel Show.
I wish I hadn't written the post that I wrote on my blog now because I wrote it without seeing the show and went by what I was told from others who did see it.
I should have known better. I truly apologize.
And as for Tom Cruise, I've alway admired his acting. And, like you, I think that they (celebrities) have the same rights that we have to share our opinions.
But I have to admit, when I saw him telling Matt Lauer that post partum wasn't real and that all the mothers had to do was take vitamins and excercise to make ourselves better, I became outraged.
See, I knew better because after the birth of my second child, I lost her entire first year because I was battling severe PPD. And let me tell you, it was very real to me.
Instead of enjoying my oldest as a toddler and my newborn baby, I spent most of my time hiding from them, convinced that if I tried to mother them, I would only ruin them. I feel cheated by post partum depression.
And my concern was that there are some people out there who hang on every word these people say. They're famous so they must know something, right? And if he even persuaded one mother to ignore her PPD, that was one too many in my opinion.
My mother is living proof that there are people out there who listen to celebrities. When one went on one of the morning shows to talk about the evils of menopause medications, she quit taking hers cold turkey and I was left to live with a mother who scared the living shit out of me every day. All because Katie Couric said it was bad.
As I said, I'm sorry for the post that I wrote now and I even entitled it "The Truth Can Be So Refreshing".
If only I had known that there was no truth in it. I shold have known though since it was on the Oprah show.

pUNKrOCKfairy said...

I didn't see the show either because, while I think Dr. Oz's books are ok, I can't stand Oprah. However, after all the hoopla online, I watched the Oz video at MW's house, and read some of the transcripts from the O interview.

I know I should expect talk show hosts to be self-absorbed, but I too am disappointed that MW didn't even attempt to advocate for the MS Everyman. He AT LEAST missed an opportunity to raise awareness on behalf of research funding, health-care and RX costs, and the unpredicatbility of our disease.

From the day of diagnosis, I've used a "other MS patients have it WAY worse than me" attitude to remind myself how lucky I am, and to remember that those folks need me to advocate on their behalf. Shame it never occurred to MW to use his publicity and influence to do the same.

Bald Ben said...

I think the bigger shame is that Montel seems to think that he IS speaking for us. It really was a big disappointment.

Bubbie said...

I have to admit, I did watch the show. After seeing the promos, I took the bait and wanted to see MW cry. It's been my opinion that he showed a false front on his show, regarding his experience with MS. "The I have it and it doesn't have me, up on a soapbox waving a flag approach" always felt less than genuine. Maybe the tears were the first honest glimpse of the facade falling.

BRAINCHEESE said...

OMG! I can't catch my breath from laughing so hard!!!! Whew...seriously, tell me how you REALLY feel!?! This is great...from Tommy Cruise to the Axis of Evil, O...you hit ALL the major points.

And I bow to you, BBen.

Gotta take a valium now to calm down...LOL

ReformingGeek said...

Very funny post. I came over from Tracy's blog. She was right in thinking I would like your writing and your sense of humor.

I don't watch Oprah.

Tracys Ramblings said...

Hey there, it's me again.
I need you to come to my other blog, Rambling Thoughts (I have the link in my sidebar at Sarcasm and MS) because I've left something there that I think you will find most appropriate for all of us!
Tracy