John Howard endorses pre-emptive strikes; George W Bush is leading in US election polls; and Ariel Sharon has cut up the road map to peace and is using it to d?upage Israel’s barrier wall.

I don’t recall ever being more depressed by global affairs. It really is a scary time. But as tempting as it is to engage in a round of America-bashing, I prefer to surrender to the narcotic embrace of daytime television. It’s denial with ad breaks; a domestic refuge in times of uncertainty and Tony Abbott. And as a freelancer, I’ve become hopelessly addicted.

Of course, daytime TV is often American, so there’s a certain bittersweet tang. For every wonderfully trashy midday movie starring a former Charlie’s Angel, there’s Beyond With James Van Praagh, on which the host exploits the bereaved by pretending to chat with dead loved ones.

I won’t even start on Dr Phil and his grim parade of fucked-up families. Or Jerry Springer and his shameless freaks. These shows, repugnant as they are, at least make me feel grateful that my own dysfunction is positively third-rate. They also confirm my belief that daytime TV should be watched, but not listened to.

There is one exception, however, a daily burst of consumer sunshine and personal triumph. A place where even Alzheimer’s can be turned into a celebrity love-in. I’m talking, of course, about Oprah.

I love Oprah -“ fat Oprah, skinny Oprah, doesn’t matter. Every afternoon she enters to a deafening chorus of trained squeals and manages to look taken aback. Naturally, everyone in the audience is hoping she’ll be handing out Pontiacs, but even if they’re only offered a towel rack, they’re peeing themselves.

Oprah, who I like to think of as a thrillionaire, genuinely wants everyone to enjoy her absurd wealth -“ or at least feel better by basking in its glow for an hour. Even celebrity guests, themselves not short of a buck, are transformed into capitalist aspirants. It took a little girlfriend prodding, but eventually Cameron Diaz on her recent visit had to scream, as if she’d only just realised, Having money is awesome!

It was a breakthrough, for both Cameron and me. She learned that a $20 million-dollar pay cheque isn’t embarrassing; I learned that cynicism has no chance against well-intentioned American self-satisfaction. All I can say is: Oprah for President.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.