SCIENTISTS YESTERDAY CONFIRMED that Oprah Winfrey’s ego is now the fourth largest land mass in the world, after Russia, Canada and China. But unlike them, it’s still growing at rapid speed, and could overtake Russia as early as 2014.
Her ego is in the spotlight now that a biography of the talk-show host is appearing in bookshops around the world.
But you know, there are A LOT of egotists among the so-called “creative” professions.
Maria Montez, one of the top actresses of the 1940s, was a case in point. “When I look at myself, I am so beautiful, I scream with joy,” she said.
She must have been rather difficult to live with.
I guess her family would have had to explain to guests: “Don’t worry about the screaming, it happens every time Maria passes a reflective surface.”
I imagine her husbands (she had two) never took her to the mirrors department of the local department store: “Aiee! I am so beautiful. Eeek! So gorgeous. Shriek! So delectable. Arrrgh! So cute.” Etc, etc.
A soulmate of the actress would be the ponderous writer Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, who announced: “I find myself fascinating.”
I’m glad he does.
Then there was the painter Salvador Dalí.
He told interviewers: “Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy: the joy of being Salvador Dalí!”
He explained that when he realized that he himself was he himself, so to speak, he would go into a state of astonished ecstasy.
It tended to happen at the start of each day.
“And I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things this Salvador Dalí is going to accomplish today?” he said.
But you know, there are some self-aggrandizing statements I can forgive.
Movie comedian Jerry Lewis once said: “People hate me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius.”
That’s actually rather cool. Why? Because
(a) he’s mocking himself, but
(b) his description of himself is actually pretty much true.
A generation later, Mel Brooks did the same thing with these lines: “I have always been a HUGE admirer of my own work. I'm one of the funniest and most entertaining writers I know. “
But with Oprah, it’s different. She doesn’t seem to have any ability to be ironic about herself. When she says that she worships herself, she actually means it.
Here are four quotes from Oprah’s own mouth, quoted in the new book Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelley.
1) “I really like me, I really do.”
2) “When you mention great actresses, you’ll have to say my name.”
3) “I know people really, really love me, love me, love me.”
4) “I think I’m just becoming more of myself, which is better than anybody can imagine.”
Ms Kelley also reveals that Oprah refers to herself in the third person.
“Oprah does not walk,” Oprah said.
“Oprah does not do stairs,” Oprah added.
One is tempted to add: “Oprah may wish to consider why Oprah often ends up worrying about Oprah’s weight problem.”
On stage once, I used Maria Montez’s opening line. “When I look at myself, I am so beautiful, I scream with joy.”
At least I got a laugh.
ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, thanks to people who watched Follow The Sun, my backwards video on YouTube. It seems to have got a bit of viral energy. It has been getting about 100 hits a day, and then one day it got 6000 hits! Clearly somebody told a few mates.