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The Famous Oprah Video punks who?

Oprah famous video black eyed peas good day
You find it by searching for FAMOUS + OPRAH + VIDEO. Because hyperbole arcs the hyperlink. Allegedly, the viral clip is being removed as fast as websites are putting it up. I’ll bet the reason would have more to do with James Frey and Augusten Burroughs baldfaced disingenuity than copyright infringement or Oprah being embarrassed by pedestrian plagiarism. The performance by the Black Eyed Peas, taped live in downtown Chicago for the 24th season of Oprah’s talk show, purports to ignite a spontaneous dance, to Oprah’s joyful astonishment. While the video may be a crowd-pleaser, it certifies corporate music’s lack of originality, and the American TV tube’s despicable boobness.

The jubilant TODAY’S GONNA BE A GOOD DAY scenario borrows of course from the T-mobile commercial featuring a dance production taped at a Liverpool train station, set to a medley of powerhouse dance numbers. At first fellow commuters are surprised. By the end we realize the entirety has been choreographed. Youtube viewers would recognize the contrivance from the Belgian train station scene, where ordinary commuters begin dancing to a favorite song from The Sound of Music, until the whole crowd is participating.

Is dance so highly infectious? There’s something people really love about seeing that theme play out. It gives viewers warm fuzzy feelings having to do with belonging to community. There’s nothing wrong with the Black Eyed Peas wanting to reap that same enthusiasm for their pretend live video. Who holds it against pop to imitate from anything?

Their job of commercial entertainment is to popularize, and an Antwerp central station is hardly a setting familiar to Americans. Better a live concert audience, youthful, outside, wearing the usual panoply of Disney colors, living in the moment, attached to no context of exterior lives, a high school musical on a sunny day, reality TV on vivid.

Both predecessors feature onlookers who stare transfixed, some calling friends on their cellphones, others recording what they see. In both sequences, often those standing on the periphery turn out also to be participants, eventually joining in the dance.

In Oprah’s version, she is the lone spectator, watching incredulous from onstage. Like the train station commuters, she holds a cellphone aloft, eager to record the dance epidemic as it spreads throughout her “audience.” Apparently, it’s not enough today to drop your jaw to show surprise, you have to pull out your camera to show how you know when seeing defies believing. What, is Oprah going to Youtube it? Would her television audience worry that the impromptu dance was going to pass without someone recording it for posterity?

Oprah’s spontaneous wonder may have passed for genuine before a television audience who didn’t see the dance coming, but on the instant replay, how will Oprah’s act play? Are we to believe she didn’t know about the Christo scale choreographed event? If the stunt had been planned as a surprise, do you suppose Oprah wouldn’t have noticed her audience was suddenly uniformly younger and more fit, wearing uniformly bright colors evenly distributed across the monitor screens. Failing that, do you imagine someone as skilled as Oprah at communicating with peoples en masse, wouldn’t detect that this audience had something up its sleeve? It’s probably no false flattery to brag that Chicago is not big enough for Oprah and a surprise party of thousands, without invitations coming across her desk.

The Black Eyed Peas dance bomb may have made wonderful television, and it might have been even better if Oprah had winked instead of gasped. Because now the scene is simply contrived. To watch it in hindsight, as has become the norm for television in the Youtube age, there’s Oprah punking us all.

CNN did it with Balloon Boy, FOX does it for politics, and the rest do it for the war: false concern, contrived conclusions. American media nourishes with falsity. Musicians lip-sinc, Yo-Yo Ma faked his performance at the inauguration, as we learned all instrumentalists do in cold weather.

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