Friday, January 27, 2006

It's Not A Good Idea To Piss Off Oprah

Last night, TCBIM got home from hockey around 1 a.m.. I managed to sleep thru most of his rustling around, but around 2 a.m., the snoring started. At first, it just invaded my dream, but eventually it woke me up. I poked him, he rolled over, I dozed off and then bam! It started up again. This went on until 2:45 a.m., when I gave him a hard kick in the back of the thigh. He woke up furious, spitting nails, saying that he shouldn’t have to be kicked like that, that I should just put up with it. Well. At 2:45 in the morning, being told I should just put up with his snoring did not sit well with me. At all. I told him to go sleep on the couch and, on my way back from the bathroom, laid into him, telling him that the fact that HE snored was not my problem and that I shouldn’t have to listen to it and be awoken by it 7, 8, 9 times a night and until he sorted it out, he could either spend the night on the couch or spend it being kicked.

Needless to say, I was up until 4 a.m.. Did you know that Larry King is re-run at 3 a.m.? Now you know. They had a couple of people on, discussing the James Frey debacle. Oprah had Frey on her show yesterday and raked him over the coals. I’m sort of meh about Oprah, but in this instance, I totally agree with her. I feel like he perpetuated a huge fraud, that he’s making pots of money off of a big pile of lies. Michael Wolff, a writer for Vanity Fair, was part of the panel. Now, if you’re going to give your opinion on a book and the story behind a book, you probably should have read the book. This guy didn’t, but still felt it was ok to pontificate on the subject, mostly to mock those who have read it, saying that he was rather surprised that people were so outraged – that they should have expected lies from a junkie. Regardless of the fact that Frey has been sober for twelve years, the fact that he was once a junkie automatically makes him a liar in Michael Wolff’s world.

No. He’s an author who wrote a memoir. Memoirs are, by definition, the story of a portion of the author’s life and should hold true to the facts. Not the truth, because truth is perceptive, but the facts should not be altered as dramatically as they were in this case.

People have said, “So what? It’s still a great story.” And it is a great story, but it’s a story, not what actually happened. He could have published it as fiction and it still would have had an impact. But because he published as what actually happened to him while he was going thru rehab and how he managed to stay sober without going thru a 12-step program, I feel he did everyone who’s struggling with addiction and looking to this book for inspiration a great disservice. It’s dishonest and shabby and smacks of moneygrubbing.

I’m also wondering why no one at his publishing company, including Nan Talese (and even I know who she is and I have nothing to do with the publishing world) checked up on his story. There were plenty of facts that could have been checked that would have quickly de-bunked his story, or at least raised a few red flags.

I don’t know why I’m so disappointed by this episode. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict and I’ve never gone thru a 12-step program, but I still feel very let down by and disappointed with this author. At least I know I wasn’t alone in being duped by this guy – he even pulled one over on Oprah.

So that's what I was doing between 3 - 4 a.m. - composing this entry as I watched Larry King. Does it warm the cockles of your little internet weirdo friend hearts that I was thinking about this blog, even in the middle of the night? Just tell me it does. Lie. Everyone's doing it these days.


Penny Ratzlaff said...

My cockles are all warm and toasty.

Christine said...

Mine too.

Allison said...

What the hell is a cockle?

I'll just "yes." I don't want to piss of Julia, either.

I <3 Julia.

Sandra Miller said...

The fact that you can put together as cogent an argument as this between 3 and 4am is simply mind-boggling.

My weirdo internet friend hat is off to you.

And, oh yes-- the cockles, they are warmed.

Jess said...

Cockles gently simmering.

You are so much nicer than I am...I would have told TCBYM (That Canadian Boy YOU married, as opposed to the one I did) that he didn't HAVE to put up with anything, and invited him to go sleep with the box-of-rocks dog. But I'm known in two countries now for being shrewish when woken up....

Nicole P said...

What really, really bothers me is that he first submitted the book to some publishers as a work of fiction -- and received at least sixteen rejection letters; THEN he submitted nearly the same book as a memoir -- and got it published. That's cheating. I am the most bothered of all of my friends by this -- maybe because I write myself and long to be published someday -- but I would NEVER lie to accomplish that.

My cockles are certainly warmed. When Bob snores, he gets a shake - or four - until he wakes up and turns over. The same works in reverse though, as I snore like a slow-freight train.

Angewl said...

cockles definetely warm and toasty....

Major Bedhead said...

Allison - because I cannot let any definition query go unanswered, here's one for cockles.

Technically, they're a bivalve. Remember the song Molly Malone? She sang about cockles and muscles, alive, alive, oh. They are vaguely heart-shaped, so perhaps that's where the phrase "cockles of your heart" came from.

Now, to get really obscure, medeival Latin used the words cochleae cordis to refer to the ventricles of the heart. So maybe it came from that phrase.

Before I get branded as too smart for my own good, that last bit about the Latin came from the website, which is only fantastic if you're as big a word geek as I am. Since my goal in life is to own the complete 27-volume set of the Oxford English Dictionary, I can safely call myself a big word geek.

Allison said...


What would I do without you?


Elizabeth said...

Now I've got Molly Malone in my head. I'll be singing it to myself all day.

I often compose blog entries in my head at 3am while I'm in my kitchen treating a low. I've never published any of them.

I'm very impressed my your 3am clarity.

Sarah Louise said...

cockles substantially warmed. (even though I just discovered you--as one of the other people in the universe that has read Understood Betsy.)


Erica said...

TCBIM? The crazy bastard I married?

Major Bedhead said...

TCBIM - that Canadian boy I married.