Tuesday 14 September 2010

The Sydney Oprah House

This December the Sydney Opera House will be renamed as US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey brings 300 of her home audience to the land down under, on a week-long 'Ultimate Australian Adventure.'

"We'll sail Sydney Harbour, some will sample shiraz in Aussie wine country and others will shop 'til they drop in trendy Melbourne," Oprah Winfrey announced on her show yesterday. "We'll get up close with kangaroos and koalas, kick back on some of the world's most beautiful beaches and experience one of the seven wonders of the world — the Great Barrier Reef."

This will be her 25th and final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, with a show on December 14th at the Opera House.

CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Rob Giason, could hardly hold back his excitement when he learn't the news.

"It’s true, Oprah Winfrey is bringing 300 of her most loyal viewers to Australia in December 2010, thanks to Tourism Australia and Qantas," Rob Giason said. He thanked members who had lobbied to get involved in what is billed as a tourism gold-mine.

Oprah will also bring her show to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as part of Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure. John Travolta will be flying the crew to Australia. The Federal Government has flung in up to $3 million towards arranging and supporting the richest woman in show biz to come here - as if she needed any donations.

CairnsBlog has learn't that whilst in Cairns, Oprah will stay at Mayor Val's Machans Beach home, so the two superstars can talk girlie stuff and giggle about all the men in their life.

Here's the hysterical O lady and her more hysterical audience, at yesterday's announcement. You'd think they'd just been offered a free community radio station or something.


Local worker said...

What an absolutely disgraceful waste of three million dollars of taxpayers money. Are we so useless in this country that we cannot promote tourism ourselves? Seems now that we have completely sold out to the US.

Andrew Williams said...

Those women piss me off! Friggin yanks. I hope I'm not working if she comes to Cairns

Tony Hillier said...

In a characteristically supine surrender to the cult of celebrity, the Compost has already given over one full front page to the O(let us)pray story. Countless centrefolds and spreads are doubtless in the wind as our daily organ wets its figurative knickers. Meanwhile, we are invited to join Gavin on-line — a pathetic attempt to lure us away from cairnsblog and on to poorly patronised Compost cyberspace.

Stick to the alternative agenda, Michael. Don't get sucked into the mainstream.

A little positivity goes a long way said...

Disappointing though it may be, Tony, Oprah's broadcast from Cairns will do more to promote this region than any half-baked Tourism Australia campaign ever will. The Cairns Post is justified in its excitement.

Resolve whatever bitterness you're carrying towards The Cairns Post and the world at large, sir, lest you wither and perish alone and unheralded.

Alison Alloway said...

Reminds me of when the Shah of Iran visisted Cairns and the Fraser Government spent a fortune on "security". There were black limos, and suited men everywhere in the CBD.
I can't bear to watch the ostentatious, self-absorbed, precious Oprah nor her hysterical silly audience of extraterrestrial looking women with starved thin little bodies, topped by big heads
with mouths full of large teeth which they insist on showing all through her program in between squeals and screaming like a pen full of piglets.
I suspect most of the audience are on narcotics or have serious disorders of the intellect.

Destiny said...

Oprah really doesn't do it for me - suck arsing vacuous 'celebrities', many of whom I've never heard and wouldn't have known were famous unless I'd been told. The faux sincerity is also annoying and I've only been able to ever watch 2 or 3 episodes of her show but she does seem to achieve some good in the world. I suspect her prominent but unthreatening presence on TV has done a lot for civil rights in the US and probably made it easier for white middle class women to accept a black president - and let's face it - if she ran she'd be a shoe in.
Her ready acceptance of minority groups like gays has also probably contributed to more acceptance of diversity in middle America - and you can't argue with the fact that she encourages people to read.
I also have to forgive her a lot because before she decided she just wanted the $, she was in The Color Purple - and I love that movie :)

All in all, she doesn't do it for me, but that doesn't make her the devil - in fact she seems quite decent - and if Cairns wants lots of American tourists, I couldn't think of a much better way to get them. We live in the world that is - not the one we dream of.

Tony Hillier said...

Anonymous correspondent: My comments were directed at the utter predictability of the Compost and tabloids in general and its/their slavish devotion to the cult of celebrity, which is manifest in virtually every edition. Of course, I acknowledge there may be some economic benefit to the region. I carry no bitterness toward the world at large, though I do despair at the lemming like homogeneity of modern society and its willingness to be led by crass commercial considerations and dumbed down media outlets.

Alison Alloway said...

Of course a visit from Oprah will give the region huge publicity, but will it attract more American tourists to the region? The USA economy is in a tail-spin, consumer spending is right down and people are travelling less. I guess all we can do it to wait and see on this one.

Bryan Law said...

Hey Tony, I too have become concerned about where your headspace might be just now. Barfly used to be a great component of Cairns culture and music, and with columns like "Council Watch" you gave great benefit to all of us. Folk tell me that your band "Kamerunga" is really good value.

But I'm also aware of the way you quietly criticise me now, and how you warned people off giving me any public role in the Friends of 4CCR. I've been happy to work in the back-ground, and I've been waiting for you to step forward and strut your stuff (you haven't). I know you are sympatico with Denis Walls around social analysis (and he really hates me).

Are you falling into the Ghetto mentality that is so common to whitefellas that ONLY one way of thinking can be right - and that anyone who disagrees even slightly with you must be wrong? I suspect you are, and I'm on record saying that this exclusive attitude is why the Far North Greens are performing so badly now, at a time of national upswing.

Your comments about Gavin King are (sorry to be so blunt) ignorant, uninformed and prejudicial. I've known Gavin for nearly five years now, and I've seen him take risks and make sacrifices for what he believes in, the same way you used to.

Gandhi used to say that every person holds part of the truth, and no-one holds it all. The search for truth (and justice) therefore requires an inclusive approach, and a certain humility on the truth-seekers part.

I'd be happy to hear your response.

Bruce said...

Tony Hillier mike was one of the main bloggers on gavins cyber rant today. I think he was man loving gavin a bit much though , but if gavin was in jail he would need a good bodyguard hhaaaaaa.

Tony Hillier said...

Dear Bryan, while I'm touched about your concern for my "headspace", your thoughts and energy might be better directed to your myriad crusades. It is true I have passed comment (in private, I hasten to add — please note tattlers) regarding your adoption of a prominent role in the 4CCR campaign. I cannot recall you taking any interest in 89.1FM until recently, although the station has been in existence for 25 years. I cannot help suspecting that you are there for the agitprop factor, the thrill of the chase if you will, rather than any real appreciation of the station or its past stature in the community. Having played a role in building the station's profile in days of yore — along with my friend the "social analyst" Denis Walls — I have regrettably come to the inevitable conclusion that it has been degraded to such a degree that it is now beyond salvation. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it is that and several other factors, rather than your presence in the campaign, that has precluded me from "stepping forward and strutting my stuff" as you so delicately put it.

On the other matter, It is my observation/opinion that Gavin King takes risks merely to make a name for himself. Some uncharitable folk might well level the same accusation at you (I, however, admire your courage and devotion to activism, and indeed share your general concerns for the world). My low opinion of King's work stems from his sexist attitudes and his merciless hounding of Val Schier. It has had little to do with journalistic scrutiny.

Bryan, feel free to comment on my remarks, but be advised I have absolutely no interest in being involved in an on-going exchange of views. Otherwise, we will risk boring the posteriors off fellow posters!

Bryan Law said...

Thanks for replying Tony, and you can rest assured that I am paying attention primarily to my “myriad” (that’s peace AND social justice) issues. My main priority is preparing a ploughshares action for Rockhampton in June next year. I don’t want to go tit for tat either, but I’m going to comment on the aspect that I believe is central to our common goals.

When you say “I cannot help suspecting that you are there for the agitprop factor” it reads to me that you are indulging in a very low form of political analysis.

For one thing a suspicion is only a suspicion, and you could have addressed it easily enough by asking me, or challenging me. Secondly you acted on your suspicion and spread it, and for the life of me I don’t what constructive goal you had in mind. Was there one? If you believe the station is doomed, why is it important to you that you attack my motives along the way. In fact I was there because I was invited to assist, and I’ve kept my name out of the media around 4CCR since well before you spread your suspicion.

More generally, the way in which “progressives” spread judgemental gossip is a real impediment to grass-roots organisation. We need more people involved, and a little more tolerance among ourselves, particularly if we want to exercise influence in the broader society. We need far less sentimental attachment to the shibboleths of spin.

I’m still waiting for Val to shine, and yet I go out of my way to be encouraging rather than critical. But I want to see performance, and I’ll judge that performance by what I know is possible. For God’s sake she’s Mayor of Cairns, with boodles of executive authority. She ought to have achieved more by now, and perhaps if we had a political culture of inclusivity, mutual aid, and positive attitude she would have.

Name withheld to avoid the next inevitable rant said...

Tony, you know how the signs at some zoos say "Don't feed the animals"?
You really should stop feeding this one. This is a great local blog, but I'm sick of having to scroll through volumes of rant every time he posts a comment.

Werner has his own blog. Syd has his own as well. Why don't you get some funding and start your own Bryan and let the rest of us have something to say without the constant attacks. I once had respect for this individual and what he stood for but now Mr Law seems to be trying for celebrity status himself. Watch out Oprah!

Name without a name said...

I'm a jealous, petty, name-calling hack with no achievements of my own. I don't run a blog, can't organise a campaign, and have no wish to argue on issues, details and facts.

Therefore all I can do is waffle about and put down anyone my masters disagree with. So today I'm going to Rabbit on about....Val Schier, oops, Jason O'Brien, ooops, I mean Desley Boyle, ooops, Kevin Rudd, Julia gillard, Tony Hillier.

Oh fuck, can someone at head office help me out. Warren Entsch! Yeah, warren Entsch is a narcissistic pig! (aren't I clever?)

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

So, sounds like we are all in agreement on this one. Oprah is someone we find underwhelming, she is coming to Cairns in January and the total cost of her visit to Australia is 3 million dollars. Spending that amount on any ad campaign or tourism lobbying would have nowhere close to the same benefits as this one single visit by arguably the biggest celebrity in the world. She is loved by Americans and if she loves us, so will they. Lastly, nobody has yet brought up the fact that in January we have inclement weather and the reef might be cyclonic or at the very least.....drenched.
Does that about cover it? Oh wait...and blah, blah, blah...Tony Hillier...blah, blah, blah....Bryan Law....The end.

Destiny said...

Leigh, Your comments have led us to the mother lode - if Oprah is killed by a stinging jellyfish - or a taipan - or best of all - a croc - Cairns becomes the newest and biggest shrine in the modern world - I think we can get all the local opposing political forces to cooperate on this for the good of the local economy- just imagine Bryan and Desley singing Kumbaya as they plot Oprah's death, Kevin and Val positively skipping as they lead the talk queen to her demise and finally Steve and Wazza wrangling the croc into position.

Come on Cairns - let's join together as one - and murder Oprah Winfrey for the economy. (But we must keep it a secret)

Oliver Redlynch said...

Thank you for brightening my day Destiny, my staff couldn't work out why I was laughing so much! You secret is safe with us!