I’ve just now begun to recover from my self-induced viewing of the THREE Oprah Winfrey “farewell” specials from last week. Here is a representative graphic to give you an idea of exactly how that went for me:

The only things inaccurate about my Photoshop there is that I don’t really have curly blonde hair, and that I actually gave TV Oprah the double bird, rather than the less-forceful single salute. Yes, I really did sit on my couch and do that, with lots of terrible swears thrown in, too. I was responsible enough to wait to watch the DVR until the kids were in bed as to not let them know any earlier in life than necessary that Mommy tells people on the television to f-off.

I. Can’t. STAND. Oprah. I avoid her show, her magazine, her pals, and anything at all she has a hand in. She boils my brain. So why did I subject myself to hours of O-prahgramming, other than an opportunity to vent all kinds of spleen? Because she’ll be back, and I ain’t talking about the Oprah Channel or whatever she’s got going in multimedia. Nope, she’ll be back, she’ll be bringing the Cult of Oprah with her, and it’s going to be for lots higher stakes than a billion-some dollars and Tom F-ing Cruise grinning like a mental case next to her. Watch.

Let’s go back to the first two of the Oprah Farewell shows, taped at Chicago’s United Center. There were so many celebrities paraded out to laud her that they simply wouldn’t fit in a single show. Here’s the summary for Part One: The aforementioned Tom Cruise. Schmoozemeister Tom Hanks. A child opera singer who sounds creepily like a 35-year-old woman. Over-the-top singers Patti LaBelle and Josh Groban. Inarticulate gristle-bag Madonna. Dakota Fanning reading gratitude lines with a bunch of other girls behind her. Beyonce, singing her new song about girls running the world in a sexy outfit and extremely-processed hair. People who like books. Schmoozemeister John Legend. Tree-lover Diane Sawyer. Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes, who looks like she’s had a stroke. People who said they did nice things because Oprah did nice things. The incredibly-crappy and oddly-included Rascal Flatts. Outcome: Oprah pretends to be surprised, gets verklempt, shakes head at the sheer wonder of herself.

Summary, Day Two: Creepy Hollywood child-pimpers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Fellow large, but much more fit, Chicagoan Michael Jordan. Schmoozemeister Jamie Foxx. Still-blind Stevie Wonder. Uncomfortably unfunny and awkward Jerry Seinfeld. Fellow vile profiteer Simon Cowell.  Strange friends Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus, and Dr. Oz. Unblessed with vocal talent Rosie McDonnell. Competitive BFF Gayle King and recently-embarrassed Skeletor Maria Shriver. Tyler Perry and other educated black men showcased as cultural curiosities. Miniscule giant-headed Broadway Barbie Kristin Chenoweth. Oprah suck-up Dr. Maya Angelou. Alicia Keyes, mother of another oddly-named child. Rusting robot Stedman Graham, who could barely come up with anything to say about his long-time partner Oprah, and whose chemistry with her was as genuine as a Rolex in China. Aretha Franklin, whose version of “Amazing Grace” consisted of nothing but a series of diarrheal vocal runs. Schmoozemeister Usher. Outcome: Oprah continues to be Oprah; audience pees themselves.

What we learned from Days One & Two: what we already know, that Oprah has been for all these years and will continue to be, ALL ABOUT OPRAH. You could fill the United Center with fans and other messed-up famous people for a year straight and it would never fill the dualities of her bottomless pit of “love me, daddy” need and the billowing, bloated, universe-sized ego that fuels her. Has Oprah done nice things? Of course. She likes to give lots of her money to other people whom she feels are as repressed and victimized and marginalized as she has been, because those are truly the only people she can relate to. You have to suffer hard to get Oprah’s nod of worthiness. Of course, you haven’t ever really suffered as much as she has, nor ever worked as hard to overcome your difficulties and do good. She’s just that much more special.

The most disturbing day of the Oprah farewells is by far the third and last. This is where it becomes not even funny anymore. She appears in her TV-show studio, calm, controlled, and regal, to a group of the most hard-core Oprah cultists, looking like a black Jackie O from the Kennedy years. This is no coincidence. What follows is an appalling, jaw-dropping hour of Oprah more or less metamorphosizing into Jesus Christ. I’m not even kidding. She spends her last show making one sage proclamation after another, delivered like scripture to her rapt believers, with an air of such superior benevolence that one is surprised by the end that she doesn’t ascend into heaven.  Her repeated mentions of her special and personal relationship with the  “God” who made her (and not you) a famous billionaire was disturbing to me on a mental health level, and I would hope, offensive to Christians on all levels.

She only very briefly remarks how at the beginning, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was just another down-and-dirty Jerry Springer trash fest, in the context of how, well, she was just going to be better than that. She does not point out how her wallowing in the mud day after day is what got her a regular following, and how in the end, her show was just as sensationalistic. Instead of having Velma and Jim Bob trade furious domestic insults, Oprah decided to spawn what I call the “Serial Confessor,” starting with herself and the personal miseries she endured as a child. Under the noble guise of removing shame and guilt, freeing the soul, and transforming the culture, Oprah kept her car-crash rubbernecked viewers and got her high ad rates and syndication deals. Guest after guest was trolled to reveal salient ugliness, to be “real,” and feel the phony validation offered by faceless millions and Oprah’s teary TV empathy.

It’s OPRAH’S fault that we now suffer through a world that, wherever you are, be it in a classroom, the DMV, the grocery store, the bus, a doctor’s waiting room, whatever, you have to listen to some asshole talk on and on about their personal lives in hideous, too-much-information detail. It’s OPRAH’S fault that television has degenerated into a morass of retarded reality shows, featuring the WORST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET THAT THE PRODUCERS CAN FIND. It’s OPRAH’S fault that people give up their privacy so enthusiastically just for a few moments of emo-wallowing fame or just anyone’s few moments of attention. “Love me, daddy,” as a world-wide religion…pathetic.

Oprah’s got her money and her fame. She’s very stoked that rich and famous people like her now. She’s delighted to think about all the grand things she’s done to save the world, one miserable commercial-interrupted victim at a time. So…what’s next? Wait, and watch. No matter what she says now, Oprah Winfrey will inevitably end up in high-level American politics. Her ego will demand it, her need to use those millions of head-nodding Oprah-cultists towards the ultimate power attainment. She’s nearly perfectly-placed for it. It will happen one way or another, when she chooses the time. She’s got some ground-work to do first.

By that time, the kids will probably be old enough to deal with Mommy swearing and flipping off Oprah on TV. I may well encourage them to join me.