Monday, December 6, 2010

The Land Down Under: Oprah's Visit

Passionate Skin by Brook Andrew
Oprah is coming to Australia this week. Australia has paid $4 million in taxpayer cash to get the Queen of American Talk to come here, not including the cost of her thoroughly royal treatment on a private Qantas jet, police escorts, security details and road closures. Australia is also coughing up for a 300-strong audience to join her on the tour Down Under. So why is Australia footing the bill? It isn't like Oprah is short of money. In fact, Oprah stands to make millions from this trip. And Australia is paying. I guess that's why she's got the big bucks.

The Australian Office of Tourism is saying that Oprah will encourage American tourism. But with the American economy in the toilet, the Australian currency at an all-time high against the weak American dollar, and Oprah's fans barely able to pay their mortgages, the incentives Australia is forking out for Oprah seem to be a waste. The best Australia can hope for is that her US fans learn the difference between Australia and Austria.

What's amazing is that more than 75,000 people have reportedly registered for tickets to her Sydney shows. I know she's big. Not many people get by with just one name. And sure she's worth billions, thanks to her spooky ability to get her legion of fans to buy or reject whatever she deems fit; but, with the utmost respect to one of the world's richest and most powerful women, I say whoop-di-doo.

BTW:  The work done by Aboriginal artist Brook Andrew (shown above) comments on how traditional aboriginal cultural has been influenced by western culture. Is that influence good or bad?

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