Archive | January 27, 2006

Life may suck, but at least I’m not on Oprah’s couch

So yesterday, Bryan came home during Dr. Phil.  This was ironic for many various and sundry reasons, the least of which being that I felt that, yesterday, we were prime candidates for our own hour of Dr. Phil love.  Regardless, as we sat there in awkward silence, we saw the commerical for the next program on the schedule.  Oprah.  Featuring a very special guest.. James Frey.

Bryan finally spoke.  “Damn.”

And for the next hour, we were glued to the tv.  We watched the ultimate vindication: a liar was brought to jury.  On live national tv.  And it wasn’t just Oprah who got a lick at him.. they also brought on national syndicate journalists, two of whom had already decried “A Million Little Pieces” as a blatant work of fiction.  It was .. for lack of a much better word.. ULTIMATE.

James Frey was visably uncomfortable as Oprah grilled him.  He shimmied in his seat, he fidgeted with his pants leg.  He looked like the 5th grader at the Principals office.  Oprah called him on the carpet about facts that he had, not but a few months earlier, proclaimed loudly to be true, and when he said that he had (maybe.. perhaps) embellished them (just a tad), she said firmly, “No, you lied.  You lied, James.”

And he would nod solemnly.  “Yes, I lied.”

She asked him, “Why?  Why would you lie about that?”

He said something we never expected to hear.  He said something we had read about, something we had seen in action, but had never heard anyone admit to: “I guess, you know, in my head, my idea of myself was greater than my person actually was.”  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first poster-child of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.. James Frey.

He said that battling his addictions was difficult.  Well, dur.  Not exactly bestseller material.  So he realized that, you know, in order to cope with the difficulty.. he would lie.  He would blow his everyday occurrences up past the point of reality, just full enough of bullshit that they almost burst.. and then he’d type them up, title the chapter, and call it a day.

And it caught up with him.

Because, you know, the truth usually does.  And what’s, perhaps, the most ironic?  The line that stuck with people the most in his OWN book was this: “Remember the truth, because in times of difficulty, it’s all you have.” 
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