Okey Ndibe

No special privileges for Oprah!
A quick response to Laolu Akande's posting (# 896) in which he implies that a Hermes store in Paris should have opened its doors to T.V. talkshow mogul Oprah Winfrey even if the store had officially closed for the day. Oprah, we were informed, wanted to buy a Hermes watch for her pal Tina Turner ahead of a dinner date later that day.
I beg to disagree with my brother Laolu. If it's true that white "stars" like Britney Spears, Celine Dione and Barbra Streisand would have been let in past store hours, it's a shame for the store. I've heard, however, that some famous people often call stores to arrange to shop after hours--in order to minimize the crush of fans mobbing them, fans who make the experience of shopping even more painful than it usually should be. Perhaps Oprah should have called the store and requested that kind of privilege. Had she then been rebuffed (and with proof that the store allows the privilege to other "stars"), then a case of racism would have some basis.
I respect Oprah a great deal, and so wish she'd be classier than most stars, white, black and yellow. Humility is, for me, the hallmark of true greatness. One way to exemplify humility is not to recklessly demand special privileges just to show you've got a big name and a bigger bank account. Oprah was not in an emergency situation at all that I can see.
No, don't expect me to join the picket line against Hermes.
Another issue Akande raised: A Nobel Peace Prize for Oprah. She deserves any honor anybody chooses to bestow on her. Besides, the prize has been conferred in recent years on some baffling candidates, men and women who would more perfectly fit awards instituted for horror, violence, war.
That said, I won't lose sleep if the Peace Prize eludes Oprah this year and for some time to come. I can think of many, many more deserving candidates (even if infinitely less glamorous than O.W.).

Charles Geshekter

I am in complete agreement with Michael Afolayan's sentiments regarding the shopping habits, punctuality matters, and apparent thin-skin of America's richest woman, Oprah Winfrey.

To see some real damage that she hath wrought, we could look more closely at the oddball list of books (mostly marginal and poorly developed items) that Oprah has promoted over the past 10 years.
Otherwise, how, where or why she wishes to go to spend a discretionary $5000 or more on friends seems of little consequence to the larger world, as Mr. Afolayan acutely observes.