slightly pompous circumstances

Chagrin! Oprah was underwhelming, not that she could live up to the crazy hype surrounding the whole affair. Some students had made a 10x20 collage of her face, and there were tons of “Marry Me, Oprah” signs and kids dressed up as various books from the club over their caps and gowns—I had no idea that 19-year-olds had the same media proclivities as Midwestern housewives. I think the downfall of the speech was that she was just so informal, cracking jokes about how being famous means that people listen to you pee, talking about how she really does love money and admitting that “it’s good for buying stuff,” and continually dipping into this Southern gravelly voice that was supposed to be her dad but was sometimes Gayle (who she called her “BFF” in the speech, oh yes) but was usually Oprah self-referencing Oprah. At least she buys into her own branding—for some reason her relentless devotion to the Tao of Oprah gave her more cred; she actually, fervently believes in The Secret and A New Earth, etc. It’s just a little too new-age to work at 9:30 a.m. on kids nursing hangovers.

But the weather was nice.

Related: The speech I got three years ago still makes me happy. It was just so good.