The Buzz: Rosie O’Donnell
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If you’re thinking of picking up a copy of Rosie O’Donnell’s book, Celebrity Detox, save yourself the trouble.

Rosie O’Donnell seems like a very sad person who wrote a very sad book. There must be some reason why Rosie O’Donnell wrote Celebrity Detox, other than thinking that people were on the edge of their seats, waiting for her to write a book about why she left The View. Personally, I think her shrink had her write the book for therapeutic reasons. It certainly doesn’t have any literary merit. The writing is disorganized and rambling, for the most part, and her own words work against her.

In her book, O’Donnell says she went on The View because Barbara Walters asked her to, and to see if she could step back into show business without succumbing to what she called an addiction to fame. She thought doing the show would work for her, in her quest to balance work and family.

A mid-morning show, four days a week, someone else’s signature on it. A show that didn’t belong to me—it would give me a certain distance and the freedom necessary to raise my family. I think this is close to every workingwoman’s dream.
Sounds like a great gig, and it would have been if Rosie could have just left things alone. I don’t believe she could ever sit back and go with the flow. She had her own agenda.

In the beginning, though, I had so much hope, so many ideas for the show.
She went on The View and tried to change everything about it. She tried to make it her show. She didn’t get along with her peers on The View. She couldn’t just lighten up and go with the flow.

[P]ersonality differences aside, there was always the fame problem to contend with. There was always the sense that by introducing me into The View’s configuration, you were shifting the pyramid’s building blocks, giving it a point it hadn’t had before. Fame is the ultimate expression of hierarchy. And hierarchy is the ultimate structure on which anger, jealousy and humiliation hang. How, therefore, could this have been easy? I know what it feels like to be less than.”
Rosie wanted to be in control, like she was when she had her own television show, four years prior, and she wanted to be seen as she believed she was seen then.

I was canonized the Queen of Nice. I was universally loved and praised and at first it felt good, but soon thereafter it began to change. You can develop a taste for worship.
She wanted to control the subject matter, what people thought, what people said. Rosie believed she wielded a lot of power. But ABC didn’t see it that way. The View didn’t worship Rosie; therefore, Rosie couldn’t handle The View.

Rosie tries to make the reader believe she saw Barbara Walters as a mother figure, but several times she hurtfully portrays Walters as a doddering old lady, on the brink of senility.

And Barbara. At some point a person gets tired. It’s inevitable, the aging process. I can feel it myself. My eyes aren’t what they once were. Barbara Walters is almost twice my age and she’s been doing this for nearly half a century; at some point it becomes necessary to step back. I hope when the time comes for me to do this, I will be graceful and go. Everyone has to go. Going is part of the gig.
…I feel, sometimes, her tiredness. I would like to tell Bill Geddie [executive producer of The View] about her tiredness. I would like him to feel fatigue, be in her bones. I’ll bet it hurts there. I’ll bet behind the glam and glitter it hurts to be Barbara sometimes, because, while you can hide aging, you can’t erase it; it leaves its grainy footprints, it smears.
Rosie O’Donnell is a legend in her own mind, which I believe led to her exit from The View and will ultimately lead to great disappointment. She views herself as a huge—HUGE—celebrity.

I could not escape the sense, impossible to pinpoint, but palpably real in the air, that while I was hugely welcomed as a co-host [on The View], I was also hugely threatening. I was too big, and that’s true. I am. Then again, maybe I’m giving myself more credit than I deserve.
…One of my concerns was losing balance, caving in to the crowd, becoming an emblem or an icon to even myself. Starting to see myself as I was seen, which is larger than life, and therefore dead; celebrity culture can kill you.
I must have really missed out on something, seeing as my life didn’t revolve around Rosie O’Donnell, and I wasn’t glued to the TV set when she had her own show, and I didn’t have a nervous breakdown when her show went off the air.

You see, there are people like Rosie O’Donnell out there. You’ve met them. Some people cannot help but be jealous of others and think they are so far above the rest, and so much more valuable. Some people, in their own limited minds, have an inflated sense of self-importance, see themselves as bigger than they are, as more important than they are, and believe everyone is interested in what they have to say. You know them. We all know them.

So, is it possible to avoid the perils of fame addiction? If you’re Rosie O’Donnell, it isn’t.

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