Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tiger's Bad is OUR Fault...

From the American Thinker, we have this.

There's a little bit of the 'society is to blame' mantra inherent in this view. If I'm reading this correctly (probably not), the author wants me to believe that I needed some sort of an icon, and by God, business and the media gave me one! If there's any suckers here, it's me... and poor Tiger. I drove him to it,and then I savaged him for shattering the illusion I willed into being. Barack Obama could learn a lesson in all this!"

Disagree: I certainly didn't want a god, and I certainly didn't want one that played golf (and btw, you're not an athlete unless your sport includes defense or extended periods of intense, physical exertion!), and I certainly didn't want one that was portrayed as a ground-breaker based on his racial heritage. Nor did I demand that the media craft one in that mold for me. I was perfectly happy not knowing who the fuck Tiger Woods was, and got tired of being told that I should care long ago.

Tiger Woods is who he has always been, probably. His mistake is to believe that in an age of cell-phone cameras, YouTube, the Internet, and a 24-hour 'news' cycle that he could construct a bubble that would never be popped, and a myth that would never be busted. To believe otherwise is an exercise in personal arrogance (on Tiger's part), and probably cynicism that the greater part of the public is possessed of a bulletproof stupidity on the part of his 'handlers'. Any transgression is always explained away (the typical "I-fucked-up-but-I'm-going-to-rehab" formula), or dissipated over time, given silence, stonewalling and the public having very sort attention spans ("the bunker mentality"), even if there were criminal charges in this sort of arrangement. It's so fucking fake and contrived that it amazes that people get rich doing this shit, so maybe that second school of thought is right. There may be more impenetrably-stupid people about than I thought.

And it's not just Tiger and his people who think this way; just look at our politicians, other athletes, actors, writers, artists, businessmen, making a list of all the people who fall into this category might keep you occupied for decades. The very drama being played out right now is indicative of a corruption of society that is obvious and yet still manages to avoid scrutiny. There's a hole in our lives that somehow someone sold us could only be filled by building people up -- and then destroying them -- and somehow it's always our fault when they turn out to be weak characters. And it always has political implications. That formula is so old that I can recall reading about it in Cicero or Pericles.

Personally, I don't care what happens to Tiger Woods. The only reason I'm interested in this is a function of a personal fascination with human nature; here's a man who literally, has everything. And it isn't enough. I play the same mental game that many of you do, wherein we try to imagine ourselves in Tiger's place, pre-scandal, and then try to rationalize whether we would have done what he apparently has...and then pat ourselves on the back in the surety of the "no I wouldn't have" answer we arrive at (with no evidence to support it) which leads us to believe that we're somehow different from others --- or even superior to them. That's simply human nature. The difference is that there are people with the ability to play this game in the public square...and get rich doing it while pretending they're somehow the hall monitors of American Decency.

And, yeah, it is funny as hell watching someone who got wealthy and famous for doing something insignificant (playing golf), who married extremely well, and has the world by the short and curlies, squirm when we find out he likes to spank his bitches...in church parking lots.

Iconoclasm, for it's own sake, doesn't enter into the equation for me. I'm just amazed that someone could be that greedy, stupid and banal, and still not expect to get caught. What's even more stupefying is that once nailed, the man who's made his living in the public eye, lapping up the rewards and adulation of public acclaim, thinks he's earned the privilege of suddenly keeping something secret. Doesn't Tiger have a media consultant who can explain how these things work to him? Live by the sword, die by the sword, I always say.

The other issue I have is the Press which conspires to keep Tiger's human weaknesses -- there are reports that some paparazzi actually have pictures of Tiger doing the dirty in a church parking lot, and they sat on them --a secret at the same time it's making a bazillion dollars off him. Only to turn upon him like a pack of ravening wolves on a wounded deer... so that they can make another bazillion dollars off him. And if Tiger should ever 'recover' from this situation, he and his real whore -- the Press -- will resume their cozy relationship....and make another bazillion dollars. This destroys the whole "The Wicked Never Prosper" motif that was a staple of my Catholic-school education (and is perhaps one of the few things I took from it that I still seriously believe to be true).

Tiger shouldn't be crying. The Press shouldn't be tut-tutting. They're both villains in this situation, and neither deserves respect or sympathy, because they're the two sides of the same coin. The assertion that the Tiger Woods (Serial) Affair has political implications is way too trite, and the theme has been trotted out so many times before that it's becoming threadbare. Spare me. If and When (I'm betting on When) Barack Obama fails, his downfall will certainly include the elements involved in Tiger's downfall, but the only similarity will be that both were media creations in the first place, and very flawed individuals even before then.

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