Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

pga_g_woods2_300By The David

Not long ago the news carried a report of a lake in a city not far from where I live. What made this lake of particular interest is that it will have to be drained because it has been found to be home to the omnivorous piranha. Someone in their profound stupidity has seeded that lake with this South American fish. The fear of course is a reasonable one. As these fish propagate and become more numerous, they will become a menace to the other fish, to animals and to unwary humans. They can attack and denude to the skeleton. Their very presence needs to be addressed. But there are other feeding frenzies, and because they do not come from nature they are not only vicious but are also shameful. I am reminded of the piranha as I see the headlines and hear the newscasts. But there is a difference, the fish acts from his nature. The devouring of a celebrity we witness is generally inspired by a combination of greed, jealousy and quite possibly darker motivation.

We have seen it time and time again. A previously unsullied and celebrated figure is found to be a human being and the feeding frenzy begins.

In the matter of Tiger Woods and his marital discord: I am not a huge fan of Mr. Woods… no more than I would be for any person who has achieved the very dramatic and unprecedented heights he has been able to reach through discipline, effort and grit. I am not a huge fan of golf either, but Woods has done more to foster interest in the game than anyone who has gone before. He sits alone on the summit as arguably the best, or certainly one of the best athletes of his time. He was ripe for the picking.

Tiger Woods is a man who has, throughout his career (and since his career started when he was a youngster, throughout his life) escaped any whisper of scandal. His name was never mentioned in connection with any dishonesty either in his sport or in his financial dealings. He was never accused of involvement in a brawl because he had had too much to drink. In fact, he was never accused of being intoxicated at all. He was never accused of using drugs either for performance enhancement or for recreation. In short, he was ripe for the picking.

Until the last few days, Mr. Woods was seen as a happily married man. He has a beautiful wife and children. He lives in private splendor on an island that only the wealthy can afford. He is admired and envied for all of his achievements, and that admiration is felt throughout the world. He has/had it all. He was ripe for the picking.

It all came crashing down because the man proved to be a human being. My god, he has faults. Tiger has marital problems. So what!

So, this: When our culture elevates a man to the pinnacle, we enjoy seeing his success. But even more than that, we seem to enjoy his fall. We enjoy seeing him crash to the bottom of the heap. The founder of the Christian philosophy has said “he that is without sin, cast the first stone.” In what is purported by so many to be a Christian country (grist for future blogs) we have all become expert stone throwers.

Tiger Woods has led, to all intents and purposes, an exemplary life. After tabloid speculation and what became a very public automobile accident, he has admitted to failings in his marriage. That is certainly the business of Mrs. Tiger Woods. Whatever agreement they are able to come to as relating to their marriage is no one else’s business. It is not the business of the Enquirer, the Globe, the Star, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, CBS or ABC News, CNN or FOX. It is not the business of any of these entities that have made it their business. It is not my business, nor yours. I hate this trend in our culture where the tragedies of others become gossip and a joke to us.

The question that resounds in my mind is this: How have I been made better by the loss of this man’s reputation. What has that added to my life. I submit that for at least most of us, it has not added a whit!

Oh, and for those who will keep watching, eyes should be open for an open admission of contrition, an act or words that will show Tiger Woods is contrite in relation to society as a whole. If there is one thing this society eats up more quickly than the fall, it is the redemption

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14 thoughts on “Tiger,Tiger Burning Brightly”
  1. Great article!!!

    Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less how many women Tiger sleeps with. Maybe he has a harem of virgins somewhere… does it have ANYTHING to do with his sporting performance?


    He’s a dude that knows how to whack a small ball into a small hole with a metal stick – big whoop.

    I’m over all the celebrities, their lives, their dirty secrets and what they had for breakfast. If more people stopped caring about this superfluous crud, the paparazzi would no longer have jobs and these people would be left alone.

  2. Amen, I have to admit I was disappointed by Tiger, someone I had always admired. I can’t imagine how he could have let this happen, just for a fuck ??? can the orgasms and that feeling in his toes possibly have been worth the pain he has caused his young wife and family. I will never understand how someone like Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods could have found themselves needing that kind of attention with all the blessings that life had afforded them, except that it is a failing that we all have …. damn penis’s !!!!

    I think it is about entitlement and not sex … a reward for being their best, a cancer of the soul … Your point about who’s business this is is right on. This is a private matter in a nation that has 11% unemployment, 40 million people without health insurance, 100,000 troops in no-where land, 1 in 8 going to bed hungry …. does misery really love company ?? the feeding frenzy and news coverage lets me know that there is no NEWS departments anymore, it is all People magazine and Fox executions anymore … Let he without sin cast the first stone …. and damn to anyone who forgets that. We do seem to live in a world where envy and hatred have replaced any sense of decorum and privacy, I feel sorry for his wife and children and his mother, and an understanding of how easy it is to fail oneself … I hope he finds himself again …. I hope he is allowed to find himself again ……

  3. The thing is maybe this is “himself” we don’t know him, we pretend to because we have watched him grow from a tyke to a world figure. Who cares?
    I tend to think it is not so much about entitelment as a person in a pressure tank looking for any sort of moment of forgetfulness. But again I have no idea, and besides my inherit interest in the psychology of groups, I would rather not see it on the news. I feel bad for the family, I have watched other families “regular folk” deal with infidelity and it is hard enough with out all this extra stuff. These are poeple not creations on a “SIMS” game. The world at large tends to forget that.
    I also have a sneaking suspicion that people are especially secretly gleeful at this because like our President, he is a well educated light skinned Black Man who has thus far kept his hands clean. But time will tell on that one.

  4. [QUOTE=The David]Oh, and for those who will keep watching, eyes should be open for an open admission of contrition, an act or words that will show Tiger Woods is contrite in relation to society as a whole. If there is one thing this society eats up more quickly than the fall, it is the redemption.[/QUOTE]

    Of course, I find the quality of such apologies to be suspect – people seldom ever change who they really are and what it is they want to do. And personally, I don’t give a flying fuck is he *does* mean it: it won’t affect his ability to hit a little ball with a stick (worst… “sport…” ever…), so I fail to understand why the “sports” (*chuckles*) fans care so much about this little scandal.

  5. Golfing is among those exclusive, self motivated sports, like trophy hunting; the lumbering giant; sports fishing and speed boats. All these sports retain environmental hazards. In hunting and fishing, the hazards are obvious; you are wasting creatures for the experience of killing, not for food. Speed boats disrupt water surfaces, frightening and chasing away the marine inhabitants. Golf courses are maintained with thousands of dollars in fresh water, grass cultivation, fuel consumption for lawn mowing equipment and golf carts and are hazardous for any of the surrounding indigenous species.

    It’s among this exclusiveness that we see the frailties of choices without consideration for the consequences. The media brings up the most obvious of these object lessons for the public as gleeful reminders of such (pertinent) matters as fidelity, yet you never hear a discussion on how golf courses impact our environment, thus presenting a separate social class of elitist views.

  6. Don’t get me started about golf, I talk about it whensoever I can. I know it’s a big man-thing, dudes get pissed when you talk about their greens being not…well “Green”. You didn’t even get to the massive amount of chemicals it takes to keep unnatural grass varieties growing in places where grass was never meant to be.

    I have always advocated for putting up apartment/townhouse style housing on all golf courses unable to be xerescaped. ( that means you gotta go somewhere like Scotland or Ireland to golf guys).

    In any case in college I did a research paper, I’m sure the costs have changed for everything but at the time the cost to house the homeless including construction and solar electricty on a golf course was cheaper than keeping a golf course running annually.

    Fecking elitists. I have no patience for golf.

    I do however have patience for human beings. Tiger Woods and anyone else needs to be left bloody alone, and his family needs it even more.

  7. Karlsie,

    The key difference between hunting and those other hobbies (like golf and fishing) is that the hunt involves risks taken by the hunter – in the wild the hunter may find himself in turn hunted by preditors or he may find himself trampled by his own quarry (regardless if the hunter kills for a trophy or food, the risks are stil there). Golf and fishing carries none of those risks, so I try not to mention them in the same sentence as hunting whenever possible; to me, it’s the risk that makes the hunt more meaningful than smacking a little ball or dropping a hook in the water.

  8. Christopher, i have no respect for the trophy hunter; risk or no risk. Most trophy hunters take minimal risks. They use a guide, high power repeating rifles; are attached to a group. Sometimes they bag their animals from small planes. Where’s the risk in that? Subsistence hunters usually confine their hunting to their own demographic area; they don’t intrude on foreign territory and its inhabitants to generate their hunts. They kill only what they plan to eat. Trophy hunting is wasteful and egoistical. It’s had a terrible effect on many endangered species; including the wolverine, which nobody cares about because he is such a nasty critter with such an enviable pelt; but should we really hunt him to extinction?

    As far as Tiger Woods’ character is concerned, like any celebrity, i’d just as soon not know about his personal life. Golf courses have an immediate effect on my sense of important issues. What people do about their sex lives does not. If a person is monogamous, polygamous, communal, homosexual, bi-sexual, cheats or never marries makes no difference to me. The question always is to me, what does this person represent? Tiger Woods represents to me, a black man who has broken in to what had once been a white man’s sport. He became rapidly popular with the minorities for this reason. He gave them one more example of “yes, we can”. I doubt any of these minority young people care any more about the Tiger’s transgressions than i do. For the environmentally conscious among them, i see little drive to emulate this sports except through electronic games. The media may have created a false idol and popped the balloon with their gossip mongering publicity, but for those who see Tiger Woods as a representation of what talent and determination can do, he will remain a symbol of equality based on equal ability, and not on racial or elitist favoritism.

  9. BTW, I had an affair with Tiger, but my golf game, where no one was hurt and ended up on any wall, is really improved … if anyone cares, where is that agent for Good Morning America when I need her …..

  10. Karlsie,

    I’ll admit that there are some super-rich trophy hunters out there that give the rest of them a bad wrap, but they aren’t the majority – most of the sport hunters I know don’t travel in groups of more than 2-3 (usually relatives), learn the layout of the land for themselves before hunting, spend days in the woods moving only on foot (although they will call in a pick-up if they get a big kill) and will often hunt with weapons with lower maximum ranges than rifles (such as shotguns or bows). All the while they are exposed to the same risks that the subsistance hunters are exposed to: the elements, preditors and natural obsticles (such as falling trees or loose rocks) – all in search of the reward of the kill.

    As for your charge of sport hunters being egotistical – well, what of it? I’ll admit that there’s a certain kind of macho status among them based on what they killed and how, but then again you find this kind of competition in all subcultures: the only diffence here is that it involves killing things.

    Lastly, there’s a little something called “bag limits” today – this measure prevents more than so many of a particular animal from being killed by hunters in a given season to ensure that a breeding population remains for the next season. Provided that hunters don’t exceed these limits (which results in fines and/or jail time if caught going over those limits, BTW), there’s little reason to fear that the game animal in question will be driven to extinction via hunting.

  11. Thanks for your perspective The Dave. It turns my stomach to see the exploitaion of human experiences. But I must say, if a person chooses to persue a career the puts them in the public eye they must realize that their life will be scrutenized and constently observed. When what you thought was your personal emails or text messages are posted on the Web for the entire universe to see let us all take note. Something can be learned by us all here. WE control what is sacred. WE control what we do and what we say. WE are in control of the choices we make but we are seldomely in control of the consequences to those choices.

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