Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can you feel the Tiger hatred?

Tiger Woods will be giving his first public comments tomorrow after his stunning fall from grace, and the haters are out in force. The schadenfraude is so thick you can almost see it.

There have been myriad comments by various ‘journalists’ over the past three months about what Tiger should have done and how he should have done it. There is apparently a lot of hand-wringing and caterwauling about the nature of his appearance tomorrow (no questions will be allowed---no fair---waaaaah) as well as its timing (he’s taking the spotlight away from a marquee tournament just to get even with Accenture---waaahhhhh---no fair!). Let me get this out of the way for writers and touring PGA pros who have a problem with Tiger’s timing---Shut The Fuck Up. Listen to yourselves. If Tiger can upstage a world Golf Championships event by holding a public announcement, what does that say about the state of your game or the practitioners and consumers thereof? You want people to pay attention? Play better. Sack up and show the world a game that will capture its imagination and entrance it. That’s what Tiger did---he didn’t get his popularity by sprinkling pixie dust on the world or by spewing forth from the loins of privilege. He earned it with his game. The biggest talk that ever came out of his camp was done by his clubs. You want a better spotlight? Earn it.

As for the nature of the presser---so what? Journalists are all atwitter about not being able to ask questions at a presser? When did this happen? As I recall, everyone was pretty happy when administrations did this while leading our country into a trumped up war and unimaginable debt…..none of these scribes seemed to speak up then. A lot of tournament golf is sponsored by the banking and investment industry that sold our economy down the river….I don’t remember any golf scribes asking any of these institutions about their ethics or morals or anything else for that matter….. golf scribes and powerbrokers have been more than happy to be whores to corporate interests for as long as I can remember…..where is this newfound journalistic ethic coming from when it comes to Tiger’s private life? Besides, what questions do you expect Tiger to answer? Other than to his family, he owes no one anything. If you don’t like it, don’t go listen to him. Simple.

Why should Tiger be any more public now than he has ever been? Pretty much every one that I have read or heard seems to agree that Tiger has betrayed his wife and children and that he needs to apologize profusely to them. Then why do these same people want him to answer a multitude of questions about his lurid escapades? How is that even remotely respectful to his family? What purpose is served by playing out Tiger’s infidelities in even greater public and prurient detail? You feel badly for his wife and kids? Then leave them the hell alone----don’t pretend that Tiger has some obligation to the world to publicly humiliate his family any more than he already has.

I am quite disappointed that Tiger is even holding some sort of an apology presser tomorrow. I knew it was inevitable---but I am disappointed nonetheless. I really hoped that he’d sort out his home life and then, when ready, just start playing again. At the first tournament back, I thought, he could field general questions about this issue but just fend off anything personal and keep it focused on the impact on the game. Just keep the message simple---‘Yeah I screwed up badly, but none of the details are your concern. I am sorting it out with the people who matter in that regard’.

Anyway, let one thing be clear---much of this backlash against Tiger is not new. It is not a response to his ‘betrayal’---Tiger’s behavior just gave these sentiments an excuse to get aired. There has been a ton of Tiger resentment for as long as he has been on tour. You see, Tiger committed the ultimate sin, one that about many cannot ever forgive him for even if they can’t admit it---he not just entered but dominated a world of white male privilege. And a part of this nation always hated him for it. They hated the fact that he was so good. They hated the fact that he proved them wrong at every turn. When he came out on tour, the white male privilege establishment sneered (“It’s a different game out here, as the kid will find out…haw haw haw….”). They hated him for his frankness when he was winning and he claimed not to have his ‘A’ game---they called him arrogant---till he showed them at the 97 Masters and the 2000 US Open what his ‘A’ game was….They hated the fact that he fought just as hard to make the cut when playing badly as he did to win when playing well. They hated the fact that he won more times in a year than most of them had won in their careers. They hated the fact that if Tiger played his best, nobody else stood a reasonable chance of winning. But most of all, they hated the fact that while Tiger had all the physical gifts to excel at golf, his dominance sprung from his mental superiority. The white male privilege establishment would grudgingly concede that people of color could be good athletes, but they’d never concede that they could be mentally superior to the point of dominance. They subscribed to the old ‘blacks cannot play quarterback’ mentality and Tiger destroyed that world like no one before.

But something else also happened…..Tiger so captured the public imagination with his golfing feats that the money in golf exploded. And the golf world had to genuflect to Tiger. Suddenly, a touring pro made more money for a 10th place finish than he had for winning the tournament a few years back. If you could hold on to your tour card for a couple of years, you could retire comfortably on your earnings….even if you didn’t win a single tournament. Golf was suddenly cool…..the USOpen in primetime could beat the Yankees-Sox in ratings when Tiger played. Everyone, from the pros to the scribes, cashed fatter checks for achieving less, and at some level they were all happier for it. But on another level, I bet it tore them up. I bet it tore them up that most of them knew they were playing for second place if Tiger entered the tourney. I bet it tore them up that every time they bought newer, fancier cars or houses they realized that they were finishing lower and lower on the money list nevertheless. I mean, Tiger could have lined up all these old-world pros, scribes and powerbrokers of golf and chopped off their nuts with pruning shears on live TV and he wouldn’t have emasculated them any more thoroughly than he did with his golf clubs on the very fairways, greens, clubhouses and corporate tents that were, for the most part, forbidden to people of color.

So anyway, Tiger finally gave the white male privilege establishment an excuse to vent a dozen years’ worth of accumulated frustration and resentment, and they’re doing that now. And they’re looking suitably and predictably impotent and stupid while doing it too.

UPDATE:

Haaaaaahahahahaha......The Golf Writers Assn of America will be boycotting Tiger's statement---sorta---they will not participate as pool reporters. Good. That should silence Tiger's message!! The Golf channel or every network will not carry it live, correct? Millions would not tune in if Tiger simply did the whole thing by streaming it on his website, correct? Let the pompous douchebags boycott it---maybe they'll finally realize the insignificance of their toadying positions in this information age.

They are upset that Tiger controls his message----I got some news for them---every powerful person does. It's not like Peyton Manning or Brad Pitt or Bill Gates accedes to every request from every self-important media asshole. Every single human being who is in a position to dictate terms does so. Why should Tiger be different? Well, he is different because even most celebrities receive maybe a thousand requests a day and have to say 'no' about 999 times.....Tiger receives a million requests a day and has to say 'no' a thousand-fold more. Media douchebags need to realize that just because attention whores like Brett Favre and John Daly choose to live out their life in public along the plotlines of a bad country-western song, it doesn't mean that every celebrity should do the same.

So, GWAA, fuck off! And come crawling back when Tiger starts playing golf again, because maybe you'll realize that your job is to report on stuff and provide decent analysis if you can, not moralize on it. In case you didn't realize it, idiots, if it weren't for some PGA rules and requirements, Tiger Woods probably wouldn't give you guys ANY interviews or statements during the normal course of events. He does not need you----people watch him for what he does and there are a million ways now to provide people that access. You need him---his image, his words, his deeds--- to sell copy, to justify your circulation, so you can whore yourselves out to your advertisers. Capisce?

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21 comments:

Abel Pharmboy said...

Your whole post nailed it, but this cuts to the jugular:

"But most of all, they hated the fact that while Tiger had all the physical gifts to excel at golf, his dominance sprung from his mental superiority. The white male privilege establishment would grudgingly concede that people of color could be good athletes, but they’d never concede that they could be mentally superior to the point of dominance. They subscribed to the old ‘blacks cannot play quarterback’ mentality and Tiger destroyed that world like no one before."

I share your disappointment that he's doing this presser tomorrow and wish he'd come back to play and answer any personal questions as you say. I'm really torn on this because the saying goes that Americans have a propensity to forgive when a good apology comes from a public figure - but the only real examples I have are of white folk.

Anyway, your writing on these kinds of issues is always fantastic but this post is for "The Best Of" list.

Drugmonkey said...

Absolutely.

scribbler50 said...

Masterpiece, Stache, flat-out excellent. And when it's all said and done, which you've just done beautifully, what the hell kinds of questions are there anyway? We know what he did, the particulars aren't necessary, it could only turn the conference into a mental leer-fest. This is no search for some "great truth", this is a giant gotcha quest just waiting to unleash itself. And for all the reasons you stated.
Hey, the guy fucked up, we and he know he fucked up in a major, major way, end of story. Where does it say he owes anyone (save for his family who've truly suffered) a detailed explanation? Hand wringing indeed! The sooner he picks up a club, the fucking better.
And a good point among the many you cited, where was all this journalistic integrity on the political front when needed before the war?
Again, great post, Sir, one of your best ever.

Anonymoustache said...

AP, DM, Scrib50,
Thanks, gentlemen, for the kind comments and the support.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Fuck Tiger. His public persona has jack fucking shit to do with him making moolah playing golf. But he has made hundreds of millions as a fucking shill. And he fucked up his shill shit by boning those chicks. So he's "aplogizing" so he can keep his shill shit money stream flowing. Fuck his money shill shtream shit. LIke I should give a fling fuck?

Anonymoustache said...

Actually, CPP, if he were worried about keeping his 'shill shit money stream going' I think he would have listened to the 'journalists' a long time ago and had a dozen pressers, cried on Oprah and all the prototypical crap like that that would appease the white male privilege establishment that controls a lot of that corporate money stream.
No, Tiger is one of those rare 'shills' who makes more money for his sponsors than he does off them---because his 'shillability' derives from his the power of his talent and accomplishments, as opposed to, say, an Eli, or even Peyton Manning-esque Q rating that is based more on fantasy than on reality.
Nike had NOTHING in golf till they signed on Tiger. If he'd bombed, the Nike golf division would have been a tax write-off and a historical footnote. Today, however, they are a force in golf.
His endorsement power stems not from who he chose to bed or not, but from the excellence he has portrayed at his profession.
And as an unabashed fan of a team that has employed the likes of Clemens, ARod, Giambi, Pettitte etc, you SHOULD give a flying fuck. If you don't have a problem with the media getting convenient amnseia re an organization and athletes who betrayed their sport in essential ways, you should care when the same types try to string up an independent contractor who made a mess of his private life but always earned every dollar he made in his sport solely through the excellence of his performance.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Fuck him. I don't give a shit. Live by the sword, die by the sword. He chose to be a shill for all these assholes and I couldn't care less that they turned on him.

Anonymoustache said...

Fair enough, CPP. But this whole post is not about him or what he lost and whether it is justified or not. I couldn't care less about the particulars of that either.
The issue is about the wide-spread hypocrisy, particularly in journalism, when it comes to the coverage and expectations of celebrities. Like I said in my update, Tiger doesn't control his message any more than any other celebrity does....but is treated differently than most for having that control. I think a large part of the reason for that discrepancy could be that people are still not used to, or comfortable with, a person of color holding that kind of power in that world. The media turns on him more viscerally because at some level they always resented him for overturning their long-held (if not oft admitted) beliefs, their old boy network and power structure. That is my point.

BikeMonkey said...

Like you say, AM, a Yankee fan has nothing to say here...

Primordial Goo said...

Isn't there an even more powerful black dude in America than Tiger Woods?

Oddly, it's difficult to turn the thesis of your post onto him. I mean sure, people hate the prez, but it doesn't seem like it's coming from the same visceral resentment of "mental superiority" in an old boys club? Why is that? Because he's not really black? Because he's not really American? Because he hasn't had the same kind of success? Because politics isn't an old boys club, if you come from the right district?

Drugmonkey said...

Primo, are you joking? You seriously don't think that the more hysterical antiObama teabagger/birther/hesamuslim folks aren't motivated by a little bit of racism?

Anonymoustache said...

Primordial Goo,
A lot of the opponents of the prez, IMO, do resent him because of his skin color. Have you not seen the tasteless cartoons? One of the reasons people believed that a black man could never be prez is that a large segment of this country truly believed that a black man could not be smart enough to ascend to and thrive at the post. An extension of the black man cannot be a QB/coach/exec/owner etc mentality.
Also, the teabagger crowd etc do resent him because they know he is smarter than them. They call it 'elitism', of course.

Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Primordial Goo said...

AM, that's exactly my point. The teabaggers seem to emphasize the "too smart" elitist aspects of Obama's governing style - that brains can only take you so far but that the Bush/Palin-ites will ultimately be better commanders-in-cheif than the intellectual wusses.

This is deplorable, of course, but it's not exactly racism, either. If anything, it seems to acknowledge that Obama is smarter than they are, but that that is actually a bad thing.

Of course, I avoid reading the more hysterical arm of the teabag/republican party for mental health reasons, so it could be that I'm way off.

Anonymoustache said...

PG,
Racists look down upon people of color because they perceive them to be inferior.
Those people of color whom they perceive to conform to this image, they do not hate --- they just look down upon with supercilious satisfaction.
However, those people of color who clearly disprove their racist theories and who expose the racist ideology to be ridiculous, however --- them the racists hate.

bassmanfinn said...

Check out my article:
TIGER BASH THE DALY FLASH?

Anonymous said...

Reading this article makes me feel as though I just left some fucked up bizarre alternate universe and entered back into the world of reality. Tank you for some sanity finally! But why can't we find it ANYWHERE in the "regular" media.

Anonymoustache said...

Thanks Anon.
The reasom you won't see this in the regular media is that the regular media (1)considers its business to be not news but newsertainment and (2) is owned by corporations who have the interests of their bottomline, and not of the public, at heart. Objectivity died a while ago in the fourth estate.
As driftglass said, in his inimitable and brilliant way, "Journalism lost its good name and died a whore the day it was moved into the Entertainment division and told that it had to turn tricks to make a profit."
BTW, that most recent of driftglass' masterpieces is here:
http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2010/02/monster.html

David said...

Posting in two parts since my post appears to be too large…
Thanks. This is "anonymous" from the last post. Here is what I find so bizarre. I know that the marketers and spinmeisters took over certain elements of society long ago. But it seems like with this story we have reached a new phase of "the emperor has no clothes". At what point did it just become "accepted standard operating procedure" that Tiger has to seek forgiveness from the public?
And every day we hear more and more bizarre pronouncements about what Tiger has to do to "prove" he is adequately remorseful. The latest pronouncement from many of the idiot talking heads is that he must not participate in the Masters to prove he is adequately sincere. And no one doing the interviews EVER asks the talking heads "why". "Why would not participating in the Masters make Tiger more or less sincere?" "Why does Tiger (as pointed out in your excellent article) owe it to use to take questions?" Evidently taking questions and being endlessly pummeled and humiliated is a sine qua non for anyone seeking absolution for their sins. And of course that absolution now comes from the talking heads, not his wife or family!
And I am curious why a media that is obsessed with always presenting "both sides" of every story, even when "both sides" means giving air time to an "intelligent design" quack or similar, suddenly feels no need whatsoever to provide "both sides" about a story that most definitely has them!
The other day I saw CNN interviewing fans asking them if they accepted Tiger's apology! And each fan would opine about how they were willing to forgive him! Not one mention, not even one acknowledgement from either CNN or a single fan that maybe some are of the opinion that Tiger doesn't owe them any apology because he didn't do anything to them! It's as if that alternate view of the incident doesn’t even exist and that is what I find so disturbing, as I think that can have far reaching consequences when it comes to more serious issues in society. How about the media asking fans "do you think Tiger owes you an apology"? Even that leading as far as I am concerned but I am so desperate for some semblance of sanity that I would be pleased to hear that.

David said...

...I am also of the opinion that part of this must somehow relates to our constant feed of Oprah/Dr. Phil/intervention shows that fill our airwaves 24/7, where all the most private of matters must be turned into a public spectacles.
I also find the double-standards amazing and I am sure I have only caught a few of them:
1. If the tables were reversed and Tiger had gone after his unfaithful wife with a golf club, he would have been portrayed as the second coming of OJ Simpson. And perhaps rightly so, but why the double standard? Now admittedly we don't know what actually happened, but that's not really relevant to my point since the media has widely reported it as fact that she went after him with a golf club with seemingly not the slighted twinge of concern about it. After all, the script for this story has already been written and any less than a sympathetic portrayal of Tiger's wife would interfere with that script.
2. When has there EVER been such outrage about an athlete being unfaithful? I see more outrage over this than I did the Kobe Bryant's rape accusations! In fact, I routinely remember that women being subjected to all types of accusations!
I also believe the media now tells us what we want to hear. Each day they tell us "well it's salacious but the public loves it". But do they? I'm not so sure as I've observed a huge number of people comment on how they don't want to hear about this.
And again, if you read what "average" people are saying on the Internet, I don't read a whole lot of outrage about this. Mostly endless jokes.
Forgive me for by semi-cohesive ranting, but it's at least pleasant to rant someplace where there appear to be some other people that are deeply concerned about the way this story is being spoon fed to us.

Anonymoustache said...

David,
Thanks for the comments. Bottomline is that the media are really not in touch with objectivity and they do not care either.
The Tiger fiasco is minor compared to the many important areas in which that the media has let us all down.