Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Rorschach Woods

Punch magazine, 1850's I think...

"Celebrity is like a playground ball. We chase it when it rolls and kick it when it stops."

Must admit, I don't follow the doings of the famous very closely. Not to sound like a snob, but my free time is devoted to solving the fundamental questions of human existence. Like for example, Root Beer. Why is it called that? It's not beer and it's not made from roots.

So to me, the Tiger Woods story looks like what it really is. A pivotal event in one family's arc. A man now confronting he'd never considered the possible consequences of getting caught.

The larger reaction among those who'd be best advised to mind their own biz though? That's fairly interesting. I wonder if these folks realize their discourse is more self-illuminating than revealing of Tiger Woods.

I readed a blog from someone insisting the whole scandal is result of the "tyranny of Christian morality." On black talk radio a female comedian said this week, "I'm not surprised really. A brother who'd marry white, just something fishy there."
I'm trying to imagine how if skin color paradigm was reversed, a similar comment from Rush Limbaugh might be received.

And some of Tiger's fellow pro golfers have dropped the "sportsmanlike conduct" horseflop to don the brass knuckles. They hate his guts. They wish he'd gain weight, so there'd be more of him to despise. Guess I should say something about golf...

In 1908 election TR advised his chosen replacement Taft not to be playing golf so much. According to Teddy, "golf, while it may be amusing to the participant, to many observers looks rather sissy." TR, about the alpha-est alpha male ever been in the White House. I defer to Teddy on all topics of what is or isn't "sissy." So much to admire in that guy. Brownsville incident, one of the only bads on him. Also, he made the fat man cry in 1912. Not good, not not good.

Golf isn't really sissy, not at the level it's played in 2009. Here's the deal about professional golf? Millions are watching, and you totally own the outcome. Closest sport comparison would be baseball pitcher. Quarterback you say? Naw. One can blame a bad hike, poor blocking, receiver didn't break coverage. With golf, or baseball pitching, once the ball leaves your control, none to bless or blame but you. The pressure has literally driven some to madness and suicide.

I wonder if that side of Tiger explains in part the side of his life now made public (with an exponent) and so the playground ball of celebrity stops rolling, so all may kick it hard.

There's an old Kurt Vonnegut story from "Welcome to the Monkey House." This guy who is devout adherent to some fundamentalist sect? Only way he can figger to have large family required of his faith's dogma, and make required monetary donations is to have part time job playing nasty blues piano in a juke joint. He learned blues piano from his father, an unapolgetic libertine brothel musician he very much despises. The implication is quite clear in Vonnegut's masterful prose. There are some personalities who very much respect discipline, while also yearning for a connection with reckless abandon. Maybe that explains Tiger too, I dunno really.

I'll have to make sure to think about that real soon, once I get this "Root Beer" deal resolved. After all? It's not beer, and it's not made of roots. Someone has to face the fundamental questions of human existence.

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