Thursday, December 10, 2009

You can't spell "blithering, witless opining" without "Tiger's penis"

Praise the great forces in the universe for bringing this to attention ...
"We’re at that point in the Woods scandal where the news is so pervasive that a lot of smart people feel like they’ve got to weigh in or be left behind in the cultural conversation — it would be like trying to pretend Monica Lewinsky didn’t exist in 1998. But there’s a danger for those smart people in that trying to say something smart about something very silly, they’ll just end up looking silly themselves."
... right as a certain old-media dunderhead just had to use his Globe & Mail space for a take on Tiger Woods and another OMD just had to have hers in the Toronto Star.

As a FYI to those who do not swing with post-hoc deductive reasoning, Diane Pucin points out some of Woods' sponsors reflexively stopped running ads Nov. 29, before all the reports about mistresses hit traditional media. One has little to do with the other.

It is 2010. People can take it if you told them the greater shocker would be if Tiger Woods didn't have some side action (Jason Whitlock is now saying this in not so few words: "The high-character values and morality we've ascribed to the male and female athletes who entertain us were a myth in the 20th century and a flat-out impossibility now ... Tiger operates in a cesspool. He's never portrayed himself as a religious holy roller. His values appear, like most, sexular."). The man is on the road, what, 275 nights a year. There are jock-sniffers and hangers-on of dubious virtue at every turn. A man might be able to get what he wants from Tiger by offering some hero worship, or financial incentive, a speakers' fee, a comped hotel suite, etc. A women mostly can only offer companionship (a polite term for "convenient hole"). Besides, from what we know about jocks, Tiger Woods is so in love with himself that in his mind, taking a woman-not-his-wife back to his room practically qualifies as an act of compassion.

You don't need to be told Tiger Woods' penis is no business of ours and what he does with it is, at worst, a victimless crime (sorry, Elin). Shame on anyone in the media for pandering to self-righteous moralizers and North America's juvenile attitude toward sex. Honestly, do you think this will matter in one, two, five years? It won't. Just ask Kobe Bryant or Bill Clinton.

Jeff Pearlman said the most profound, no-BS comment: "Why haven’t I taken a stance? What do I think? Truthfully, I think very little."

(Best non-sequitur from Deadspin: "(I) wanted to believe what we are shown on tv.")


The Baseball Idiot said...

You need a like button for this post.

Anonymous said...

"Victimless crime"?

Elin and the kids.

sager said...

1) Elin asked for all of this when she married him; and 2) Your parents aren't perfect, lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Way to blame the victim (of the "victimless crime"). As to #2, most kids don't expect perfection, but they do/should expect Dad to honor his family, if not his marriage. He didn't just cheat on his wife, he cheated them too.

sager said...

Have to call BS on you on all counts ... Elin is not a victim. She entered into a marriage, she wasn't forced into it. Their children are 2 and 1 years old and aren't even old enough to understand what is happening, so don't use them as a rhetorical bludgeon (although this could be the making of some therapist's future fortune, certainly).

Second of all, lose the concern for Ms. Woods. It's knee-jerk and all too convenient. Prior to 2 weeks ago, no one ever made any comment about her other than some derisive variant of, "Get a load of Tiger's trophy wife," and suddenly she has gone from masturbatory fodder to a saint? It sucks to be her (and the best of health to her mum), but it ends there.

For every Elin, there are tens of thousands of women who feel trapped in an abusive relationship. Most people seldom give them a first thought, so spare the Elin pity party.

Anonymous said...

Talk about calling people on BS. You take my comment and attach all of your prejudice and assumptions about people to it.

I feel badly for any woman who's husband cheats on her (and vice versa). I don't think anyone signs up for that.

I also feel badly for their kids - they'll grow up with constant reminders that their Dad is a cheat.

The only point I tried to make was that people - even rich people, get hurt by infidelity. Or should kids of the rich and famous just give their parents a pass?

Will Tiger's kids get over it? Probably. Would they have been better off if Dad had been faithful to his wife and them?

Without question.

sager said...

Your point about infidelity is well-taken. (A smaller point: whose, not who's.)

I don't make any assumptions about people who might lack the sack to put a name to their comments (which does give you credibility). It's simply a general point; people in general (not you) turn a blind eye to women who are genuinely being wronged.

The word "victim" 99% of the time connotes concern for the person. It's a stretch to go from "Tiger's trophy wife" to righteous heroine. That goes double since we really don't know about the nature of their relationship.

As an illustration, at work the other day, I overheard a colleague say he'd "lose all respect for" Nordegren Woods if she didn't file for divorce. It was asinine, since I had never heard this person ever profess undying respect for Elin Nordegren Woods. You see what I mean about some people being knee-jerk gliberals about this?

Dennis Prouse said...

Neate, your commenter makes a fair point - actions like those taken by Tiger Woods rip families apart, period. I don't think that the fact that they are filthy rich should mitigate it - his wife felt the same kind of shame and anger that any other woman would feel when she discovered that her husband had been lying to her face for years. And yes, I can tell you as a guy who has coached youth sports for 19 years that the children of divorce are indeed damaged to some degree, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Now, did Elin buy this as part of the package when she married him? Fair question. I still say no in that I have this old fashioned notion about marriage vows. If Tiger wanted to be George Clooney, then by all means go be George Clooney. No one gets too worked up about the fact that George Clooney is a womanizing party boy, because he has never pretended to be anything else. Tiger, on the other hand, got married and had kids, and was projecting an image to the public as being a devoted family man. In essence, he is a public person, and because of that he lied to us as well as to his wife and kids.

sager said...

Dennis, I'll respect you to the end of the earth, but no one needs to be told infidelity is wrong. It is a goes-without-saying. Whitlock said it best: "It takes no courage or thought to recognize Tiger's personal failure."

Acknowledging there are shades of grey takes courage and thought. With all due respect, that means saying, "I still say no in that I have this old fashioned notion about marriage vows" does not fly. The only answer with regard to Elin's mindset is the same as it was when everyone wanted to know what happened between Kobe and that young woman in a Colorado hotel room: "You don't know and I don't know." Otherwise, you're just projecting your own values -- which are beyond reproach -- on to two people you will never meet.

Also, where you and I differ is on Tiger "projecting an image as a family man." I would say it's on us to accept it or send it back. We accepted it and now we feel cheated when we should have brushed it off from the get-go.

Lastly, your Clooney comparison is way off-base.

1) Clooney, as an actor, doesn't fall under the "Nike family values" which cover big sports stars.

In "Nike family values," political commitment (think Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, think Muhummad Ali) is deemed divisive. Tiger's handlers positioned him above the fray that might involve what we read daily about sports, movie and pop stars.

2) People are conditioned to actors being politically active. A lot of people dislike George Clooney because of his politics. Finding out about his tomcatting just confirms what they thought.

3) Actors are held to a different sexual standard than athletes. The former have been taken for a bunch of horny rascals, long before the days of Errol Flynn.

Athletes are more in the Gary Cooper mould; they're like the Great American movie cowboy who never kissed anything but his horse. Or, in Tiger's case, his putter. We know this is not true and still perpetuate the myth.

4) Race. Like Michael Jordan and Barack Obama, Tiger is of an era that tries to eschew racial identity politics. The emphasis is on tries.

It is notable both Tiger and Kobe Bryant are African-Americans who tried to play up their worldliness (Tiger with the "Cablinasian" cognomen, Kobe emphasizing that he speaks Italian). There comes a point, though, when in the eyes of the majority, they are black.

5) Tiger was also positioned as being above commercialism. When Peyton Manning does a commercial, people get that he's doing it for fun and money. Tiger was supposed to be different.

So, Tiger had farther to fall in the public's eyes. Really, he was just a guy who liked golf and sex, which makes him one of us, just with a much bigger pile of money and marginally attractive women.

Last, I do not have the expertise or experience to challenge what you are saying about children whose parents are divorced. The point was never that being obscenely rich would take all that away.

It was simply that on the whole, the Woods' kids are still more well-off than 99.99% of the children in the world. That's why I can't abide people playing the sympathy card for Elin and The Kids. They're not a prop in somewhat's argument.

Thanks for the feedback. Skol Vikings!