Friday, February 19, 2010
After 4 months of pestering, chasing, chastising, speculating, castigating and yes, joking, about Tiger Wood's much too publicized domestic and personal life...he finally came forward this week for a televised and I might add...quite staged...statement and public apology for his years of sexual depravity. I don't know if his public statement and handling of his situation publicly is correct or not. I suppose time will tell. You have to give him SOME credit for coming out and admitting his personal failures in his lifestyle. Unfortunately I find fault in his need or pressure to have to do this...and I question his sincerity. It is my opinion that his lifestyle and choices were not all too different from probably thousands of famous people in the past century. Books and movies have been developed about the private lives of many "admired" Americans...from John F Kennedy to J Edgar Hoover to sports stars such as Babe Ruth, Irvin "Magic" Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and others...who reportedly had many fleshly habits that were easy to feed with their celebrity.
I have a few guesses as to why Tiger's history and dilemma has been treated so heavily by society at large. One is that our culture is so empty and longing for heroes and leadership that when we put one up on the pedestal and he drops so far so fast...we are doubly angry and disappointed. We continue to judge people, famous and non, by their image and our own projection of how we WANT them to be. When we find out they are a bit like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind his canopy...we feel lied to and cheated on. Many in our culture including some of the sports writers I have read recently on this issue seem more angry and venomous than the wife he has apparently so seriously damaged (I felt so sorry for her skiing alone in the Alps over the holidays). I perceive we are living in a very judgmental day and age where many forces are attempting to control behavior to an extreme level.
And has anyone thought about who all these women are who KNOWINGLY played with and on Tiger, knowing full well he was married with children and who now feign some sort of disdain or "hurt" by HIS actions? Were these women adults and did it not take two to Tango? As it turns out, I think our biggest disappointment with Tiger is that he would act out his adolescent fantasies with such Floozies and losers. All of these women and witnesses have come out for THEIR two minutes of fame...and I for one believe THEY are the real losers in this story. Tiger paid some of them hush money, but apparently not enough. And we the public put THESE "poor" women on a pedestal or in the same "pity party" as we do wife Elan? Please! I sense most of these "playgirls" were no more than very expensive "hookers" under another name.
For me, seeing Tiger's broadcast speech on CBS was the saddest moment in all this madness. He appeared "wooden" with little emotion left. His speech was totally pre written and not that convincingly for all the time and help he probably had to prepare it. Believe me, this guy will never run or get elected for office...he has no presence or ability for public speaking. It would have been more effective to have someone like Craig Ferguson get up and apologize for him while throwing in a little humor and levity.
I agree with one commentary I read on his speech...that he came off like a "robot". At the end of the day...I believe Tiger is more "robot" than human. He has been programmed from almost the cradle to excel at his sport. He was an only child getting all the attention and programming a child could possibly handle. His growing up in such a controlled environment obviously shows in his controlled behavior...and this armchair psychologist believes that underneath he is a very angry, lonely young man. Angry at not being "normal" or allowed to live "normally". Angry at how everyone from the PGA to the world media is always trying to leverage his accomplishments for THEIR advancement and gains. Angry and lonely to discover that because of your celebrity, everyone is suspect for their motivations of wanting to be your friend. Angry that he has no freedom to publicly do anything without being under the "microscope".
The only thing he has to compensate for that is probably over a billion dollars in holdings, and the bottom line of this stage show is that we LOVE bringing down our "Billionaires" to our level. We feast on finding every pimple or blemish on their skin or in their character. We live vicariously through these people, and in that we project our self loathing and insecurities on THEM when they "fail us". They gain their billions by our buying into their image and greatness...then we try to destroy them when they fail or disappoint us. The media is Ceasar, and we are the Roman mob watching our gladiators in the ring of life. The successful gladiators are well paid...but they pay a heavy price for that wealth.
Fortunately for Tiger, he is still relatively young...and the world has a very short term memory. We will quickly move on to the next victim we can bring down to our size. Meanwhile, Tiger will play out the situation probably for his best interests...and I would expect him to do no less. Survival is a very strong drive in most humans. He will try to package this all up in time to whatever he thinks will make him happy. Maybe he WILL reform and continue being a Billionaire "do gooder". Of course his other option is to escape into his own cocoon of choice and continue in whatever lifestyle he sees fit. To be honest, I wouldn't blame him for taking that path. Even if he ends up splitting up with his wife and giving her half of everything...he will still have more millions than most any other sports figure in history. If he wants to take those millions and burn himself out with floozies and $1000 bottles of champagne...that is quite his choice to make. And if he goes down that path...there will be millions of men who will once again be envious of his choice and opportunity. And from what I have seen of women in the world...he will continue to have millions of them to choose from also.
Its really not my position in life to judge or "forgive" Tiger. Who knows what I would have done in his shoes if I had to walk in them from the beginning. I hope he will spend this time of contemplation considering what he wants and who he really is. Once that is determined, I hope he will be true to HIMSELF and not live the rest of his days trying to live up to everyone else image of who he is. If we the mob will return to our sanity...we will hope that he can get his head back into GOLF as that is what he obviously does best and what most of the world has "Loved him" for. From all he said in his speech, his desire to get back into golf was the greatest emotion I heard in his voice. If that will do it, so be it. Elin will be fine. The kids will be fine. What we DON'T need is another "Elvis".