Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Who Cares? We Do, Apparently.

I've been thinking about this story a little this week:

Tiger Woods received a traffic citation for careless driving that will cost him $164 and four points on his Florida license, but the Florida Highway Patrol said during a news conference Tuesday it had no evidence to pursue any criminal charges in connection with Woods's single-car crash outside his Windermere, Fla., mansion Thanksgiving night.

"With the issuance of this citation, the Florida Highway Patrol has concluded the investigation," FHP troop commander Cindy Williams said without taking any questions.

Which is as it should be. No one was injured, not even Woods, really, and it amounts to a little property damage that Woods' insurance company will have to pay for.
A second woman has stepped into the spotlight in the Tiger Woods controversy – and this one whole-heartedly claims that she and the champion golfer had an affair.
Jamie Grubbs, a cocktail waitress who appeared on the VH1 show Tool Academy, tells the British tabloid the Sun that she and the pro golfer had a 31-month fling that included around 20 sexual encounters, the first just days before Woods's wife, Elin Nordegren, gave birth to the married couple's first child.
"He told me just last month, 'Quietly and secretly we will always be together,' " Grubbs, 24, says.
Next article:
Life & Style reports that Kalika Moquin, a Las Vegas marketing manager, is the latest woman to be connected to Tiger Woods. Reports of Moquin follow rumors about Rachel Uchitel and Jaimee Grubbs, both of whom have been linked to Woods romantically in the past week. Here is the press release from the magazine:
First off, is Tool Academy not THE perfect place for the first tool, even assuming she's lying through her teeth? But I digress...
No, what's more distressing about this whole sordid affair is that it's even on our radar.
There's a cult of hero worship in this culture that's pretty sick and twisted. We set someone up as a godsend of perfection, only to tear him to shreds the minute his feet of clay are revealed. Even if Woods has been completely faithful to his wife Elin, his reputation has been tarnished, possibly beyond repair.
Admittedly, that possibility, that's he's completely faithful, seems miniscule. This doesn't change my larger point, which is why do we continually set ourselves and these "celebrities" up like this?
He's an athlete (barely, considering the game he plays). He's not in a surgery or behind the controls of a jet fighter. He's not saving lives except through whatever charitable works he's done. He's not educating our kids, or building houses. He is, by any measure, extremely talented at the one thing we know he does exceedingly well: play golf.
But he's human, as human as you or I. An object of fascination, to be sure, but that fascination should be limited to marvelling at his ability to sink his putts, and should in no way be extended to disdain over how he sinks his putz.
PERIOD. That it goes beyond this is a testament to the sickly nature of American and now world culture that America has infected with its glib anything-for-a-buck mentality of selling newspapers and magazines.
(Yes, I'm aware that British tabloids put ours to shame, but the culture in the UK allows for a lot more important stories to filter through, like Afghanistan, and not be stonewalled behind trappings of "importance". For example, at the Times of London website, the mistrial of a minor New York City mob boss ranks far higher than the Woods' story.)
Worse, this same convoluted thinking affects our politics, which after the last ten to fifteen years, you'd think we'd outgrow. First came the sex scandals, highlighted but certainly not limited to the Monica Lewinski affair, then came eight years of an administration that bullied, badgered and bluffed its way to destroying the greatest nation ever to arise on the face of the planet.
In eight short years! Compassionate conservatism, indeed! Nero couldn't have fiddled any faster!
And now, Barack Obama has to suffer the same misfortune. Having run without dismantling the perception that he was an agent of change, leaving the unfair and fantastical impression that somehow he had a plan that would get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, out of the Bush Depression, and into national health care, all within his first year, his image has suffered from slings and arrows from both sides of the aisle.
He asked to bite off more than he could chew, knowing full well he'd never be able to swallow it all inside such a short period.
But what's the worst part of this is, we allowed ourselves that delusion. Obama was very straightforward on the campaign trail about timetables for Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly as the election drew near, and yet a significant percentage of Americans elected him with the thought that he could work miracles.
And now they're shocked to find out he's not Jesus.
Or even Tiger Woods.