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Friday, February 19, 2010

What business is it of yours?

Why is our society making this man do this in public?

Why would anyone not personally involved take an interest?

"But he represents..." Bullshit. Don't bother trying to finish that sentence.

Nobody "represents" anything. Not even royalty and presidents. We're all just people. As Robert De Niro said in The Deer Hunter: "This is this. This ain't somethin' else: This is this."

Much of our low media infrastructure -- Jerry Springer, the tabloids -- has existed to humiliate people for unapproved sexual activity. But why do we care about the private kinks, errors, oddities, unconventionalities, betrayals and ecstasies of others? Are our lives really so small?

Mind you, I'm not going to apologize for writing about former Republican Speaker of the House Danny Hastert, who made his visiting wife get a hotel room (on Valentine's day!) while he continued to live with his male "constant companion." Neither am I going to apologize for what I've written about George W. Bush, the former male cheerleader who had a gay hooker posing as a journalist stay over at the White House. Those guys rolled into office aided, in large part, by appeals to homophobia. The conjunction of power and hypocrisy justifies our interest.
Well, you have been consistent on this, Joseph. I guess it started with Gary Hart, because he boasted that reporters would never catch him. And we're not gonna stuff this genie back in the bottle now. In general the public "forgives" all sorts of crap. David "diapers" Vitter is still in office. Woody "fuck your adopted daughter as if she weren't the sister of your biological children" Allen still makes movies. A plain old sex addiction pales in comparison to the likes of those scum.
Personally I don't care one iota about Tiger Woods or what he does, says or accomplishes but I don't think we are making him do anything. He got rich and famous because he went out of his way to market himself to the public. This is more of the same. Just an attempt to recapture his public image so he can continue to sell more crap and make more money. That is all this is. I don't think his apology is sincere or warranted or even desired by most.
what GregoryP said
It's all so silly. Woods achieved fame and wealth because he hit a little white ball with a stick particularly skilfully. Whatever you might think of the importance of hitting a little white ball with a stick, his ability to do so has very little to do with his sexual habits. He's never claimed to be a moral exemplar, and anyone who attributes superior moral characteristics (whatever that means) to someone on the basis of his ability to hit a little white ball with a stick is a damned fool. As I recall, both Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle were very good at hitting somewhat larger white balls with different sticks, while conducting private lives that made Woods look like a choirboy. I'm getting really tired of these public mea culpas - Tiger Woods's sex life is (as you point out) none of my business. I wish he'd stood up and said so.
This appears to be the secular version of religious behaviour. I recall a stunningly beautiful woman from my youth with degrees in politics and science, by all appearances sane, intelligent and socially adept. Happily married and resoundingly heterosexual, she seemed to become unhinged by her Baptist faith. Along with her husband she devoted her life to an anti-gay movement, somehow believing that gays -- and gay men, in particular -- harmed the very fabric of the universe and were to be forced to admit their evil. Bible quotes figured prominently. This woman had no apparent social or sexual need to condemn these men but appeared to be driven by an unconscious sense that society, and life itself, can only be fully explained by imposing one's own social standards on others. Just as dogs claim territory by their scent markings and birds by singing so humans appear to have a need to claim others, to impose social obligations upon them or make them more "manageable" by finding fault with them. No social behaviour is allowed to be morally neutral. It seems to be a very powerful human urge to believe that life and society are no more than our private head space. Instead of the Socratic "know thyself" it seems easier and more appealing to seek to control others. Of course, Freud was right -- sex is the primary driver of all social behaviour.
Chris Hedges:
I'd comment but Woods is not worth the effort.
Bush had a gay hooker stay over at the WH? Wow - how'd I miss that?
not only that, but people seriously concerned about National/Class struggle don't waste time on social gender "issues" like "homophilic" Joe. That's where Populism -left or right- has it all over modern "progressivism."
Joseph, this is not a comment to post just to inform you that liberal rapture is no longer. I see the link is still up on your site. Lost lost the domain - or was eased out of it - depending on your point of view. I was sick of it anyway.

I'm blogging at:

Your work is always astounding. Thanks.
Same people that gawk at car wrecks?
Right on. And I love the dateline you added. I don't see the need to make any of these celebrities confess and apologize for consensual, adult, sexual adventures. Who cares? It's way boring to read about, I'd rather be doing it.

Society making him do it in public? BS! Woods orchestrated this press meeting on his own for himself, and the media went for it like a puppy to a chew toy. His apology wasn't for us, it was to his sponsors...a plea to take him back.

Personally, I have no interest in somebody who's purpose in life is to hit a little ball with a stick. was 100 sleepovers, iirc. Look up Jeff Gannon/James Guckert. There are some who think he was also John G, a boy abducted when the first Bush was in office.

Ken Hoop, spoken like a sexist pig. I had to laugh my ass off at some of those "class" warriors when I attended one of their anemic "protests" in DC (I was there with family). I told them about NOW's march for women at 1.1 million strong and they sneered, "oh, Democrats." Yeah, boy, you all go on and see how far your causes get without women and the unimportant "gender" issues.
Here's another example of how ridiculously moralistic our culture has become -

A snowboarder!
How did "society" make Tiger doe this? He is making a public apology because he wants to continue to make money off the public. No apology is necessary if Tiger wants to simply live his life. He wants to go back to being a golfer, which means the public must buy tickets to watch him play. He wants his endorsements back, which means people must care about his success (or firms will not wish to be associated with him). I agree with gregoryp. This has nothing to do with "society" and everything to do with making money. Tiger has never understood that the fans keep him in golf balls. Maybe that has changed now.
Well, I personally don't care, but he does have a lot of sponsors and public image does count for a lot. I believe a lot of it has to do with children and other groups where you can't just say stuff like this doesn't matter.

As for the media, he's in the public eye and is receiving a great deal of money gained from his popularity. He's fair game no matter what way you try to twist this into it's-not-our-business.
My Dear Zee,

You assume I don't take Ian Welsh's postion that the U.S. is
doomed (and that your vaunted
movement, particularly in the context in which you place it, reflects that.)

I do toss a prime grade bone to Feminists For Life however.
Hahaha! Pooooor little, little TINY Ken. No one knows or cares what you're talking about. But how nice that you're making multiple replies to me. I must've hit one of those teeny little nerves. :)
Of course you don't know what I'm talking about, right wing capitalist butcho. But you win. You browbeat THE MAN into
tossing the healthier segments of your movement should you wish to claim it (pardon the Mission Impossible ref) another bone.
"..right wing capitalist butcho..."

Says it all. Oink-oink.
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