Monday, December 14, 2009

Tyger, tyger, burning bright...

December 14, 2009

As the full extent of Tiger Woods’ extra-marital, extra-ordinary, extra-HOLY COW, Batman, activities slowly emerges, it is becoming apparent that he wasn’t just having an affair here and there….he was on track to replace Don Juan, Rudolph Valentino, and any other famous sexual conquistadors you may think of as the G.O.A.T. of that particular form of pursuit. He has already been touted as the ‘Greatest of All Time’ in his primary sport of golf. Now it seems he is—uh, er…was—on track to notch up similar levels of achievement as a philanderer. Every time a story breaks about another woman, my wife wonders aloud, “How did he have the time and the energy?” I’m not altogether positive that there isn’t some grudging admiration in her tone.

In my own way, I am given to trying to understand the ethical mindset that would allow him to lead such an amazingly dichotomous lifestyle. On the one hand, he’s been the squeaky clean, All-American athlete, one whose slumps and triumphs we have followed with joy and sadness. Could he really come back from seven strokes out? Could anybody really make the green from behind all those trees? Tiger could and he made miraculous shots seem routine. He had achieved the status of ‘culture hero’ in many respects. We watched him all the way from early boyhood as he progressively mastered the game of golf. We worried that his father may have been too stern a task-master, even a little draconian, as he fostered talent of a mythic level in this instantly likeable boy. I even recall that his very first drive as a PGA pro went 318 yards….a distance that most of us will only ever dream of hitting a golf-ball. And, I am not really what you might call a ‘golfer’, merely a fan.

And now, each day seems to bring more stories of his apparently unquenchable thirst for the companionship of beautiful women…of the easy kind. Truthfully, I have lost count; I’m not sure even the media has kept up with the cascade of women that poured through Tiger’s life. But, a number of them are stepping forward, saying, “I felt I needed to defend myself. I am not a tramp, a slut or a (insert favorite ‘ho’ pejorative here).” Do any of them know how stupid this sounds? The only people that haven’t seen images of Tiger parading his beautiful Swedish wife and their kids are members of a lost tribe in the Amazon. “He told me that his marriage was on hold”. Puhleeze!!! Tiger, only you could pull that one off! I’m waiting for one of these women—and there will be more—to say, “Hey, it was TIGER WOODS!!! I decided to take a shot. Sure, I knew he was married. Why would I care?” How refreshing that would be.

But, the real question I keep asking myself is: how did he arrange his thinking and feeling internally to allow him to practice hypocrisy on such a world-class level? He was living the life of a sexual Batman, fercrissakes. As the story develops, we are hearing that he had some of his ‘trusted associates’ do the complex arranging that was required to, for instance, make sure that Cori Rist landed in an adjoining room in a luxury hotel during a stop on the tour. They bought the tickets, made the reservations, took care of all the details as Tiger concentrated on hitting that little white ball. When the putting and driving were done for the day, Tiger went to work. As the world’s highest paid athlete and with his charming smile it was way too easy to shine his light on a pretty woman and get her in the chorus line. So, he became not merely adept at this, he applied enough talent and focus that it became prodigious, something to look upon with awe…..right up until you consider the massive hypocrisy and deception that was an integral part of the whole deal.

If he was still single, nobody would care. If he was the whoremaster of the PGA and the whole world, nobody would care, except to admiringly report on how rutting season was progressing for him. But, no, he wanted it all: a beautiful and intelligent wife, a set of perfect kids, a stable home…the whole package. And, this man was raised to believe, as a matter of course, that he COULD have it all. I believe one of the reasons he is so good at his chosen game is because he knows that if he focuses his raptor-like gaze on something, most all of the time, he can make it happen. It almost seems like he can will that 60 footer into the hole. Apparently, he discovered somewhere along the way that this technique applied to more than just putting.

The term ‘spoiled’ doesn’t really describe a mind-set that is so completely focused on performing a given action and seeing a desired result. I swing the club, and the ball goes exactly where I want it to. Pressto! I do it so well that I am the highest paid athlete in the world. Eventually, living a life with this kind of feedback has got to go to your head, not just as an over-inflated sense of self, ego, but as a belief system, one that constantly reinforces the feedback loop: I want, I get. Inherent in that belief is the firm knowledge: I deserve. And what on God’s green earth has ever given him any reason to doubt that?
Add to that being surrounded by a school of remoras who are all being nourished by his stunning success, who will do anything to support it, and you have a perfect storm of elements that all point towards the ultimate belief: “I can do anything I want to….because I am me.” Tiger was going about building a de facto HAREM. He knew that his almost unquenchable appetite for sex was never going to be sated by a quiet and demure mother of his children. But, why should that mean he couldn’t have a Family Ties home life? So, with the help and support of his sycophants, he very stealthily and intently, went about setting up what amounted to a dual existence: happy daddy and husband, and world-class satyr.

And, the biggest question of all: did he know what he was doing was wrong? In a society where getting what you want at any cost has become the battle cry…..probably he feels that he was just living out his desires. Does he regret it? Like so many white-collar robber barons and errant politicians….it is most likely that what he regrets, is that he got caught with his pants around his ankles.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire in thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art?
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand, and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Poem by Wm. Blake

1 comment:

Lorena said...

I like the old Buck Owens song"Tiger by the Tail" I got into it with a youngster on a blog who posted something about "judge not..," I think it boils down to I want what I want and have gotten it, and the wholesome image was good for add revenue. I think I'm most angry with the advertisers who build heroes out of people who can manipulate round and oblong objects and not out of people deserving our respect and admiration like Mr.Unis of micro credit lending, Mother Theresa..,hw about an add- Just Do it- volunteer