Tiger, Barack, and the Law of Transitivity
Posted on: 2009-12-08 16:47:14
If I were watching the public's disgust with the newly revealed Tiger Woods from an office in the West Wing, I'd be concerned. Because Barack Obama is about as completely manufactured a political character as this nation has seen.
As a rule, the revelation that a married athlete (or actor, or rock star, or politician) has conducted extramarital affairs with bevy of "party girls" may titillate, but rarely has the power to shock. In those realms, these things happen. Entitled men. Willing women. Deceived wives. What's new?
So what is it about Tiger Woods that makes his cheating so different from the usual that ten days on, the nation is still discussing revelations of conquests, trysts, payoffs, and physical injuries inflicted by a golf club?
Sure, there's normal prurience at work. But mostly, we are interested because Tiger Woods, who may legitimately be the best golfer ever, had been turned into an all-purpose icon: a man of personal rectitude, a lovely smile, apparent openness; a family man, with a lovely wife and two adorable babies.
And of course, he was our first living embodiment of the collective hope for racial reconciliation. Who knew that the early reports of his betrayed wife Elin swinging at him with a golf club constituted literal icon-smashing?