This Scandal Says Much More About Our Culture Than it Does Tiger Woods
Feb 22, 2010
There's something strange about the culture of Celebrity in America. Tiger Woods put himself out in the public eye and as a result his little affair has garnered him a lot of attention by the press. I've never been too interested in the lives of celebrity or the gossip. When Anna Nicole Smith died, for instance, finding something else to watch was a test. When Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation it was tough to figure out what to watch to get away from the media circus (though it wasn't half the circus it was when he passed away--I love Michael Jackson, but it's a little over the top to spend a month on one story). The bigger the celebrity, the more sensationlized the story becomes. Even in the face of it being a story that most of us wouldn't care about had it just been some joe schmoe on the streets. Of course, I'm referring to the fact that Tiger Woods is far from the first man ever to have an affair on his wife, or even mistresses. And while I'll agree with some of the statements which argue that because of his celebrity status he feels entitled, I dismiss that Tiger Woods would've been incapable of doing such an act were he not a celebrity.
Let me put it this way, the media did a very good job of shaping attitudes about Tiger Woods within his scandal and affair. If I have to tell you what happened, then you were probably under a rock in the first place throughout this whole demeanor. It's easy to be upset with Tiger Woods. A man most of us only know because of the type of image that was built around him. None of us exactly know Tiger Woods personally. And while I'll be the first to admit he deserves to be condemned, I'll also be the first to state that were it some other guy and not Tiger Woods you all would've continued living your lives like normal in the first place.
I'll preface this by saying I absolutely do not like sports in the slightest. Whenever I hear about athletes messing up, my first response is often, "Who the hell is HE?" That didn't happen with Tiger Woods. It takes a lot of effort NOT to know who Tiger Woods is. I'm not entirely dense. I can name certain sports figures, but not a lot. And even when hearing about Tiger Woods constantly before this scandal broke, I never cared. In the first place I do not care for golf. And in the second place, I do not know Tiger Woods and his little affair is no business of mine. Lastly, I absolutely hated turning on the news only for them to spend hours talking about Tiger Woods's affair.
I will first be frank in saying that for those who constantly complain about the media beating this story into the ground... allow me to inform you that "News" hasn't been about "News" in a very long time. News is a business. And in this business it is about ratings. Consider that the news spent far more time to cover Tiger Woods than it did Haiti. Do you know why that happened? Because Haiti didn't garner ratings for them. Tiger Woods did. In our celebrity obsessed culture you might as well compare America to a typical American High School. Everyone has their ear to the ground waiting to hear about the next celebrity scandal. When Tiger Woods came up, many tuned in. Just about every cable news show (the term "show" is not used lightly here, mind you) saw an incredible boost in ratings. What you're saying is that you're tired of hearing it... but what you're showing them by tuning in is that you want more. To the news networks, all they're paying attention to is the fact that more people are watching. Not necessarily whether or not people are actually enjoying what it is they're watching or if it's even helpful. So the next time you hear someone going on about ratings you know that in the midst of things, he probably doesn't give a shit how good it is. News has been a business for a long time.
With that in mind I'll talk about Tiger Woods briefly. I'm not going to try and defend Tiger Woods. I won't try too much to belittle him, either, because in the process of belittling, I think the media, you reading this (probably) and the explosion across the forums on the internet have done enough of that already. And yes, that's just as annoying as hearing about the story constantly.
Rather I am here to state that as much attention as it's getting in the news I don't particularly care. As I said, I do not know Tiger Woods personally and I'm more than willing to bet you reading this doesn't know Tiger Woods either. Though it is interesting to see how obsessed with the culture of celebrity we are. We're quick to condemn Tiger Woods on this in spite of the fact (perhaps even BECAUSE of the fact) that we don't know him. Yet when you hear about someone doing the same thing locally nearby you generally don't care, seeing as how it doesn't bring much harm to you in the long run. Simply put, if Tiger Woods weren't so famous you wouldn't care. Some of you still don't care. And while I think what he did was terrible, it is not my job to care. When the family on your block has a terrible thing happen you usually leave them alone.
I know what many of you are saying now, "Well, Tiger is a public figure. He has no private life anymore!" Granted, in our celebrity obsessed culture that's not too far from the truth. However, I still argue that in spite of his celebrity status and his amazing talent to hit a golf ball, Tiger Woods still bleeds like the rest of us. Tiger Woods wasn't a Superman or a Supernatural being of any kind. We look at Tiger Woods and express disappointment as if he were someone who was shaping our lives and telling us how to live. As though we were all his children in some way. This is why it's very disheartening to constantly hear about Tiger Woods day in and day out. And just when the scandal died down, he makes a public apology which brings it back into the spotlight.
And yes, even on your darling media you're probably getting a lot that isn't really that true. How many mistresses has Woods had? Who knows? And frankly, why should I care? There have been many many women claiming to be one of those "mistresses" who were later found out to be lying. You see? Everyone wants a piece of the celebrity pie.
As I said, Woods was not some supernatural being, or an alien from another planet. He just happened to be a very famous man caught up in a really crappy scandal. Someone else out there is doing the same thing Tiger Woods was already doing. You won't see the media grab him and spend time raking him over the coals, or even trying to justify why that man is world news. Because the media damn well knows he's not news. The reason they try to justify Tiger Woods as such is because he's a famous person. If you want an answer as to why celebrities feel as though they're entitled to something, it's probably because it us in the public who put them on such a pedestool in the first place. We give them so much attention and coverage that even the smallest thing they do we like to pretend means something in our own little worlds. How likely is it, for example, that Tiger Woods affair is suddenly going to affect my own personal life?
Much more than that, are those people who go around screaming as though putting Tiger Woods away would somehow save all women everywhere from being cheated on. That sounds absolutely stupid to me. It's akin to those who believed that putting Michael Jackson away when he went to trial on accusations of child molestation that it would never ever happen again with him off the streets. People should be smart enough to realize that Tiger Woods affair would've been likely to happen had he not been a celebrity and that punishing Woods isn't exactly going to solve many of the world's problems nor your own personal problems. The reason so many watch Tiger Woods get reamed is because, for the most part, it's good television for many of you. It's akin to watching a soap opera or a television series. The difference is that it isn't some actor in the role, it's someone real. Tiger Woods in this case. You want to know what'll happen next because it beats the hell out of watching the predictable nature of your average sitcom where it's scripted and where there are supposed to be hints. In our culture that seems to be the way it is.
Tiger Woods didn't owe me an apology. I don't ask a man next door who has cheated on his wife to apologize to me for doing so. "TIger Woods is a public figure, Sean, it's different." Okay, I'll give you that one as long as you're willing to cave into the idea that it was because of the public that he was given such a status in the first place. People worshipped Tiger Woods as though he were some kind of God. Certainly the sport of Golf was glad to have him, but I find it odd that even had some other golfer been caught up in a scandal--one who has made billions of dollars as well--would probably wouldn't have received so much attention or even scrutiny.
Then there's the last portion. The people who keep screaming, "Think of the children!" It's no secret that Tiger Woods had an image that was built up for him. He held this image as a good man--a family man. Parents were happy when their kids said, "I want to grow up to be like Tiger Woods," and blah blah blah. Then suddenly this scandal broke out and as what always happens when it comes to celebrities there was this sort of, "He was supposed to be a good role model for our kids." There's nothing that offends me more than parents propping up someone like Tiger Woods, or Kobe Bryant or any other athlete or celebrity saying that they're to serve as a model for young children. The reason why it offends me to no end is because it is not the job of Tiger Woods to make sure your kid turns out to be a good, moral person. That's what the job of a parent is. I can understand if kids looked up to Tiger Woods as a hero and suddenly this happened... but again, it is the parents job to redirect the child in the first place. Besides, look at who else your child worships. There are many people at his or her school who will have a much more direct influence than Tiger Woods. I'm simply saying that while it's a shame for a child's hero to let him or her down, it is the parent who is to be responsible for how that child turns out. And if you do have a kid who suddenly thinks he needs to be going out and cheating on his significant other when he grows up, then it isn't Tiger's responsibility to set him straight.
I understand that Tiger Woods is a public figure who had an image that was set up for him, and that he let millions of people down. I have people that I admire and respect as well, but I respect them as artists and creators... not exactly as people. For those who admired Tiger Woods because of his golfing abilities, I don't think this affair suddenly means he's a terrible golfer. So called "bad" people are good at things all the time. One can still hold on their respect for him as an athlete even while acknowledging that he's done a terrible wrong. As I said, since I didn't know Tiger Woods personally, it isn't as though I had much respect for him in the first place. Even more than that, it's not like I cared about him before the scandal, and it isn't as though I'll suddenly care about him afterwards. Actually my bigger concern is that we're more obsessed with what Tiger Woods is doing in the public eye than what is actually going on that could mean changes in the future. I'm not talking politics, mind you, I'm actually referring to what may or may not be happening in your own personal life. What happens in the life of Tiger Woods happens in the life of Tiger Woods. And as terrible as it is that it has happened... it is still matter that Tiger Woods needs to deal with without us. We're not his friends and family. What we say doesn't matter. And while the media continues to gossip over it (and we continue to be forced to swallow it) what they say or tell him to do in the long run doesn't matter much either.
It is difficult to give this data point a rating. It is an issue between a man and his wife and nobody else’s business. Who is Tiger Woods? The man is arguably one of the greatest golf players of all time. News of his infidelity have reached widespread coverage because of his fame. So does this make him any less of a human being? Well, it all depends on how you look at it…. For me, it seems like when we see him play, you can’t help but admire his skills. The … more
Is there anyone out there like me that wishes this story would go away like the Octomom, Miss California and the White House gate crashers tales. This is getting way too much coverage. I guess the news outlets feel the general public is becoming extremely bored about the debates still raging on Healthcare and Afganistan. What is it that makes the general public love it when a "good guy" is exposed as being human like the rest of us. … more
First, I have never played golf in my life! Second, I am a retired army officer, an adjunct professor in history and have studied philosophy in graduate school. So, why am I weighing in on Tiger Woods. Throughout my life I have become disappointed in observing in American society how many young people have idolized professionals in the sports and entertainment fields. Kids have posters of their favorite athletes and entertainers on their bedroom walls, and not of people … more
A scandal isn't a scandal unless some jokes are made. Now, I don't condone beating a man when he's down, but funny is funny. Jokes you can tell He's not a Tiger...he's a Cheetah What's the difference between and SUV and a golfball? Tiger … more
*steps up onto soap box* Why is it my business who Tiger Woods is, has or has ever had sex with? I know the answer is that this is America and Americans love to be up in people's bedrooms. And why are so many people saying it's his fall from grace. A god on the golf course, maybe, but he's just a very rich dude . If you are one of those people who assume that because somebody gets paid an insane amount of money to sing, act, play sports, run governments exceptionally well (in most cases), … more
Tiger Woods, If you are reading this, I just want to send you my love and support. I do not think what is happening to you is fair nor do I think that it is anyone's business. I hope that you can stay strong through this and realize that you can shine through this difficult time. There are so many people out here who agree that the media has exposed your situation way too much. I beleive that none of what has been said about you or written about you makes you … more
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
Consider the Source
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On November 27, 2009, Tiger Woods was taken to hospital after an early morning car accident near his home, reportedly in serious condition. Woods was leaving his home around 2:30 a.m. (EST) in his SUV, a 2009 Cadillac Escalade, when he collided with a fire hydrant and a tree down the street. The Florida Highway Patrol said that the crash was not alcohol-related, but continued to investigate. Woods was released from the hospital in good condition; his agent said that Woods was fine, and had been treated for facial lacerations. The airbags in his SUV did not deploy which suggested that he was not travelling above 33mph. On November 29, Woods issued a statement saying the car accident was his fault, but is a private matter. He praised his wife Elin for getting him out of the car. Details about what caused the accident were not revealed. Two days before the accident, The National Enquirer had published a story that alleged that Woods had had an affair with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, which she denied. Woods said, "the many false, unfounded, and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible".
On December 1, 2009, Woods was charged by the Florida Highway Patrol with one charge of careless driving. The fine is $164 and 4 points on his driving license. The Florida Highway Patrol indicated that upon payment of the fine, the case is closed.
Also on December 1, Woods announced that he would not be attending his own ...