Why the fall of Woods matters
(Note: this entry begins with Lisa Schiffren’s point that Woods’s fans are upset to find out that the man they liked and whose endorsed products they purchased was a false front covering something unpleasant. It then moves into the racial aspect of the false front and of what Woods was gaining through that false front.)
Lisa Schiffren writing at American Thinker (it’s rare to see an established conservative writer appearing over there—did K-Lo turn down the piece?), sees a significance in the Tiger Woods affair I had missed. She thinks it really does matter. Because Wood deliberately presented himself as something he was not:
… we’ve been had. Betrayed. We see now that the image was all a fraud. The talent was real. But the things that made the public like Tiger personally—the low-key demeanor, manners, and sweet smile … was an act.She quotes Jack Shafer at Slate:
Given how desperately we want to believe in a human god, it didn’t take much peddling from Team Tiger for us to accept Woods as a modern deity. With every new tournament victory, every new product endorsement, his divinity grew. His marketers made him a symbol of tolerance and brotherhood, and his father, Earl Woods, spoke gibberish about his son being a creature of destiny. Getting married and having children only added to Woods’ marketability. I’m divine and monogamous and the center of a happy nuclear family. And we ate it up. So now that the “real” Woods has been revealed … we’re embarrassed by the gap between who we believed Woods to be and who he really is.Shiffren then expands on the parallels between the manufacture and collapse of Woods and the manufacture and collapse of the other mixed race demi-god of our culture, the one in the White House.
However, as I said about the sense of loss and betrayal that many conservatives expressed about Charles Johnson, I personally cannot share in Shiffren’s feeling of being betrayed by Tiger Woods, because I never like Woods. I admired his talent, but to me he was a walking product endorsement, not a human being or athlete I could relate to. I also never forgave him for his publicity campaign racializing the game of golf when he went pro.
People who keep getting fooled by people they shouldn’t have been fooled by will keep feeling betrayed. Johnson was never a conservative, he was a liberal who didn’t like radical extreme terrorism. Woods was never an embodiment of goodness and virtue, he was a machine. And now we understand why he was a machine. It wasn’t just to manufacture an image and to sell products; it was to conceal his unpleasant private self.
While Schiffren shows some parallels between Woods and Obama, such as the fact that many people have an interest in covering up the truth about both, she does not succeed in persuading the reader that Obama is doing that badly. Her litany of his failings is rote.
On another point, why are the establi-cons such as Rush Limbaugh (who, as I’ve just heard, pushed Schiffren’s piece on his show) and Schiffren being triumphalist about the exposure of Obama’s true self—which, Schiffren suggests, is as damaging as Woods’s? America’s first truly leftist president seems to be moving, “with Tarquin’s ravishing strides,” toward the passage of nationalized health insurance that spells the end of America as a free country. Maybe when the bill passes and Obama signs it,, the establi-cons, still in their triumphalist mode, will say that Obama is finished and that his signing the bill shows how “desperate” he is.
John M. writes:
That’s the problem with any trend, movement, or pop culture fad; when it’s led by a charismatic figure who is worshiped by his supporters, it ends up becoming a cult of personality. We’ve seen this time and time again whenever any sort of False Messiah arises. Whether it was George W. Bush’s nonconservative presidency, the Religious Right, the “Counter-jihad” movement led by the covert liberal Charles Johnson, or Ron Paul’s “freedom” movement. All of these movements base their existence on the virtues of its leaders, and tend to ignore any shortcomings rather than hold the leader accountable. I’ve experienced this myself; when I was involved in the Ron Paul world, I ignored his libertarian rationalization of immigration, and his cowardly rejection of the newsletters that weren’t that racist in the first place. Not even the pro-immigration rants by Ryan McMaken, Anthony Gregory, or Will Grigg that were posted on lewrockwell.com dissuaded me, and I failed to wake up and see through the facade that was Ron Paul’s supposed American nationalism.LA replies:
Since I’ve been preening for not falling for false gods, I might as well add Ron Paul to the list. I wasn’t tempted by him for a single second.Ben W. writes:
America has tended to treat successful, non-threatening blacks as a part of us. Certain blacks have somehow “evolved” into apple-pie American. Obama and Tiger Woods fall into this category. Apart from the color of their skin, they’re just like us—and we will vote for them and admire their “successes.”LA replies:
While this is well said, I can’t agree with it entirely. Woods came up in a stable, middle class home and in particular his black father devoted himself to raising his son, training him as a golfer from an early age. So it’s not as though Woods had come from some low-class or alien environment and had to put on a mask in order to fit into white America.Tom H. writes:
In the discussion “Why the fall of Woods matters,” Ben W. wrote,Gintas writes:
The NY Daily News has this headline:LA replies:
Blacks are quoted without condemnation saying things like this all the time, but if whites say the same thing, they are disgusting maggots from which decent people shrink away in horror. That is not acceptable. We should never accept it.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 08, 2009 01:22 PM | Send