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I feel Ayn Rand

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  • Lyndon Hood,

    I agree the celebrity and throwing to lions aspects are rather universal.

    Cause and effect aside, it's notable that human sacrifices work best if you treat them like kings beforehand. Or so I hear.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Buzz Bissinger in Vanity Fair, on Woods suffering:

    ... the greatest single fall in popularity of a nonpolitician in the history of public-opinion surveys: a drop in approval from 87 percent in 2005 to 33 percent, with an unfavorable rating of 57 percent, according to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll.

    But why? When soccer player David Beckham was rumored to have been in sexual trouble, it may have been disappointing to his fans, but it was hardly surprising. Beckham just had the look of someone who was born to screw around. The same with Alex Rodriguez. The same with Kobe Bryant. (Is there a player in pro basketball who doesn’t screw around?) The same also with Bill Clinton and John Edwards and David Duchovny and Colorado minister Ted Haggard.

    But not Tiger Woods. In an age of constant gotcha and exposure, he had always been the bionic man in terms of personality, controlling to a fault and controlled to a fault, smiling with humility and showing those pearly white teeth in victory or defeat, sui generis in the world of pro golf, where even fellow pros and other insiders didn’t really know him, because he didn’t want anybody to know him. With Woods, everything was crafted to produce a man of nothing, with no interior—non-threatening and non-controversial.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just in on the Tiger wire: sex tape and disco biscuits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Fox News's senior political analyst Brit Hume weighs in on what Tiger Woods needs to do to redeem himself: convert to Christianity.

    The daily show (not appearing on C4 this week for some reason?!?) was all over this the last two nights. Damn funny. www.dailyshow.com.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    When soccer player David Beckham was rumored to have been in sexual trouble, it may have been disappointing to his fans, but it was hardly surprising. Beckham just had the look of someone who was born to screw around

    1. Beckham came clean very early when his story broke.
    2. His minders were also very quick to run a smear campaign against Loos. Although, that's a bit easier to do when there's only one person to smear.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Although I dread to think how many times you've mentioned it ...

    Exactly the same number I've asserted it's total irrelevance to her performance as a public figure, and rather close to the number of times I've bitched so-called "mainstream" media outlets for their hypocritical condemnation of Ian Wishart's panty-sniffing while gleefully spreading it around.

    I know it's not an exact analogy with Woods, and schadenfreude is an ugly but inescapable feature of human nature. I'm just sick of hearing that he "asked for it", or there's some kind of genuine public interest being served. If people want to get off on moralistic voyeurism, at least try and keep it the hypocrisy to a minimum.

    Which is a nice segue to...

    Fox News's senior political analyst Brit Hume weighs in on what Tiger Woods needs to do to redeem himself: convert to Christianity.

    As I've said on another thread, I won't hold my breath waiting for Hume to call on his employers and fellow screaming skulls to come to Jesus and start paying heed to the 8th Commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour"). I guess Obama can't clear a couple of weeks in his busy schedule for that prayer meeting.:)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and completely apropos of nothing: Anne C. Heller's Ayn Rand and The World She Made is an excellent piece of work, neither hagiography nor demolition job it does the useful task of reducing her to a human being. (Which may explain why it's about as popular with what she calls the "Rand cult" as Christopher Hitchens is around The Vatican.)

    Though reading it immediately after Terry Teachout's even better biography of Louis Armstrong was an... interesting exercise in compare and contrast. Two extraordinarily strong personalities with interesting lives, but what very different people. Armstrong seemed genetically incapable of being bitter for long, even though he had a string of damn good reasons. Rand -- not so much.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    Couldn't we just stick to fiction? Here we are, golden age of television, with an endless supply of beautiful, sexy and scandalous stories... and yet the saddest part is not that we choose "real life", but that we choose to enshrine its stupidest, crassest, most debased stories... and call it celebrity news.

    I'd rather we do away with the facade and just put porn in its place.

    Media 7 Season 3 Episode 11 2/10/09:

    Russell Brown: Is that in itself a justification for running these stories, that people will watch them?

    Mike Valentine (producer of Sunday): Um......... no, but ,you know, the justification is that they’re interesting and people- - [realises he’s about to say 'people will watch them'] - - you got to look at them in the whole mix of things, you know, in amongst them is a lot of serious stories too, and people are not going to sit there, every night, and watch a whole lot of serious stories... You know, it’s a mix. And we work hard to give them that because in the end, it is about ratings. People switch off, people lose jobs. Simple as that.

    After that, I struggle to complain about the media's titillation reporting. Mike said it. It's about the ratings. They might as well show porn.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    so what guy/gal wouldn't want to be tiger or elin even more now ?

    he's still got the talent, the money, the ladeez, the life style, minus the pressure to perform on the golf course and she's set up for life. i cant see either of them being too cut up about getting back or losing the publics faith in them.

    fuck all that hypochristian bullshit. the standard line reeks of jealousy, greed and coveting another mans errr...whatever

    its good to know kiwis dont have a monopoly on the tall poppy syndrome

    oh and fuck ayn rand and her bullshit as well:)

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Quite a big chunk of Woods' income has come from the sale of his image, as opposed to his excellence in playing golf.

    I've never seen him as a big family man. To me the image was always just that he was extremely good at golf (though I admit I tend to avoid seeing most advertising). I wonder how many people really thought of him as a role model for all aspects of their life, rather than someone to be admired for his achievements in his sport.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I've never seen him as a big family man. To me the image was always just that he was extremely good at golf (though I admit I tend to avoid seeing most advertising). I wonder how many people really thought of him as a role model for all aspects of their life, rather than someone to be admired for his achievements in his sport.

    Thanks for saying that SteveH. I can't say I ever looked at him shilling razor blades or over-priced sneakers and thought "well, there's a long streak of uxorious moral probity I want to model my whole life on." He was, and always will be, that funny looking black guy who's really good at golf.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    After that, I struggle to complain about the media's titillation reporting. Mike said it. It's about the ratings. They might as well show porn.

    But am I the only person who finds the whole ratings argument rather disingenuous? I once had a conversation with a media maven that went something like this:

    MM: Nobody wants to watch pointy-head long-form political interviews.

    ME: Based on what?

    MM: The ratings for Agenda are terrible.

    ME: Do you think that might have something to do with the zero effort spent on promoting it?

    MM: Um...

    ME: ... or that don't have to be a marketing genius to grasp that the target audience for a political discussion show isn't likely to be glued to the TV at nine o'clock on a Sunday morning?

    Rinse, repeat and go around one more time. There's just a stink of circle jerk reasoning about it all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    And then there's the racial aspect to Woods's peculiar brand of celebrity, which shouldn't be underestimated in a culture as viscerally racist as America's. Part of Woods's appeal to his sponsors and those who consumed his celebrity was the fact that he seemed to negate certain long-standing racist stereotypes of black masculinity. His weird apparent sexlessness was part of this.

    The fact that he can now be read as embodying -- and therefore endorsing -- those same racist stereotypes of black men as OMG!-sexually-rapacious-horn-dogs-who-menace-teh-white-women is part of what's made the anti-Woods backlash so stinging. It's all part of American culture's pornographic obsession with the spectacle of miscegenation. Depressing, really.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks for saying that SteveH. I can't say I ever looked at him shilling razor blades or over-priced sneakers and thought "well, there's a long streak of uxorious moral probity I want to model my whole life on." He was, and always will be, that funny looking black guy who's really good at golf.

    But we're not really interested in golf -- and we're not American. The idea that great public success is somehow miraculously entwined with superior moral conduct in private life is still very popular in the US.

    This is much more acute for sponsors who've invested in the myth -- that of the supremely focused, successful individual.

    And the fact is, Woods and his people worked hard at creating an image and deliberately presenting it as an aspirational ideal for young people.

    This is the text of the "About us" page of the Tiger Woods Foundation website:

    Letter From Tiger

    Dear friends,

    From early childhood, I dreamed of being the world’s best golfer. I worked hard and applied my family’s values to everything I did. Integrity, honesty, discipline, responsibility, and fun: I learned these values at home and in school, each one pushing me further toward my dream.

    It was over 10 years ago that my father and I began with the idea of bringing our family motto of “caring and sharing” to the rest of the world. In those days, we traveled the country holding junior golf clinics and encouraging kids to dream big and set specific goals to make those dreams a reality.

    Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of children across the country, and all of them share one common bond: they all dream about their futures. As a result, I learned that success on the course was only part of what I wanted to achieve. In 1996, my father and I established the Tiger Woods Foundation to inspire youth, because I believe in passing on the values I received from my parents and teachers.

    I can proudly say more than 10 million young people have been touched by the Tiger Woods Foundation. Through character development programs, scholarships, grants, junior golf teams, and the Tiger Woods Learning Center, the Foundation is helping young people reach their goals.

    Please take a look around our website and learn more about our programs and events, the young people we’ve worked with and the sponsors who make it all possible. Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ll join us as we work to make a real difference for millions of kids.

    Sincerely,


    Tiger Woods
    Founder

    That's quite the list of virtues he's been implicitly claiming to embody.

    It's now clear that there were many people within the sport and in the golf media who knew that he was not exactly the man he sold himself as. So there was quite a head of steam built up when the accident happened and he turned out to be kind of weird, dishonest and manipulative.

    It should not surprise anyone that Woods is flawed -- it's hard to be as insanely good at one thing as he is without suffering a deficit somewhere. But he and his people did consciously create and sell an image of him based on virtues he didn't possess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Some sort of willful suspension of cynicism has been going on, worldwide. A celebrity who embodies family values is found to be a philanderer; haven't we heard this one before? Yet we respond with surprise and indignation.

    In any case, why should Woods matter - because he plays golf very well and he is black(ish)? Is it only me who feels indifferent to the Lives of the Golfers?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It should not surprise anyone that Woods is flawed -- it's hard to be as insanely good at one thing as he is without suffering a deficit somewhere. But he and his people did consciously create and sell an image of him based on virtues he didn't possess.

    OK, that's a completely fair point but it just strikes me that you've made it without the leering hypocrisy that's marked much of the coverage.

    Let me put it this way: One of the many things that really bugged me about Brit Hume's "come to Jesus" moment on Fox (that you linked to) is that the circumstances of his own (less than amicable) divorce - and his son's suicide - are very strictly out of bounds. And so they should be; it would be crass beyond belief to say his family might be intact today if he'd gotten born again a little earlier.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • underscore_b,

    I'd agree with Craig and Keith that the righteous indignation is utterly ridiculous and seems to emanate from the same quarter that believes in keeping politics out of sport.

    That said, if I recall correctly Rand's rejection of conventional morality was about getting rich and bugger the proles, not puritanical hand-wringing. Anyone want to correct me?

    Since Jun 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    flawed is normal so is hypocrisy. im wondering if tiger deliberately took more risks, as george michael did, in the subconscious hope of getting busted, outed and moving on to a more accurate reflection of his true self

    my take on rand was, 'it's ok to be a greedy white cunt cos thats your nature and you cant fight nature' :)

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It should not surprise anyone that Woods is flawed -- it's hard to be as insanely good at one thing as he is without suffering a deficit somewhere. But he and his people did consciously create and sell an image of him based on virtues he didn't possess.

    Indeed, good on PepsiCo for dumping that whore mongering hypocrite's arse. Instead, they should stick to endorsing positive role models and life-enhancing events like Beenie Man gigs in Uganda. Whatever else you say about Anthony Moses Davis, you can't accuse him of pretending to be anything but a murderous, hate-filled bigot.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'd agree with Craig and Keith that the righteous indignation is utterly ridiculous and seems to emanate from the same quarter that believes in keeping politics out of sport.

    That same quarter was guilty of hypocrisy in the early 1980s (and probably still is) - it refused to send NZ athletes to Moscow in 1980, but the following year it fully allowed the 'Boks to tour NZ.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    Whatever else you say about Anthony Moses Davis, you can't accuse him of pretending to be anything but a murderous, hate-filled bigot.

    ...who makes insanely catchy tunes

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    ...who makes insanely catchy tunes

    And, to be fair, whose lyrical fag-bashing isn't exactly outside the mainstream in Uganda But my point is that if anyone is "tainting" the Pepsi family of beverage brands, Tiger Woods is slipping down the list fairly quickly.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'd agree with Craig and Keith that the righteous indignation is utterly ridiculous and seems to emanate from the same quarter that believes in keeping politics out of sport.

    But I'm not finding Keith's own righteous indignation about Woods' fate in the popular media very compelling either. I'm just not outraged, as such, about any of it.

    I well recall one of the stupidest Herald editorials ever -- the one headed, with thunderous sanctimony, "Mark Todd owes us all an explanation". Not me, he didn't, and not whatever stuffed shirt wrote the editorial in question.

    Woods is a little different. The kind of sponsorships he was hauling in are to some extent a wager on the public sentiment, and if the public sentiment is turned the wrong way, well, so be it.

    So I don't agree that it's simply and purely a celebrity gossip story that all right-thinking people should ignore. There's enough money involved to make it interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • underscore_b,

    And, to be fair, whose lyrical fag-bashing isn't exactly outside the mainstream in Uganda But my point is that if anyone is "tainting" the Pepsi family of beverage brands, Tiger Woods is slipping down the list fairly quickly.

    Craig, you're forgetting the secondary meaning of "family values" in the US...

    While we're on the subject though, do you think there'd be the same grave pronouncements about betraying his family/reputation/fans if he'd been perfectly chaste, but filed for divorce and come out of the closet?

    Since Jun 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    i find beenie man and most patois versed songs virtually indecipherable. never been much into lyrics tho, but you'd have to be fairly close to feeding on the bottom to use lyrics as justification for committing immoral acts

    them africans do have some crazy customs and beliefs though pretty much on a par with american objectivism

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

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