Tiger Woods: Celebrity Hath Its Privileges
I have learned my lesson. I have now done this long enough to know that not everything comes out initially. It takes time.
I had thought that more intelligent celebrities would have learned that public relations is best left to the professional public relations agents, to the “spin doctors.”
I guess Tiger Woods did not learn this valuable lesson. We heard a lot of reports, generally conflicting, but often sounding as if an attempt were being made to make something serious sound a great deal less serious.
“Stonewalling never works…” reads the Baltimore Sun post-mortem on the number of mistresses who have come out of the woodwork.
A chronology and an attempt at a sort of “fact” list by the Toronto Globe and Mail is not without use.
Now I am not a celebrity-follower as I know many of my patients and friends are, but there are three themes that keep coming back like the springtime every time I even look at anything about a celebrity.
1. There is a privilege that comes with wealth, celebrity, or both.
People who seem by all official (police) documentation to have done very-very-bad things, are simply less responsible for them. If this example is not enough, check out my previous writing on Roman Polanski, as well as his current state.
He is a man admittedly guilty of statutory rape who is now (would you believe) on house arrest in his private Swiss Chalet. None of US would have gotten away, if we had been caught by the police after an episode of ultra-dangerous driving, by telling the public that this is “a private matter.”
2. If there is one thing that human beings need more than having heroes, it is to see heroes ruined. Oh, how we love when the larger-than-life become at least as flawed as life. Our golf-hero has “behavior flaws” that include mistresses and even drugs. Napoleon Hill may have said that men of achievement are “highly sexed” but every time the same information is exposed we are titillated and, on some level, pleased.
We have especially loved seeing evangelists do their “180-degrees” — people like evangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. But be careful. We seem to love their falls from grace almost as much as we love their tearful beggings for forgiveness and the slow climb back to exaltation.
3. Psychopharmacology rules. A little Ambien, a perfectly legal (with a prescription) sleeping pill and a little Vicodin, a perfectly legal (with a prescription) pain pill, depending on individual sensitivity, may be plenty enough even at legal doses to help someone drive into a place where they ought not. It is the drugs, used or abused, that are blamed for taking control of a person, when the reality is that a person is the one who decides whether or not to take a drug and what ought to be done thereafter.
Here is a nice summation of Tiger Woods and all articles about. But you have GOT to wonder about an injunction about nude pictures in the U.K. when the lawyers are saying there are not any. Perhaps the Tiger has simply located his “spin doctors” a little too late, and they are trying to head him off at the pass.
Here is the synthesis:
There are lots of courts here. A judicial court, which has done little or nothing and gives every sign of being capable of being bought off or at least influenced by fame and wealth.
I hope the founding fathers are not rolling over in their graves, but I certainly would not blame them if they were.
There is a private court. What we say and do when we are up before ourselves in the mirror and those whom we love. This one is tough.
Appeals to a Universal Power or Lord make it easy, but in bed at night or in the mirror, this is a tough personal fight. I have seen the crying and anguish-driven lose it, without even knowing to whom they have lost it.
Tiger Woods has a special court most of us never get anywhere near.
It is the court of public opinion. He seems to be one in an even more elite group. The group of athletic stars.
I have taken care of “fallen” athletic stars; too old to compete, bodies worn out. But even then there is a halo of heroism that I cannot imagine elsewhere. No Nobel Prize Winner, nobody (except maybe Einstein himself) gets the hero worship a professional athletic hero seems to get. It is superhuman. It results in untold amount of money and symbolism, bumper stickers from men who want to be him; swooning from women who want to be with him.
There is a sense of “entitlement” with male power. The question is, with us Americans having such a moral/religious nation, how much can we forgive? I am not sure how those now living remember Wilt Chamberlain, who admitted to sleeping with an estimated 20,000 women Or do we forgive Kobe Bryant for an alleged abusive association with one woman?
All Tiger has done is mentioned “transgressions.” I do now know how many women or what circumstances his fans want to forgive him for?
Me, I don’t even see these things on an interpersonal level, now, if ever I did. I am no sports fan. I think people somehow have to become more self-aware, so that people understand love, for everybody, is not succumbing passively to the physical cues of mindless physical attraction, but something closer to a Shakespearean “marriage of true minds?” my alltime favorite #116?
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Until humans shed this horrible “physical” veneer of attraction and accept, let alone deal with, the deeper, perhaps spiritual way in which people truly related, we are are going to have transgressions and apologies.
Surely somebody besides me has noticed that there is a strong physical pull of certain types for certain types.
I can understand that a person of darker skin might seek a fair skin blonde for physical reasons only.
Think of O.J. Simpson with Nicole Brown.
Think of Tiger with his Scandinavian wife.
If you are old enough, think of Sammy Davis, Jr. with his Scandinavian wife, Mai Britt.
This is not a racist observation. It is a recognized pattern of human folklore.
It has happened to me:
I just have a vivid memory of being called to the front office of a hospital center in rural France. A man who had come up from Paris and traced me to the hinterlands was of Sierra Leone origin, sincere, and had the deepest black colored skin I have seen before or since. He held my hands in his and marvelled at my reddish hair, and more than that, the paleness of my skin.
He said he was in love,the biggest love of his life. He said the greatest sadness was how I rejected him. This could never work. I was too fragile to survive a musical-comedy score, let alone the United Nations quality international intervention he had already planned, and would ask me to follow through on. To return to Sierra Leone, help develop the medical establishment there while enjoying a traditional woman’s role.
It was not thought through. I would have died of sunburn, and of an impossible acculturation. It was his skin against mine that disturbed and excited him. He had not thought through the rest of life.
He was a professor type, planning on returning to Sierra Leone with his advanced degrees and academic status.
He knew nothing about love or about relationships, nothing at all. A little about status. A lot about disparate colors of skin together.
On the basis of that alone, he seemed convinced to prescribe me an impossible life.
He said the worst thing that ever happened in his life was when I turned him down.
Something in the disparity of races and colors is exciting to a lot of people who are “highly sexed.”
Josephine Baker, the rage of the 20′s in Paris, may have been attracted to pale skinned men, perhaps for the same reason.
When men have a sense of entitlement, they take what they want.
I do not know if Tiger Woods operated this way, but I do know that he was nurtured to be a star athlete from earliest youth, and he would certainly have felt empowered enough to take what he thought he needed.
Sometimes, men are inept in love. Very adept at generating sexual liaisons, especially with a sense of entitlement and perhaps, a little bit of some kind of ill defined skin-color/racial attraction.
Something that for all I know the entirety of the rest of the world knows exists. I would not know about this one if that poor dear man from Sierra Leone had not come to my little hospital.
If there are such unconscious factors, then we MUST forgive Tiger, who was an elite athlete from earliest youth, and bore some kind of emotional heritage from his own mixed parentage.
I know for a fact that most sports fans do not think this way. Tiger will surely never think of consulting someone capable of helping to deal with his problems until the last endorser disappears and he cannot figure his way out.
I am old enough to have figured out this one point of truth. I have believed, for most of my life, that no problems are insoluble. I have believed that blindly, without knowing how or why. Now I know. The way to solve an insoluble problem is to change how you look at the problem. To see a problem as a different kind of problem.
I think Tiger Woods is a man who may never have learned, socially, how to look for or find the love that a normal human male, not a sports icon, needs to survive and flourish.