It is easy to understand the infatuation with, and “reporting” of movie industry folks who “need” their faces in the media on a constant basis so that they maintain continued relevance beyond the most recent film in which they appeared. This dysfunctional relationship between movie “star” and Hollywood reporter ha a construct of a, now century-old, Edward Bernays-contrived propaganda campaign derived to aid the movie industry and solidify its presence as a permanent fixture in the collective conscious of Americans.
Bernays, America’s first and greatest marketer-propagandist (and the reason his cousin, Sigmund Freud, is famous today) was the man dreaded rag newspaper and rag magazine magnate William Randolph Hearst turned to when Hearst needed to find a way to sell a new line of women’s magazines he wanted to figuratively force down women’s throats.
By realizing – what is ancient hermetic knowledge – that people react to certain descriptive words, phrases, and images on a deeper emotional level than we are often aware, Bernays went about forming an advertising campaign for Hearst. Bernays associated the Hearst’s magazines and their message with glamorous Hollywood starlets of the time. To the common woman the message was, ‘read these magazines, be like the stars.’ To the movie industry the message was, ‘if your starlets are continuously in the public’s mind’s eye, more people will watch your movies.’
Now that the Entertainment and Sports News Network (ESPN) has entered the sports fray, athletes have joined movie actors in the tabloids. And ESPN did not “go tabloid” on athletes until the company began broadcasting professional sports.
Because they began an on-going relationship with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more leagues and associations, they were forced, by choice, to sacrifice the news aspect of their organization. ESPN has, for almost two decades, been unable to actually break a news story concerning an athlete. They are forced to allow other news organizations, whether it be a local newspaper or the Associated Press, to break stories. Then and only then does ESPN step in. and when they do, they immediately attempt to co-opt the news produced, throw as much manpower as necessary to the story, dominate the headlines, and shape opinion surrounding the story.
And because the first word in the acronym, ESPN, is “E” and that vowel stands for Entertainment, raking athletes under the coals for off-field actions has become part and parcel of their company-wide reportage, an integral part of their company-wide being. ESPN used and continues to use MTV “veejays” to discuss the off-field acts of athletes. ESPN began the ESPY’s, a ridiculous affair that awards various moments in the year of sports. It was derived to give the illusion of being the sporting equivalent of the Oscars, replete with a pre-award red carpet show and an around the block limousines line.
Out from those vehicles step athletes, movie actors and pop music stars dressed to the nines, all mingling with each other, all trotting out the threadbare adage that most musicians and actors wish, on some level, that they could be pro athletes, with the athletes avowing the vice versa. Of course they each wish to be the other.
They are all portrayed as the pinnacles of beauty and virility. They are all portrayed as what everyone is told to aspire to be – well-known, well-liked, ever young, rich, and perennially happy. They are the big boys and girls on the grade school, high school, and college campus. They are the neighborhood kid who made good.
The perception is America at its most juvenile. To laud these people to the point of undue adoration, to the state of godhood in some instances, is as childish an act that a human can endeavor. To write off their on-screen, on-stage and on-field acts is one thing, but to ascribe to them some sort of cultural or socio-cultural meaning is as gross an error as the “average” person can make. Conversely (at least socio-culturally) it is no accident that pushing these people as cultural icons is used as part of the web of societal control mechanisms by those people who would wish to maintain their positions of power unquestioned by the populace as a whole. It is why Dick Vitale can still be viewed as a wholesome, grandfatherly figure despite appearing on commercials ogling Hooter’s women’s breasts with his good eye. It is why Bill Raftery can yell “Onions” as a way to say “He’s got big balls,” and the word becomes part of the NCAA Basketball landscape. It is why Peyton Manning, while at the University of Tennessee, was widely rumored to have attempted to match his brother Cooper’s sexual exploits at Mississippi, but can still be seen as the an awe-shucks all-around good guy.
And into this toxic cauldron comes the reluctant and perhaps psychically fractured figure of the former Eldrick Tont Woods, now Tiger Woods. Woods is preternaturally public shy and is therefore reluctant to have his personage allied with anything outside of his given profession. He may well be psychically fractured because of a heinous kindergarten incident wherein White boys tied him to a tree, taunted him mercilessly with racial slurs, and physically abused him, at one point allegedly throwing rocks at Woods.
That Woods found strength through golf is an understatement. It is possible that each time Woods strikes a golf ball he is at once pushing back the memory of that event and at the same time striking the boys who performed that malicious and racist act.
Despite his obvious desire to keep his off-course life private, Woods has been, on a number of occasions, thrust into the public light for reasons other than golf. Whether it be Kelly Tilghman’s remarks about other golfers getting Woods in an alley and lynching him – which besides being myopic and racist, shows Tilghman’s general insensitivity toward other people, or is illustrative of her ignorance of the backgrounds of the golfers she covers – or the topic of why his presence has not fostered an outgrowth of Black PGA – at least – golfers, Woods is staunch in his right to deal with these issues privately.
The one athlete who has never, ever sought the limelight is being shown to be the one athlete these vile creatures that are the sports and entertainment gossip rags, virtual or otherwise, have been impatiently waiting to take down. Because he is so private Tiger Woods has become the biggest notch on the gossip rags’ belts.
They are not vultures, as these birds feed off the carcasses of the dead. They are ticks that bore into their host and feed off their blood and poison everything they touch.
And the “new woman” who alleges that she has text messages and much more from Woods, is, if all this is true, the perfect 21st century Jezebel. That a person would go to the length to store text messages and keep voice mail correspondences outside of a business setting is a sure sign that she knew her dalliance with Woods was and is a way to be the center of the national eye. She was, after all, once a contestant on a VH1 reality show – “Tool Academy” – and no one participates on those programs if they have not fed into and desperately seek the bullshit fed to them about life as a public figure.
This woman – all the reality show wanna-be stars, for that matter – is akin to the sudden appearance of a growth on one’s body. She is potentially malignant, yet if dealt with properly will have her moment of life, no matter how negative the impact, but will eventually go away.
For Woods, her appearance, if her story – and any other wart women who might appear – is true, is a signpost that he must embark on a serious period of introspection and actively seek to heal old, untreated psychic wounds and deal with the sickness they have cause. His acts are the manifestations of the trap of power as it is perceived and acted upon in Western society; power is a sickness of the highest order.
Still, he owes no one outside of his family an explanation. But he does need to take stock of himself and take a look at the world around him. He knows well -as do many, sports writers and columnists – that the number two golfer in the world Phil Mickelson is renowned for his Las Vegas gambling trips and his alleged sexual transgressions there and elsewhere. And this news has been widely whispered for years.
But you’ve never seen the tick press bore into Mickelson, though he known to be the most reviled player within the ropes on the PGA Tour. Nor has Tiger Woods.
That should tell Tiger that “Cabalasian,” while personally factual, is not how he is perceived – anywhere.
Tiger Woods is a Black man – period. And as such, he and his monumental endorsement-financial and on-course success is the object of scorn in every level of American society; hated from sports desks nationwide, to gossip rag editors, Joe the Plumbers everywhere, to the Rayburn Building, to the halls of the FBI.
Tiger Woods is black enemy Number One.
And Eldrick Tont is the person who needs to know not “Tiger.” Eldrick was tied to the tree. Eldrick is the person his father said would change the world, not “Tiger.” Tiger is nothing more than an ode to his father’s friend, a gold club head cover striped, furry object, an easy name to go by, an image to uphold, a simulacrum of the man.
It is time for Eldrick to step from the shadows and smack Tiger into place. Then all the ticks, hos and bimbos will disappear. The haters will fade to black.
And a man can stand tall.
Click here for Woods’ voice mail to “the latest woman.”