"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, January 07, 2010

the trouble with Tiger Woods

i read this really great article today, about Tiger Woods and his recent "fall from grace" (the only article about Tiger's recent media scandal i could bear to read. i can't stand watching the media pick apart celebrities like that, when they're obviously having some serious family/marital issues). [i find the more i try to read about grad programs in education and the more i try to write something related to a personal statement, the more news i end up reading, and the more blog posts i end up writing. at least i'm being productive in some way?]

i was working online when the Tiger story first broke, and was ostensibly mistaken in thinking it would subside quickly. since that Thanksgiving weekend, the story has been a topic of almost daily discussion in entertainment/celebrity news circles and manages to leak into the periphery whenever i venture online.

but this article i read today takes a much-needed critical stance on Tiger's problems that has been completely ignored and excluded in the majority all of recent corporate media coverage. [it is interesting to note that the article i read incidentally comes from a grassroots, socialist-leaning, online media co-op. coincidence?] the article discusses Tiger's loss in corporate sponsorship as a result of his negative media attention and the pulling of Tiger spots and commercials, even the halt of his own Gatorade drink, "Tiger Focus." of course, it came as no surprise that Tiger's irresponsible conduct would result in huge blows to his public image and career – the almost total loss of his billion-dollar sponsorships, the subsequent self-imposed exile from golf and life, the increasing amount of tarnish on a once veneered and venerable public image – but, what this article brings up that others have forgotten in the sizzle and scandal, is that Tiger's had it coming for a while, and not just in the sense that he's received his comeuppance for marital infidelity, i mean a practiced neglect for social responsibility in his career actions.

unbeknownst to me prior to the recent media attn, Tiger's had some pretty nasty corporate bed fellows, including Chevron and Nike (who, touchingly, bucked the trend of dropping him, choosing instead to stand by their cash cow, citing his tenure on their payroll and his proven athleticism). Nike, Tiger's sponsor for ten years and counting, is also, let's not forget, well known for their use of sweat shops. so Nike's loyalty is perhaps not undeserved: Tiger, in his ten years under their sponsorship, has never once spoken against or implored them to pursue different labor practices. and this, it seems, is only the tip of the iceberg. Tiger has been linked to selling his celebrity super power of distraction to aid the efforts of developers and military in ousting Filipino peasants from their land, in the name of bringing golf and golf courses to the Philippines.

as this article makes clear, Tiger's conduct has deserved scrutiny for quite some time, albeit for different reasons than what warranted his current media spanking. while the world continues to lament Tiger's tarnished public image, it is necessary that we pry a little beyond merely the celebrity tabloid fodder and get at the real reason for Tiger's declining success (considering his involvement with some questionably irresponsible corporations and businesses, is it any surprise that at the first sign of trouble, they decided to jump ship? corporations do not usually specialize in solidarity or compassion, maybe Tiger would have learned that if he'd checked up on some things).

accepting things for how they are and focusing on just how one benefits from the system is to live in denial that the system eventually comes back to screw you over.


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