I cannot understand why Tiger Woods–admittedly a cool golfer, a stellar performer since he was 3 years old in his field, and a talented public figure as a rule– has to be so transparent with his life. We are expected to make too many disclosures about our lives, and I applaud those who keep to themselves for a change. We admired Jackie Kennedy for not going on TV and jabbering about every detail of her life. In fact, of late, my admiration goes far more immediately and long-term to those who keep themselves…to themselves.

Must we know everything? Must we be inside someone's nostrils? In psychodynamic terms, having to know this much about strangers–these public figures are not our relatives, co-workers or intendeds, after all–is puerile and childlike. We do not set appropriate boundaries, and the 24-hour news cycle merely echoes the egregious blabbermouth calisthenics of the gossip rags. Yes, they are serving a demographic, selling a service, making income and jobs for many. But at what cost? Do we really need to know where Zach Efron buys his shoes or Viggo Mortensen goes to deposit his sperm? Do we need to invade the plastic surgery tics of actors or moguls? Why must our lives be "enriched" by how many pounds a "supermodel" (are there any just-regular models? There don't seem to be) packs on to the tsk-tsk of millions?

Such intrusiveness bespeaks an emptiness in our lives and concerns. Certainly the world is commodious enough to encompass concern for larger issues, especially when so many wish us ill, and there are so many devious and cunning ways to damage the world we know and accept so imperiously. But this untoward concentration on who goes where, with whom, doing what, for how long, is jumping the shark.

I submit that the gate-crasher couple, the Tareq and Michaele Salahi duo, would have been executed almost on the spot by a Saddam Hussein, Hamid Karzai or Bashir Assad if they had suddenl;y appeared at a private function where they posed even a whisper of threat to the head of state, not made the parlous darlings of the talk-show circuit.

No one is here suggesting that we do away with these career crashers. But neither ought we fete them and do precisely to them what they sought all along. And in so doing, encourage others to do the same foolhardy and frankly dangerous thing. As Rep. Peter King says, they should be made examples of, so this does not recur.

Tiger Woods should be permitted his household arguments or tiffs (so long as he does not harm others or fail to make restitution for the damage he and his car inflicted) without being hounded. We are not children, who pull at our parents' clothing and insist on getting the full Monty on everything that passes our eyes.





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3 Comments so far

  1. Steve Leslie on November 30, 2009 9:06 pm

    Marion is so brilliant that she does not need my addition since she is unquestionably one of the most erudite and sophisticated individuals I know. To that end and with all due respect, I shall posit but a bit of an offering.

    Tiger Woods is of course entitled to his privacy. However unfortunately in this world we live in he gave that up when he became famous and hounds and vultures (insert National Enquirer) decided to make money over his celebrity status. The days of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevaried are long gone. May their memory rest in peace. Now everything is sensationalism and shadenfreude. Thoreau said it best "Most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to their grave with the song still in them. "

    At least he does not bring out his trophy wife to shill for him like Kobe Bryant, Frank Gifford, and the shameless master himself William Jefferson Clinton would and did. One thing I respected about the current Governor of New York was how he handled the media. I paraphrase "Before you start looking into my past, both myself and my wife have had relationships outside our marriage." Now there is a guy who knows the meaning of the term damage control. No Gary Hart mess up here no "Feel free to follow me around or look into the woodpile, you wont find anything there"

  2. Rufus Round on December 1, 2009 6:57 am

    Celebrity is the new opium for the masses. Religion (mostly) has loftier ideals, whereas celebrity and media culture encourage the hoards to aspire to unrealistic goals (how many see the X Factor as their one big chance in life?) and to desire things they don't really need. A vicious cycle of pointless consumption. Tiger took the Devil's schilling when he signed up for all those sponsorship deals.

  3. Rocky Humbert on December 1, 2009 10:00 pm

    Marion - thank you for your articulate post. I share your sentiments exactly.

    @Rufus Round — your clever pseudonym evoked a smile. Note to Steve: A Rufus Round is a .50 caliber rifle bullet hollowed out and filled with explosives. Fired from a Barrett M82A3, a skilled sniper can “reach out and touch some” from over a mile away! Given the choice between a Paparazzi with a telephoto lens and a Rufus Round, I’m sure Tiger would prefer the former.


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