Tiger Woods’ Mea Culpa on Television—And No Questions!

The word “sincerity” came up in every reaction to his performance. That was the main test.

Sincerity goes back to ancient times, the marble quarries. Each block of product had to be examined for fissures and cracks. Sometimes the producers would cover any cracks with wax, in an attempt to hide them. If a block was found to have no cracks, it was labeled “sincere”, without wax.

What are the markers of SINCERITY? Tears? Emotional response of some kind breaking the voice? Could be feigned. By a good actor. He probably enjoyed his infidelities. He probably hated getting caught and ending them. He obviously did not and was not able to anticipate consequences.

He introduced the idea of entitlement. Apparently, the idea of an “entitlement” given to people of his rank (high money, high glamor) was obviously there for him to deny. Entitlement would grant an exception to the rule. Only the peerage, or the nobility, would be conscious of entitlements. So that runs through the mind of celebrities! He had to turn down that ready-made excuse—he exempted himself from the privilege of celebrity entitlement because it was there for him to refuse and he had the power of self-exemption and acted out of gracious self-denial. Wasn’t that precious! Now that was bothersome to me. Was it an attempt to maintain a common touch? “In spite of what most people think, I am not perfect!”

I personally believe that anticipating consequences is a very, very weak ability in the population of our society. (Our global-warming issue is testing that.) Contemplating an act and visualizing the bad outcomes of the act is an act of consciousness that is very easily squelched, or overridden by the immediate hope of performing a certain, defined event that is loaded with pleasure and fun.

[TIME OUT. A BIT OF MORALIZING HERE: There was a book, Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. He applied that title to media of entertainment and show business. I would like to borrow the thought in that title to the point of criticism of society in general and every individual composing society: we all need to carefully consider the consequences of behavior before acting, for that is the basic human characteristic of thought, perceiving the stimulus to acts, and pausing to think, to anticipate the consequences of the act, before responding. Thinking is just that pause between stimulus and response. Habit will not allow that pause. Strong desire will not allow that pause.

[I have recently seen an example of considering the consequences. Upon deciding to to skate at the Winter Olympics, after her mother had died just a few days before she was scheduled to skate, the Canadian young lady said in an interview, after winning the bronze medal, “I thought that ten years from now, if I hadn’t done it, I would have regretted it.”]

Examiners of Tiger’s statement could not help hanging the label of insincerity on his effort. But none of them gave a “behavioral” analysis, pointing out how Tiger pointed out the quality of his own behavior and acts. I think he did. He might have used the word “guilt” more, as if convicting himself in the court of public opinion and of his own family, defining more closely the nature of his temptations, his position as a celebrity and its meaning for society in reference to celebrity behavior in general. However, I think his presentation, in spite of the comment by others that he was “scripted”, was adequate to allay the public’s feelings of distrust of him as a sport’s hero. He passed the “no wax” test, as well as he could.

He should have spoken extemporaneously. (Do not mistake me. That is NOT impromptu speaking. That is the best type of speaking: thoroughly prepared, but not memorized, not reading from script, only from brief notes.) Extemp speaking has a spontaneous quality, as if straight from the heart and mind, without wax.

I think his wife was too embarrassed to show up because he violated her pride in him. Her feelings of betrayal are probably very strong. I could not empathize with the wives of those Congressmen who betrayed them, standing behind their husbands and giving them back some of their dignity. Politically dictated, I’m sure. I can empathize with Tiger’s wife better, by her not being there.

Have you seen that gesture Tiger makes just as he sinks a long putt? The fist and arm thrust are a symbolic performance of a male pleasure that he should henceforth drop. Too much of a reminder of his extra-golf dalliances.

He is just begging for comedic parodies of his presentation. Or maybe one could make a parody that is an in-your-face “Butt out!” statement that could turn very satirical. That would be funny, and, probably, one version of the truth. Do you suppose “Saturday Night Live” will have one tonight? Eh?

I think he should just have said: “I was so dumb. I should have known better. It’s not an addiction. It was not some disease or psychological disorder. I just did not have control of some basic impulses that we all have and for which we have a brain to exert control. I do that pretty well on the golf course which constitutes the same challenges to emotional control. My everyday life seems to have been put by me in another compartment of my body somewhere. What I have learned to do in my game now must be applied to the everyday game of life. And there I want to shoot below par as I have done in the game of golf. I have been thoroughly chastised. My sincerity will now be tested in the rest of my life. Sportsmanship now has a new meaning for me. It has an extension.”


The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://emergent79.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/tiger-woods-mea-culpa-on-televisionand-no-questions/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One Comment

  1. … ] link is being shared on Twitter right now. @zenx, an influential author, said RT @1ndus: Xtreme … ]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: