Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tiger, by the tail

Don't worry, this won't be another series of dumb jokes about Tiger Woods and his putts/putz. Here at the Sky, we take the sober, historical view. And we haven't noticed anyone else even suggesting that there is a racial component to America's latest obsession. (Maybe on the right bank of Blogenheim, but who goes there?) In America, race is what the sociologists call a "master status," an immutable category of definition, and there are only two races, white and not-white. Mr. Woods, for all his rainbow ancestry, is distinctly not-white, and every day his name is linked with another woman of the sort the media describe as "Nordic blondes," including, of course, his wife. Deep beneath the surface, unheard but felt like the pedal tone of an organ, is the ancient theme of "oversexed black man coming for 'our' white women." Even worse, the white women are clearly meeting him better than halfway. We're back at the turn of the twentieth century with Jack Johnson, who was blacker than Woods and far scarier -- a heavyweight boxer instead of a golfer. Johnson was eventually prosecuted under the Mann Act, which, like all sexual-transgression laws, is applied selectively to Enemies of the Establishment (like Charlie Chaplin). Tiger Woods will not meet a similar fate; eventually, he will be forgiven, especially if he returns to pre-surgery form and resumes winning major tournaments. His fate in the meantime will be more like that of Sammy Davis, Jr., who married a Swedish actress in the 1960s -- lost professional opportunities and the occasional death threat. After all, we can't impeach him.

And having drawn Bill Clinton into the mix, I will go ahead and suggest that Tiger Woods is feeling extra heat because he is a stand-in for Barack Obama, another not-white man of mixed ancestry. Obama has all the personal discipline that Clinton conspicuously lacked, cigarettes being the only vice he permits himself. Clinton was called "the first black president," not because he had African ancestors but because the unbelievable shit-storm of hate he experienced from the day of his election was indistinguishable from racism. Many Americans recognized that he was being accused of all the traditional black crimes -- rape, murder, drug dealing -- and that his impeachment was a political lynching. (Lynchings almost always involved a sexual crime, real or imaginary.) Obama attracts similar hate just by being not-white -- he knows what would happen if he ever did anything besides look. The Democrats in the House would be standing in line to impeach him, their customary spinelessness remedied by the rigidity of righteous outrage.

A man can look, though...


Blogger Kansan said...

The picture which seems to show Obama focusing on the lady's butt, is from a video that shows it was clearly not what he was up to. He was offering his hand to another woman who was stepping down a stair to the level he was on.

One frame of the video of him swinging around to his right to lend a hand is supposed proof he was hot dogging.

8:31 PM  

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