Ok, Maysie closed the last Tiger Woods Exposed thread because of some anti-progressive things going on there, which, I guess, I'm inclined to agree with. But I think there are three important, and progressive, questions surrounding the whole, ahem, affair.
1. Tiger Woods is socio-symbolic entity in which society (particularly, but not, I would argue, exclusively) invests its mythologies and desires. But, when his actions are--um--unfaithful to the image we have constructed, the public's reaction is violent and immediate. As Unionist put it quite succinctly:
Tiger Woods is a plaything of the wealthy, and African American to boot. When he no longer serves their dirty purposes, they attack and dump him. Nothing unusual about that.
For my money, race is intrinsically tied up with this line of thinking. Tiger was a "good" POC, and we had a nice little box for him. Now that he has betrayed our imaginations, he will be punished.
2. Tiger Woods is a participant and protagonist in celebrity culture. He got rich by carefully sculpting a public persona amenable to major endorsement contracts. This existence is ultimately untenable, and now the profiteer is getting his just desserts.
I think his PR people created the image and clearly he has had a hard time living up to it. Who wouldn't? But am I supposed to feel sorry for him? I don't. Dude is super rich. Hard to feel sorry for him.
Spectacular culture is double-edged. We all know this. Anyone who buys into the fantasy celebrity culture feeds us deserves what they get.
3. This is the line I tried to push without much traction. Anytime a sex scandal rasies its filthy head, the public, who harbours deep phobias and anxieties about sex, projects these socially-mediated phobias back on the errant forniactor with a vengeance. Sex reveals subjective incoherence on a scale undigestable by our bourgeois society:
When a sexual scandal happens, people indulge in projections of what makes them uncomfortable about sex: its weirdness (I was just standing up and talking and now I’m doing this?), its sloppiness, its awkwardness, its seeming disconnection from so many other “appropriate” drives (to eat, for example). Then there’s one’s fear of becoming a mere instrument of someone else’s pleasure, in a way that one doesn’t want.
This is not unrelated to Poluntic2's reference to Engels, and how, in a capitalist society, adultery becomes its own economy--Woods's sin was exposing this deep-seated contradiction native to capitalist (and bourgeois) social relations. Remember everyone's favourite manifesto:
The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.
He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.
For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce free love; it has existed almost from time immemorial.
In conclusion, Socialists do it better.
Anyway, I think these questions deserve a place on babble. I don't mean to be disrespectful to Maysie, who had good reason to close the last thread, which is why I took the time to spell out my reasoning. Can we continue if we promise to keep the sexual puns down to a respectable minimum?