Of Course Sex Bit You, Tiger! Sex Bites!

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Of Course Sex Bit You, Tiger! Sex Bites!

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.

To wit:

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.

Stargazer wrote:
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?

Maysie Maysie's picture

Ha Catchfire.

I would be really happy if we can have a progressive discussion about this, with a critical lens towards why the obsession with Tiger, now well into the third weeks' worth of news cycles.

Catchfire wrote:
 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.

Tiger is read as a Black man. (thread drift: he isn't Black. The easiest way to know why, is that Black isn't how he self-identifies.)

America is completely fucked up about race and sex, especially Black men and sex. White America is obsessed with Black men and sex: control, fear, homoerotic racist myths as well as hatred towards the power and symbol of what Black men represent, not what they are, in all the myriad of complications and contradictions.

A sex scandal, with the first successful and rich Black (as identified by others, not by himself) golf pro, champion, etc? Irresistible. White wife? White mistress(es)? Given the obsession with interracial relationships in America, again, irresistible. This explains the news cycle, and that the story is not getting old, the titillation factor is still very high. Ok, sorry I had to throw that one in. Damn you Catchfire! 


The thing I appreciate the most about this nonsense is that it gave me an cheap excuse to feature a bunch of versions of Tiger Rag on my show last week.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Out of the blackest part of my soul, through the zone of hachures, surges up this desire to be suddenly white.

I want to be recognized not as Black but as White

But--and this the form of recognition Hegel never described--who better than the white woman to bring this about? By loving me, she proves to me that I am worthy of white love. I am loved like a white man.

I am a white man.

Her love opens the illustrious path that leads to total fulfillment...

I espouse white culture, white beauty, white whiteness.

Between these white breasts that my wandering hands fondle, white civilization and white worthiness become mine.

Thirty years ago, a black man of the darkest of hues, in full coitus with a vivacious blonde, exclaimed at the moment of orgasm: "Long live Schoelcher!" When we recall that it was Schoelcher who had the Third Republic vote for the abolition of slavery, we realize that we need to dwell somewhat on the likely relations between the black man and the white woman.

Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)

Maysie Maysie's picture

Okay, Fanon quoting Hegel? What are you tryin'a do here? Raise the bar to the next level?

Tongue out

The Racialicious link. On Tiger and race. Again. Read the comments. Frikking smart folks there.


Thanks for finding that passage from Fanon, Catchfire. It was lurking deep in my memory, and my shovel's in the shop for repair...

And yeah, Maysie, that page is pretty amazing stuff. Haven't read it all yet. Are you saying we need some smarter people here on babble? Maybe we could offer door prizes?



What would Frantz Fanon say about this?



Even after a shocking sex scandal that tarnished Tiger Woods, it was tough to ignore what he achieved on the golf course.

He won 64 times around the world, including 12 majors, and hoisted a trophy on every continent golf is played.

He lost only one time with the lead going into the final round. His 56 PGA Tour victories in one incomparable decade were more than anyone except four of golf's greatest players won in their careers.

Woods was selected Wednesday as the Athlete of the Decade by members of The Associated Press in a vote that was more about 10 years of performance than nearly three weeks of salacious headlines.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hmm--It looks like the AP award has a little bit of Bertuzzi in it, although Woods deserves the award far more than Bertuzzi deserved to be on the 2006 Olympic squad. The timing is strange, of course (not that they could have had an athlete of the decade award at any other time, just that the coincidence is funny. What Alanis Morisette might call 'ironic').

More than half of the ballots were returned after the Nov. 27 car accident outside his Florida home that set off sensational tales of infidelity.

Just from a sporting point of view, is he better than seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (cheat) or Tennis virtuoso Roger Federer (serial whinger and narcissist)? Maybe.

sknguy II

Woods was seen as being responsible for motivating a generation of youth to become interested in a sport that was, and still is, a mainstay, icon and institution of the American establishment. Wood's was an outsider beating the good 'ol boys at "their" sport. Fuzzy Zoeller's comment after Woods' first Masters Tournament win, back in 1997, was a public indication of the challenges a player of minority race faces in professional golf. Mind you, there were those who saw the emergence of this black phenom as being good for the industry... err, game.

Now that Woods had goofed up, that establishment has been quick to condemn Woods and distance themselves from their relationships. Swedish golfer Parnevik, who introduced Woods to Elin Nordegren, had stated that he'd wished he'd "never introduced her to him" and who has also distanced himself from their friendship. When Woods had married Nordegren there was some condemnation, as I recall, from the black community in the states for Woods' marrying a non-ethnic (non-black) person.

I see this situation more as a betrayal of the establishment. The tabloids may key on the celebrity scandal aspect of the infidelity. But, rest assured that the "golfers of American" will unite in their condemnations. At least for the time being. I'm sure though, that Woods will reacquaint himself with being a heroid to youth of America at some point.

Snert Snert's picture

Now that Woods had goofed up, that establishment has been quick to condemn Woods and distance themselves from their relationships.

Which establishment?

I've heard of sponsors pulling their fat endorsement deals, but that just makes sense from their point of view, yes? But has the world of professional golf turned on him? How? Where?

But, rest assured that the "golfers of American" will unite in their condemnations.

They told you this?


"Golfers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your balls."


Tiger is set to lose another sponsor:


So how is a cheating rich sports man about race?

I think lots of guys would cheat on their wives if a swedish underwear model threw themselves at them, and I think he should get a divorce and live the rich playboy single life he so obviously enjoys. She gets the 300 million, and a slim chance at a more normal relationship, they all win.


Well - it's official - Southlander's back! Good to see you, welcome!



thnaks unionist, on holidays again


The vote was for athlete of the decade, not husband of the year.

His greatness on the golf course over the last 10 years was more than enough to convince members of The Associated Press that Tiger Woods deserved the award. His body of work was simply too large to be erased by the human failings that have been exposed during the last three weeks.

Role model no longer, he remains one of the great athletes of our time.



Caissa wrote:
His body of work was simply too large ...


PS: The only reason for this post was because someone (can't remember who) said in another thread that we're supposedly not allowed to make jokes about Tiger Woods. Making jokes about anyone we like is a fundamental human right.



The point as I saw it Unionist was a thread that was full of "jokes" seemed to be closed while jokes about another individual were running rampant. Clarification on site policy would probably be helpful.

I suppose shooting fish in a barrel could be considered a sport.


Ok, Caissa, I get your point now - but I thought that thread was closed just because of potential proliferation. If any mod here tells me I can't mercilessly mock Mr. Woods, I will... errr... I will definitely... ummm... write a letter to The Times!


Maysie Maysie's picture

Oh how I miss Fanon and Hegel now.


Babble is famous for its Hegeling

Ken Burch

Well, Hegeling is the only way to get surplus value for your dollar.




Ken Burch wrote:

Well, Hegeling is the only way to get surplus value for your dollar.

To achieve the unfolding of world savings!

Ken Burch

And build new bargains in the shell of the old ones.