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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 Celebrities Dominate Our Lives

I believe I speak for many of us when I say I now know more than I ever wanted to about Tiger Woods.

Every day when I sit down to the computer to begin a long day of goofing off, it seems the first thing I see is another Shocking Revelation about Tiger Woods’ love life and marital strife.

Shocking? Please. It’s only shocking if you care. And I cannot recall ever wasting a single minute wondering about the state of Tiger Woods’ home life.

Unfortunately, it’s the perfect story for our celebrity-crazed times.

We are awash with celebrities, folks. The current rate seems to be about 1 celebrity for every 10 households. You see them on TV. They’re in the newspapers and magazines, and not just the trashy ones at the checkout counter. They’re all over computers and Blackberries. And for most of them, their only discernable means of employment , their only talent, is ... being a celebrity.

(Case in point: The Kardashian sisters. What exactly do they DO, other than being Kardashians?)

Anyway, back to ol’ Tiger. Now, I’m not suggesting that we ignore the fact that Tiger pranged the Family Battlewagon during a late night/early morning excursion, or that his wife had to get him out of the wreckage with a seven-iron (not her best club; she duck-hooked it). I’m not even saying we should ignore the revelation that Tiger may have had one or more extra caddies toting his tour bag.

What I AM saying is it’s being blown WAY out of proportion. It knocked all sorts of real news out of the headlines, and that’s just stupid. Or, to use my preferred spelling, S-P-Triple O-P-I-D. Stoopid. Because you have to stoop pretty low for this kind of stuff.

Personally, I don’t care what Tiger does in his spare time. If it’s true, I feel sorry for his wife and kids, and for him, too, for being so messed up. Not that it matters to any of them.

But I also feel sorry for us, because the world we live in has really important stuff going on, and we’re missing it by pandering to those who obsess over Tiger, the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Various Cities, et al.

Of course, somewhere in the discussion someone invariably trots out the old "But he’s a role model for our youth!" argument, which is a bunch of hooey. I don’t buy it. The athlete-as-role-model began to die off when Curt Flood (rightly) challenged the Reserve Clause and baseball free agency was born. Role model devotion takes time to build, and you can’t very well make a role model out of Joe Shlabotnik if he’s playing in your city one year, Cleveland the next, and Denver the year after that. Besides which, given the general lowering of the behavioral standards and the speed with which we find out about celebrity transgressions. anyone who encourages a kid to take an athlete as a role model these days is just asking for trouble.

So where does this leave Tiger in the Pantheon of American Golfers? The top, as usual. American Husbands? That’s none of my business. American Role Models? Behind the real ones - teachers, doctors, soldiers, sailors, public servants, volunteers ... it’s a long list. He’s at the back of the pack and not likely to make the cut. Which should not be shocking at all.

 

 

 

© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.