Monday, February 22, 2010

everyone else is doing it. . .

So I wake up to my radio show. I drive listening to my radio show. And I'm not immune to the catchy headlines that pop up after I sign out of my email.

Everyone's talking about Tiger Woods. And the apology.

I'll admit- I didn't watch the apology. Didn't listen to the apology. In fact, I didn't even search it out to see a written transcript of the apology.
On the one hand, I feel like I need to apologize for my lack of attention to the apology. On the other hand, I will not apologize, because I have a good reason for not watching/listening/reading.

I don't care.

There. I said it. Can't take it back. Seriously, I don't care.

Do I know who Tiger is? Sure. Am I glad he is a kick ass golfer? Sure I suppose- although I'm not real big into golf. Did he provide some good discussion materials on race and ethnicity and identification in racial sociology classes in college? Sure. Who could pass up the chance to talk about identifying as Cablinasian?

Nevertheless, the truth is, I don't care that he cheated on his wife. And honestly, I'm not sure that you should care either.

Actually, I don't really care when anyone cheats on his wife. Or husband for that matter. As long as I am not the cheater or the cheatee, I don't really see how it's any of my business. I stand by the same argument with our former president. In fact, I would even say the same thing for Senator Craig who had his little gay escapade in the airport bathroom. (Although I do think it's somewhat gratifying when the gay haters turn out to be the gayest gays ever.)

But seriously, why do we care? Why does Tiger need to apologize to the public? Does he owe Elin an apology? Sure, if she wants one. He fucked up. He hurt her. But he didn't hurt me. And I don't see how he really hurt the rest of the public either. In fact, I might go so far as to say, at this point, we- the public- have hurt him more, by continually broadcasting all of the sordid details in the spotlight. Maybe we owe him an apology . . .

Then there are the people who say, but children look up to him. Yep. I hear that. [Note: I am not a parent, but the remainder of this paragraph assumes my hypothetical parenthood.] If I had kids and they were into golf, I would probably let them know about Tiger- this bad-ass golfer with a funky name. But that's about it. He's a golfer. And as far as I've heard, he's still a pretty bad-ass golfer. If my kids wanted to look up to a golfer; here's Tiger. A writer; here's Margaret Atwood. A political scholar; Noam Chomsky. But if they wanted someone to look up to for morals or virtues; here's your family. And the Dalai Lama. Because here's the thing. I can't golf. And if one day I go out to a par three somewhere, and I can't even get the ball in the hole after 10 tries, I don't think I owe my kids or the public an apology. I am not a golfer. I am an educator, an artist, and a parent. Everything else is just extra. And as a parent, isn't it my responsibility to teach children boundaries? Tiger is a golfer, not a superhero. No one can be everything. These are lessons children need to learn- shouldn't parents be teaching them?

Also, there are the mistresses who say they are owed apologies. Let me get this one straight. You slept with a married man, and you want an apology? What? I don't follow.

Don't get me wrong. There are bad people out there. There are even good people who do bad things. And when people (good or bad) do bad things, I think they owe an apology to the people they hurt. Car accidents, plagiarism, assault, lying. All hurtful things. All deserving of apologies for sure. But apologies to the people they've hurt. Not to the people who just can't take their eyes off of the train wreck.

One last thought. There are apparently quite a few people out there who, "Don't believe in infidelity." These folks are very upset with Tiger for this reason. I find this hard to believe. There are certainly things I don't believe in- the tooth fairy is a good example. But I don't believe in the tooth fairy because I have yet to see any proof that he exists. In fact, I've seen evidence to the contrary. This leads me to believe that the tooth fairy does not exist. How can one not believe in infidelity? It's everywhere! Look around. People cheat- believe it! You don't have to encourage it, or even support it, but I would strongly advise you to believe it. Seriously, it's out there.

My apologies to anyone who is inadvertently hurt by this message. . .

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