Tiger, the Salahis, You and Me

I wrote this morning about my take concerning our fascination with Tiger Woods' moral failings. Over at Slate Jack Shafer has his own take on why we are drawn to stories like Tiger Woods and the Salahis, the White House party crashers.

Shafer's take on our Schadenfreude about Tiger Woods:

So now that the "real" Woods has been revealed as a wild bone-daddy who behaves more like your out-of-work, alcoholic brother-in-law than an object of worship, we feel cheated. Aside from the hundreds of millions he's earned from golf tournaments and endorsements, turns out he's a lot like the rest of us. Our hunger for salacious news about him isn't necessarily about voyeurism. We're embarrassed by the gap between who we believed Woods to be and who he really is; and, having put Woods on that pedestal, we want to bring him down where he belongs—with the rest of us sinners. We're like the kid who, upon learning that there is no Santa Claus, conducts a wide-ranging investigation to determine how such a fraud was perpetrated on him. And we'll keep consuming Woods news until our picture of him more closely conforms with reality. We love to crown kings and cultivate messiahs. And then kill them.
Shafer's analysis about our fascination with the Salahis:
Prior to his fall, damn few of us were conceited enough to imagine that we were Tiger Woods. But we all recognize a bit of the Salahis in our day-to-day conduct: our striving, our fudging, our expensive attempts to dress for success, our endless bragging and other attention-grabbing, our attempts to "friend-up," and finally our obsessing about our children's social status (Right private school? Right social manner? Right social network?).

We can't get enough of the Salahis because they do in maximum what we do in miniature every day.

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5 thoughts on “Tiger, the Salahis, You and Me”

  1. This is very true. And woe be to those whose children don't measure up....

    We, humans always like to correlate to causes, when sometimes these "causes" are so many and various that we can't begin to untangle them and understand...But, what we do understand is that we compete for the attention, the prize, and, the worship...

    (I usually quit when I sense a game such as this, as I already "know" I won't win...)

  2. Really? People are obsessed with either of these two stories? I'm surprised anyone even finds the stories interesting, much less worthy of an obsession. That's the only interesting aspect of either of them: why people have such a vividly emotional stake in Woods or the Salahis in the first place.


  3. qb,
    What are you doing over here at this post? You are supposed to be ripping me on my two recent political posts! (When I wrote them I thought, "qb's going to hate these...")

  4. qb,
    I responded to something completely different from you.
    The concern I had was how did the Salahis get beyond our security measures. This is of concern for national interests...

  5. I thought the interest in Tiger was of course about people falling short of ideals; but more, I think it has to do with what we value and whether someone is "worth" it. I don't think anyone is worth that kind of money-and certainly not for playing golf. When he is seen to fail in this way it is even harder to stomach that reality.


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