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.