Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Icons and I can't

So now the media is fixated on Tiger Woods and the fact he can't drive straight and keep himself on the fairway or the driveway. The frenzy has brought out hordes of scum artists who are looking for the juicy tidbit around the green. The lastest is Tiger has said he "transgressed" and that he is sorry.Having brought him off his lofty perch, we will see if they begin to let him lie or give him a mulligan.

Meanwhile in Washington, that "Tiger Woods Guy" (dubbed so by Will Farrell during his impersonation of George Dubya) who is president has been trying to fight off all sorts of insults and insinuations--he was born on a different continent, he is a Nazi, a socialist, and a teleprompter junkie. The claims have come faster than Joe Biden's gaffes. It seems he can do nothing that will satisfy the critics. Glenn Blecck's most recent salvo is that he is not following his generals even though the Constitution that Blecck so claims to revere makes it pretty clear that the President is the Commnader in Chief and it is the generals who should do the following.

But I am not writing about Tiger Woods driving ability or his marital skills or the President's policies. I am writing about us. What makes us the creatures who elevate people to impossible heights so that we can celebrate their fall? We weren't content to know that Woods is the greatest golfer likely to ever putt. We also made him a paragon of all that is virtuous. It is not enough that the "Tiger Woods Guy" we put in the White House was a first and one highly bright and talented dude--we had to make him into the second coming. Guess what-- he isn't and neither is Tiger.What we have are two men who do what they do with skill and ease that makes them purveyors of excellence. What they aren't are demi-gods. They aren't perfect. Tiger not only prowled--he strayed. Barack has dived into his plate of horrors that he was handed with gusto and confidence, even though he will get a lot of it wrong. It isn't about what they can do or not do.It is about what we shouldn't do. We shouldn't enbue our icons with all manner of virtue. They are men (or women in other cases) who err and fall and may rise again. Our focus should not be on their perfection but on their struggle. That is the human condition and we are all driving down that path together.