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Charley Steiner Headshot

Crashing the Party and the Escalade

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I wish that for just one time I could stand inside my shoes, you'd know what a drag it is to see you."--Bob Dylan

I'm dumbstruck and saddened that while President Obama is committing tens of thousands of American men and women into some cesspool a half-a-world away, two stories which are mirror images of one another occupy water cooler, checkout counter, and saloon conversation. Those two reality show wannabes who crashed last week's White House state dinner and Tiger's tale.

We have been MySpaced and Facebooked into wretched overload. Is this what the 21st century has wrought? Nobodies like Michaele and Tareq Salahi, with galactic-sized egos seeking their slightly more than fifteen minutes of fame, used the White House (!), for their audition tape for a reality show. Bravo, this. I'm not sure if I was more outraged and angered, than I was saddened and disgusted that we have reached a point in our culture that is so transparently vacuous.

Who cares about these people, and why? They are so famished for fame, but what do they have to offer other than their own egos? Mrs. Salahi's apparent heretofore claim to fame is having her picture taken with Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, John McCain and even Jose Canseco. Wow, Jose Canseco! Whether it's those Potomac lovebirds (the blonde in the red dress and her cohabitating coconspirator) or the Balloon boy's dopey daddy, have these people nothing to offer us besides their misguided and unwarranted sense of self. What happened to the good old days when accomplishment brought fame, desired or otherwise, not the other way around. And what does it say about those who watch them?

Which brings us to Tiger Woods and his turkey-stuffed-Thanksgiving day-three pronged assault... on a fire hydrant and a tree and perhaps from his wife, if the tabloids are to be believed (and who doesn't believe them?). I imagine Mr. Woods could live without the attention he has received this holiday season. Talk about a black Friday. Tiger's ability to drive a golf ball juxtaposed by his inability to drive his Escalade out of the driveway has sent seismic quivers thru the world of birdies and eagles, pastels and putts. Woods isn't just a world class athlete, he is an international conglomerate. So whether Nike, AT&T, Gillette or Tag Heuer, who helped to contribute to his 100 million dollar income last year like it or not, Woods has opted to sequester himself in silence.

Crisis Management 101 usually teaches to get out in front of a mess and clean it up yourself as quickly and as honestly as possible. Don't let the National Enquirer's, the TMZ's even the SportsCenter's drive the story bus. But to this point, Tiger has decided to not even board the bus. Woods can't fight his fame, as much as he'd like to. He can win the Masters, but he can't master the media. Not even Tiger Woods can do that.

So this is where we are, at a time of war and recession we have a socialite couple seeking fame no matter how flimsy, and an iconic athlete, who is running away, trying to hide in the woods.

"Fame, it's not your brain, it's the flame."--David Bowie