Last week, President Barack Obama declared he was left at the altar by Speaker John Boehner.
This coming so soon after their engagement in a highly public golf summit!
"Men loving men, that is what golf is," proclaims actress Joanne Whalley in a Scottish brogue in Golf in the Kingdom, which premiered in New York City last Friday.
When the book's author, Michael Murphy, was asked whom he would like to have Shivas teach next, he replied without hesitation: "The members of Congress."
Indeed. The movie is a stealth attack on male privilege even as it investigates the mystical origins of golf in Scotland, the home of the secret society, established to keep out women.
So, naturally it takes a team of women to storm that bastion and break its code!
Golf in the Kingdom has been the Holy Grail for filmmakers attempting to deliver its message to the silver screen. Murphy summed up some history. "Clint Eastwood tried for a year. He couldn't do it. Gus Van Sant couldn't do it."
And here is the irony, the originating Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews STILL does not admit woman! The film was made at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the Pacific Coast in Oregon.
When my sister was making the film, I took my own tour of the arcane in Scotland. There I found visual evidence of the link between the Knights Templar and Scottish Masonry inscribed on the facade of Rosslyn Chapel, where The Da Vinci Code was filmed.
So naturally, I cornered Murphy at the premiere party to ask him about an off-course link: golf originating in Scotland where the Knights Templar supposedly stashed their ancient occult knowledge.
He smiled and laid a savory tidbit on the table that wasn't in his book: in order to enter the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the initiates have to kiss the balls of the captain!
This sporty male receptiveness to the feminine, the inner feminine -- Shakti/Serpent Power through its internal passage in the body to unite with Shiva in the sacred marriage at the crown of the head -- is at the essence of the film.
Streitfeld's highly collaborative process to penetrate the book's linear narrative and bring the viewer directly into the male experience of golf. In doing so, with a My Dinner with Andre scene intercut between the mystical experience of golf, she visually penetrated into the mystical source of knowledge where the inner marriage of masculine and feminine is achieved by a connection to the 'inner body."
The film was a full circle for my entire family; our father created Aureon, as the East Coast counterpart to Michael Murphy's Esalen Institute in the 1960s.
All event photos by Lisa Paul Streitfeld. Films stills by Scott Green.
Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a cultural critic based in metropolitan New York
Follow Lisa Paul Streitfeld on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisapaulstreit