Mar 4, 2010 at 17:45:19
“Great post at a critical time. With the pro-life senate democrats vowing (very publically and in writing) to shoot down Obamacare unless tied to legislation outlawing government spending on abortion, the democrats are going to be faced with the piper on this one.
What is more important?
- Obama/democratic style health-care reform, or,
- government support of a woman in the process of abortion?
Will they allow the amendment (or the tie-in bill) that denies abortion as part of the health-care bill? Or will they allow this version of Obamacare to die to protect pro-choice? I am curious how the chips will fall...”
Dec 12, 2009 at 13:56:07
“3) practical media consequences: What happens to the tv audience for the sport? Will his sponsors drop him? Will he be able to play? How flipping HUGE is the audience going to be when Tiger returns to his first tournament after his sabbatical?
This is the flip side of the realism conversation for our culture. The fact is, there are impacts of Tigers breaking of his commitment for the community at large. The celebrity formally formally known as "Lily Black Tiger" was part of the glue that holds our society together. He is an icon in the Mythology of our media culture. When he violates his agreement with his wife, his Icon is damaged, and the culture becomes "unglued." Culture, like relationships, are built on agreements. Tiger's agreements with his sponsors to be an Icon of WholeSumNess and excellence, leads them to invest hundreds of millions of dollars. The golf industry, the sports media, the high school coach, etc., build their business model and their teaching/motivation around it.
What are we building our culture on? Who are our Icons? What is the Mythology of which they are apart? How much weight are we putting on the cradle that they "glue" together? What happens if the glue fails, the bough breaks, and down comes the baby, cradle and all?
Let's harness the energy this event has generated to examine the values, vs. waste it on moral posturing and self-righteousness.
A man can dream, can't he? :-)”
Hunter Roberts on Dec 13, 2009 at 16:09:45
“I agree about harnessing the energy, but I do think part of the problem here is the media culture that feels justified in crashing our icons' private lives. Our icons are no "gooder" than the rest of us. This has long been a painful truth for the public, when it found out. This has been true of our leaders, spiritual and political, for so long as we have had leaders. Someone can be truly great, and still have feet of clay...sometimes bigger feet than you or I. Often a person who shines a great light casts a long shadow. Someone who plays big often makes bigger mistakes. I am not excusing; I am saying we should not expect someone who is great in some way to be any less human than the rest of us. JFK and RFK were womanizers. So was MLK. Would we deny the contributions they made to society because of this foible? These were large personalities, with large appetites. I am not sure we have room for them in a culture that wants to homogenize everyone down to the size of reality TV. I think we will be the worse for that.”
Dec 12, 2009 at 13:54:22
“So, when the illusion of Tiger and Erin's marriage was shattered, we become disillusioned not only with Tiger, but with marriage and fidelity in general. This is cause for dismay and alarm. Let's not waste this lesson in moral posturing.
2) realism allowances: Tiger Woods is a rockstar in the field of sports/golf. Rockstars are decadent because power tends to corrupt, and travel, fame, wealth, and virility leads to more temptation than most "mere mortals" can handle. So, he cheated on his wife. Blatantly. In so doing, he joins the ranks of the powerful who have gone before him, and the powerful who will come after him. Are we really surprised? No. Honestly, how many of us have the depth of commitment to monogamy to overcome those temptations? Most men (and many women) recognize that when it comes down to it, monogamy is really not THAT important to us. For some, it is a defining value. For most, it is an intention that we abandon when the temptation is just too JUICY. Reality. The facts. Truth.
How do we deal with this? Have you really examined your personal level of commitment to this? Do you know how your partner would answer this if they were truly honest? Have you had that blunt/honest/unapologetic conversation?
Tiger is a phenomenal opportunity to explore our personal and cultural commitment to monogamy. Let's have the real conversation, rather than use moral posturing to avoid having the real conversation.”
Hunter Roberts on Dec 13, 2009 at 15:58:54
“Now that makes sense! Perhaps one of the reasons we are so outraged at Tiger is because the institution of monogamous marriage is already on shaky ground, and we cannot bear much more disillusionment. Alas, denial never really saves anything that is dying.
Few of us would behave differently, given the opportunity, This says far more about us than it does about TIger. As one friend of mine pointed out, few of us have any idea of the world he lives in and what that might be like. I think it would be very easy to lose a sense of proportion in that environment; hence what you say about the temptations of power. As another of my friends says, "I can resist anything except temptation."”
Dec 12, 2009 at 13:50:08
“Agreed. AND, if we are going to talk about it, let's use the events as an object lesson - to clarify the values involved, rather than a self-righteous moral judgment fest. What are the values by which we evaluate his behavior as right or wrong?
Nietzsche said about values: "Show me the fruit, I will tell you about the soil in which it was planted." What do our moral judgments tell us about our value systems, and what do differences in our judgments tell us about the differences in our value systems?
The three main perspectives I hear about this issue are 1) moral condemnation, 2) realism allowances, 3) practical media consequences.
1) moral condemnation: Tiger "cheated." He made a commitment and broke it. Is that wrong? Yes. Why? Because relationships ARE our commitments. That's really all they are - what we say they are. If I tell you our relationship is monogamous and you believe me, we "create" a monogamous relationship in that agreement. If I break my commitment to monogamy, I am literally destroying the foundation of the relationship - the agreement. Everything built on the relationship then collapses, like a rooftop garden on a building that has been dynamited. The more i have built on the agreement, the more is destroyed when I break it. Not Good. Bad. Destructive. Wrong. No trust, no relationship. No relationship, no fruits of relationship - love, partnership, support, healthy family, healthy community of which the relationship is a "part."”
Hunter Roberts on Dec 13, 2009 at 15:53:22
“The reality is that, in our culture, a monogamous commitment is more implicit that explicit. Yet few people, over the long haul, keep it. I like the idea of having choices about what sort of relationship we want. I also like the idea of coming out, as a culture, and examining the foundations of our moral values. There are many factors determining human behavior, few of them conscious. Most of what drives us is like an iceberg, under the surface of consciousness. Until we own and are wiling to examine all those myriad factors, we will be at the mercy of them.”