Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The First and Last Post About Tiger Woods

I am a golf nerd. I worked at a golf course throughout middle school and high school and played almost every day during most summers. I wake up early and watch the European tour, and stay up late to watch events in Asia. Golf has been a refuge from the idiocy of American culture. And then, last week happened.

Every media outlet rabidly pursued this “story” and people cannot get enough. Why? I think it has a lot to do with what Brian Eno describes as “the firehose mentality” of American journalism. Public attention is constantly whipped up in a delusional frenzy and pointed by the media towards the next relevant target. One target can’t last long, though, otherwise the mania might calm down a bit, hurting ratings and page hits. We can’t keep talking about health care: too old! Don’t print a story about the greedheads in the financial sector looting the Treasury: too depressing! And Dubai? Too hard to understand! How about a guy who may have cheated on his wife and then got into a car accident, the cause of which is unclear? Just right.

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