Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

So I noticed on the cover of one of those magazines that none of us “buy” but which we all read with great speed (so as not to be “caught”) and interest in the supermarket checkout line that Tiger has returned from rehab, hired a publicist, and is out to make his comeback in an upcoming golf tournament.

As I already mentioned about Kirstie Alley and her chronic weight problem, I do think it’s too bad when celebrities have to live out all of their vulnerabilities in the public eye. Perhaps Tiger did have a responsibility to the public that extended beyond his responsibility to his wife and family.  And yes, I think if you’re in a position that benefits from your celebrity, perhaps you should hold yourself to a higher standard. Maybe that would be a good thing for all of us — I remember a very helpful point made in Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: when you’re having a really bad day with this baby/toddler/adolescent, and you feel yourself losing your grip on the kind of parent you want to be, pretend that someone whose opinion really matters to you is in the room with you. (You know, like God, or Santa Claus, or maybe Dr. Spock himself.)

We know all of the stories about early stardom and consequent self-destruction; Drew Barrymore comes to mind, as does Lindsay Lohan and Gary Coleman. But do we really understand what causes it?

So much of the Tiger Woods persona hinged on his youthful prowess of an adult-man’s game — prowess built on a certain innate gift combined with years of disciplined training and supervision by a hyper-involved and motivated father. A little like Mozart, one might say. The problem with this that I see is that he never had a chance to be a teenage fuck-up. If the world, and your DAD, is watching your every move from the age of 14 you never have the chance to crash the car, flunk geometry, sleep through your ACTs or spend your last 2 years of high school broke, bored, and unemployed.

Maybe those lessons are too important not to be learned, so they have to be learned some time, the hard way, even if the whole world is watching.

I’ll try to keep that in mind as I watch my 16 year old look halfheartedly for work in the worst economy in 100 years while he spends most of his time playing XBox, “networking” on facebook, and playing guitar.

2 Responses to “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright”

  1. March 18, 2010 at 5:49 am

    I have a 17 yr old boy if you want to swap complaints. xo

  2. 2 Sheri
    March 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Does seem to help to know we’re not the only ones, doesn’t it?
    On a happy note, he (he, my son, not he, Tiger) does now have a job. He shall hereafter be known as “Taco Boy.”

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