April 07, 2010

Tiger in Augusta

sa·ty·ria·sis (sāt′ə rī′ə sis, sat′-). noun. abnormal and uncontrollable desire by a man for sexual intercourse. Etymology: LL <>

It is good at times to take a break from such weighty subjects as sovereign debt default and Barack Obama's adoption of the Bush/Cheney approach to civil liberties and talk about something fun for a change. And what could be more fun than seeing Tiger Woods striding down the lush green fairways at Augusta National, just like old times. Good to have you back, man!

For what did Tiger really do that was so terrible? Predictably, Gloria Allred got involved, looking for a quick kill for one of Tiger's "victims?" Here's the first question I would ask: was Tiger accused of rape? No? Then can we assume that all of this sexual activity he engaged in with women other than his wife was consensual, that the women said "yes," in one way or another? That's what I thought. Which leaves the other angle on Tiger's dread calumny: he "deceived" them or even "defrauded" them.

Those of us who have spent a little too much time around legal ways of thinking understand how the law of fraud works. We call these things "elements" of a tort. For fraud you need (a) a lie, (b) reliance on the lie, (c) a finding that the reliance was "reasonable, and...whoa. Wait a minute. Stop right there. Are we to assume that any of these women, these pole dancers and porn stars and "hospitality workers" actually, reasonably believed that Tiger was going to make any one of them the center of his personal existence? Tiger Woods? For one thing, weren't they aware Tiger was a dedicated family man? Leaving that aside for the moment, it seems to me that every last one of them was aware they were in the "relationship" for the same reason Tiger was, for fun and giggles, and for the more ambitious, a book deal or a stint as one of Gloria Allred's clients.

What is truly dismaying is the extent that men have joined in the condemnation. James Moore, who wrote Bush's Brain (about Karl Rove), and generally an estimable fellow (one of those guys I think of as part of the Texas Algonquin Round Table, along with Jim Hightower and the late, great Molly Ivins) wrote, right off the bat, that Tiger's career was over, and that he ought to start...I don't know what he thought Tiger should be doing. This struck me as nonsense then, and I still think it's nonsense. Tiger Woods quit golf? Yeah, right. What Moore's reaction reflects is his buy-in to the double standard that governs any celebrity man's fall from favor. When Madonna or Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton tramp it up, are they asked to retire from public life? Don't think so. Indeed, that is the actual basis of their celebrity. But if Tiger does it, suddenly he is assailed by Gloria Allred and by the Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG) brigade to spend the rest of his life in penance.

Most men do not attack him for it, truth be told, because they are capable of insight into their own less than pure tendencies. Nor, for that matter, do men attack women such as Paris Hilton for whatever she wants to do or to film herself doing it. There is an important reason for this, of course, relating to evolutionary biology and the male species: men don't want to discourage this kind of enlightened behavior by the female of the species. Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry discovers that the woman across the street likes to walk around her apartment naked, and Kramer discovers it and decides "to put a stop to it?" And Jerry grabs him by the lapels and screams, "Are you crazy?!" That's it right there, in microcosm. I'm not sure what "abnormal" and "uncontrollable" is even supposed to mean. Tiger just has advantages, that's all, and he took advantage of them. Pathologize it if you want, but Freud would just describe it as a form of putter envy.

One should always quote my favorite movie, "Dr. Strangelove," whenever possible, so here we go. I don't know if General Buck Turgidson suffered from satyriasis or not, though I doubt it. But here's what he was thinking about as the world ended:


Well, that would not be necessary Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross section of necessary skills. Of course it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. [Slams down left fist. Right arm rises in stiff Nazi salute. Arrrrr! Restrains right arm with left.] Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. But ah with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present gross national product within say, twenty years.



Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?


Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

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