Saturday, February 27, 2010

No more apologies

We live in a society where famous people cannot make a move without the possibility of somebody catching them on video.

Cell phones are the primary weapon in the constant battle to get even the most banal and meaningless activities on record. Whether it is video messaging, text messaging, or voice mail, well-known people have to always be on their toes when living their daily lives.

If they do not, then they make themselves vulnerable to all sorts of embarrassing situations. When they do mess up, they inevitably wind up making a public apology that the vultures of the national media pick apart.

As these apologies are delivered, I always find myself thinking that this person does not owe me an apology even if they did something remarkably stupid.

The most recent example of this is the apology golfer Tiger Woods gave a little over a week ago. During Thanksgiving last year, he was involved in a car wreck that began a domino effect in which many women came forward claiming to be Woods' mistresses.

In a matter of a few days, Woods went from being one of the most respected athletes in the world to being a punch line for David Letterman (who himself has had plenty of problems involving women in the last few months).

Woods basically disappeared for a few weeks until it was reported that he was spending time at a clinic in Mississippi that specializes in helping people with sexual addiction. It was in this setting that he made his first public statement last week.

As Woods delivered his apology, he had a deer in the headlights look. His speech pattern sounded like a person suffering from a terminal case of cotton mouth. He appeared very nervous.

Of course, he has nobody but himself to blame for being in this situation. As a husband and father, he had been living a reckless lifestyle that finally caught up with him.

Still, I kept wondering why there was a need for him to make a public apology like this. Almost since his saga began, people speculated when he would make a public statement. Because of the way our culture is now, public figures apparently are now required to throw themselves on the mercy of the court of public opinion.

This is too bad. When dealing with a situation as intimate as the Woods' situation, should not this remain a private matter between Woods and his wife and family? We are a nation that is crazy about reality television, and it seems this mindset has leaked into what is considered news.

After all, Woods is not somebody who is running for president or any other high office. He is just a golfer. True, he is one of the greatest golfers of all time and a public figure, but there has to be a limit to all this.

In the meantime, I think we all need to do a little better job of not being obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous. This is not difficult to do. All a person has to do is turn the television off and stay away from the Internet. Spend more time with family and friends. Try getting a hobby.

In other words, get a life.


Tenn Irish said...

It wood have been great if he'd blinked something in code with his eyes, like maybe, "No more wire coat hangers!"

Joltin' Django said...

Speaking of vultures, is there a bigger vulture in contemporary society than Gloria Allred? She swoops in to "represent" some of Woods' mistresses and demands, on their behalf, that he owes her "clients" an apology. What about her clients' apologies to Woods' wife? I mean, they knew he was married ... and their just as culpable in this whole ordeal as he is.