Thursday, April 10, 2008

“You can have your Tiger Woods, we've got Senator McCain."

“I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”—Ty Webb, from Caddyshack

My friends...they simply can not help themselves.

Via The Hotline:

What's With The Tiger Woods Comparisons?

Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia introduced John McCain at Vets for Freedom Rally today with this unfortunate line, linking Barack Obama with golfer Tiger Woods. But not in a good way:

“Fortunately, I have the privilege, the distinct privilege today, of introducing a true American hero who defies political norms in Washington,” Bellavia said. “Sen. John McCain has spent a lifetime in service to our nation. His example of unwavering courage is a model for every American. Rest assured that men like Senator McCain will be the goal and the men that my two young boys will emulate and admire. You can have your Tiger Woods, we've got Senator McCain.

This one is funny. More pathetic than funny, actually—but still pretty funny, albeit in that-idiot-aggressively-backflipping-and-nunchucking-himself-unconscious-on-YouTube kind of way. Take a gander at it. Marvel at its ridge-browed Neandertahalism, and just try not to rush to your medicine cabinet for mercurochrome and gauze for the poor idiot's asphalt-scraped knuckles.

Now, when I first saw the video of Mr. Bellavia's revealing little grump-fest, I was taken aback a little by his marble-mouthed inability to join subject and predicate to form cogent sentences. But of course, the real payoff here is his improvised, bitter swipe at something or rather, someone who obviously annoys him—namely an opponent of his beloved Senator John McCain.

The comparative he oddly uses to name-check this opponent is for some reason the golfer Tiger Woods, who the last time I checked wasn't running for President, but instead about to run a field of duffers off the greens and fairways of Augusta National this weekend at The Masters. I liked the “Ooooooooh, Davey said a naughty”! reaction from the assembled crowd of like-minded dolts. It kind of spoke volumes, as a lot of Bellavia's statement did itself. The usage of Tiger Woods as some sort of shorthand for an “undesirable” for his two unfortunately fathered boys to emulate, ehhhh..doesn't quite jell as anything other than a racially tinged dig.

Last I recall, Tiger Woods is someone you'd probably have to consider one of the squeaky-cleanest modern-day athletes strapping it on these days. He's ridiculously successful, a good citizen, no scandals, a family man and no so-called publicly-known vices to speak of. I'd probably have to be a golf buff to know who I'm talking about here, but the in-sport inverse of Woods' impeccability would have to be the drunken, drugging, gambling, spouse-battling, human-train wreck of a PGA long-driver John Dalywho has never met a vice he didn't like save for those he hasn't tried.

As the talk was all about Presidential politics and who was good and who was bad from Sgt. Bellavia, it just struck me that when he went for the polar opposite to his beloved, but dangerously flawed John McCain he didn't opt to pick a person you'd have some difficulty in admiring like the very compromised Daly.

He instead for some reason sees Tiger Woods as McCain's bête noire, arch-rival and uh...well, bugaboo.

(Author's pause for laughter)

Okay, I'm back. Here's the deal—Bellavia, regardless of his service to his country boasts all the speaking ability of a drunken, head-whipped sloth. You can see that on the tape. But he's got piss-poor little guile too, and that lack of guile is what utterly exposes him as an unreformed, dull-witted race-baiter. He thought himself slick by going to an allegory to describe McCain's nominal general election opponent Senator Obama, but totally muffed the play with an obvious splash of racist idiocy.

I personally like the silly venom in his You can have”. “We've got” coupling. It tells a multi-leveled story, actually.

You see, the usage of Woods as a slang shorthand for Barack Obama speaks to a certain racial paranoia of the part of folks like Bellavia. I was in Augusta, Georgia the weekend that Tiger Woods officially burst onto golf's lily-white scene in 1997. I wasn't there for the tournament mind you, but rather, I was visiting a significant other who was performing in town. I found myself at trip's end at Bush Field, the city's airport waiting for my flight home, aimlessly walking from my gate to the oddly crowded bar and back. I finally stopped at the bar's fringe—I couldn't get in it from the huge crowd packing the place—and noticed what everyone was looking at, namely the final round of the Masters tournament just a stone's throw away in which first-year PGA pro Tiger Woods was ripping through the course like Caddyshack's Ty Webb on a fast-drip adrenaline and espresso I.V.. There was a 99% White crowd in that airport bar, and all you could hear over the hushed announcer tones from the TV were grunted “God-damns”, “Fucks”, and an almost percussive slamming down of beer bottles and cheap glass tumblers at every dead-solid-perfect drive and seemingly magnetically-guided putt.

No slurs...just a palpable displeasure with what was transpiring. There was a lot of head-shaking and napkin-tossing. And I must say, more than a few almost hissed “Unbelievable. Fucking unbelievables”. I intentionally lingered there amongst that grumpy assemblage, maybe courting trouble, but mostly getting a secondary visual dig in at that unreasonably angry bunch. There were two Black people within thirty feet of that ball of anger. Me, and a guy I thought was an airport employee as he had a uniform-ish-looking outfit on and was leaned against a trash bin. He and I made eye contact for a moment and there was a knowing smile. He was lingering too, a fellow “chip in the cookie” like me. He shook his head with a silent laugh as Woods trod the green grass back to the clubhouse, post-massacre, and the man pulled his wheeled bag hidden by the bin and walked down to his gate...with a big “Callaway Golf” logo on the back of his windbreaker. Golf fan? Duffer? I don't know what he was exactly, but he was getting as much enjoyment out of the first wave of the “sea change” we had just witnessed. I turned back to the crowd and couldn't help but notice their noticing us. There was an odd silence amongst them as they looked on. An almost collective audible and visual sigh from them looking at us, clearly translating as an exasperated “Oh great...we'll have to hear about this shit from 'them' forever about this.”

Woods' win there and his subsequent hyper-dominance and revolutionizing of the game is something that many look at with a level of awe...and a lot of others scowl at with barely-concealed disgust. He effectively took a game—golf—away from the demographic group that pretty much owned it outright since its inception 600 years ago.

He's in the process of re-writing the record book, and doing so at a younger age and with a more punishing dominance than his predecessors. Those facts have upset many of his peers, with requests that courses be “Tiger-proofed” with new and more challenging layouts, spiteful talk of how the game's popularity is in jeopardy due to Woods' “Colossus amongst men” skewing of the sport's talent curve (“If no one else is gonna win—why watch?”), and even outright verbal denigration from...well, there's no other word to use but “haters”.

Exhibit A in the “hater” camp, South African PGA player Rory Sabbatini on Tiger Woods—and note the sniffy tone of his logic-defying, truth-ignoring disses. Why would the under-talented, egomaniacal South African go there? While sipping at an adult beverage let me say, “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to. ”
“The funny thing is after watching [Woods] play on Sunday,” Sabbatini said today of the final round at Wachovia, “I think he's more beatable than ever. I think there's a few fortuitous occasions out there that really changed the round for him. And realizing that gives me even more confidence to go in and play with him on Sunday again.”

Sabbatini continued: “I've seen Tiger when he hits the ball well. And I've seen Tiger when there is not a facet of his game that you look at and you -- you're not amazed. But I think Sunday he struggled out there. He had to battle for that win. And I think that made me realize, you know, he is -- I'd say as beatable as ever.”


Before the final round of last week's Wachovia Championship, Sabbatini, the third-round leader by one, all but begged for a Sunday pairing with Woods. Sabbatini got his wish, then blew the lead and lost to Woods by four.

This otherwise no-name hacker's claim to fame are those statements. He doesn't have a single major tour victory to his credit, so it stands to reason that maybe, just maybe in comparison to Woods, he comes up just a tad short in the talent department. Yet. he went sooooooooo far out of his way to slag a beyond-all-doubt better. Why? As they used to say in those old commercials during “Wide World Of Sports” “You make the call.”. By the by, as Woods mauled him on the back nine holes to take the tournament by four strokes, a spectator asked a seething Sabbatini as he walked to the 10th tee, “Still think Tiger's beatable?”

An enraged Sabbatini had the spectator forcibly removed by course security.

And then we have Exhibit B in the “racist concern troll” camp, Golf Network commentator Kelly Tilghman on Woods dominance and how to curtail it. I'm sure you remember this one.

(PGA golfer Nick) Faldo and Tilghman were discussing young players who could challenge the world’s No. 1 player toward the end of Friday’s broadcast at Kapalua when Faldo suggested that “to take Tiger on, maybe they should just gang up for a while.”

“Lynch him in a back alley,” Tilghman replied.

The root of the hate for Woods by peers, commentators and so-called fans of the game is rooted in a special strain of racism—the desperate and clutchy, “How dare you enter and rule my last bastion of power?” variety to be precise. Tennis' barrier-shattering Williams sisters got the same treatment from status-challenged “protetctors” of the status quo.

Which leads us back to Bellavia, McCain ans Obama.

Bellavia's ham-fisted “speech” most certainly was rally-'round-the-cross stupid for that segment of voters of the mulleted, “Fuck yeah!” school of political action. His conflating of Obama and Woods—two very different people—as interchangeable half-breed “Negroes Of Prominence” is typical racist diminishment and disrespect. We do all look alike you know. Mo'nique and Halle Berry always make it a point not to show up at the same award shows lest there be confusion by people running name chyrons in the control room. And my God! the millions of times former Rep. Julian Bond has been mistaken for Chicago Bulls forward Ben Wallace is something we just chuckle at during the secret, twice-monthly every-Black-person-in-America-on-the-phone-at-once conference calls.

But the underlying zing from the mumbling, GOP-backing sergeant is that aforementioned fear-and jealousy based dissing that Tiger Woods is the constant recipient of. When you think about it, Bellavia's stuttering blather smacks of that same “How dare you enter and rule my last bastion of power?”-speak—I mean, this is the Presidency we're talking about here—not too many last bastions beyond there. And as Woods' emergence represented some serious applecart upsetting, just the consideration of an Obama's ascending to the Presidency flips the whole damned orchard upside-down.

'Oh no. This is the one thing you will not take take from us. not this. NOT the fucking Presidency'.

It was a punk-ass scream for help that he thought was a silent dog whistle.

Well...woof-woof, mother-fucker.

And then of course he handed the stage over to his man McCain, who smiled his usual stiff, soul-sold smile and embraced his carny-barking “hype” man without thinking for so much as an instant that there might have been something amiss in that introduction.

'Ah my friend, my friend...thank you for that. Really. Straight talk time! Heh! Eh...what pointy hats and flaming crosses?'

We've seen that same kind of thing from John McCain before. His “tendency” to play the Sgt. Schultz “I know!” card before when confronted with an over-zealous, mouthy supporter while on the trail.

Senator Clinton was the butt of a sexist slam at the hands of a McCain supporter late last year when at a Q&A coffee klatsch for the fosssilized fascist, he was asked point-blank, “How do we beat the bitch?”, and never said a mumbling word about the caustic rip. He just kept a' doddering along, laughing with his audience of haters as usual.

It is always a hoot to see what a little desperation...and a little fear that there might be someone who simply changes the optics of what a leader might be will push the weak-minded to blurt out. And that's exactly what this verbal diarrhea is all about.

“Tiger”. “The Bitch”.

“Some People Just Don't Belong.”

Oh. That last quote? It's from an old movie poster. Here it is.

Show me someone who roots for Ted Knight's “Judge Smails” in that movie and I'll show you a heartless, GOP-loving loser who blindly backs the stodgy, status-quo, and “Smail-ish” John McCain

Sergeant Bellavia, don't you have a boat to go christen for your stick-in-the-ass political “dad” or something?