Saturday, January 19, 2008

This is Harrison Bergeronish

I really hate golf. I find it to be the world's most boring game and when I turn on the TV on a Saturday afternoon and find eighteen channels airing all-day golfathons I immediately put in an episode of Family Guy just to stop my brain from panicking.

I had some friend who used to watch golf while I was around and that's how I learned that there is an Indian golfer whose skin is so dark if I were him I'd hide in rooms with the lights out wearing all black and scare people all the time. I'd be a ninja golfer.

Hey, if they had ninja golfers I might actually care about the game.

But I couldn't help hearing about this:

On January 4, Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman said golfers who wanted to win should "lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley."

If the golfer she was talking about had been white, this would have been a comment made in poor taste but people would have rolled their eyes and moved on.

But Tiger Woods is not white, and Tilghman is fucking stupid.

She could have said strangled or stabbed or shot or anything but the word lynching. She chose the one violent act that is most offensive to the black community. I doubt it was an accident that her brain went there. Too bad her mouth followed.

Golfweek magazine ran an issue where the cover story was this lynching thing and on the cover was a noose. And the editor was fired for it.

Okay, the girl was stupid. The magazine was not.

Is this where we are now? We can watch ever increasing gore in the continuing escalation of torture porn, and we can watch a show like Rome where the nudity is so graphic it's difficult to see how the actors are not actually fucking each other, and we can have a movie like Hounddog where a 12-year-old Dakota Fanning is raped onscreen, but that picture of a noose to accompany a story about a woman using the term "lynching" - oh, that's too offensive.

I remember the story of a local politician who used the word "niggardly" in a speech once. It immediately caused a shitstorm. It didn't matter how many times he or anyone with a wide vocabulary explained that the word means stingy, the voices asking for his resignation overpowered the voices of reason and the man was forced to step down.

Sure, Kelly Tighlman needs to be beaten with reeds for her stupidity and ignorance. But now we're firing people for using images that make us uncomfortable? That's what a reporter's job is - to tell you the uncomfortable truth, even if it is about the most boring sport in the world.

Where are we going with this? Are we really supporting the most violent, vile bloodfests and women hating entertainment while anything that challenges our minds is seen as offensive? Don't think about race issues - don't discuss them. Don't look at images that remind us we used to be a not-so-bright-and-shiny nation. Pretend it didn't happen. Quick - look, it's a naked woman being beaten to death!

We are so fickle about our freedom of speech. It really chaps my hide.


  1. Anonymous10:24 AM

    People are too fucking sensitive about the fucking language we have. Lighten the fuck up, people!

    I'm sure that the next magazine the guy gets hired at will be so worried about their advertising revenue that they'll send him to "difference training" before he starts.

  2. Anonymous5:22 PM

    Lots of cussing.

    I like that.

    Yet another great example of why it's so important to use the perfect action verb that gives us the correct visual.


  3. Two things:

    1. Words uttered on live TV in the spur of the moment. People make mistakes. Not only did Tilghman apologize (and Woods who the comment was directed at, not only accepted, but said of Tilghman that she was a decent person who just made a mistake and let's all move on--I'm paraphrasing), but she was suspended for two weeks, though now it looks like like the golf channel wants to lynch her and has brought her back post suspension.

    I especially like it when mudslingers like Al Sharpton--who wouldn't know a 2-iron from a putter--stick their mouths in to stir up trouble.

    People make mistakes, especially on live Tv. She paid her debt.

    2. Magazines are in the business to sell magazines. Provocative covers help. The story inside the magazine is well researched and accurate and timely. It reminds us that racism is alive and well and not just in the south.

    One has to wonder if Time or Newsweek did the same cover if there would be such a furor? The difference is that golf is still elitist, white (for the most part anyway), and corporate conservative.

    That editor shouldn't have been fired, he should be commended for broaching a subject--racism--that people still are afraid to talk about.

  4. Dakota Fanning is raped in a movie? WTF!


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.