April 8, 2010

The Tiger Morality Play (Cha-Ching)

Have you seen the new Masters commercial? Nike assumes the fallen Tiger has undergone a moral re-education. The ad was released for the start of the Masters tournament and Woods’s rapid return to the Woods-starved golf scene and public eye.

What I find fascinating is how the company, far from running away from the fallen constructed-American hero (and historic cash machine) has so thoroughly appropriated his nascent but newbie (and highly promoted) therapy experience; his “supposed remorse”; his “supposed moral reeducation”; and, especially, the voice and moral authority of Tiger’s father.

Standing on a golf course ( “of all places,” right?), Tiger looks America and his dead father straight in the eye, blinking in slow motion assent from admonishing statements or questions from Dad (one blink after “what your thinking was” and “what your feelings are”; two blinks and slight nod after “did you learn anything?”) … as if he somehow is baring and has bared his soul to the nation. …Now where’s my check?


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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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