Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, Aughts

On the final day of the decade, I thought I'd write a little blog looking back on the major events of the '00s, contrasted with events in my own life. I should note that most scholars believe that the new decade actually begins on January 1, 2011, because there is no year 0 A.D., the first decade started with 1 A.D. and ended at the end of 10 A.D., and so on. But who says there was no year 0? Who was even counting back then? Just because we don't assign any historical events to that date doesn't mean it didn't happen! Maybe it was a slow year! Maybe that's why they called it year zero!

Anyway, on to the remembrances:

2000: The Republican party steals the Presidential election for George W. Bush, in an escapade that put the Watergate burglars to shame. In response, I decide to leave the country. Since these are the days before GPS, I will end up in California rather than Canada.

2001: The Twin Towers are destroyed by terrorists. Realizing we all have to do our part to band together in this time of crisis, I immediately join a graduate professional screenwriting program at USC.

2002: The New England Patriots replace Drew Bledsoe with a young upstart from Michigan named Thomas Brady and upset the St. Louis Rams to win the Super Bowl. Realizing that nothing in life makes sense anymore, I turn to female companionship for comfort and solace and start dating Elizabeth Saas, a relationship that I am hoping has outlived the Patriots' dynasty.

2003: The Human Genome Project is completed. I graduate with a professional screenwriting degree. While both events were greeted with great hope and celebration, neither has yet to produce any discernible results.

2004: Pamela Anderson once more poses for Playboy. I begin teaching her son Dylan chess to give his life some balance.

2005: A phenomenal year for me, as I win one screenwriting contest, come in second in a bigger one, and find myself runner up to Men "The Master" Nguyen in a Legends of Poker preliminary event. I assume this is presaging great things to come. I am wrong, at least in the short term. I should have guessed there would be trouble when the Pope was succeeded by former Nazi Joseph Ratzenberger.

2006: Google buys YouTube. I respond by creating this blog. My first two posts are about liking the Da Vinci Code without shame and the trials of querying agents and producers.

2007: I finally get my first real agent. The Writers Guild immediately goes on strike, shutting down all production and any hope of getting work in Hollywood.

2008: My contract with my agent expires. A month later the WGA strike is resolved.

2009: Michael Jackson dies. I am selected as a finalist in the FilmStream Screenplay competition. As one history-making career ends, another is about to begin.

Bring on 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Catching a Tiger by His Tail

First, a little bit of business. I'd like to call your attention to the new "Follow" links that should be on top and to the side of the page. If you have a Google account, these buttons seem to provide a quick and easy way to follow this blog, so there's that. Also, I've added "The Oatmeal" to my blogroll. The Oatmeal is a hysterical site created by web designer Matthew Inman which includes some gut busting cartoons and fun quizzes and you should check it out. Finally, happy birthday to my friend and loyal CraigsHappyPlace reader Bill Saas, who turns 21 today or something.

Anyway, on to the good stuff. Tiger Woods. Oh, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. Multiple allegations of the world's greatest golfer's infidelity have emerged, and while some may be bogus, voicemails, texts and the golfer's own admissions reveal that some are in fact true. Tiger's been steppin out on his wife. For awhile. This has become the top sports story of the year, without question. But why? As my girlfriend pointed out, it's not like a professional athlete never cheated on his wife before.

This is true. However, there are a lot of things that make this particular story very special.

First of all, Tiger Woods is not a professional athlete. He is THE professional athlete when it comes to golf. His name is synonymous with golf. He is what Michael Jordan is to basketball, what Roger Federer is to tennis, what Wayne Gretsky is to hockey. In the eyes of many, these men are perfect. Infalible. So when they stray, when they give us something that reveals to us that they are indeed human, too, we cannot look away.

Secondly, golf is an individual sport. When a football player is accused of a crime, his teammates often rally around him. In golf, everyone else (other than the sponsors) is Tiger's enemy. If he gets into trouble, there's nowhere to hide.

Thirdly, Tiger is someone with a pristine image in a sport with a pristine image. The whiter the cloth, the better the dirt shows up.

Additionally, we seem to have gotten lucky. If not for this car accident on Thanskgiving, none of this ever would have come out. For whatever reason, before the allegations surfaced, all of these women were willing to keep Tiger's secret. Then when the first one talked, they fell like dominoes (It's quite amazing to see the reaction of attractive, greedy young women to the scent of money. It's like blood in the water for sharks, literally stirring them into a frenzy). Now that we know, we have to know more. Everyone loves to be in on a good secret.

So, knowing why the Tiger story is so big, let's look at some of the interesting reactions to it. Here are some of the top questions that the public and the media have had about Tiger's Trysts:

1. How come Tiger gets with so many white girls?

It seems that while not as fair-skinned as his Nordic bride, the girls Tiger is cheating with are mostly white, or at least, don't reflect a lot of ethnic diversity. Now, cheating is cheating, and Tiger is obviously going to cheat with whoever he finds most attractive, but this little fact may lose him some sympathy among minority fans. We don't know what it means anyway. Are white women objectively more attractive, or just objectively sluttier? Or perhaps these were the only women he could get into the Golf Clubs as guests.

2. Waitaminute! Tiger's wife is hot! WTF??

This just goes back to the old saying: You show me a drop-dead gorgeous woman, I'll show you a guy who's tired of f***ing her. Many of us look at Elin Nordegren and wonder how Tiger could possibly not be satisfied, but that's because we can't have her. There's nothing so attractive as what is new. Man is never satisfied. That is what has allowed him to achieve so much.

3. How could that woman release that voicemail? She's a homewrecking whore! That poor family!

I actually heard a woman say something to this effect on talk radio, which I think is a sad commentary on the state of feminism in this country. However you feel about adultery (which if you are one of these anti-gay marriage fanatics, I assume you would like a law passed against it), there's no question who is at fault for damaging this family. That's on Tiger, and no one else. He played, and he's got to pay. These women didn't take any vows.

4. How could Tiger betray us like this?

OK, Tiger Woods doesn't owe you a damn thing except great golf. If you had an image of Tiger that has been shattered, that's on you, not him. It's unfortunate, but people are human and make mistakes, especially people who grow up with the entitlement that professional athletes do. If you want to reduce your chances of being disappointed, make someone like Judah Folkman or Muhammad Yunus your idol.

Well, that's it for now. See you at the next celebrity scandal!