Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tiger to Win Masters
The Masters, the immutable, official, indisputable beginning of Spring, beings tomorrow. Forecasts here are for 39 degrees with a mix of rain and snow. That is why they play The Masters in Augusta, Georgia, and why I have to use a high level of symbolism to begin my Spring.
The question in this year's Masters is not so much who will win, but will Tiger Woods win? And I'm here to answer that for you: yes, yes he will. You see, Tiger is not like you or me. He wins Masters and he is a master. I bow to him and his golf game. I remember three years ago sitting on the couch and watching the Masters, Woods came back to win on Sunday, capping the tournament off by willing his putted ball with a determined stare into the cup after it had stopped rolling. That's the type of metaphysical power possessed by masters, and by a person who can win a Master when he wants to.
Alright, so there's that. You heard it here first, right? Tiger to win Masters.
A lot of people are protesting the Olympic torch running because the Olympics are going to be in Beijing, China this year and China is evil. People protest this evil by throwing rocks at wheelchair bound torch carriers. I don't understand the higher wisdom at play in this, but maybe Tiger can explain it. He would, but he's too busy channeling energy into his golf clubs. I certainly can't explain it, because, unlike Tiger, my wisdom and power is finite.
But as far as I can gather, people are upset about China hosting the Olympics because China has a long and uncontested track record of crushing human rights, much the way the Soviet hockey team used to crush all comers. This crushing is exemplified by China's stance on Tibet, which it seized and assimilated in 1951, and recently has re-invaded and harassed. To that we all wish a speedy return to an autonomous Tibet on the world stage. Then, and only then, will the Dalai Lama stop being the giggly plaything of super-rich movie stars. This is why we protest. Big hitter, that Lama.
But when did the Olympics, a tradition created by a warring society that held slaves, become a human rights symbol? The ancient Olympics were a series of contests where men competed naked, and, if they lost, were often assaulted. Games were basically metaphorical extensions of battlefield contests between city-states. Winning was held in such high regard that the contestants often cheated. There was an elaborate protocol for pederasty. If you won the javelin toss you received a laurel wreath and a supple young boy. This, to me, seems an unlikely source for humanism and national unity. But that brings us to the one force more powerful than Tiger Woods, and The Lama himself: capitalism.
When big business and corporate sponsorship seized and assimilated the Olympics what was fashioned was the pristine image of the games as a symbol of unity and idealism. This is the modern Olympics. The "games" as we know it: where doped up athletes strive ever faster and higher, where kids held captive by oppressive parents and coaches are unleashed to compete for the world's love, and where people scale tall bridges to hang banners of protest, and haze the torch carriers.
Now, let us find inner peace and reconcile the three formerly irreconcilable elements--golf, Tibet and the Olympics--with the help of the movie "Caddyshack."
I jump a ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at the course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself Twelfth some of the Lame. The flowing robes, the grace, bald...striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one -- big hitter, the Lama -- long into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier.
Do you know what the Lama says? "Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga."
So, we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know."
And he says, "Oh, uh, there wont be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."
So, I got that goin' for me, which is nice.