- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2002

The ultra-left New York Times, in embracing the cause of a rich woman being added to the membership list at Augusta National, has asked Tiger Woods to boycott the Masters golf tournament next spring.

Woods, perhaps the only golfer who matters to the masses, has become a veritable two-legged corporation, in the tradition of Michael Jordan. His power is genuine, yet subject to the capricious nature of public opinion.

If he is apt to spend this capital, he probably would like to have Bull Connor, fire hose in hand, standing at the entrance of Augusta National. Instead, Martha Burk is standing at the entrance, rallying the leftover relics from the '60s, at least when she is not granting interviews or seeking an audience with some lawmaker on Capitol Hill.

Not all of the relics have died yet, unfortunately, but soon enough. Theirs is a bad acid trip that has lasted about 40 years. It was amusing decades ago. Now it is just boring, and hardly worthy of the nation's attention.

You know what they say: Make love, not war. Oh, sorry. Forgot. Their lovemaking capacity is as defunct as their issue.

This is not to disparage those rich women possibly interested in hanging out with many of the near dead at Augusta National. The golf club is what it is, ever exclusive and ever private, and disinclined to mingle with the unwashed throngs.

That is all well and good, this manner of the rich. This is not a problem, except in the minds of a few. If you want problems, try living in the middle-class world. Do you have a couple of days to discuss it? Or should we just stick with trying to beat down Hootie Johnson's door to help one rich woman?

Hey, rich woman, can you spare a few dimes? Not to pick on Dominion Power, but there is no letup with this company. The company comes to the door once a month with one message: Pay up or go cold. It does not say: "How are you doing this month?" No, it says: "Pay up or go cold."

This probably explains why the one rich woman, as far as causes go, is not resonating with the masses. There is nothing in it for the masses, and no mechanism that provokes empathy.

If this is about social justice, it is a strange kind of social justice, beyond sloganeering. Just give one rich woman a chance? To be fair, Augusta National discriminates against all kinds, even its kind, along with the middle class, the working class and the poor.

The New York Times undoubtedly can relate to this form of discrimination, of a snobbery that is just so trite and out of place among those with dwindling brain cells, ample waistlines, receding hairlines and clogged arteries.

Michael Moore, to name one suspect with the far-out left, works on some level until he shows his head on top of the blob. How are you supposed to respect the ideas of a person who appears not to have taken a shower in weeks, is unfamiliar with a comb and wears a potato sack to hide the rolls of skin?

This is an unfair query, in a way, the standard as personal as wealth is, dispensed only to show that all sorts can play the snob, on whatever level.

As an increasingly flatulent media organ, the New York Times is usually content with offering its leaden prose as a public service to insomniacs while waiting for the next nut job, such as Daniel Ellsberg, to pop into its sober-minded offices. It probably means well, in a condescending, elitist way. It also probably means to stay somewhat relevant in the blogged-filled Internet age.

Its duplicity is obvious. It asks Woods to boycott that which it has not boycotted in the past.

Its call to boycott would pack more punch if the exhausted newspaper itself declared a boycott of the Masters and with those companies that do business with Hootie and the Viagra vouchers. This possibly might be bad for business. It is easier to ask Wood to absorb a hit to his enterprise. How convenient. How brave.

"A tournament without Mr. Woods would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the golfing business," the newspaper wrote, taking it one cluck at a time.

To which Woods, from Miyazaki, Japan, said yesterday: "As I've said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think there should be women members. But it's not up to me. I don't have voting rights. I'm just an honorary member."

This is only the zillionth time Woods has been solicited to comment on Augusta National's membership policy in the last few months, as if he has a hidden responsibility to be anything but an outstanding golfer.

We want it both ways, don't we? We like our pop-culture figures to be milquetoast types, to be inoffensive, until it becomes useful to drag them into whatever it is we deem important.

Laughably enough, one rich woman at Augusta National qualifies as important. It must be the contrived symbolism of it all. Who knows? Who cares at a certain point, one rich woman or 100 rich women?

If only most of us could be in the economic position to be "discriminated against" by Augusta National.


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