Ophelia and golf’s 19 th Hole. Call it brand intoxication. Imagine Tiger Woods as a handbag or a gladrag. Can you tell the difference between a luxury handbag and a fake? A new Associate professor of marketing at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Renee Richardson Gosline, suggests that most people look to contextual clues to help discern the real from the counterfeit. Call it counterfeits in context. “Basically these consumers look at the person, the setting, and determine the authenticity by seeing if the person’s image corresponds with the image they have of the brand,” said Renée Richardson Gosline, whose “Rethinking Brand Contamination” is being written with an eye to publication in the Journal of Marketing. Her research suggests that mere product shots of luxury goods are not nearly as persuasive as images of those products in a full-scale luxury context. Presently,golfer and part-time Casanova, Eldrick Tont ” Tiger” Woods is totally out of context, responding to an innate call of the wild, far beyond the fairway of solace he once appeared to have mastered.
Is Tiger Woods a counterfeit in context? Could we tell by the rest of his outfit that Tiger is a fake? Tiger seems to have been spending an inordinate amount of leisure at the famous 19 th hole….where invited ladies drink for free. Golf entered the english language in Scotland, after its invention, as an acronym of Gentlemen-Only-Ladies-Forbidden, and thus the word GOLF, and the 19 th hole legend of golf lore was soon established as men’s club and bodacious elixir for weary duffers.
Jack Lemmon said, ”If you think its hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball”. And writer Mark Twain said, ”Its good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golfballs while they are still rolling”. Tiger Woods, apparently is picking up new people, and actually finding it pleasurable and not too demanding. In fact the numerous nymphs of the links are like rolling golf balls he has picked up, pocketed and practiced the ” golf lie adjustment” with his putter back in the hotel with a ”do not disturb” billboard nailed to the suite’s door.
Tiger has apparently at least eight flings, on his scorecard to date; but not sure if these were all hole in ones or extreme bogeys, or part of a generalized sub-par performance, on the course and between the covers. Perhaps Woods should listen to the Geico Gecko’s advice of ”Off it Goes and you’re all good!” The Woods saga is a tragi-comedy, half Caddyshack and part Shakespeare, but clearly not out of the woods or able to see the trees from the forest yet. Elin Nordegren, Woods’s spouse is a Desdemona figure, a type of Venetian beauty who disappoints her father by eloping with the Moor, Tiger Othello, a man older and not of her race. Fittingly the Tiger Woods marriage was consummated at the Shamwari Game Reserve.Like Shakespeare’s Othello, Tiger is manipulated by an anonymous Iago, with Desdemona allegedly in an adulterous relationship with Othello’s disgraced lieutenant, Cassio. Desdemona is then metaphorically murdered by Tiger Othello in the final act.
Rattray Taylor describes patriarchal societies in which the power was placed in the hands of men, to be based on father-identifier schemes (Taylor explains that children who are father-identifiers, model themselves after their fathers because of their interest in authority and in an attempt to acquire power as their fathers have) .” This can be applied to Desdemona’s rebelliousness. Because Brabantio had such immense power over her, Desdemona may have wanted to gain this kind of power herself. Thus she decided to take her relationship into her own hands and ignored the tradition of receiving her father’s approval. Desdemona was striving to play an equal role with the men in the Venetian society….Desdemona took the initiative in the courtship because she envied the power that her father had over her and the power of Othello’s bravery and masculinity. She wished to be a man as brave and as noble as Othello . Desdemona’s actions were not necessarily based on the desire to be a man, but more so a desire to have the equal powers of men. By marrying Othello, Desdemona was showing that she was strong enough and educated enough to break the societal confines of passivity for women.”
These manipulative actions by Iago can be related to William Blake’s “A Poison Tree.” … Iago’s foes were Cassio, Roderigo, Desdemona, and Othello. He used deceit to make his wrath against them all look as though he was just trying to help them. His actions were like the poison fruit on Blake’s tree that looked so appealing. Iago lured everyone into his trap until they were all under his control. Desdemona, although an intelligent woman seeking liberation, fell into Iago’s trap because she loved Othello and was upset that he had considered her a “whore.”
Or call it ”Tiger Hamlet”. Nordegren is also part Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, whose father Polonius admonishes Ophelia against pursuing Hamlet, who he considers not earnest or serious enough about her. The interpretation of the ”madness” of Tiger Hamlet, based on a mistaken perception of his love for Ophelia, drives the plot on… it was only after Tiger’s ”To Be Or Not To Be” soliloquy in the Nunnery scene, that Nordegren, in a state of bewilderment and heartbreak, believes that hamlet is insane. Ophelia herself becomes mad, climbs a tree, a branch breaks and Nordegren meorically drops in a brook where she drowns, ”incapable of her own distress”.
The Woods story is not dissimilar to Jack Lemmon in the film ”Save The Tiger”, a story about moral conflict in which the protagonist Harry Stoner struggles with the complexity of modern life against the illusion of simplicity which he chooses to remember in his youth. Stoner is an outwardly successful and respectable man who questions the value of his material prosperity that is slipping from him. However, life gets complicated when a client has a heart attack in the grasp of a hooker he has hired to juice an order.
” The decency that Lemmon carried like a talisman throughout his career is twisted here, crushed by the weight of memories. There are few things more heartbreaking than to see a good man undone by the unfortunate consequences of good intentions, and this is why Save The Tiger remains such a raw and unsettling film.” Woods and Lemon deal in their way with an isolation from the world around them, and what innocence and naivety that remains is shanked into a watery emotional hazard with penalties to pay. The question at the heart of Save The Tiger and Tiger Woods is both familiar and complex: ”Didn’t It all used to be so simple? ”
Or, Tiger appearing in Kut Vonnegut’s ”Breakfast of Champions” as the erstwhile Dwayne Hoover, outwardly normal appearing, but a deeply deranged, in this case golfer, who becomes obsessed with the writings of John Gribbon’s ”Get a grip on Physics” ,the soft cover found in his Cadillac Escapade of ” hit a fire hydrant in Pleasantville” fame. Although, judging from Woods behavior it might have been the ”Pataphysics of Golf Protocol by Alfred Jarry. Gribbon plays Kilgore Trout, a man who appears outwardly insane , but is in fact relatively functional enough to realize Tiger is taking everything he has written as literal truth.The title, appropriated from the slogan for ”Wheaties” breakfast cereal appears in a key scene late in the novel when a waitress, or in Wood’s case, a call-girl, apparently ironically, says “Breakfast of Champions” each time she serves a customer a martini in the original and something else in the sequel.
Tiger, as Dwayne Hoover, is extremely wealthy but psychologically unstable and is undergoing a phased mental collapse. He believes Gribbon’s book is a personal message from the creator of the universe that Tiger is the only individual in the universe with free will. Tiger believes the writings to be factual and at first channels the violent urges towards golf success, walking away with many championships. However, the rage cannot be contained further and spills into the world of casual sex and the seedier side before being taken into custody before more violent rampages can be triggered.