Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Things On My Mind

Tiger Woods is making an announcement tomorrow (2/19). Whatever else he says, I hope he says he will not play golf for the next year, that he will use the time to become better acquainted with himself as a human being, that he will apply the same focus and intensity to the health of his soul that he has applied to golf. I am not morally condemning him. To do so I would have to stand in moral judgment on myself. But I know what it is to separate one's creative life from one's personal life to such an extent that the two scarcely know each other. It is extremely difficult and painful to "know thyself", but not nearly as painful as ignorance of one's self. My wish for Tiger Woods is that his life become as beautiful and awe inspiring as his golf game.


One of my current pet peeves is the pervasive use of the word "boob" as a substitute for breast. I am especially peeved when women use "boob", a word devoid of dignity. However, given how breast-fixated America is, perhaps the wide use of "boob" is an unconscious effort to combat that fixation. But I think it has much more to do with America's discomfort with talking about anything related to sex. A few years ago, a high school in this area (western Massachusetts) found itself under attack when it was learned that the school was going to put on a performance of "The Vagina Monologues". The reaction could not have been stronger if the play had been titled "The Pussy Monologues". On the other hand, it is interesting that words have such power for some Americans that the mere mention of the word "vagina" sends many people into a rage. If only these people would take seriously and be enraged by words like war, poverty, homelessness. If only.

© 2010 by Julius Lester