Okay, I admit it, scandal is good for business. Scandal that I was right about is even better for business. Scandal that speaks to some deep and pervasive archetypal theme in the American psyche is the best. It gives us some weird gratification that our isolated and anonymous lives might not be as bad as we thought. When a Bernie Madoff goes down or as we are witnessing in the case of Tiger Woods, it puts our little dramas into some manageable perspective. Anyone want to trade places with Tiger right now? The guy hasn’t shown his face to the world since he tried to avoid the tree that was speeding towards him. Tiger Woods has almost instantaneously morphed into Michael Jackson with his newly adopted, secretive and reclusive nature.
As more and more women are stepping forward, each one getting closer to street level talent (see picture below), Tiger’s sponsors recoil at the hit his image is taking. Let’s be fair. How many upper executives at Gillette or Cadillac have or are having affairs, or stop off at the old sacred massage parlor on the way home to work off a little tension? So they have at the very least a soft spot in their hearts for Tiger’s indiscretions. But they aren’t indiscretions any longer. These aren’t affairs that Tiger continued for years, kept women, loyal mistresses, the ones that Europeans are quite familiar with. No, these are cocktail waitresses, erotic dancers, club vixens and party gals. Tiger was feasting on low hanging fruit. Unfortunately, they conform to the cliche that they are sex workers in straight gigs, just waiting for someone like Woods to sweep them off their feet and free them from the burden of ashes and soot. Then, there’s the drugs. Uh oh. That’s worse than sex in some corners.
Tiger’s probable addiction to Ambien and Vicodin, maybe even Oxycontin is symptomatic of a man that was trying to hush his conscience and ameliorate his guilt (remember Rush Limbaugh also a Capricorn and his addiction to Oxycontin?). In the eyes of Corporate America, that’s two strikes against Woods. Sex AND drugs. This is quickly unraveling into a real mess for a number of Fortune 100 companies.
Tiger made close to $200 million alone last year on endorsements. Not only do companies like Nike and Gillette stand to lose tier investment in him, at some point, there could even be some type of consumer backlash against them. In their own way, are they complicit in Tiger’s behavior? Were they the pushers and pimps funneling bimbos and barbs in Tiger’s direction, even if indirectly? If so, what does this say about Corporate America?
It’s no coincidence that Woods is a Capricorn and he is going through what he is going through. Yes, there are distinct elements in his chart that are driving him towards complete breakdown and rebirth (we hope) but he is also caught in a collective wave of revelation behind the facade of Corporate America and corporations in general.
Pluto is the planet of transformation, no-holds-barred, submission moves allowed, transformation. It takes no quarter and no prisoners. Capricorn is the embodiment of the corporate soul. Capricorn is hierarchy, climbing ladders and making moves, being political for the sake of power and it’s accrual.
What we are seeing, through the lens and ultimately, the ritual sacrifice of Tiger Woods, is the individual as facade, as cover for the suits in boardrooms that employ Indonesian women to the tune of $15 per 15 hour day to adorn the soles of Nike.
Chaos theory is a popular concept. You know the old butterfly flapping it’s wings in China, Sahara winds in Africa deal. Perhaps it has even broader, more complex applications for the soul of the planet and it’s inhabitants. Perhaps the hell that Tiger Woods is currently experiencing isn’t just the result of a lonely guy rebelling against the perfectionist indoctrination he endured at the hands of his special forces father or the unquenchable need for power, or simply being bored with his Swedish ice queen, maybe greater forces are played out through players that shape perceptions at a global level. Maybe Tiger’s hell is nothing more than pure spiritual payback for the inhumane treatment of Nike’s charges in it’s sweatshops, or any other moral and financial inequity that any of Tiger’s sponsors practiced. It’s here where he becomes “The Wicker Man” burning on a funeral pyre for their egregious excess, substandard working conditions and callous disregard. He’s no victim though. He could have stared down the treatment of people in Southeast Asian sweatshops, or looked into the long term effects of glucose and fructose on the body. Tiger could have been accountable, but that wasn’t his game. He was just as complicit as his pimp, Phil Knight. If we go deep enough, we can see Tiger as cipher for the falsity and facade that many (not all) corporations promote in the name of bottom lines, profits and the degradation of the human spirit, subtly being revealed to us now through the unsentimental disclosure of Pluto in Capricorn.