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Let's stop talking about Tiger Woods and just let him play golf

I'm an avowed feminist and was once very close to a relationship similar to the one between Tiger Woods and his wife, so no one can accuse me of being anti-female or unsympathetic to a wronged wife.

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Even so, I must ask, what business is it of the public what Tiger Woods does in his private life?

Isn't that strictly between him and his wife? And perhaps between him and his sponsors?

After all, Woods is not on the public payroll, so no tax money is being spent on him. He's not a public official, so there's no risk that he could be blackmailed to the detriment of the populace.

He's not a schoolteacher or a youth minister, so he won't be in daily contact with youth that he could seduce.

All Tiger Woods is, is a fellow with an uncanny ability to knock a little white ball into a hole in the ground on a consistent basis.

I say, let's let him do that and otherwise leave him alone.

I know, I know. He's a public figure and, some say, a role model for kids.

To quote a former vice president, "So?"

If sponsors don't like the image he projects, they don't have to sponsor him. He might not get gazillions of dollars in product endorsements, but he'll still have his income from knocking around that little white ball, which is much more than most of us make.

If golf fans don't like the way he acts, they don't have to pay admission fees to watch him play. If they go to watch someone else in the tournament, they can walk away when it's Tiger's turn — sort of like texting during the commercials at the movie theater as we wait for the film to start.

If parents don't want their kids to idolize him, they can put their hands over their kids' eyes when he comes on the TV screen.

In truth, when it comes to idolization, he's not exactly Michael Jordan. Or even Michael Jackson. From what I've seen and heard, it's mostly middle-aged guys (and young women) who idolize him the most.

So, I say, lay off. Quit calling news conferences where questioners (some of them probably philanderers themselves) seem to revel in making him squirm like a bug stuck through with a pin. This may make titillating film footage, but it does little else.

Isn't it about time to say golf's equivalent of "Play ball!" and let the man get on with his golfing?

Film festival was a winner

As Sarasota, Ybor City and Orlando hold their big film festivals this week, I want to send hearty congratulations to Richey Suncoast Theatre for bringing the prestigious Black Maria Film + Video Festival to New Port Richey on April 2.

Black Maria (pronounced muh-RYE-uh) takes its name from the world's first film studio, the one built by Thomas Edison in 1893 in New Jersey. The 29-year-old festival is a competition for short films. More than 700 films were entered in 2009, with 70 chosen as winners in various divisions.

Of those, five 2009 winners and five previous winners were brought to Richey Suncoast, one of 65 stops in the United States and Europe for the festival winners. Before those were shown, videos by students of Robert Mateja's video production classes at Marchman Technical Education Center were shown, and they were most impressive.

The whole experience, in fact, was far, far beyond my expectations. The short films were unforgettable; it's amazing that an entire story can be told in two minutes, as My Girlfriend Sleeps Like Superman was, or in nine minutes, as the darkly hilarious Banana Bread was.

The only thing that could make the festival better would be the chance to purchase a video of these little movies, but because of copyright tangles, that's not possible.

Richey Suncoast hosted the event as part of The Thomas Meighan Project, in honor of the 1930s film star who once lived in New Port Richey and for whom the theater was originally named.

If Black Maria comes back for a second time, Richey Suncoast board president Charlie Skelton says the theater will apply for a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to help underwrite the costs. (The theater, Mateja and My Favorite Newspaper underwrote the project this year).

If it does come back, I have one piece of advice for everyone: Get your tickets early because I have a feeling they'll go quickly.

Let's stop talking about Tiger Woods and just let him play golf 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 9:35pm]
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