On Thursday, PGA of America President Ted Bishop compared English golfer Ian Poulter to a “little school girl squealing.” On Friday, the PGA of America ousted Ted Bishop.
After Poulter treated Nick Faldo and Tom Watson harshly in his book released this week, Bishop aggressively defended the older, more accomplished golfers from the attacks of their younger critic. “Really?” he asked on Facebook. “Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” He issued similar remarks on Twitter, where careers commit suicide in 140 characters or less, by more economically calling Poulter “lil girl.”
Apparently, little school girls don’t ever squeal and to hear them do so betrays profound sexism. Or so was squealed. In order to satiate the insatiable god Political Correctness, the PGA of America offered up Mr. Bishop as a human sacrifice. Despite his term expiring in a month, Bishop received his walking papers in a hastily-convened impeachment proceeding aimed at demonstrating in the most public manner possible the righteousness of the PGA of America’s board and further conditioning Americans into mouthing lies by making another of their number walk the plank for saying something somebody somewhere didn’t like.
From the WBC suspending boxer Adrien Broner for dubbing himself the “can” man for beating up Africans and Mexicans to Hawks GM Danny Ferry’s leave of absence for reading what a scout had written about Luol Deng to the CFL fining players who voiced disapproval of homosexuality in the wake of Michael Sam’s selection in the NFL draft, a totalitarian climate engulfs Sports, Inc. Cliches and bromides serving as the lingua franca make athletes not only dishonest, but boring. This phenomenon surely explains a frightened-to-death Roger Goodell issuing stock phrases and slogans in a press conference on domestic violence last month in which he spoke for 45 minutes but said nothing.
The late Vaclav Havel, who ruminated on coercion’s perversion of language in far less comfortable quarters than the country club to which Mr. Bishop retreats, clearly outlined the problem honesty faces in a dishonest system in his essay “On Evasive Thinking.” The playwright-prisoner-politician wrote:
We live in a time when reality is in conflict with platitude, when a fact is in conflict with an a priori interpretation of it, when common sense is in conflict with a distorted rationality. It is a time of conflict between theory that plays fast and loose with practice, and theory that learns from practice; a conflict between two gnoseologies: the one that, from an a priori interpretation of the world, deduces how that reality should be seen, and one that, from how reality is seen, deduces how that reality must be interpreted. In my opinion, how quickly our society evolves will depend on how quickly we can replace the first gnoseology–the metaphysical one–with the second, the dialectical one.
One of the truly great aspects of golf remains the game’s honesty. Pitchers throw spit balls. Basketball players flop. Boxers plaster their wraps. And their sports welcome them back. Vijay Singh marked a “4” where he should have marked “5,” and three decades later some still treat him as though a pariah. The PGA of America’s impeachment of Bishop for using an analogy that conjures up an experiential image from everyone who reads it instructs us that little girls respond to discomfort with quiet stoicism instead of emotional outbursts. This petty B.S. isn’t very golf. It’s miniature golf.
“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf,” PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua maintained in a statement. “We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example.”
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.
So ban The Four Seasons’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” from the airwaves. Take back Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Universe trophies for imitating his Saturday Night Live imitators by dismissing critics as “girlie men.” Bowdlerize “hysterical” from Webster’s dictionary.
Big Brother may be watching. Big Sister is listening.