August 19, 2009

NYT Magazine Ethicist on Golf: Who? Whom?

The New York Times Magazine features a weekly column entitled "The Ethicist" in which Randy Cohen dispenses ethical judgments from a contemporary perspective -- i.e., Who? Whom?

Is Golf Unethical?
By Randy Cohen

THE ISSUE

Last week in Berlin, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted to recommend that golf be included in the 2016 Games; the full membership will vote in October. In July, in Caracas, the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez denounced golf as “a bourgeois sport,” and officials have taken steps to close two courses. The joys or miseries of playing the game aside, when it comes to assessing golf’s underlying ethos, who is more persuasive, Chávez or the I.O.C.?

THE ARGUMENT

While it would be oversimplifying either to uncritically exalt or utterly damn the culture of golf, on balance Chávez has the stronger case. The golf community, like most others, is neither monolithic nor immutable, but the current customs and values of big-time professional golfers, those most likely to dominate Olympic play, seem remote from the Olympic ideal. ...

American golfers are even more homogeneous and more conservative than their global colleagues, Selcraig asserts, citing a Sports Illustrated survey of 76 P.G.A. tour players: 91 percent endorsed the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.; 88 percent supported the invasion of Iraq; and 0 percent had seen “Brokeback Mountain.” Not science, perhaps, but not unrevealing.

As stated on an official Olympic Web site, “the goal of the Olympic Movement” — it is a movement, not just a gateway to a Wheaties box — “is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination … with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” The culture Selcraig describes is more redolent of a gated community than amiable international populism.

That culture was discreditably displayed in 2002, when protests arose over the Masters Tournament being held, as ever, at the Augusta National Golf Club, a private club without a single woman member.

Lamentably, few male golf stars joined the protest. Tiger Woods was conspicuously willing to play at a sexually segregated club (and one that did not accept a black member until 1990). He had no particular duty to step up — no honorable person can play at a segregated club — but his inspiring personal history made his complacency especially sad. As of April, when the Masters again returned to Augusta, the club still had no women, a fact that should worry the golf-besotted I.O.C., which trumpets its determination “to enhance women’s participation in sport at all levels.”

Reactionary bastions like Augusta are not the whole story. ... Yet golfers appear to be a less diverse group, and a group less interested in diversity, than, say, soccer players or runners. As Chávez put it: “There are sports and there are sports. Do you mean to tell me this is a people’s sport?” He answered his own question: “It is not.”

Although not explicitly mentioned by Chávez or the I.O.C., golf entails questionable environmental ethics. ...

Every big-time sport has its disheartening elements. College basketball, a game I love, is marred by periodic recruiting scandals; academic mischief; the strange behavior of the N.C.A.A., its governing body; and Rick Pitino’s love life. Perhaps the only moments of grace and beauty and virtue in any game occur during actual play, and we should not look too closely at its broader culture and implicit ethics without expecting to be dismayed. But there are genuine differences between the ethos of one sport and another. It is hard to imagine the Duke of Wellington declaring, “The Battle of Waterloo was won in the corporate hospitality tents of the P.G.A. tour.”

Now, you might think that what would actually be most interesting from an ethical perspective about golf is that it's the most prominent sport in which players are required to referee themselves on the honor code. In 1984, I watched Arnold Palmer knock himself of contention on the next to last hole of the United States Senior Open by calling a penalty on himself that absolutely no one else saw or even could have seen. In sharp contrast, the culture of most other big time sports encourages players to cheat when the ref isn't looking.

As for the ethics of college basketball ...

The ethical issue for golf is whether it wants to lower itself to the level of the Olympics. I like the Olympics a lot, but their ethical history is a lot dodgier than golf's.

For example, the essence of the modern Olympics is that the stars of the show, the athletes, don't get paid. That makes hosting an Olympics potentially quite lucrative, as LA showed in 1984 by turning a $300 million profit, which makes the bidding to be a host city an ethical nightmare as IOC members shakedown host cities for bribes.

In contrast, since the 19th Century, golf (being a Scottish game) had a perfectly reasonable solution for amateur/professional quandaries that bedeviled more aristocratic sporting enterprises such as tennis until 1968, the Olympics into the 1980s, and The Ethicist's favorite, college basketball, today.

In golf, you could always choose to be either a professional or an amateur. It's your choice. Everybody could compete in the Open tournaments but only amateurs could compete in Amateur tournaments. This system continues today: earlier this year, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo won $60,000 in a celebrity tournament, but donated the money to charity to preserve his right to play in the U.S. Amateur.

In the past, attempts to get golf into the Olympics have foundered on the lack of enthusiasm of golf pros for playing without getting paid. Golf is apparently now going to be in the Olympics primarily because Tiger Woods wants to be an Olympian. He has everything else he's ever wanted (except Jack Nicklaus's career major championship record, and he's fallen behind Roger Federer in major championships), so it's perfectly reasonable for him to look forward to representing his country in the Olympics.

As for golf in the Olympics overall, well, it's kind of silly. The Olympics are good for minor sports that aren't widely interesting enough to hold public attention without the Olympics. Adding Tiger Woods to the Olympics is just going to distract from obscure athletes' single shots at momentary fame. Moreover, golf is not the kind of sport like the 100m dash that's deterministic enough to make one gold medal every four years interesting. Too much luck is involved, even more than in, say, tennis. Thus, golf holds 16 major championships ever four years. Woods is by far the best golfer ever, but he's lost 38 of the 52 major championships held since he turned pro. So, the idea of one gold medal in golf every four years is just ho-hum dumb.

Making the Olympics the global amateur golf championship makes a fair amount of sense, although not from a business standpoint since it would just be a low-key event like the Walker Cup. Of course, "The Ethicist" would blow a gasket because amateur golfers tend to be The Wrong Kind of People.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Olympics in general are silly -- does anyone care who wins at ping pong? Figure skating? They should bring it back to a few core competitive sports (ones where you don't win based on judged scores) and leave it alone. The Olympics as they are now are bloated.

Also, I'm not sure that hosting the Olympics is a money maker. In exchange for a few weeks worth of tourism dollars you lose a ton of productivity and have 'dead zones' around whatever stadiums you've built. Once upon a time it may have been economically sensible to host the Olympics but with the current cost to get the games, it can't be anything but a relatively poor marketing tool with low ROI.

Anonymous said...

Surely the Ethicist would condemn this event as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maccabiah_Games

Len Crane said...

Montreal took years to recover, financially, from hosting the 1976 Olympics. Seoul and Sydney broke even, just. I don't know of any modern Olympics except Los Angeles and Barcelona which actually made a serious profit.

Anonymous said...

The Ethicist sounds like just another liberal blowhard.

Anonymous said...

"...no honorable person can play at a segregated club..."

Next week in The Ethicist: can an honorable person pray at a place of worship that segregates the faithful by gender?

Just kidding. But it would be funny, wouldn't it?

AMac said...

It would be amusing in a fish-in-a-barrel way to count the race-class-gender-environment violations perpetrated by Randy Cohen and his family & friends as they ply their trades and enjoy their pasttimes.

Where to start, where to start?

Well, lacrosse--do his kids play it?--shares many of the loathsome traits of golf.

However, two rays of sunshine! The sports of Reporting on Lacrosse and Opinionating on Lacrosse are honored, honorable, and fully politically correct. Certainly, as practiced by the New York Times.

It's no wonder that Who?/Whom? Ethicist Cohen has had nothing to say on the subject.

Eastasia, etc.

Lawful Neutral said...

Now, you might think that what would actually be most interesting from an ethical perspective about golf is that it's the most prominent sport in which players are required to referee themselves on the honor code.

Damn, Steve, I almost feel bad for Randy Cohen. One sentence and you've effortlessly made it crystal clear what a vacuous jackass he is.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the idea of golf in the Olympics better than some of the sports that are already there. In particular, I have a problem with team sports.

Look at basketball. The thing is, you could put a short, middle-aged guy like me on the U.S. Olympic team, plant me permanently on the bench (or maybe give me a minute or two of game time when there was no chance it would matter, so they could say I actually touched the ball), and there is a fairly good chance that I, Mr. No-Skills-Whatsoever, could walk away with my very own personal Olympic gold medal!

This isn't going to happen of course... at least not in such an extreme fashion. But the fact that it's even possible bugs me! And to hand out 20 gold medals for one event just strikes me as kind of bizarre.

I'll admit it's kind of odd I feel this way, because I have nothing against team sports per se. (I've competed in both team and individual sports). It's just that, in my mind at least, being an Olympic champion is supposed to be a matter of individual glory, rather than membership in a winning collective. I kind of suspect the ancient Greeks would have agreed!

Anonymous said...

"American golfers are even more homogeneous and more conservative than their global colleagues"

Conservative? Horror of horrors!

Seriously, though, it depresses me that we've gotten to the point where the mainstream media regularly uses the words "white" and/or "conservative" as pejoratives. So-called "liberals" have become the most bigoted and intolerant people on Earth. But perhaps they always were, and they've just now gone public with it.

Anonymous said...

That Cohen dude seems like a real pleasure...

Steve, How did Palmer whiff on his putt? I googled it but cam up empty but did find this about Palmer....

The year was 1967. Jeff Roberts was stationed in Chu Lai, South Vietnam at a station surrounded by sand. One day, he and his buddy, Wally Schneider, decided to write Palmer and ask for a sand wedge and a few golf balls.

They didn’t know his address so they just sent it to:

Arnold Palmer
Latrobe, Penn.

Not only did each of the boys get a wedge and a dozen golf balls, they also got a personal note from Palmer thanking them for their service.

The following year, back home in Illinois, Roberts was able to attend the Western Open at Olympia Fields, where he waited outside the clubhouse for Palmer to appear. “I told him I was one of the guys he sent clubs to,” Roberts recalls. “And he asks, ‘Are you Jeff or Wally?’”

“That he not only remembered sending the clubs, but also remembered our names – that blew my mind.”


Unfreakinbelievable- do you believe that story? I do.

Dan in DC

ironrailsironweights said...

There aren't too many sports which are both major professional sports and popular in the Olympics. If soccer and tennis were dropped from the Olympics, as has happened with baseball, would anyone really care? Basketball and boxing are the only significant exceptions that come to mind.

Peter

Argent Paladin said...

You missed the biggest reason why Olympic golf is dumb. The Olympics is designed for the best of every nation to compete. This is great in sports where this doesn't happen much, whether due to travel costs, or other expenses. But it makes no sense in golf, where the best in the world routinely play against each other a dozen times a year. A baseball Olympics makes sense on this score because of the expense of sending teams of 25 around the world is prohibitive. That's what makes the soccer World Cup so great.
In my opinion, the Olympics are a chance for the world's best amateurs to have the world watch them in their sport, obscure or not. There's no need for it in many sports, like golf, soccer, boxing, etc. They already have international exposure.
My question to you is, what do you think of Olympic women's boxing? How good are they, really? It seems that boxing would have the largest gender gap of any sport, i.e. a 16-yr-old featherweight could beat the women's heavyweight champ.

evans said...

Steve, this is OT, but back when you were writing about Obama's autobiography I remember you talked about Obama's first job at Business International Corporation, what he called an "international consulting house." I remember you saying that the company was just some little, middling, inconsequential company, and that Obama was puffing it up to make himself look better.

Well apparently the company had ties to the CIA.

The Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger mentions Business International Corp.'s CIA ties here as well.

Argent Paladin said...

And, speaking of track and field, what do you think of the Caster Semenya gender controversy?

OneSTDV said...

I look forward to Mr. Cohen's next article criticizing the NFL for having no white running backs or cornerbacks.

Sideways said...

"The Olympics are good for minor sports that aren't widely interesting enough to hold public attention without the Olympics. Adding Tiger Woods to the Olympics is just going to distract from obscure athletes' single shots at momentary fame"

Absolutely. I really enjoy watching a half hour of curling every 4 years (and the contrast between the American team of 40 year old, slightly overweight women and the 25 year old, 110 lb Japanese women playing the same sport is always fun). Baseball is almost dead in the Olympics, Soccer fans care a lot more about the World Cup, it's an inferior 5th Slam in tennis...

I guess basketball and hockey are the two with somewhat meaningful Olympic events, sports that are reasonably widely popular and reasonably competitive across countries.

Sideways said...

Montreal took years to recover, financially, from hosting the 1976 Olympics. Seoul and Sydney broke even, just. I don't know of any modern Olympics except Los Angeles and Barcelona which actually made a serious profit.

Chicago has a real "Olympics and/or Bust" campaign going now.

AmericanGoy said...

Ping pong is an amazing sport.

So is badminton, by the by.

Played both - fantastic at high levels.

Anonymous said...

Actually, hundreds of millions of people in China really really really do care about the ping-pong, just as people in Indonesia really do care about the badminton, etc. Why? Because their countries dominate these sports.

Some of the most nationalistic fans in the world come from South Korea. And now that one of their own has triumphed in a golf major, do you think they'll be going crazy for golf in the Olympics? Maybe the SecGen of the UN can do some lobbying for them . . . .

Anonymous said...

BTW The Onion has a story about Obama being a manic depressive.... I thought that was a satirial site?

Willard Mitt Romney said...

I don't know of any modern Olympics except Los Angeles and Barcelona which actually made a serious profit.

Hey, wait a second there.

I was going to say something - about my healthcare plan in Massachusetts - no, about that little whore Bristol Palin - no, about Bain Capital - hey, where's my comb?

By the way, did you notice that I have CEO hair?

PS: The little negro sure could belt it out on Ben.

Shame, that - only the good die young.

Pearson said...

The ethics of so-called "The Ethicist" Randy Cohen are steeped in Marxism.

NYT will declare bankruptcy soon. It was an intellectual bankruptcy that led to the financial spiral.

Anonymous said...

Amen. The Olympics are lame. Soccer figured this out long ago and the Olympics are essentially a youth tournament (teams are only allowed one or two players older than 23).

If you're a sport seeking a world tournament, follow the model of the World Cup and keep things inhouse.

Baseball figured this out and the World Baseball Classic will prove to be more important than Olympic baseball ever was.

Anonymous said...

When did watching "Brokeback Mountain" become an ethical imperative?

Anonymous said...

I think the stupidity of the Ethicist is pretty well covered here:
http://www.reason.com/news/show/31198.html

Anonymous said...

Some men like to fish. Some men like to ski. Some men like to surf. And some men like to golf.

robert61 said...

What a nimrod. I am reminded of why I don't read the Ethicist. His perspective is modern "activism" in a nutshell. Viva Hugo!

AG said...

Of course people care about figure skating, anonymous 1. Were have you been? It's one of the most popular sports at the Olympics! If you get rid of judged sports like figure skating and artistic gymnastics, which are both extremely popular, viewership will plummet. Mark my word.

Adding more sports to the Olympics is utterly pointless so long that NBC holds their monopoly. They don't even have enough time to show what events they already do have. Adding golf would be silly because it would either A) be ignored by NBC B) would be aired in place of another sport, a sport that is likely more popular than golf. This would likely tick people off.

So no to golf.

Anonymous said...

"College basketball, a game I love"

I guess Cohen just loves to stare at those sweaty black men running up and down the court. Hey, what kind of name is Cohen anyway? Oh wait, I'm not supposed to notice that. It's just that those sort of names seem to appear on the author line of these kinds of articles at such a disproportionate frequency.

Tom Regan said...

Running is diverse? Presumably Mr Cohen is not tuning into the ongoing track and field World Championships. The same old story - west Africans winning the sprints, east Africans winning the distance events, whites winning the throwing events. Track and field is all about genetic inheritance and racial exclusivity.
Golf is a sport of technique, a little bit of strength, concentration and mental capacity to withstand pressure. Given that Mr Cohen will never concede (publicly) any variation between races when it comes to mental make-up, his only possible explanation for the general lack of NAMs in golf is, gasp, racism.
I've lost count of the number of times I've read this hackneyed criticism of golf by people with surnames like Cohen. There is an enormous chip on the shoulder that remains about grand uncle Irving or Milton being denied membership of a country club in the 50s. Who/whom indeed.

Viking said...

wtf??
Very interesting article!
I don't like golf because I don't like the kind of people who play it - and it takes up a lot of space. But the only kind of person who actually wants to BAN it? well, like Chavez really.
And this commentator seems to have some problems with individual rights, and the freedom of association thing too....

Simon said...

The 'Ethicism' is interestingly blatant in its anti-white, anti-conservative stance. It's the ideology that has ruled the West since the 1960s, but it used to stay sotto voce in mainstream publications.

I guess in terms of the Mohammed-Mao 3-stage system for insurgency warfare (which you can find in eg Mao's Little Red Book), this and similar recent events marks the final stage - open warfare against the remaining bastions of a disheartened and disrupted enemy.

Of course their goal of the future as "a boot stamping on a (conservative white male) face forever" isn't going to work out. Their own hegemony depends on the continued existence of conservative white males to keep things running. In their own moment of final absolute victory they will be replaced.

And the new leaders to come may not be white, but they *will* be male, and they will be 'conservative', at least of their own posterity.

dearieme said...

Golf as played by William Jefferson Clinton certainly isn't ethical. There's a thought - it's a sport played by rapists - ban it immediately.

Anonymous said...

The people who think Randy Cohen won't criticize Judaism are barking up the wrong tree-he has before at least once. I don't know his opinion on the Maccabean Games, but I think he'd be against them if asked.

The guy who is wondering if Randy Cohen would ever criticize the NFL for being too white is on the mark, though. As a typical pomo liberal from the East Coast, Randy only applies complaints about racial breakdown of something to whites.

Anonymous said...

Adding more sports to the Olympics is utterly pointless so long that NBC holds their monopoly.

One small perk of living near Canada, I guess, is that I get the choice of watching NBC or CBC coverage (and I've watched the latter since Atlanta.)

AMac said...

From: John Donatich, Director, Yale University Press
To: Randy Cohen, Ethicist, NYT Magazine
Subject: Ethics

Dear Randy,

I publish books that offer academics' analyses of topics of broad interest.

Author Jytte Klausen has submitted a manuscript dissecting current-day controversies about images of Jesus of Nazareth. While she wants to illustrate the book with some of those pictures, I am apprehensive.

Fundamentalist Christians are a thuggish, bigoted bunch. It might be best for all parties if I nip their complaints in the bud by stripping the offensive-to-some pictures from the book (after all, readers can probably find them on the Internet).

On the other hand, the book's natural audience of liberal, religion-skeptical intellectuals expect Y.U.P. to stand for full and open airing of controversies. Will they see my knuckling under to anticipated Christianist ire as unethical?

Although your paper shies away from offending these violence-prone fundies, the editors have urged others to stand up to them.

What's the ethical thing to do?

Fondly,
John

Anonymous said...

The Olympics are now a televised show, with lives audiences as a background for the cameras. The Olympics belong to the network that bought the right. Said network obviously wants to maximize the ratings. Since the highest bidder is always a US network, you already see more and more emphasis on 'sports' that cater to American audiences. Hence golf, which can only be considered a popular activity in the US. NASCAR racing, some day ?

David said...

Cohen says golf is too whitebread, therefore evil (or unethical).

Paging Kevin MacDonald...Kevin MacDonald, call your office...

Svigor said...

Ahem.

Mentioning that the author is Jewish, much less pointing out in an unflattering way the intersection of Jewishness and politics, is tantamount to inciting a progrom.

ironrailsironweights said...

My question to you is, what do you think of Olympic women's boxing? How good are they, really? It seems that boxing would have the largest gender gap of any sport, i.e. a 16-yr-old featherweight could beat the women's heavyweight champ.

There are a few skilled women boxers, but so far the talent pool at the professional level is absurdly shallow. Consider this ranking of the world's top 20 women in the middleweight division ... some women have gotten on the list without actually having won a fight.

With more and more women taking up boxing on a recreational level and sometimes competing in amateur fights, the exposure that the Olympics will provide just might be enough to convince more women to turn professional and make the sport more competitive on that level.

Peter

MacSweeney said...

In particular, I have a problem with team sports.

Look at basketball. The thing is, you could put a short, middle-aged guy like me on the U.S. Olympic team, plant me permanently on the bench (or maybe give me a minute or two of game time when there was no chance it would matter, so they could say I actually touched the ball), and there is a fairly good chance that I, Mr. No-Skills-Whatsoever, could walk away with my very own personal Olympic gold medal!




That's true, and it actually does happen. In ice hockey, all the backup goaltenders on the winning team get a gold medal even if they didn't play a single game (example: Ed Belfour in 2002).

Dutch Boy said...

Sad that supporting the Iraq fiasco is a litmus test for conservatism.

sorenk said...

"...dispenses ethical judgments from a contemporary perspective -- i.e., Who? Whom?"

Unfortunately, the Jewish perspective has indeed become the "contemporary perspective."

Since there are yearly world championships in just about every sport, including the traditional Olympic sports, it seems that the Olympics themselves are unnecessary aside from propaganda purposes. The yearly world championships don't have the same draw, especially with American audiences.

Anonymous said...

The international intrigue and politics of the medal count. Adding golf will favor Northern hemisphere countries across Asia, the Americas, and Europe (much like the Winter Olympics). Furthermore, will golf be an individual or team sport?

Bellzer said...

Perusing the New York Times this morning, I found the following to be quite amusing: "German Critics Praise Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds'" by Dave Itzkoff

Anonymous said...

Talk about a Culture of Critique.
Jews live in gated communities, too. When is Israel noted to be a beacon of "amiable international populism"?
I guess I don't like being misled by the words of a man like Cohen who undoubtedly has relatives who live inside gates, and who likely supports Israel. So my question is why does he feel compelled to mislead?
Although of course someone could scream that I am being anti-Semitic by assuming the above, but everyone assumes somewhat. Certainly Cohen does in his assessment of the character of the people who play golf.
You have got to wonder at the acuity of someone who quotes Hugo Chavez approvingly. He is the guy who is closing down Jewish culture in Venezuela, who consorts with Iranian diplomats, and likely supports Hamas. And he does this posturing for the truly trite reason of dissing golfers, who are not at all likely to dislike him naively, but would do so if he were to spout off obnoxious opinions about the wonders of homosexuality, Chavez, or even...get this...to praise someone who is overtly Anti-Semitic!

Nanonymous said...

Golf is not a sport. Part of the definition of sport is athleticism. Instead of adding golf, they should take out chess and firearms (bow IS athletic).

albertosaurus said...

The Olympics were originally a religious festival that could quell warfare. They were focused on individual acheivement rather than on the participant's group membership. And of course there were no women allowed.

The modern so-called Olympics are just another junk sports event such as you used to see each week on ABC's "Wide World of Sports".

Personally I rather liked Figure Eight Racing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sooooo glad that such a distinguished ethicist has pointed out the elitist nature of golf. I mean, however can anyone who's not super-rich ever participate in such a sport? Why a good set of clubs might set you back, say, a few hundred bucks (which is what my wife paid for a beautiful set, used, from a pawn shop). And the green fees - at least $70 per round - how can anyone pay so much?
Not to mention the balls, tees and all those goofy outfits that the golfers always wear.

Now I can't stand golf or the Olympics, but i do think that Olympic Games should be, well, proletarian. All of the olympic sports are now easily accessible to ordinary people, aren't they? Why contaminate such a beautiful situation with a dirty elitist bastion like golf? It's not like the Olympics includes sports (and I use the term loosely) such as, say, equestrian, where the horses sell for well into six figures. Not to ignore the costs of feeding and maintaining such fine beasts. Plus shipping them all over the planet (and I'm sure they fly first class). Plus the wonderful outfits that look like they're left over from a Fred Astaire movie. Has anyone ever asket the equestrians how they feel about Sam Alito? Brokeback Mountain? Oh, wait....

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

"Also, I'm not sure that hosting the Olympics is a money maker."

The point is not making money for the community -- the point is making money for the Host Committee and their hangers-on. The people running the Chicago Olympics effort aren't doing it for the city's bottom line -- their doing it for their's.

MacSweeney said...

albertosaurus, there shouldn't be any rule that specifically bars women from competing, but it would be nice to do away with the women's events. Instead, just say, "Women are free to compete in the events if they can make the team." Of course, this will get rid of all the female competitors by default anyway. This will never happen, but it would be ideal to make the Olympics the ultimate test of athletics without any PC nonsense.

A lot of people don't know this, but the Olympic Village is basically a non stop sex party. In Sydney, they had 70,000 free condoms available and they ran out! So in Beijing they brought in a mind boggling 100,000 condoms. Come on, man.

Bruce Banned said...

The staff at the NY Times is more Jewish than the NY Jewish times staff....
http://www.nyjtimes.com/main.htm

Does that bother our Ethicist? What about the disparate impact on Gentiles?
I bet Cohen can't sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

Someone said,
"The Olympics were originally a religious festival that could quell warfare."

Well, seeing as how the real, original Hellenes extirpated their own stock through endless internecine warfare, I wonder what would have happened in the absence of the games.

Baloo said...

Dutch boy, I regard it as just the opposite. Supporting the Iraq mess is proof that you're either not a conservative at all, or that you're a naive, easily misled conservative.

C. Van Carter said...

According to Cohen it is permitted to cheat a goy.

Anonymous said...

My question to you is, what do you think of Olympic women's boxing? How good are they, really? It seems that boxing would have the largest gender gap of any sport, i.e. a 16-yr-old featherweight could beat the women's heavyweight champ.

I really doubt a male featherweight could beat a female heavyweight champ. The difference between men and women is big, but not that big, and don't forget that at the extreme some women are pretty masculine.

For example, take a look at this video , which preports to be a woman beating a similarly sized man in a MMA style fight. Could be fake of course, but it looks kind of real to me (and I've wrestled, so I have at least some basis for judgement). And whether the fight is faked or real, I definitely wouldn't want to run into this woman in a dark ally.

James Kabala said...

I have read Cohen before and knew he was an obnoxious blowhard. (And by the way, he has been known to demonstrate disdain for Orthodox Judaism; see the link provided by an anonymous above. I also think it's pretty safe to say that Jews are not the only people who watch college basketball.)

This, however, flabbergasts me with sheer stupidity. His basic point is: Golf is played by conservatives; therefore it is a bad game. What does this even have to do with ethics? I'm not sure I've ever before seen a column, no matter how liberal the author, that this blatantly treats conservatives as pariahs. He just assumes all his readers are liberal, apparently.

At least when he gets around to Augusta National Golf Club, he is discussing a genuine specific issue (albeit he reaches wrong conclusions), but he certainly takes his time getting there.

It crossed my mind that maybe he was trying to be funny (he used to be a comic writer), but it comes across as sincere.

James Kabala said...

P.S. I traveled through Chicago recently, and the announcements and banners at O'Hare of Chicago's "official Olympic candidate status" were so pervasive, anyone who didn't play close attention would have thought the decision had already been made and Chicago had been awarded them.

stari_momak said...

Great link C Vann Carter. Yet another data point in support of the McDonaldian thesis.

DCS said...

I thought Cohen's column was a hoot. Then I realized he wasn't kidding.Then I realized that thousands of people read him and take him seriously.Then I asked myself: what does a guy like that do for entertainment?

Roxanne said...

An Ethicist That Shall Dwell Alone.

not a hacker said...

Steve, doesn't anyone challenge the central premise of the Left's complaint with golf, i.e. that it's somehow "non-diverse?" If you play on public courses in California, it's actually difficult not to get paired with a non-caucasian. Just yesterday in a corporate tournament in Vallejo, I had Asians in the groups just in front and behind me. The last time I played Tilden in Berkeley, around '02, I had asian teens (one boy one girl, private school) in my group. In the mid-70's at Harding in San Francisco, I routinely putted for quarters against older black men while waiting to tee off, and a black guy, Frank Mazion, won the City championship a couple of times. I'm sure this same pattern holds for public golf in L.A., Long Beach or San Diego. You'll find more diversity in golf than you will at Whole Foods.

Steve Sailer said...

Asians absolutely love golf, middle class black guys over 25-30 like it a lot, Hispanics aren't big on it but you do run into ones on the course.

Anonymous said...

"Hispanics aren't big on it but you do run into ones on the course"

The groundscrew?

Melykin said...

"Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez denounced golf as “a bourgeois sport,” "
----------------------

How absurd. What about skiing? Or even hockey? Both of these sports are in the winter Olympics. It costs more to put your kids in hockey than golf. Both skiing and hockey are overwhelmingly white.

Hockey is hardly "bourgeois".

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Professional golfers tend not to be liberal because they are entirely responsible for their own success and failure.

Mr. Anon said...

"James Kabala said...

It crossed my mind that maybe he was trying to be funny (he used to be a comic writer)"

He used to write for David Letterman - entirely different than being a comic writer.

ironrailsironweights said...

For example, take a look at this video , which preports to be a woman beating a similarly sized man in a MMA style fight. Could be fake of course, but it looks kind of real to me (and I've wrestled, so I have at least some basis for judgement). And whether the fight is faked or real, I definitely wouldn't want to run into this woman in a dark ally.

That clip's from Rio Heroes, an MMA promotion that was popular for a while a couple of years ago until the cops in Rio shut it down (undoubtedly for not paying enough bribes). The ground fighting's almost certainly real, however at the beginning of the fight the man is clearly holding back on his strikes. I suspect he could have knocked the woman out right at the start if he'd tried.

Peter

testing99 said...

Some champion female kickboxer, Graciela something or other, once had a mugging, she turned and kicked and knocked the guy out -- and found out he had a knife in his hand. She applied for a CCW and training class the next day. Not being foolish.

You all are missing the point about the Ethicist and the NYT. It's SWPL central. I have to deal with those guys every day. OF COURSE they hate: golf, Sarah Palin, ordinary White guys, and American while worshipping the Daily Show and Colbert. Why? Because they are SWPL wanna-be hipsters.

Golf is hated because duh, their father played it. Or men of his generation. Your typical hipster will play hacky-sack or pool (but only ironically). The NYT is SWPL central. All the Jews there ceased being Jewish the way Catholics there ceased being Catholic or Protestants ceased being Protestant. Merely colorful "ethnic" backgrounds to make them "cooler" in the case of ex-Jews/Catholics. SWPL-ness washes all but the hipster out of you.

I know. I deal with a LOT of them. EVERYTHING is status with these guys. I've yet to meet one from Harvard that doesn't work it into a conversation in the first two minutes when I first meet them.

Svigor said...

Perusing the New York Times this morning, I found the following to be quite amusing

I found Drudge's text for the link bemusing; "Jewish fantasy"? I don't know if I'd lay this one at the door of the Jews. Tarantino's his own whole tribe of psycho (though I suppose we may have Jewish Hollywood to thank for elevating this loser beyond his local convenience store). And when has there ever been a (real) Jew who looked like Brad Pitt?

Anonymous said...

The ground fighting's almost certainly real, however at the beginning of the fight the man is clearly holding back on his strikes. I suspect he could have knocked the woman out right at the start if he'd tried.

I don't know. He definitely hung back a bit at the beginning, but plenty of fighters do that anyway, to feel out their opponent before getting serious. The kicks he threw before it went to the ground looked entirely serious though, and two of them appeared to land quite hard. (I wouldn't mind seeing the entire fight though -- too many cuts here to really get a sense of the whole thing).

In any case, it doesn't change my basic point. The video showed a hard and somewhat masculine woman who could actually fight. The guy she fought (who in fact looked somewhat bigger than her!) appeared to be competent, and the fight was clearly not a mismatch. No way a 16 year old male featherweight would beat her, let alone a comparable female heavyweight.

Svigor said...

Golf as played by William Jefferson Clinton certainly isn't ethical. There's a thought - it's a sport played by rapists - ban it immediately.

Here's a man intimately familiar with the way the left works.

Svigor said...

Has anyone ever asket the equestrians how they feel about Sam Alito? Brokeback Mountain? Oh, wait....

Mentioning equestrianism in this context, much less comparing it in a politically unflattering way to bourgeois running dog golf, is misogynistic.

Anonymous said...

"The Olympics in general are silly -- does anyone care who wins at ping pong?"

You mean, apart from the Chinese?

"There aren't too many sports which are both major professional sports and popular in the Olympics. If soccer and tennis were dropped from the Olympics, as has happened with baseball, would anyone really care? Basketball and boxing are the only significant exceptions that come to mind."

Stop projecting your own prejudices. Soccer draws the most spectators at the Summer Olympics and makes the most money. Way more than basketball or boxing. Just because you don't care about it doesn't mean no one else cares - even in 1984 in the USA soccer was the top drawing Olympic event.

Anyone who comes out with these "would anyone care" statements had better actually know for a fact who does and doesn't care before making these kinds of ignorant statements. "I don't care" very seldom equals "no one cares".

Svigor said...

The NYT is SWPL central. All the Jews there ceased being Jewish the way Catholics there ceased being Catholic or Protestants ceased being Protestant. Merely colorful "ethnic" backgrounds to make them "cooler" in the case of ex-Jews/Catholics. SWPL-ness washes all but the hipster out of you.

So, why isn't a Prot background "ethnic" or "cool"?

Jewish identity is not as similar to Catholic (or European) identity as you imply. Jewishness is tribal and ethnic and racial in a way Catholicism cannot be. Jewish identity (by definition) says things about EGI that Catholicism (by definition) cannot.

Outmarriage is a concern to Jews in a way that it cannot be to Catholics or other Christians. This is why the Jewish outmarriage rate is a fraction of those of European ethnies.

Catholics are assimilated in a way Jews aren't. This is why our intelligence services scrutininize Jews vis-a-vis Israel in a way they don't scrutinize Catholics vis-a-vis the Vatican. This is why Jews vote 80% for Democrats, and Catholics are in the ballpark of a 50/50 split. This is why "Jewish genetics" outscores "Christian genetics," "Catholic genetics," "white genetics," and "European genetics" in a G**gle search.

This is why Jewish historical identity is pretty much 100% nationalistic, which is inimical to the SWPL flavors of pretty much any northwest European historical identity except Irish and maybe Scottish.

That's how you'll know when Jews have a genuine claim on SWPLness; when there's a downside to claiming their identity.

Sorry guy, but Jews are, as a group, still very much affected by "is it good for us?" THERE IS NO PENALTY for Jews who ask that question. If anything, the penalty's for Jews who don't ask it often or forcefully enough. The situation is perfectly opposite for genuine SWPL stock. As Steve has pointed out, Jewish guilt and white guilt are opposites.

Svigor said...

I've yet to meet one from Harvard that doesn't work it into a conversation in the first two minutes when I first meet them.

Once again (first try got lost in Komment Kontrol), I'd like to know how you know this.

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