The Color Of Adultery

Published by Parcbench on December 15, 2009:

When the news of Tiger Woods’ indiscretions (to put it nicely) initially broke, I made a conscious decision to refrain from writing and posting commentary about it. From my vantage point, it was yet another repugnant, predictable story of an icon with remarkable talent, worldwide adoration, limitless financial resources and  a beautiful family shamelessly indulging in excess simply because he could. Tiger was sadly following in the footsteps of countless politicians, celebrities and celebrity athletes before him who’d abused their power to satisfy their own self-serving ends, regardless of the consequences.

In Woods’ case, his carefully crafted and (up until recently at least) astonishingly lucrative image of  a wholesome, bi-racial embodiment of the American Dream is a case-study in the art of deception, as Lisa Schiffren notes in an American Thinker piece:

Nor was Woods’ behavior unknown — except to the public. In one instance reporters had photos of a “transgression”…committed in a church parking lot, no less. These journalists agreed to keep it secret — if Tiger posed for a cover story at Men’s Fitness Magazine — a cover that would sell huge numbers. Normally Woods wouldn’t have been available, since he had an exclusive contract with Conde Nast’s Golf Digest. With full understanding of the situation, Conde Nast allowed the rival cover because he too profited from having Tiger remain an icon.

In a fascinating compare and contrast analysis, Schiffren offers a parallel between the world-famous golfer and the current White House occupant, in terms of the lengths to which powerful entities like the media were willing to go in order to preserve their own fabrication of a “transcendent” do-gooder with spotless credentials.

As if the thought of reporters deliberately withholding information on cash-cow Woods’ affairs isn’t outrageous enough, along comes Washington Post reporter Eugene Robinson, whose problem with Tiger isn’t so much his indulgence in tawdry, adulterous affairs with a seemingly endless list of women — it’s the fact that none of the women involved were minorities:

No offense to anyone who actually looks like Barbie, but it really is striking how much the women who’ve been linked to Woods resemble one another. I’m talking about the long hair, the specific body type, even the facial features. Mattel could sue for trademark infringement.

This may be the most interesting aspect of the whole Tiger Woods story — and one of the most disappointing. He seems to have been bent on proving to himself that he could have any woman he wanted. But from the evidence, his aim wasn’t variety but some kind of validation.

I’m making a big assumption here that the attraction for Woods was mostly physical, but there’s no evidence thus far that he had a lot of time for deep conversation. If adultery is really about the power and satisfaction of conquest, Woods’s self-esteem was apparently only boosted by bedding the kind of woman he thought other men lusted after — the “Playmate of the Month” type that Hugh Hefner turned into the American gold standard.

But the world is full of beautiful women of all colors, shapes and sizes — some with short hair or almond eyes, some with broad noses, some with yellow or brown skin. Woods appears to have bought into an “official” standard of beauty that is so conventional as to be almost oppressive.

So let me get this straight: the most “disappointing” aspect of the Tiger Woods scandal isn’t the fact that he repeatedly violated his marriage vows in the basest of ways, or willfully demonstrated complete disregard for the wellbeing of his two innocent young children — it’s the fact that he chose to denigrate the sanctity of his family with women who resemble Barbie instead of Oprah?

There’s so much absurdity in Robinson’s take, it’s hard to believe he’s considered a mainstream journalist writing for a respectable paper. I suppose in his mind, Tiger should have — in the words of another mixed race public figure — “spread the wealth around” by expanding his cabal of willing women to include at least a few Blacks, Hispanics and Asians. In Tiger’s defense, the EEOC hasn’t yet proclaimed the act of adultery with multiple partners, an “Equal Opportunity” proposition, mandating “diversity”. Perhaps in light of Eugene Robinson’s article, they’ll reconsider.

From Robinson’s perspective however, there is a positive angle to account for the lack of color among the Woods’ line-up of paramours: instead of being “disappointed” by Tiger’s obvious attraction to the Hugh Hefner standard of beauty, maybe the journalist could view Tiger as having too much respect for non-white women to think they’d put out for a married man just because he happens to be rich, famous and powerful.

Sound crazy? For those of us for whom adultery is adultery regardless of the color of the people involved, it makes about as much sense as Robinson using a tragic and harrowing tale of public infidelity as yet another excuse to  cry racism.


Ava Aston: The Soul of a Singer, The Heart of a Patriot

Published by Parcbench on December 9, 2009:

I originally “met” beautiful, talented singer/songwriter Ava Aston when a mutual  friend connected us on Facebook. The budding entertainer was seeking footage from the 9/12 March on Washington and photos from various, local tea party protests to enhance the video production of her newest single, We The People. Knowing of my involvement with all things Constitutional, our common friend sought me out for help, and I happily obliged.

The ensuing result was an inspiring anthem to American patriotism, designed to energize, inspire and — whenever necessary — life the spirits of dedicated citizens across the country who are fighting back against massive government, and standing tall for freedom.

Recently, my Conservative Republican Forum co-host Steve and I had the pleasure of interviewing Ava about her new song, her motivation for writing and recording it, and her experience as a right-leaning performer in an industry dominated by lefties.

What was your motivation for writing and recording We The People?

I am an unsigned artist, which means I have a day job. I live and work in the New York area as a bartender, so I do a lot of events. One day in particular, I was really mad after listening to a.m. talk radio, something I do regularly to stay informed. As I recall, it was Fashion Week in New York and I was doing an event at Banana Republic. The more I thought about what was bugging me, the angrier I got. So just as I’ve done from the time I was five years-old, I conceived a melody in my head, which I wrote down on a cocktail napkin. Then I began to list all of the things that were annoying me about this current administration.

By the time I left work, I had the first verse and chorus, which I immediately shared with my husband. He assured me it wasn’t silly, and encouraged me to keep going. By 4 a.m. the song was done. When I sang it to my mom over the phone, she was adamant about me recording it and producing a companion video. Because in my family, we’re like many others out there — we’re watching the news everyday and we’re horrified by what’s going on.  In some small way, I am hoping We The People will help keep the tea party movement mobilized and energized. It’s also a tribute to all Americans who are fighting so hard to preserve our freedom — first and foremost the US Military.

You had an interesting experience in DC when you recorded portions of the video. Please share that story.

Well, my honey and I drove down to DC from New York one weekend to get some footage of me singing with various shots of the Capitol and other Washington monuments in the background. The plan was to meet up with some Facebook friends who lived in the area, and include them as well. While we were still parking the car one of our friends called to ask if I was aware that there was a gay pride march going on that same day. I was completely taken off-guard as I had no idea anything like that was taking place.

Sure enough, as we walked along Pennsylvania Avenue, we were greeted with tons of rainbow flags and men making out everywhere. Lady Gaga was on a mike screaming out to Obama. And there we were, trying to capture some footage for a conservative video! It was actually kind of funny, in a surreal sort of way. We did manage to get the shots we needed in the end, although I did get a little peeved when people would repeatedly run in front of the camera with rainbow flags just as my husband was recording me singing. It was like, “Can’t you see we’re filming something here?”

Did you face any backlash as a result of making the song and video?

It’s funny, for the longest time I avoided any discussion of politics on my Facebook Fan Page, because I didn’t want to turn off any liberals who might be interested in buying my music. But when I was inspired to write and record We The People, I realized I had to get it out there using every avenue possible. And several fans did leave my page once I posted the video. I even had one critic on the right accuse me of “profiting from patriotism” which is hysterical, given the fact that, as I mentioned, I am an unsigned artist who works as a bartender to pay the bills.

Fortunately, my Fan Page numbers have been steadily increasing as I’ve made more like-minded friends.

Why do you think so many in the entertainment industry lean left ?

In my experience, and just to clarify, I don’t really know anyone famous — but in my experience, most people are unaware of the roots of the terms Republican and Democrat, and what they really mean. They get confused by the social issues. For example, my co-workers who are gay immediate think, “Well I’m gay so therefore I am a liberal Democrat”. Oh really. You might be socially liberal, but what about economic policy? What about national security?

If I were to create a questionnaire and ask my colleagues to complete it, I’d bet that generally speaking, the majority of them would come out on the conservative side. I base that on individual conversations I’ve had with people in which they’ll say in response to something I share with them — for example, the horrid healthcare proposal — “Oh no. I’m totally against that. I don’t believe in that.” Yet they continue to vote for politicians who support big-government socialism.

As for Hollywood, all I can say is it must the bleeding heart thing, although I can tell you that there have been times I’ve given my last dollar to a homeless person. As a conservative, that’s just in me; like other conservatives, I don’t need somebody to tell me to do that. The misconception that liberals are all about helping the unfortunate and that conservatives are just out for themselves is something that really needs to be shattered.

So many people are unaware; magnify that by the fact that they’re watching things like MSNBC, CNN and ABC, and it’s easy to tell why. I get so infuriated by what’s happening, it makes me want to scream. I tend to avoid a lot of discussion about politics at work because I get so frustrated when I’ll ask someone, “Can you believe what Congress did today?” only to have them stare back at me blankly, completely clueless as to what I’m talking about.

What influenced your conservatism?

My dad came to this country as an immigrant from Greece, with $20 in his pocket, and worked to make something of himself. You cannot do that in any other country in the world. You cannot be poor and turn yourself into a millionaire anywhere else but in the United States. But if they (The Obama Administration and Congress) keep going, it’s not going to be there anymore. America as we’ve known it will cease to exist.

Because of my father, I grew up believing in the American Dream, the individual’s ability and right to create a better life, and the Judeo-Christian values that shaped this country. For me, conservatism is simply a commitment to the US Constitution and our Founders.

Where can people buy your music?

At my website, Ava They can also listen to my music on the Ava Aston Facebook Fan Page; on my YouTube ChannelMySpace and on itunes.



Palin on Oprah

Contrary to popular opinion, not all women are enamored with Oprah Winfrey. In the 20+ years she’s been hosting her show, I might’ve accidentally (via channel surfing and/or walking in on someone else who was engrossed in her latest episode) viewed a snippet here or there, but never once sat through an entire hour of mind-numbing chatter and touchy-feely moral relativism.

That all changed yesterday when a fresh breeze blew in from Alaska.

I admit, I was somewhat perplexed and even a bit angry when I first heard the news that Sarah Palin would visit Oprah’s couch as part of her Going Rogue book tour. What exactly did she hope to accomplish by making nice with an avowed Obama-phile who refused the first female Republican VP nominee that opportunity during the 2008 campaign? And given the fact that her book was already setting records, Palin sure didn’t need Oprah’s endorsement to achieve best-selling author status.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the former Governor of Alaska had no choice but to sit down with the talk-show queen. After all, the only impression most of Oprah’s female audience had of Palin was as a reality-show, trailer-trash freak — a fraudulent image pervasively and relentlessly perpetuated by an increasingly hostile (and fearful) media.

Seriously, why would lefty lamestreams want American women to know that an unapologetic conservative Christian female rose to political power purely on her own ambition and hard work — with the undying support of a loving, faithful husband and five devoted children? Conservative women aren’t supposed to be powerful, self-assured, intelligent and — dare I add — beautiful; they’re supposed to be miserable, barefoot and pregnant, while simultaneously plodding through life per the dictates of that repressive religion, Christianity, as the faithful spouse of a neanderthal who neither supports her ambitions, nor helps out with the child-rearing.

The Left certainly didn’t want Oprah’s audience to know that you can choose life, no matter how imperfect and still find incredible joy and satisfaction in it. I am referring of course, to the governor’s decision to give birth to her Down syndrome baby Trig, but also to her daughter Bristol, who chose life for her son Tripp, under less-than-ideal circumstances.

So the more I digested it, the more sense Palin’s decision made. And yesterday, when I sat down to watch a full episode of Oprah for the first time in my life, I was once again reminded of why I admire Sarah Palin as a woman, American, conservative, politician, wife, mother and Christian.

Though I found Oprah to be a bit badgering at times in her questioning (e.g. “Is Levi Johnston invited for Thanksgiving dinner?”), with an aura of aloof politeness in her mannerisms, Palin handled the interview with her usual grace, charm, honesty and forthrightness. I was more than a little miffed at the end of the first segment when Oprah basically forced her to say something good about Obama (regarding his exhortation to the media to keep the candidates’ kids off-limits, knowing full-well his media lackeys would never touch his kids — except to comment on how wonderful they were. If only Palin’s kids had been afforded the same treatment).

Some of my favorite moments?

When Palin noted, “It wasn’t the center of my universe,” in response to the question about being “snubbed” by Oprah last year; her reference to “The Perky One” (an obvious dig at obnoxious Katie Couric); the Halloween day video featuring Todd, Sarah, Trig and Piper; and her touching retelling of the day she broke the news to her husband about their forthcoming special-needs child.

I do wish Oprah had gotten around to asking some political and policy questions along the lines of “What was it like to take on the good old boys in the Republican establishment in Alaska and win?” “Why are you in favor of drilling in ANWAR?” “What was your proudest accomplishment as governor?” All missed opportunities that no doubt will be addressed when she appears on Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly and other outlets.

Overall, an impressive performance, one which I believe resonated with the audience and set the tone for a highly successful reintroduction to the American electorate.