Monday, August 20, 2012

Augusta National Noteworthily Accepts Women?

August 20, 2012

  The New York Times headline, Augusta National to Add First Two Female Members, By KAREN CROUSE, notes some particulars as Augusta National Golf Club, the private club that hosts The Masters, and has been under attack over the past decade because of its all-male membership, announced it had added two female members on Monday. Former United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman, Darla Moore.
  “This is a joyous occasion,” Billy Payne the, on vacation and unavailable for further comment, Augusta National chairman said in a statement released by the club, adding, “These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership.” Mr. Payne’s statement also includes, “This is a significant and positive time in our club’s history.” And “on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta family.”
  The Times recounts that in April, at Mr. Payne’s annual news conference before the Masters, he deflected questions about the absence of female club members. Augusta National’s membership policies had become a major talking point again because I.B.M., one of three principal sponsors of the Masters, had elevated Virginia M. Rometty to chief executive and the previous four chief executives of the company had been given club membership. The lack of an invitation for Ms. Rometty sparked a national discussion during the week of the tournament, with even President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, voicing the opinion that the club should open its doors to women. An obvious infringement on states’, clubs’ and individuals’ rights.
  Ms. Rice, 57, served as national security adviser and secretary of state under President George W. Bush, and despite her public disagreeing with some details of that administration’s atrocities she proved herself an able team player. She is a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where she has also been provost. A proven well run university where if anyone objects to her power there, certainly no one has gained prominent national recognition for any objection. The Times states Ms. Rice was considered a likely candidate for Augusta National membership if it became open to women.
  Ms. Rice said in a statement released by the club, “I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity. I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world.”
  The other new woman, whose implication is also that she won’t do anything either to upset the status quo is Ms. Moore, 58, vice president of Rainwater, a private investment company founded by her husband, Richard Rainwater. She rose to banking success, becoming the highest paid woman in the industry and first woman   to be profiled on the cover of Fortune magazine. The University of South Carolina business school is named after her and the former Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson described Ms. Moore as a “good friend” in a statement. As with Mr. Johnson, Ms. Moore is a South Carolina native, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and banker.
  Opened in 1932, Augusta National added its first black male member in 1990. Women had been allowed to play at the club as guests of members. Then in 2002 Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations began a campaign that urged the club to include women before the 2003 Masters and the then chairman, Hootie answered, “There may well come a day, when women will be invited to join our membership. But that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet.” The instrument that we can also assume was used to keep women out?
  The Times then prints the sycophantic assessment of Amy Alcott, a Hall of Fame golfer, who has played Augusta National as a guest. She was in the middle of a charity tournament at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. on Monday when she found out through phone messages that women had been admitted to Augusta National as members. She said, “It is a great thing that it has happened.” Ms. Alcott, who said she was paired with an Augusta National member but had not discussed the news with him, added: “People have been waiting for this. Nobody functions well with an ultimatum. I said it would happen when people least expect it.” Oh my, that’s what this announcement is? Now when the club can demonstrate how it stands politically is when the announcement is least expected? Or rather right on schedule?
  The Times points out that the PGA Tour prevents courses with a discriminatory membership policy from hosting its tournaments, but in May the tour commissioner, Tim Finchem, said that when it came to Augusta National the Masters was “too important” to the tour’s interests. Once again 2012 seems right on schedule for acknowledging PGA rules? Hardly, when, as is obvious, the checkbooks wrote the amendments.
  In a statement released Monday, Mr. Finchem said, “At a time when women represent one of the fastest growing segments in both playing and following the game of golf, this sends a positive and inclusive message for our sport.” He forgot to mention how, all along, he was ‘talking about’ how the announcement was coming in such a timely fashion?
  Timely, except for one thing. Male leveraging of females from the halls of power has existed for centuries and it’s doubtful accepting two obvious team members signifies an advancement by women. However a real demonstration of women’s influence would be if the CEO of IBM is really allowed to demonstrate any power of her own, by pulling the plug on that sponsorship. But, for the record, I watch The Masters every year and love that tournament. So, when can we expect a Women’s Masters that matters? Huh?
Augusta National Noteworthily Accepts Women?
8/20/2012 concluded: Timely, except for one thing. Male leveraging of females from the halls of power has existed for centuries and it’s doubtful accepting two obvious team members signifies an advancement by women. However a real demonstration of women’s influence would be if the CEO of IBM is really allowed to demonstrate any power of her own, by pulling the plug on that sponsorship. But, for the record, I watch The Masters every year and love that tournament. So, when can we expect a Women’s Masters that matters? Huh?
July 24 - September 25, 2019
  It would be proper just re-addressing male privilege. But reiterating what's already, repeatedly, fallen on ears deaf to whatever's not faced, instead, re-focuses attention on the resentment of wealth problem, as was brought up in discussion with the archcapitalist knight Malcolm Forbes. How from supposed guilt to begrudging its lack, diverts action from solving the true calculable unsolved equation of complete circulation. Financial circulation that should flow as fluidly as water without dams leaking corruption? Of course the simple answer's not always a solution. But, in this instance, it seems the simple answer should be a more fundamental part. Legalizing corruption for everybody sounds perfectly absurd? (Corruption, our commander-in-chief's crutch de jour.) 
     But there's a personal pride in being alive. No one could really want to be evil to the pit of their very soul. So it's fascinating, while repelling, what human minds are capable of though. And while amazing to see how far we've come, the detritus of history's past still holds us back. 1. A mushed together understanding. 
     Meanwhile prosperity proliferates but successive generations lose their grip on pursuing the more comprehensive goals. Perspective and proportion are lost to the myriad ways in which things are gotten over and around. Shedding regret sounds unconscionable. Uh-huh. Shuddering at the possibilities aren't we? Right, not quite. Or maybe now, today, September 25, 2019, that Congress might finally be facing down complete arrogance. And while the odds are quite near nil, we still hear every day how anything's possible in America.
  Anyway. Really? Think accepting women members at the rate water drips, from a well sealed faucet, means more than that? Symbolic symbolism? Uh huh. The fact that it's still significant there're any new (7) members, at all, in Augusta National, points, ever more clearly, at the tragic scheme of unsolved and excused things. It's just not a world of Green Jackets For Everyone? Mmmm.
  Robert Mueller. Sure. Why shouldn't the name stand for something all on its own? The ambiguities reflecting the various political stakes. In this particular era of cult crafted name branding, God knows chest pounding has us up the creek. Because centuries of advancement's enabled economic scores, leaving aside the failures as margined out irrelevancies for good's good. Uh huh. Yep. Nothing's done till something's accomplished in the area of about how, what, where, and why, numbers hide truths doled out as blame. 
Can This Place Change? 
     For centuries the number 1 concern hasn't been health or justice, or even international peace. It's been the calculated pursuit of power and control. With the oxymoron controlled violence a perpetual state. And oh, how endearing that good old power corrupts absolutely. And so -
     The national media landscape. The kaleidoscopic apparatus thrusting imagery at the population's at it again. At it again. Auto-piloting on. Commentators repeating for, to, and at us. The jousting's in the telling us gun violence hasn't gone away because there're two mere positions not reaching compromise. Saying either side has no room for agreement when that's all issues are, if there's breathing room to know otherwise. 
     Look. It's virtually claustrophobic surrounded by all the human manifestations of inflicted misery. The horror. The pain. Right? The immorality of inflicting death and pain on others. Violating the dignity of the individual. No one, not even militarily, has reason to violate anyone anymore in any capacity if the possible's exaggerated in directions other than acted out hate and despair. The reasons for being enemies are just all wrong. So says a simplistic writer in a world of exaggerated points? A world bowed in worship to fossil fuel burned motorization. The money to burn premise upon which all decisions are weighed. Can't outright blame the Koch family legacy. Or their accomplices? 
     Yep. Seems there's some debate over whether, or not, humanity's shot itself in the foot or directly through the heart. If previous generations, that included many people of today, shrugged off environmental catastrophes, certainly this one's also getting away with it, too, as it's still no skin off our generations' backs? While possibly as corrupt as all the empires ever known to HUMANITY? Of the distinctively dishonest legal kind, too. But in order to not shake up economics - sacrifice the planet. Realistically willing to populate others. Though not in victory but as failures for mis-care-taking this planet. And despite all the disasters this place has been very good to us. Not nearly enough shame. Sorrow. Making our, God please forgive us, rituals too selfish for words. 
     These are scandalous times indeed. On the one end, the centuries of cultural evolution have placed us in a quite, deliriously, enviable position. Why researching the prolonging of our mortal lives, for perhaps centuries, so entices these era's modern minds. Why shouldn't we have everything when we already have? Aren't we supposed to have anything as we've evolved to such an advanced state now? Hell. Motorcycles are even masquerading as bicycles now, terrorizing our already dangerous city streets. People are always making sure they push the limits of possibility to have anything, whether or not we can. 
     For centuries we haven't had to really care what ramifications plop down in the way of our self-centered tendencies. Freedom or authoritarianism. One or the other exploits what needs have you. - Sigh.
"Bad People” 
     Yes, any and all problems can be blamed on "bad people" as our president cited a couple weeks back. Separate from any attention whatsoever given the social deficiencies that factor into drawing angry personalities in those directions. So for our president to, with a sweeping gesture, imply the entirety of "bad people" are across a moral line from which any types of integrity cannot rationally be implied, defies the premise upon which we know "bad people" could no longer be contrived. We raise millions of children a day who aren't prone to the various traps where conscience is compromised and ill-advised roads of intriguing danger become the excitement life promises. Which is what life is, whether pacified couch sitting or not. Life is chasing the next moment to be more profoundly interesting than the present one. 
     Circling this discussion back, again, to the situation of a derisionally entertained President of the United States who can't, or won't, distinguish between nuances while manipulating the worst aspects of self-righteousness. While only a symptom along with everything else, our country means a lot of things. And being mean's in our history. But pride in that meanness is a tawdry future as current evidence corroborates. 
     I write to understand how I think. "Bad People" is a prime example and, in re-reading, I can't help but feel pride in figuring out this prose. You'd think that after reading from my novel, next to his counselor Roy Cohn's doorstep, the first Tuesday after the last election, that pointing fingers at the president, for one reason or another, would be a common attraction for/to me. But it's not. Retracing others' steps isn't my common practice. But riding away from that Hammer and Cycle, Cohn office/home, reading, that night, wondering if my obscurity would give way to people angry with me, the trepidation was eased by the realization we all have a responsibility to the president's capacity to become smarter. See more than the parameters by which a person's been molded. Patriotism? Sometimes even, or especially, that's from the very bottom up.
Oh No! Not Another Thin Man
However Could One Hide From A Marquee's Stigma?

     Ole New York. Who's not quite believing they're putting words to a page? Doubt that claim's ever really happened. Except there's no other reason for this attempt than the name, Malcolm Charles. No. No one can coherently, rationally, expect to be a distant cousin of a fictional character. But when lost to fantasies, designing a life inherited from filmdom's most dedicated pair, Nick and Nora Charles, of The Thin Man fame, there's a veritable inebriated breeze, through your veins, carrying the customs of the time of old New York hotel life, where grifting was just but one of the very few games to get involved in around town. More ways to make money's how crime's gone down. All other assertions are just hocus pocus. 
     Too bad it's not just the machines we have to figure out how to get paid right. Amazing. 1952. Kurt Vonnegut nailed the nail on the head in Player Piano. And probably knew digital was the future, but society programmed on, and by, taped loops was of more symbolic importance to that era's frames of mind. All the while extraordinarily describing our frame of time, too.   
     Right. So. Under the spell of this captivating illusion of being spawned from a detection legacy, I ventured past not getting involved. Following a crime and, believe it or not, it was while taking a couple moments to cross the street and see, if I could, through a small park to what would have been the back entrance from 34th Street to Nero Wolfe's 35th Street brownstone backdoor. Unfortunate television imprinting finally, partially replaced, by picking up one of the Rex Stout novels, and I'd read the mentioning of a back way out and wanted to know what might be left of the fictional description. 
     I thought the small park was locked. But when my elbow, in leaving, grazed the gate, it, opened with a soft squeak, inviting me in. So I went. There's just a small children's plastic climbing structure and odds and ends, and plants, behind an entrance, to the Lincoln Tunnel, restraining wall. Now, obviously, Manhattan's westside's skyrocketed(ing). But when Nero Wolfe was fictionally planted, it was the era of cultivated ocean lining's last major hurrah. Now just time on your hands and fear of flying are that industry's major draws. And yes, the rock bands. And maybe Frank Sinatra's hologram's time's come. Wait till they're exactly like us. Won't that be fun? 
     So weirdly I was drawn into the Archie Goodwin sidekick role. Nero Wolfe's legman because Mr. Wolfe never left the "house." The Goodwin character that was perhaps drawn to emphasize the era's placement of women as skirts and the main pursuit. While the real writer made sure a future where their potentials weren't chained to a diminished throne anymore could come to pass. 
     At first I thought it was kids by the restraining wall in the back left corner. But it was one person wearing enough for two. 
      Anyway. Eventually my focus clears and it's one, female or male. Who's turned to make sure no one's looking as their hand instinctively brought something up from the bag that had appeared to be the other person or people. But despite seeing me, and being startled, the hand revealed the knife blade stuck to the gun. And wanting to either scream or run, I did neither, cowering before the grin slicing ear to ear across the suspect's face. 

Knowing Things Shouldn't Be Dangerous
     ... . 

The Soapbox View pursues the 


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