The future looks like LIV Golf


It’s true that someone trying to write a satire of this particular national moment might be justifiably proud of making something like LIV Golf, but it’s also true that someone else who modifies this satire might advise the author perhaps to order it again a little bit. The Saudi-backed attempt to create the XFL for professional golf, which replaced the bland sociopathy of Vince McMahon with the stupidity that could only be produced through cooperation between authoritarian foreign regimes and American political communications professionals, he didn’t really attract fans or achieve much in the way of signing wins over the first months of his existence. However, it wasn’t clear from the start what success might look like for LIV, or whether popularity was part of that. It’s that slip, even more than the obvious and adorable aversion to the tour, is what makes life so great. At the moment, it is something that exists, is very expensive, with no apparent end other than continuing to exist, very expensive.

The goal that golfers involved with LIV tend to cite when asked, “game development”, has never been scanned: LIV has undoubtedly added some new golf events to the world’s total of golf events, and made some of the much-known golfers much richer, But it’s hard to view any of that as the growth of the sport. If the goal is to get American sports fans to associate a more brutal reactionary tyranny with the continued play of suppose Charles Schwarzl more than killing and dismembering that country, let’s say Jamal Khashoggi, it’s hard to say it’s working at the moment. If the goal is to make the tour a viable business by attracting a growing audience on the various platforms where golf is consumed, objectively things will not go well: last month, after launching with different networks, LIV was reduced to Buy some time on Fox Sports 1 To broadcast its self-produced programming, which means that LIV Golf is currently as successful a television producer as Ron Popeil’s Showtime Rotisserie.

But there are other concerns and angles to consider. If the goal of creating the LIV was to destroy the PGA Tour – a goal that Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman, former Tour champions who became LIV ambassadors in large part because of their unwillingness to be silent, shared it for decades – then it is probably from the former Too early to say, despite the PGA Tour He may end up with a LIV pregnancy across the line On this through its stubbornness and institutional inefficiency. But if the goal is simply to send some billions of dollars of Saudi money through various familiar sponsorship channels in a plausibly deniable manner, and in doing so tie the Saudi royal family more closely to their fat counterparts in the Trump and Murdoch families, then there is no doubt that everything is going on. excellent. If this is the only meaning in which LIV works, it may also be the only meaning that matters to the people who finance it.

As long as the world runs on controlled fossil fuels, Saudi Arabia will never need to make money on the sidelines of golf. For as long as American politics has been haunted by the filthy and corrupt golf vampire currently at the fore in the Republican Party, the financing of this particular catastrophe has a crude meaning. Maybe it’s a down payment on some future transaction scam, or maybe it’s just a force of habit – the same super-rich skeptics do what they do, because that’s how this kind of business gets done.


As Trump himself did during his rise to the top of American politics, LIV Golf has served as a truth serum for everyone who touches it. Money has this effect on people, and the pernicious mix of resentment, ambition, and reflexive subservience that Americans’ wealth and power inspires remain the most powerful activating factor in our politics. That, as much as there are all those Republican letter hacks on LIV’s payroll, explains why the tour has worked so hard to make itself not just part of America’s endlessly grim culture war, but why it took so much pain to align itself. The rich, boisterous and futile impunity with the preeminent goal of conservative American politics, which is to protect the boisterous rich man, who has made himself a symbol of that movement. Trump himself, whose golf courses host two of the five LIV events in the US, has made it clear that he approves of LIV; In August, at the LIV event held in Trump Bedminster, NJ, The Golf Course, Norman He sat down with Tucker Carlson to reject his haters; “Guys,” Texas State Representative Chip Roy He saidReferring to fellow Republicans, “everyone goes, ‘Oh, Trump loves it, so I should love him too.’” “

Both are very bold and very funny To brand it as an antidote to The Oppressively Woke PGA Tour. Again, though, it’s probably more useful to read the subtext than the text, if only because the former is still more meaningful than the latter. The endless wealth behind the LIV and the futility of the PGA Tour may ultimately make the LIV Golf its successor or alternative. But even there, it’s not clear whether LIV’s goal is to replace an old, unloved institution that doesn’t really remember how to justify its existence with a new and equally unloved one that’s hard to justify.

There is something that illustrates the explicit self-interest and meaninglessness of the LIV maneuver. If it’s a disguised political power game in golf, the disguise is lousy. In this sense, it is quite in line with Trumpism itself. The most you can say about this movement is that everything about it is very similar to what it looks like, give or take some randomly applied gold leaf. Indifference is not The point, but they make a point each breath; The rude lack of LIV, in this sense, can be understood as a trademark.

This is not how esports-driven soft power games have traditionally succeeded. Qatar’s maneuvering into hosting the World Cup this winter – achieved by bribing the people one has to bribe to get FIFA to do things, and then spending billions of dollars in the most anti-human way imaginable – is also an expensive and ambitious sports washing stunt that is being pursued. . Similar shameless, and highly political in both form and function. But Qatar came in for a friendly match – it wanted it to be seen as where the World Cup was, and then where the world came together. It was, essentially, an attempt to soften and humanize her image. With LIV, Saudi Arabia has set out to do something different, and more so for now. Even if it was just a way to pay some money towards their American friends, it was on a deeper level a play to show how impudent and ambitious their leaders were, and to show how impudent their belief in themselves was. It seems more correct, at this point, to read the LIV not as a godly attempt by the rulers of the kingdom to buy themselves out of some mystery or shame, but as something more triumphant: as evidence that none of this matters, because of how powerful they are. Money makes them. The very existence of LIV is ironic.


“The food was terrible,” Representative Tim Burchett told the assembled press as he walked out of a September lunch designed to build the relationship between LIV Golf and the conservative Republican study group gathering in the House. “[Write] That’s down. ”

Burchett, like Chip Roy, is conservative even by today’s GOP standards. He holds a position that had been held by a Republican since the 19th century, and when he left his previous position as mayor to run for her, he was replaced by Glenn Jacobs, who was playing Kane in WWE. Burchett was disgusted not only with catering to Jimmy John—Illinois Vice President Mary Miller, and Hitler citing Kok Who hosted Greg Norman and the tour lobbyists at the meeting, was responsible for that part — but through the broader spectacle of “billionaire oilmen” pushing their athletic maneuver to members of Congress. “Don’t come here and act like you’re doing something amazing,” Roy said, “while you’re pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabia money, Saudi Arabia, into the United States.”

While Roy has been criticizing LIV as an exercise in branding for Saudi Arabia, he has called for the Ministry of Justice To investigate the round As a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act in July – he seemed almost dazed about someone getting some Policy in curse golf, “The only thing that wasn’t political.” That’s absurd of course, but if there’s room for hope in any of this, it can be found in this wailing of the idle golfer.

For all things LIV, it is basically a bet on the power of money to overcome any anxiety and every other consideration. And that, as Chris Thompson noted in his coverage of the tour, Very familiar disable play It’s easy to miss just how bold she is. None of the doubly degraded countervailing forces LIV faces in the US – any number of laws or rules, sure, but also the PGA Tour and the personal principles of MP Chip Roy – might seem able to stand the pressure of the infinite and brazen wealth that keeps life moving forward. . Every American lives every day in the shadow cast by this fact.

This is not the only home front in which Saudi Arabia is currently feeling its influence. make a moveAnd the kingdom clearly believes that America’s nascent fascist movement is, at least, one it can handle. Meaning that its leaders are very open to bribery, perhaps this is true. But it is advantageous, in a rotten way, that the leaders of this movement are some of the most unsatisfying, unpleasant, proud and irrational people ever existed; Their inability not only to work together, but to do anything but plot and rage against everyone and everything they touch has kept the movement in a strange and infuriating stasis. Any of these people could really agree, other than being loyal to the uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unreasonable guy sitting on top of their move, that they 1) are upset, and 2) want more of everything.

Greed and hatred are great motivators, and they can be introduced fairly easily. But when they are pressed into service as a spirit, or as an organizing principle of governance, they work less well. This is how US policy does not work at the moment. Money sets standards, unaccountability and rudeness govern what happens inside, but then things move around because the people in charge don’t know how to do anything else. It slips into a chaos of bickering, internal animosities, and storms of troubling private pleas from people who understand that making that noise is their job. Even the most ridiculous political platforms require a joint commitment of some sort. Without it, things repeatedly collapse inward in a series of battles of the young rich –golfas the LIV logo says, but louder.


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