Tiger Woods may not know it, but he is singing a new tune. His 13 1/2-minute apology a week ago has been chopped up and reconfigured online, spreading in music and video through social networks and on the radio.
One offering is called Ke$ha vs. Tiger I'm So Sorry (Blah, Blah, Blah). Another features Robin Thicke's song Sex Therapy with Woods talking over still shots, including one of the media watching him spill it live on TV after a three-month silence. Type Tiger Woods remix into a Twitter search and a steady stream of postings pops up with people talking about the mashups.
"Whatcha say Elin? The official Tiger Woods Apology Remix. HAHA! Nice parody," jokes a tweeter. Another writes: "Tiger Woods' APOLOGY speech, his mea culpa Friday turned into a bit of a fun." Pop culture watchers call it the new watercooler. "It just shows the power of the audience. We are definitely immersed in the age of the people versus the celebrity," said Amy Andrieux, executive editor of The Source magazine. "I definitely think that it's made from a comedic standpoint. ... It's mashup culture at its finest."
A mashup is an on-line production comprising material from more than one source. Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University in New York, said such "joke cycles" often occur immediately. "Within 72 hours this thing becomes an old joke. This is sort of the first front of comedic attack on these things." It has happened before with presidents, politicians and other high profile personalities. On YouTube, there is footage of William Shatner on "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" reciting some of Sarah Palin's less serious observations. Remixes emerged of an upset Bill O'Reilly and of Andrew Don't Taze Me, Bro Meyer. When Michael Jackson died, people made tribute videos integrating his songs.
This time around, in the Ke$sha vs. Tiger contribution, a photo of Woods looking down, eyes closed, during his appearance is matched with dance music and the fallen golf great saying, "I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame."Cue slow fade-in of background music that swells as he continues: "I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to ..." The video using Thicke's song was rejiggered to include Woods' words and video featuring a variety of photos, including some from his tightly controlled TV appearance that included no questions from reporters. Marve Frazier, chief executive of the gossip and entertainment online magazine Bossip.com, said a video of the remix with Thicke's song was posted on the site to entertain and attract more viewers. "I was like dying laughing. Oh my god, people are crazy," she said of her first reaction.
The same thing happened earlier in the Woods scandal, when amateur humorists created the Tiger Woods Voicemail Slow Jam Remix Name Off Your Phone. The video begins with slow, sensual music and a man singing the words "name off your phone," while a message is played of what sounds like "Hey, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor, please ... Can you take your name off your phone." It refers to a request he reportedly made to one of his gal-friends. In another version, the song I got a feeling, from the Black Eyed Peas plays while a man asks the same favor in a video called Tiger's Been Cheatin! - Black Eyed Peas Remix. Frazier said this kind of comedy is here to stay. "I think mainly because the Internet is not going anywhere. Everybody is becoming more and more tech savvy. This is our culture," she said. "They are going to be doing this with everybody."
Lazaro Mendez, who also goes by DJ Laz, aired a remix on his morning radio show on Power 96 in South Florida.
"People feel this entire thing has been blown out of proportion," he said of the scandal. "I felt that we can make it funny. I absolutely feel it was ridiculous for him to get on and apologize."
So, why make a remix?
"It's great radio material without a doubt because people are talking about it," he said. "Controversy always sells, and it always works."