Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mary Dowser Reports: The Masters and IBM: A Good Fit

TVFP is pleased to welcome championship typist and indefatigably fragrant Mary Dowser who writes to us from Augusta Georgia:

Augusta National Golf Course is in the deep American south, or Dixie, the land of cotton and negro slave spirituals. The economy of Georgia was once dependant on slavery. By 1860 a year before the opening salvo of the American Civil War the the slave population of Georgia was 86 % of the white population. That is almost a one to one ratio. Slaves could not own property, or vote, they were denied citizenship in the Republic.

If this sounds familiar to history buffs it’s because Hitler’s Nazi regime set about to deprive its Jewish, Gypsy and other minority populations of their rights and freedoms. What really made that helpful was a mechanical census machine developed by IBM and marketed to the Nazi’s via their German subsidiary. IBM was so keen on colluding with the Nazis their chairman Thomas J. Watson went over there to oversee the burgeoning relationship.

So while Augusta National still doesn’t allow women members and IBM now has a female CEO it’s wise to remember that American business (business in general) is full of companies who’ve made a pile of dough out of extremist politics. United Fruit Company is a good example of Capitalism supporting extremist regimes that systematically murder their own citizens.

Having said all that I have had a lovely interview with Bobby Jones. Mr. Jones is the most decorated amateur golfer in American history and he sure looked the part. He is the founder of Augusta National Golf Course and the Masters Tournament, one of the four Majors of Professional golf. He is as charming and gracious as his portrait in the Butler Cabin portends. He professes not to be interested in politics and I took him at his word. After all the dirty old (&young) men went away he gave me a personal tour of the famous course. It was glorious, the undulating fairways and rock hard greens, just the two of us, as the sun was slipping down the sky and the azaleas were on fire.

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