I don’t know about you, but I don’t revel or enjoy watching the downfall of public figures. I don’t like conflict, and I tend to look away when I see a car accident. I can’t handle blood, or watching excessive violence in a film, and I avoid those Discovery channel surgical demonstrations. I also suffer from trypanophobia (which is a fear of needles or injections). That really comes in handy when you’ve been diagnosed with lymphoma.
There are exceptions to some of those things, because like you, I’m human. Being human pretty much guarantees that there are no absolutes. That’s what makes us interesting. No one is perfect, whether you’re a famous public figure or an obscure blogger like myself.
Why am I waxing poetic about my shortcomings and phobias? Probably because I’m trying to be empathetic toward Lance Armstrong. I’m trying to understand why someone would consciously decide to take performance enhancing drugs, year after year after year. And deny it, and lie about it, while having one’s hand out to the public, asking for financial support.
There’s no difference between what Lance Armstrong was doing, and what the Larry Craig’s and other gay and homophobic hypocritical politicians do when they support anti-gay policies and initiatives.
Lance Armstrong is a complete fraud. He is a multi-millionaire who came clean after he received all of the benefits of being a world-class cyclist, and the king of the Tour de France.
I fell for all of the hype. I’d never been that interested in cycling, or the Tour de France, until Lance Armstrong won his first title in 1999. I love France, and love spending time there, so I started paying closer attention to all things Lance Armstrong. When he started his Livestrong Foundation, I donated ten bucks for the yellow Livestrong bracelet, and I marvelled at everything Lance Armstrong did.
Armstrong was on Oprah’s talk show yesterday, and I didn’t watch it. He was forced to come clean, because he wants to re-enter competitive athletics. Good luck with that Lance.
Alessandra Stanley wrote about Armstrong’s Oprah interview in The New York Times.
“People who believed in me and believed me have every right to feel betrayed,” he said earnestly but not emotionally. “I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people.”
Armstrong said what had to be said (“all the fault and all the blame falls on me”), but the interview was strangely low on energy and emotion. Candor is not the same as catharsis. His confession wasn’t just about sports — it was supposed to be a watershed moment of love lost and betrayal.
Winfrey, who split the interview over two nights to help her struggling cable channel, OWN, did her best to get answers, but she didn’t get all of them, and she didn’t pierce his armor. Armstrong isn’t just an athlete who lied about drug use; he was the cheating cad in one of the great American love stories. For men at least, Armstrong was, up until his free fall, one of the most romantic figures since another Armstrong, Neil, walked on the moon in 1969.
There are other sports heroes. But Armstrong was a New World star in the European sport of cycling whose improbable comeback story defied the odds and blunted the cynicism of the age: he was struck by testicular cancer at 25 and went on to beat Europe’s best in the Tour de France seven years in a row — and also fathered five children, three with his first wife and two with his current girlfriend, Anna Hansen. He dated Sheryl Crow and Tory Burch, and while he wasn’t known for his pleasing personality, his goodness seemed unimpeachable thanks to his foundation, Livestrong, one of the country’s biggest cancer charities.I’m trying to find a reason to care about Lance Armstrong at this point, and a reason to keep caring. But the tank is empty, and I can't even be outraged any more. Do you feel the same way? There’s no way to describe him as anything but a complete fraud.
Armstrong spent a lot of time suing his detractors in court over the years. Will there be any repercussions for that? Will he be going to jail anytime soon? I don’t think that jail time would serve any purpose. What would the point be?
Normally I’d think that being Lance Armstrong would be like living in hell right now, which is punishment enough, but that implies that he has a conscience, and it’s clear that he doesn’t. So the best thing that could happen would be for Armstrong to say au revoir and just go away, to disappear into obscurity.
The past decade will be remembered for Wall Street and American banks nearly toppling the world economy, the Madoff and Stanford ponzi schemes, and the fraud perpetrated on Americans and the French by Lance Armstrong.
And “homosexual behavior” is sinful? I think not.
PS: While watching the TODAY Show yesterday (Friday), Matt Lauer said that Armstrong confessed now because the 7 year statute of limitations just expired, and criminal charges can't be filed against him. Armstrong is still a fraud and he's manipulating the system. And people are supposed to trust this man again? I think not. He really needs to live an obscure life and just go away.
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