Saturday, January 19, 2013

Picture Postcards from the Grillparzer Pension

I couldn't bring myself to watch Lance Armstrong confess to Oprah Winfrey, in that sort of/ kinda/somewhat disjointedly/in the third person manner as if he were talking about another cheater and bully on a bicycle on another planet in another universe. I devoured the various clips in the hopes that somewhere in one of them at sometime he'd display remorse and contrition. Maybe he thought he was admitting to taking drugs to do the interview.

One of his best quotes from his Golden Days, I think he had it trademarked, was "I don't have any more bad days. I have good days and great days." I'm thinking not so much anymore, you lying asshat. I'm not sure why I get so angry at the guy. Yeah, I understand the 'but everybody cheats' alibi masquerading as a defense. So what? It's like arguing you're the second skinniest kid at fat camp. It's as worthless as the man for whom you offer it.

I also enjoy the 'when you think of all the good he's done' line of argument. Oh? Don't think so. I think, rather, for the most part he's a monument to The Edifice Complex--looks really good, but actually isn't. Take a quick read through this and wonder as I do if, after he helped himself, how many others he helped and how many more should/could have been helped. That's why the Lord gives you two hands, Lance, to take as much as you can, and pockets, too, so you have someplace to put it all.

Lance Armstrong, all American tragedy. Let me think about all the people, fellow cyclists, racing officials, journalists, fans of  his sport whom he trashed in the decade plus that he 'defended himself.' The elaborate lies he wove and schemes he worked out. And for what? A shrug, at best, in national spotlight and a ratings boost for a niche network that exemplifies like nothing else the Cult of the Personality. A perfect marriage of medium and message.

Thanks, Lance, and you, too, Oprah, while I'm handing out bouquets and brickbats, for another real-life, real-time truth enema with a fire hose. It's not so much the price of the sell-out for an entire life but the value of what could have been. Stop using your thumb to ring your bike bell and return it to where you kept it before you put your pedals to the medals.  
-bill kenny

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