Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong

Bicycle racing is boring.  Watching an american win a bicycle race is equally as boring.  The main appeal in watching the Tour de France comes mainly from watching drunken and fantasically costumed spectators chase after the riders like labradors after squirrels. 

All of which is to say that, while I wouldn't go so far as to say that Lance Armstrong is getting a bum rap (now that he himself admits to being a cheater) I do wonder if some of the blowback against him has more to do with reaction against the Geist of his time.  There is unfortunately nothing unusualy wicked about an athlete who cheats.  In fact all evidence suggests that it is impossible to excel at the hard game of riding laps around nations without doping.  Armstrong is not as far as is known a violent criminal mass adulterer or in any way abusive towards women.  Meaning that by the low standards of professional athletes or privleged people in general he isn't so bad.  He is however a Texan who comes across as more than a little cocky, and his hay day just happened to coincide with the beat your face in hyperjingoism of the early Buch era.  Armstrong was seen as a hero by people who did not even pretend to give a damn about bicycle racing but liked to beleive that Americans beating foreigners at whatever was proof of our superior morals and manliness.  The Armstrong phenomenon always did carry an air of the bully who forces smaller kids into fights and then gloats over his manufactured triumphs, even when the doping allegations were just rumors.  His presence is a reminder of a very recent time when we as a people could be some downright ugly motherfuckers.  All the same the man himself is exactly that; a human being filled with love and fear just as we are.  Don't hate the player etc....

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