Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Outrage Machine

Crank up the outrage machine and let's point it at somebody today. Who shall we target? Let's do Lance Armstrong.

 "He lied!" Everybody lies. Grow up.

 "He took drugs!" It's his body.

"He cheated!" Was everyone else in those races on the level too? Some say if you're at the top level and you're not cheating, you're not trying.

"He hurt cycling!" Almost nobody in the US gave a shit about cycling before Lance Armstrong. There's no question he did more for cycling in the US than anyone has ever done, except for maybe Dave Stoller.

"I gave money to his charity, and now people are saying he's a bad person!" Yes, he's a terrible person who survived cancer and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the cause of defeating the disease. If he's a bad person, I wish there were a lot more bad people like him around.

"He was a role model for children!" Stop idolizing athletes. Everyone has flaws, especially people who dedicate their life to one very difficult thing like athletics. They tend to be very bad at other things because of neglect. Stop expecting them to be well rounded people.

"I can't think of any more reasons to hate Lance Armstrong! But I still do!" Neither can I! When you watch the news, ask yourself "Do I really care?" You'll quickly realize that until they start talking about the weather, it doesn't affect your life at all.

Lance Armstrong is a guy who from all accounts is a very nice person that used his fame and notoriety to raise money for a good cause. He's kind, generous and extremely competitive. He acted shady in a sport that probably required some pretty shady business. I don't know anything about cycling, and I don't really care to know.

 If we really want to know whether the rest of the cycling world at the time was doping, who would we ask? There's only one person whose word I would accept or believe.

Lance Armstrong's.


Astin said...

He attacked and sued everyone who told the truth about him to cover up his lies. He tried (and possibly succeeded) to destroy lives because he couldn't admit his lies.

He hurt other people to try and protect his reputation.

That speaks volume about this "nice guy". In short, he isn't.

And Livestrong hasn't been raising money to fight cancer in years. It's changed its focus to awareness and support. No more research grants. That said, the charity should be separated from its former spokesman in judgement. They didn't cheat.

lightning36 said...

"Lance Armstrong is a guy who from all accounts is a very nice person that used his fame and notoriety to raise money for a good cause. He's kind, generous and extremely competitive."


Astin said it all. Not having met Lance Armstrong I do not hate him. Would never want to meet him, however. And I am pretty sure how I would feel about him.

Josie said...

Yeah, I dunno what you base "nice guy" and "kind" on, but I do get your point.

At the end of the day he paid his price for cheating and yeah, he wasn't the only one doing the doping.

Jordan said...

This diatribe against bitching and moaning is as misinformed as the anti-Armstrong comments you challenged.

Armstrong was not a nice guy. He was a smug, narcissistic bully who sued so many people that he could not recall who or how many people he sued. If you think frivolous lawsuits and burying people who have less power than you is a "nice guy" thing to do, then you are way off.

Seems like its a bit of the kettle calling the pot black. I agree that knee jerk outrage is bullshit, but knee jerk contrarianism is no better.

Jordan said...

Also, I'm leaving this so I can get future comments emailed to me. BLAH!

DuggleBogey said...

I have heard people who know him say he's a nice guy. They knw him, you don't so i will take their word.

I'm not saying the guy is a saint. So he sued people, don't tell me they weren't out to get him way more than others who cheated too, and did't do nearly as much good as he did.

I'm not even suggesting it's not a story. It's a nice juicy one. I just dont think it shoud be going on for weeks like it has. Because it's goddamn BICYCLING. Who really gives a shit?