Thursday, February 14, 2013

Six Romantic Assertions That Aren't Really Romantic

Hey, welcome back people! I'm Dick N. Asshole, your cynically maudlin host for today's festivities! You all know the rules: you have to figure out whether or not the presented idea is either...


We've lined up a number of contributions today. Each is a conceit of modern love that many people seem to unquestionably accept. We are going to see if they are actually useful parts of a sensible, romantic attachment. Though I tell ya folks, sensibility doesn't necessarily enter into it anyway, am I right fellas? Aaaaahahahhaaaa, yeah. Right, let's play.... ROMANTIC... OR... BULLSHIT!

1: “Love at First Sight” = [X] BULLSHIT!
Sorry folks; an endorphin-charged glance of curvy body with a pretty face is not an attachment. Romeo is not an ideal boyfriend. Every relationship that’s ever actually developed out of its first meeting inevitably changes from whatever the initial feelings were into either a stronger connection or “moving on, now”.

2: Infatuation = [X] BULLSHIT!
Don’t you have other things in your life? Family? Friends? BMX bikes? Eastern philosophy? The perfect egg-and-cheese omelet? Your masturbation technique? One person and the associated fixation cannot both consume your every thought AND be actual, honest, sane romance. There are degrees of course, from innocent crush to sociopathic Twilight-esque obsession, but it's never where honest emotions come from.

3: Deifying your Crushee = [X] BULLSHIT!
No, Anakin. She is not an angel. You can glorify the object of your affection with florid wordplay and supernatural worship, but your would-be honey-bun is human, no more or less flesh and bone than you. Also, isn't its kind of cheapening someone's real assets that you have to raise them to some demigod-type level in order to express your adoration? Ask my good pal William: “My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground; / And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare.

4: Possession / Belonging = [X] BULLSHIT!
When you introduce your wife/girlfriend, you’re not saying you own her but that she occupies that position as your wife/girlfriend. And several other positions. (We’ve seen the tape…) But those are okay. Phrases of belonging and implied “ownership” are just fucking creepy. You know, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Brooding leans in and sighs, “you belong to me” or “I belong to you”. Yuck. This is also the twin cousin of the obsession problem. I know you’re all attached-pants to your significant other, but just let them be a fucking human and don’t make everything about that one relationship. Jesus.

5: “Forever” or just about any sense of “Eternal Love” [X] BULLSHIT
I know this is going to make a lot of minds explode but NOTHING IS FOREVER. Are we clear, ladies and gentlemen? NOTHING. IS. FOREVER. In MOST cases, relationships just end on their own. Plenty of relationships do withstand the test of time, yes (such as most people before the 1960s when divorce was an Über-Stigma™ alongside women voting). But you can’t predict the future. Spouting a “forever” philosophy as some kind of catchall motto or safety blanket for love just makes you sound ridiculous.

NOOOOO SUUUUCH THIIING. Unless everyone keeps falling in love with Neo. (Well, do that actually; it seem to be very good for his health.) Remember, relationships do in fact work out plenty of times. But where in the seven hells were you given this magical power to know that HE is the one you’re going to spend your life with? And isn’t it a new height in hubris to assume that YOU are HIS special someone that he’ll be forever bound to? While many of these topics have dealt with varying possibilities, it’s safe to say that any and all romances that have worked out ONLY did so AFTER the people involved got to know each other. People love to add a bigger importance to themselves and their choices, and in few other cases is this so apparent than when they belch about “matches made in heaven”, “destined romances”, and “their other half”. There are enough people in the world that it would be strange if there WASN’T at least a few people with whom you seemed to click perfectly. Remember what Tim Minchin’s song tells us “If I didn’t have you, … I’d probably have somebody else.” Statistically, that’s simply true.

Well okay, I think I’ve clearly deviated from Dick N. Asshole’s little game show, but I can summarize my point with four simple questions:

1: What actually attracts you to the person of your interest?
2: Why do you have to exaggerate the grandeur of your attachment in order to express how “special” it is?
3: Do you feel that romantic love is something you need to pursue as quickly and adamantly as Hallmark wants you to?
4: Why do you think in such future terms about where you’ll be with them and what they will become to you rather than enjoying the present with them?

If these don’t really apply to you, then pass them on to someone to whom they do apply. See how they answer and if those answers make sense. As humans, we should feel all those “Valentine’s Day” emotions: crushes, attachment, passion, enamor, and love. We are often so compelled by them that we do not really think critically about them. There is a natural divide between heart and brain… but does there have to be? Love may be a lot of things, but it does not have to be stupid.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why Not Write? (aka: "Output")

First, a quick story:
"These are the chains that conceal the great beast beneath the mountain."
Did you like that? Cool. I came up with it while on a hike last weekend. I was advised to simply write that down and post it on this lonely blog as part of my output. Output.
That's right, output. I made this blog so that I could write; practice writing and regular writing. Written material whose quality I am not so much invested in as I am its quality. It's my water whereas my longer works in poetry and literature are my wine. Well, I should say that my literature is like my wine. I don't drink, you see, so it's pretty damn fitting that I call my own written literature my wine. Then again, I do read sometimes and have read plenty, so I guess it's not a perfect analogy, but it is at least now written down. It's transcribed from my undisciplined ind into a cohesive linguistic pattern you can understand.
This is kind of a non sequitor and not an excuse to not write, but I feel like I'm just imitating the YouTube vlogger TheAmazingAtheist, or at least that's kind of the general voice I have while writing right now, though this particular paragraph is sidestepping that particular expression at the moment. It is perfectly okay to emulate others so long as it help one progress towards his own voice. As Christopher Hitchens wrote (well, in the book I am about to quote, he was quoting something he told his writing students) - "you have a voice; use it." In other words: write, damn you.
I went through a brief period of overusing semicolons. I guess I assumed that every unfinished thought merited this unique little dash of punctuation, as my stream-of-consciousness rambling never really takes a breath so much as a syllabic shift of inflection to indicate a rerouting thought.
Bubble bath. I don' know why I wrote that, it just came up. Lemon curry comes up next. What else? Monty Python? That's apropos, given the lemon curry reference I guess. Acoustic guitar. Nope; my brother isn't upstairs playing at the moment. This is stupid. I prefer meaningful output.
I think a great deal around a given issue that bothers me. I'll think of oblong and complicated ways of talking about the fact that I am talking and why the hell do I need to talk so much? I'm not even really frustrated that I do so; sure, plenty of times it does frustrate me, but it doesn't matter... DRUMROLL...
The perfect excuse, ladies and gentlemen! You're too kind, you're too kind.
Ahem. Write plenty. Okay, I can do that. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook about riding his bike past a swarm of tumbleweeds. I jokingly suggested he write a 10-minute journal prompt, though I did expect he would actually do it. (A journal prompt is where you basically write for a set amount of time and don't let yourself stop for any reason and just unleash your thoughts onto the page.) Thing is, my friend actually did it. He wrote out a quick story (yes, longer than the one I posted atop this article) but he fucking did it.
Wait, lemme go back to self-pity over mistakes like failing to write on my article blog regularly, lamenting how nobody is actually reading my blog. NO. Boring. It's weird; have you ever found yourself obsessed with a definite answer? Personally, I want to be certain I am aware of my own blog so I want to say things like this: "I'll write knowing that no one is reading but I'll still put out interesting stuff so that if anyone does happen to read it, they'll like it."
Okay, fuck this, it's boring you. It's not boring me; I could keep up this "creative" output for another couple hours. I'd have to pause for my wrists' sake mind you, but you're reading this because you're the audience and I don't want to bore you, certainly. For the record, I'm perfectly aware of my self-pitying tendencies, but I'll keep working with my therapist to learn how to cope with that. You of course will want to be up to date on it.
So, the chains keep the monster beneath the mountain. Cool fantasy story. Raises a lot of questions. Its content has nothing to do with this article; I'm just writing because I'm trying out my latest attempt at "regular output." Ha ha ha. Betting pool's open on how many weeks I keep it up this time. I've got a tip for ya, mate: you won't need two hands to count it. Cheerio.
By the way, I finished my latest poetry collection. See, that's something a few people will give a shit about enough to read. I guess I don't want to invest in something that isn't being read. And rightly so; it really isn't an interesting blog. But it's not for you; it's for my practice. Run along now.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Terror of Telescreens

Reference cleanser time: in George Orwell’s absolutely brilliant novel 1984, the totalitarian government that controls the nation of Oceania employs devices called telescreens throughout society to eternally monitor the captive citizens and ensure their unwavering obedience. Right, now that I’ve demonstrated that I’ve been through a high school English writing course, it’s time to get to point-making: I think we have something rather like telescreens in the real world. Now, I am not referring to household television sets nor am I suggesting such direct means of control are in use. Hold back on those sprouting thoughts you’re having about public security cameras and other surveillance issues, because that isn’t my point either.
I want to go over what I call, interestingly enough, “telescreens”. (Now that the audience “huh?”s in confusion, I’ve successfully hooked them in, you see; another little writing trick I learned back in high school)
Specifically, think about public television screens. The moderately short list of places we have them now includes restaurants, sports bars, gas stations, grocery store waiting lines, medical and dental waiting rooms, airports, theme park lines, and even community college cafeterias. Several of these places are also complimented with the audio invasion of radio, just to make sure that as many avenues of advertising and entertainment are being pumped out as widely as possible.
Oh, and that’s neverminding that plenty of SUVs are equipped with flip-down screens, but it does fill in an interesting gap. 11-year old Jimmy can be lazing on his couch after two hours of SpongeBob, but his precious third hour is being interrupted by mom going to the store. Boo. Luckily, he can watch half the episode on the way over to Ralph’s and the other half on the way back. The grocery shopping itself will be a bore, but at least the checkout line has flashy, rapid-fire advertisements keeping him comfortably distracted.
So, this complaint does come right out of a much older decade, but honestly… why the fuck do we have this much television? Remember, I don’t mean the actual quantity of material on TV, I simply mean the omnipresence of access to TV.
This telescreen boom does seem like a recent phenomenon, something that has grown alongside the explosion of mobile media. (To clarify, I use “telescreens” from here only in reference to these public TV sets.) It is hardly a society-changing thing, as we’ve gotten used to radio being in every corner of the public for decades now. And hey, maybe it is a convenience for those who do not yet have smart pones and want to check the weather while filling up their Ford Focus. Great.
I think telescreens are fucking awful.
I need not name the vast list of media we all know in order to give you a sense of just how much information the average American processes in a day. Even the surface problem of the raw data glut is ridiculous, and that’s before you factor in the madness of advertising and the siren song of constant entertainment. So, let’s just touch bases on each point before I lose your precarious interest.
We all know these telescreens are there. We see them even if we’re not watching. But look carefully at just what the hell it is we’re really getting on these public screens. At the gas stations near me, it’s nearly always bite-sized flashes of celebrity news, a trend dreadful enough for its own future article. In Wal-Mart, it’s advertisements for shit IN Wal-Mart! You know, advertisements for stuff that is already IN your goddamned cart! If you want to hang out with your friends at the college cafeteria, be prepared to grapple attentions with the bloody MTV videos along the far wall. Stop by Wendy’s and be inundated with ads for pop musicians and… Carl’s Jr.??? And so on likewise.
The information we’re actually getting from telescreens is superfluous right off the bat. It’s cut into vacuous attention-grabbing bites so as to ensure our retention of their jingles, slogans, and logos. When I went to Comic-Con in 2009, I’ll never forget what Joss Whedon described as the kind of mind control he sees in the world. At first, I thought him conspiratorial, but I listened carefully and realized exactly what he meant: that the world is full of forces trying to affect the rationale of the individual and trying to think for us.
To bring it full circle, it is not direct mind control. We have an active choice whether to look or not, yes. But then the catch: almost anywhere we look, there are telescreens and a means for insubstantial news and thought-corrupting advertising to have their way. As long as there are telescreens all over the places where we attain our food, clothes, and services, the dark side of public media has the power to tell us what to think, say, and do.
To say we don’t need them is too passive a suggestion; I say we need to be rid of them. We need be liberated from the sheer noise mortaring our public space. The trick is, again, not to rebel in the face of a tyrannical big brother, but to ignore what Cocoa-Cola, Fox News, and Wal-Mart are yelling at us and think for ourselves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Unluckiest Numbers in the Galaxy

It has happened.
Disney bought Lucasfilms. They want to make. A Star Wars Episode 7. 8. And 9. Guys. A Star Wars sequel trilogy. Do you get it? More Star Wars in an era where a five-year Clone Wars franchise and a spinning, jumping Yoda were thought to be good ideas. I mean, just say it out loud: Disney bought Lucasfilms and has green lit a Star Wars sequel trilogy! It’s a mouthful of horrible-sounding syllables. But… why is that so?
With each movement cinema has been through since Revenge of the Sith disgraced our silver screens, we’ve been seeing disappointing contributions to the sci-fi fantasy genre: Transformers is an explosive mess, Pirates of the Caribbean became too self-aware for its own good, Harry Potter went missing in action, and even Star Trek doesn’t explore space so much as it punches people. A fearfully recognizable possibility of lightsaber-filled movies to come looms forth in geek minds everywhere… and we tremble.
We dread another awful Star Wars movie.
First off, let me declare here that I’m not reviewing anything with this article but examining what is behind at least my own personal anxiety surrounding this news. Read also: pardon the many vagaries and broad ideas.
Let us take a much-needed breather and look at the chances for a sequel trilogy as 50/50, given three masterpieces and three shit-pieces. Luckily, the criticisms of the prequels are widely known that they might be learned from. Thus, the upcoming post-Return of the Jedi project could fall either way, but with a name as hyped as Star Wars, the efforts needed could really only produce one extreme or the other. They’ll either go too far with story-weak flash and glam or work carefully to create a quality picture.
Joss Whedon managed the latter achievement with Avengers, making a movie that worked magnificently in marketing, the surface level of fun, and the deeper levels of art and storytelling. Couldn’t the same be done with the galaxy of Luke Skywalker?
Star Wars is one of the prime components in geek culture, one that we feel can offer a story to match in quality with its effects sequences. In one sense, Star Wars as a six-film set has been a perfect illustration of geek likes and dislikes. Remember: we love stories. Yes, we also like our space battle candy and our silly references to “the droids you’re looking for”, but the movies, books, comics etc. that remain most with us have well-told stories. We who are fans of Star Wars long for a continuation of the marvelous saga that enraptured us.
But what about “live and let live” and “it’s only a movie”? Why not hang up your critic’s coat and just enjoy it? Why is it so important that familiar movies be made well by the standards of the culture they appeal to?
It has to do with how we enjoy them.
            When a movie is done well, we can enjoy it, discuss it, think about the ideas, analyze characters, and ultimately achieve the escapist element by getting immersed in the content. When they are done badly, we get stuck in the tangled web of what was technically wrong about the movie and then it all becomes so much minutiae, pragmatism, and nitpicking.
            So, what to think about these nerve-wracking newcomers to our pop culture family? Well, obviously that’s up to you, but since you’re reading for my take, I say: don’t actually panic. Come what may, we’ve always got our pure original trilogy and all the Force it retains. Even if Episodes VII – IX will suck and even if they do tarnish another big expected Star Wars revival, remember that no matter what, the first transport is away.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ARCHIVE PIECE: The Way of the Cyclist [essay from May 2009]

“Don’t worry; it’s easy, just like riding a bicycle.” For most people, this common idiom makes sense relating to the ease of bicycle riding. For me, this phrase is an irony, as my life’s greatest trials and breakthroughs have been achieved on the bike, and those successes were anything but easy. To me, “just like riding a bicycle” means pedaling hard against cruel gear settings and pounding for hour-long minutes up endless hills that are working with the sun and wind to force my wayward endeavor into forlorn failure. But, time and again, I find myself casually looking down that last endless hill and wondering where the time went. For every ride I’ve started, I’ve managed to make it through and realize my true place on the bike and its true placement of my power to achieve.
          From the start, bicycles have been a fundamental part of my life. I don’t even remember when I had training wheels. Though it was really my third bike, I recall my “first” bike being a simple mountain bike that boasted features new to me, like gear-shifters and stronger tires. Still, I just saw this object called a bicycle for what it was; two wheels, a frame with handles, and a somewhat uncomfortable seat. I failed to see the true potential both mount and rider had if harnessed properly, despite varying aggravations. I owe it to my parents, both cyclists in their day, who encouraged a more in-depth practice in the art of road cycling. With the acquisition of a new racing bike on my 11th birthday and a keen wanting to discover an athletic potential besides arduous running, I donned a little cycling jersey, checked my tire pressure, and followed my headstrong father out onto the road of a new cycling career. I sometimes wonder how I would have felt knowing that, four short years later, he would be straining to catch up to me.
          While those pre-teen years saw great strides in my own world, I still suffered from the child’s instinctive repulsion of hard work. Then the wonders of the outside world broke through to me in the form of one mighty, awe-inspiring man: Lance Armstrong. Massing spectacular Tour de France race victories year after year, surviving a life-changing battle with cancer, and slamming into every cycling competition he entered to win hard, I had found my personal guiding star on a bike. I still cannot believe some of the things Armstrong has achieved and I’m never at a loss to marvel at the sheer force of determination that he found within himself. But, over time, I learned the big surprise: though his career is unique, there are thousands of world-class athletic cyclists who all tore down their physical inhibitions and did great deeds on the bike for few other reasons than love of the sport. For a growing cyclist, these titans of the road were as key as the bicycle itself in shattering the fear of hard work and suffering to bring rise to a passion for the two-wheeled challenge. With a capable ability on the rise and iconic role models to follow the legacy of, I found the purpose of my choice and prepared to advance onward.
 As I ride today, finding contentment with just the air, the road, and my bicycle sailing on, I still scarcely stare down the horizon with valiant thoughts of strength and accomplishment.  I don’t really have to; if I continue to strive to be the best cyclist I can be, than simply getting out onto the road to return a few hours of satisfied workout later is enhancing who I am on its own… with the help of some focused attitude while pushing that next winding uphill.
For all my incredible influences, from famous professional athletes to my caring and supportive parents, I believe that there was, and still is, one aspect of my ability for cycling that has inspired me in a way that few other moments in my life could equal: the distance I traveled and the self-development I built came from myself. When I remember that I found the willpower to drive up insane hill-roads and across arid desert miles to reach those victorious finishes of each workout, then I know that I can race for any journey I choose to chase after. I’ll find myself looking back on life’s challenge and think it easy as riding a bicycle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some Rambling Article About Commitments on Election Day

Well, the point of my blog here is to have a regular written output. Namely, an article every Tuesday. Well… Tuesday was over 38 minutes ago as I type these words. Yech. Perchance I can make some excuse about how busy I was given Election Day and whatnot? Nah, that’s not a valid excuse. How about a decent attempt at tying in a late article in with the concept of a commitment and the election so as to make it interesting and contextual? Meh, okay.
So, Obama won! I hope I will be able to convey the uplifting sensation unique to this night in the distant future, when I actually begin to show grey hairs and such. Everybody loves a passionate speech, but as I am a man of words and their intentions, I felt deeply moved by Obama’s victory speech. Here is an individual truly devoted to the purpose of his station, a magnificent example that many others ought to follow.
Forgive me, as this will be a really roughshod article, but I appeal of course to your own election hype as a source of redemption for the most heinous felony of failing to meet a self-set deadline.
Ack, bloody hell, focus. Ah yes; Obama, election, commitment, article writing, having a point. Right. How about something classic? Hard work. Obama emphasized the need for hard work in social endeavors. He’s right. I admire his ability to recognize and be aware of the minutiae of politics, but it is that awareness that gives him the perspective to work through such difficulties. He highlighted disagreement and argument as valuable faculties of a society, as tools to be used rather than obstacles to be seen only as troublesome.
More than this, Obama drove home the importance of work. It’s not an unknown moral, but it is one that many perhaps too often to not truly take to heart. The exalted shine and promises of the end result too often bogs our view of the steps needed to reach that result. More often, we love more the idea of the finish line than the run itself. It is natural to hesitate in the face of an endeavor’s challenge. Because hard work is… well, fucking hard work! Effort makes demands of us; it makes us sweat, think hard, push farther, lift heavier weights, add on more pressure. Obama knows this as surely as the working men and women he intends to fight for. Doubtless, he had moments along the past year where he envisioned what tonight might look like if he were to be re-elected, just like any minimum wage grocery store deli worker longingly envisions the end of a day’s shift. Yes, by the way, I’ll make it abundantly obvious that in application to a writer, this means I myself often delight in the idea of a completed work, be it a poem, article, or even full length book.
But the road home is not covered by the mere happy wish for home.
The reward of a finish line to any given goal is proportional to the goal in question. Usually, it is also in proportion to the amount of work needed to make it happen. Now, I am being vague, sharing rather obvious thoughts, and only loosely achieving my goal with this rather erratic stream-of-consciousness entry, but damnit, I am achieving it. I can wake up in the morning to a country largely pleased with it chosen leader and a blog archive with an additional entry on it. I have exerted the work and I will reap the rewards. Obama and his vast support team have worked tremendously hard to realize this envisioned goal. But, the articles are a commitment. Running a nation is a massively larger one, but all the same a commitment. Signposts are reached and passed on the ceaseless roads of our life endeavors (I keep using that word; I hope it means what I think it means) but rarely do we actually stop moving forward.
I am serious about writing. I want to put out these articles every week, even if they are not quite as perfect as I originally wished. If I am to prove this dedication, I intend to follow in my president’s example and work to earn every week of accomplishment I get to revel in. Further than this, it means I will write more: my poems and my stories will become genuine passions in my life that merit my attention all the way to completion.
Thus resumes the intricate insanity of Thoughts of an Escapist from here. In direct consequence of that effort, thus truly and wholeheartedly begins my adventure as a writer. I have a magnificent world to share with everyone and I WILL work hard to make that vision real.
The best is yet to come. Cheers to four more years!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Texas Liar (And I Don't Mean "Dubbya")

          Big news, people: I am officially renouncing my fandom of Lance Armstrong. Ooh, yes, spread the word, reblog the story, and clasp your face in awe. Rumor has it that Mr. Armstrong himself is preparing to make a direct public appeal groveling for my appreciation back. Well, in anticipation of such a touching gesture, I will say Mr. Armstrong, just to save you even further public flak: nope. You’re not getting admiration back from me or anyone else.
            Maybe it’s old news at this point and maybe people will still hold whatever preconception they had. But mine is a story of a longtime Lance Armstrong fan turned by the shameful information that has come to light… and it saddens me to say so.
            I have admired Lance since I was nine. I reveled in every Tour de France victory he claimed. I was at serious odds with myself while pouring through the USADA report a couple weeks ago. Surely Lance still achieved a great deal, right? Even if the man was drugged, wasn’t the idea still there, that Armstrong brand of overcoming all odds to beat the impossible?
            No. Think about it: Lance was indeed a very hard worker. But so were many of the men in the pelotons he challenged. What gave him the push? What was the extra boost that repeatedly put him above the others? What was the very pedestal he stood upon that exalted Lance into the fame that made him known? Drugs.
            Drugs made the man and the idea. Thus, Lance Armstrong is a fraud in whole and in part.
            Many have known of cycling’s dark side, that nearly every big name from Ulrich, Pantani, and Heras to Landis, Klöden, and Basso have all been caught up in doping scandals of one degree or another. But we could scarcely imagine it reached as high as the patron saint of the yellow jersey. If you want a genuine example of fortitude on a bicycle, Look
In the wake of this scandal, it is actually Greg LeMond who has called for the resignation of UCI leaders, even calling for a fundamental restructuring of the sport. If the corruption is as deep as LeMond indicates, maybe the sport is in need of a restart.
Some say that they knew all along or at least suspected. Of course they say this now; better that they had at least some kind of drop on the whole scandal than admit to being conned like everyone else. Even those who really did suspect him from the start were not actually wise to the scheme. That’s what made the doping program a “success”.
The cry of hypocrisy rings in our minds like a headache. Lance seemed an honest man who wanted to win by the rules. Then again, what better veneer to hide behind?
The USADA’s report is too extensive and scientifically thorough to ignore. Go ahead; pick your favorite part of Lance’s Tour de France career and read about it in the report (linked below.) Tyler Hamilton made a courageous appearance on 60 minutes wherein the former teammate exposed the Armstrong doping circle, revealing a shockingly treacherous side of professional cycling. Many have risked their careers and reputations to finally ensure that the world knows the case against this icon of athetics.
The evidence is mounting and creates a slope even Lance cannot tackle.
Maybe he became too seduced by the devilish promise of “an extra boost”, maybe he was a Faustian victim to the Mephistopheles of professional cycling demands, or maybe his belief in victory (to him, a justification for whatever means) was the true demon. The frustrating part is Lance sort of won. We can catch and punish him, strip him of his titles, and oust him for a fraud, but he still enjoyed over a decade of fairly unchallenged glory and fame.
The solution for us, Lance Armstrong’s former believers, is not to let his name be stricken from our minds. Do not even shackle it to his misdeeds but remember the man who survived cancer, provided charity to many other cancer patients, and worked very hard to be nevertheless a damn good cyclist. Think about the determination that motivated both his incredible cycling and unfortunate doping.
But let Lance Armstrong’s name be forever stained.
Let his legacy be seen only as clean as the body he drove through those seven tours. Let the drugs that boosted him above his competitors course virulently through the syllables of his once honored name. He could cheat the sport and lie about it, but he cannot cheat the truth.

USADA’s report on Lance Armstrong’s doping history in the Tour de France:

Washington Post coverage of Greg LeMond’s call for UCI leader resignation:

Tyler Hamilton’s appearance on 60 minutes revealing the Armstrong doping circle: