Culture of Celebrity, Winning, Myth, and Denial

The fall of Lance Armstrong is a reminder that we are all part of creating the culture that enables such deceptions to exist and survive for long periods of time.  While “the truth will out” eventually, at least so we presume, the reality of this story is that it is our story as much as Lance Armstrong’s.  I think of this man fighting to beat cancer, pressured by celebrity to feed the myth that everyone wants to hear, and I wonder at the burden he carried for so long. He talked of his own flaws, but are they so different from ours?  Maybe we think we’re better than that, but I’ve never been a celebrity nor have I ever been at such a pinnacle of perfection in anything to have been tested in the ways he must have been tested.  In the end, we all know, deep down, that we are capable of cheating and bullying.  It goes on in schools, in sports, in every day existence.  Once anyone tips over into either one of these less-than-desirable qualities, those qualities take on lives of their own and must be fed.  We live on stories and we want myths, but we need to remember that we are human and that stories illustrate who we are, but are not necessarily narratives we should compel someone to become.  We all bear some of the responsibility for this story.  Let us all learn from it.

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