Famous people often display amplified characteristics of the culture in which they grew. The water and ground of the culture allows them to flourish when they might otherwise have withered and died. Lady Gaga is an example of this idea. Most people would admit that she is weird and would not personally do the things that she does, however, she has sold millions of songs and is a cultural icon. How does this happen if it is not something that has fertilized the surface of our culture? If you had a time machine and took her back 100 years, would she even have 10 people that would be caught dead admiring to her? The fact she can survive and even thrive in the current culture means that it is indeed our culture where she was planted and watered. It is not that she is the only weird one, but that we all are weird to some degree.
Lance Armstrong is no different. He believes in winning at all costs and will lie, cheat, and bully people to get there. However, all of our indignation should be not be directed at him but at ourselves for being the same way ourselves. Lance is not the anomaly that we all wish he was so that our consciences could enjoy revelling in our own righteousness. How often have you heard someone say that they don't have fun unless they win? It seems that most people play sports to beat others and not because they enjoy competing with others in sport. Why do we think of the person who comes in second place as the first loser? This is evidence of a win at all cost attitude. Lying is also evident in our lives by the number of people who are willing to call into work sick even though they are perfectly fine. Or how about the number of people who are willing to steal music and movies because nobody will find out? Bullying is also common place, especially in the media. Anybody, with a different perspective is vilified and ridiculed. Look at how many times Piers Morgan asks evangelical Christians their viewpoint on gay marriage knowing the consequences that will follow? Many people have commented that Lance Armstrong is a sociopath but it seems that we are all sociopaths. Lance Armstrong is only an amplification of our own characteristics.
A seed is planted in the ground to grow. If there is no ground the seed will never reach fruition. Lance Armstrong would not exist, as he is today, if the ground for him to grow had never been provided. Lance's brand was to live strong but in the end he received the death penalty with regards to the only thing he wants to do, which is to compete. Everything he worked for has been dug up and will soon be burned. This is a lesson to all of us. If we continue to behave in the same way that Lance did/does we will share his outcome. Like Lance our actions will eventually catch up to us and may even affect the people we care about most.
Life is not so much how you live but how you die. Diestrong.