Author’s Note: I just read through this post, and it took me in a direction I was not expecting. After my last few blogs, you may feel like you are an audience member to the live unraveling of my sanity, post by post. Don’t worry, I will ensure my next post is filled with toilet jokes and cleverly crafted insults toward celebrities.Enjoy!
What if I told you Osama Bin Laden was a fraud? What if I had videos that showed Bin Laden renouncing Islam and accepting Jesus as his personal Savior? What if every terror attack orchestrated by Bin Laden was performed under false pretenses? Would you care?
I didn’t think so. The fact is, you and I don’t care why Osama Bin Laden did what he did, and we don’t care what he had to do to rise to the top of Al-Qaeda. The only thing we care about is that he planned and executed attacks that directly led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people. We don’t care about the means in this situation; we only care about the end.
With that concept in mind, check out the following data: Since its inception, the Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” Foundation has raised over $470 Million dollars, 81% of which has gone directly to help fight cancer or support cancer patients.
I’m no mathematician, but I think 81% of $470,000,000 is over $380 million dollars that has been raised to fight cancer! All thanks to those douchey little yellow bands.
But wait, there’s bad news! Lance Armstrong, the head and founder and spokesman and reason for the foundation’s existence probably used performance enhancing drugs on his way to his remarkable 7 straight Tour de Francevictories. How can we forgive this monster? He is a cheater and a fraud. He had the audacity to win bike races against all the other guys who were using PED’s(which, by the way, is not a made up statistic. In some cases, you have to goto the 24th place finisher to find a guy that wasn’t racing with drug assistance).
I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been a big Lance Armstrong fan, and I was among the first to assume he was guilty years ago when the accusations first started to fly. I find it interesting that I am here defending him. But the fact is, it is hard not to admire the guy for his public bouts with cancer and the work he has done to fight cancer. Just as Bin Laden’s actions led to death, Lance Armstrong’s actions led to life, care, and hope.
And no matter what is and isn’t false about Armstrong, the hope he created is real.
Disclaimer here, I’m not a very good litmus test for this type of behavior. My favorite comic book hero of all time is Captain America. Cap’s whole premise is that he was a wimpy (but good hearted) guy who was injected with performance enhancing steroids and then started going around saving the world. No one seemed to care that drugs gave him his powers.
So forgive me if I don’t hop aboard the condemnation express to speak out against the fallen hero, Lance Armstrong.
Steroids saved baseball in the late 90’s. If it weren’t for Big Mac, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds breaking homerun records, Major League Baseball might have wilted and died in the post-strike era. And by the way, when a batter using steroids hits a homerun against a pitcher using steroids…isn’t that like a double negative, where it cancels itself out?
If it weren’t for steroids, professional wrestling would be nothing more than skinny guys in singlets doing that awkward wrestling that your weird friend did in high school.
Maybe this one might hurt a little more. If it weren’t for drugs, we wouldn’t have The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who,Led Zeppelin or any other band or musician since. One of my favorite songs is “SheTalks to Angels” by the Black Crows. The song is very literally about a woman addicted to Heroin, yet I hear it and I close my eyes and I develop an emotional attachment to this girl.
All because of drugs.
Look, I am in no way condoning illegal drug use of any kind.Those of you who know me know that not only have I never touched a single illegal drug, I even get a little woozy from more than three Advil. But who amI to judge? My whole life has been filled with one amazing lucky break after another, from child birth to the typing of this word. I have never needed to escape from my reality, because my reality is awesome.
Some turn to drugs, and that’s part of their journey. I wish they wouldn’t. I’ve seen friends and family, some who have come back, some who haven’t.The pain and grief drug addicts put their families through is real and(speaking from experience) kind of selfish.
So no, I am definitely not condoning drug use. On the other hand, I am not condemning it either. Especially since we as a nation hypocritically worship the ground our most famous drug users walk on. If the message to kids is “Say No to Drugs,” than we sure as hell don’t tell them why.Kids are smart enough to figure out at a pretty young age that everything is not as drug free as it seems. The idols we force upon our youth are often the same drug addicted bullies we create campaigns to stop.
Sorry to cross comic universes here, but there is a line I love in the Dark Knight, where Alfred is arguing with Bruce Wayne that perhaps they don’t quite understand the Joker. He tells Bruce a story about the attempts he once made to find a bandit stealing precious gems in the jungle. He ended the story with an incredible quote, “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
You know what? Most of us are more like the Joker than like Batman. We sit happily by with front row seats as we watch the world burn. We speak out against the injustices in the world, we talk about a drug free society, we shake our heads in disgust while radio hosts tell us what a shameLance Armstrong is.
Once we are done condemning, though, we sit comfortably on our couch. We pull out our iPads made by slave laborers in Asia and listen to music performed by violent junkies. We turn the TV on and watch the NFL, where enormous men spend three hours crashing into each other at full speed, leaving lasting lifetime health issues. We cheer them on, then act shocked and outraged when they die young or kill themselves.
The world is burning all around us. And I am just watching and laughing. Now someone in the media wants me to get riled up because some jerk who only raised a measly $380 million for cancer victims injected his own blood back into his body?