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When Lance and Oprah sentenced sports to death When Lance and Oprah sentenced sports to death
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-01-21 10:41:36
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One of the obvious signs of a psychopath is the lack of remorse, manipulating behaviour, difficulty in clearly difference good of evil and egocentricity. Some of the signs. There are far more and psychologists still investigate but the last few days we were all forced to see/read/watch this kind of behaviour from a certain individual doesn’t matter where we live, very well promoted form Oprah Winfrey’s global network. In the spotlight a sportsman, Mr. Lance Armstrong.

The story unveils for months, the suspicions and the rumours for years and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about it but there was something in that interview that return me eleven and nine and five and one year ago while waiting for the occasional Olympic games.

I didn’t watch the videos with Oprah’s show even though this moment you can find them everywhere online, I read most of it and especially the highlights I presume the Winfrey’s global network wanted to emphasize. Actually I think they did very good job but if Oprah was dreaming to become the new Frost with Armstrong instead of Nixon I’m afraid she must be disappointed. Lance was not directed, he was directing every single bit of this interview, calculating carefully the minute of the tear or the mentioning of his kids.

And then came the final cut. After going on with his battle with cancer he gave the final kick to his pedal, questioned whether he deserves his "death penalty" punishment obviously meaning that he’s banned from all sports because of his use of performance-enhancing drugs. In the meantime he had explained that in this level where everything is about the records and winning a medal doping is not …unusual adding that his battle with cancer and his survival motivated to do anything to always win even if that meant the use of illegal drugs.

First thing that made me a bit angry for personal reasons was this part with the cancer survivors. There are thousands or better millions of cancer survivors everywhere around us, in our families and in our social cycles. I didn’t see any or heard any of them after the end of the treatment and their return to normal life to rob a bank. Surviving cancer doesn’t motivate you to commit a crime. On the contrary after this battle and left with so many wounds you seek simple things in life and mainly the chance to spent time with your love ones. During this battle you learn to appreciate all these small things you missed the rest of your life hunting career, money, approval, recognition.  You earn that an evening with your kid is much more valuable from all the riches of the world and that a walk in the park is much more fun than anything else. Simple things. Robbing a bank, or commit any kind of major crime is not in your mind. And that beyond class, money, fame, education or age. There are millions of examples.

But again this might made me angry for my personal reasons but still was not the ugliest part of this psychopathic show. The ugly part was what was never said but floated all the time everywhere during this interview. It was that you can not sentence somebody to the "death penalty" because you manage to arrest him doing what everybody in this small world of championship is doing and you cannot prove. Because the relationship between contemporary sports championship and drugs has come down to it, the ones they manage to prove doped they are doomed the others also doped but not proven are getting the gold medals and the money! And keep this last bit with the money because sports today are all about the money. Is television rights, is advertisement, is sponsoring, is promoting. Even Oprah’s show with Lance was part of this sports’ money-chain.

Waiting for the Athens Olympics and provoking badly my compatriots I wrote an article calling for a boycott of the games for the simple reason that the modern Olympics insult in every single sense the spirit of the Olympic spirit and everybody with respect to history and the ancient values. And Lance Armstrong is nothing more out of series of similar incidents from the very early years of the modern Olympics. And if it wasn’t the masquerade of the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 they wouldn’t have thought of creating anti-doping tests and if it wasn’t the manufacturing of the East German athletes and the death of some of them they would have done it illegal.

Actually is a wonder how this infamous Olympic committee – a travesty of transparency and bribery – hasn’t let the pharmaceutical companies advertise on television next to all these …healthy drinks and food. After the Athens Olympics I wrote that there are tow ways to solve the problem. They either return to the fundamentals where the prize is honour and a branch of olive tree stopping all this money carousel or we let doping free since everything is about money, sponsoring and profiting. And because money is a too strong element doping should be let free and in a few years we would see a man or a woman running in the speed of sound while drinking a certain cola, eating a certain cheeseburger, printing his memoirs in a certain printer and listening music in certain gadget. Since they have managed to mock athletes why don’t they make the full of it and turn them into clowns?

And do you know something else? Oprah was not so much of a victim and manipulated from Lance but she has partner him with many others for decades into sentencing sports to death in the name of …the modern Olympic spirit!



Only a look at the photos from the show and the posture of the protagonists is enough to see the lack of remorse, manipulating behaviour, difficulty in clearly difference good of evil and egocentricity of Lance Armstrong and how much aware of all the above Oprah Winfrey is and how ready she’s to score ratings not carrying if she’s manipulated. After all in her own championship field she is equally lacking remorse, she showing manipulating behaviour, difficulty in clearly difference good of evil and egocentricity.


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Emanuel Paparella2013-01-21 13:31:09
Indeed Thanos, what you say could not be more on target: unexamined assumptions on the part of an investigator or an interviewer ultimately means that the interviewer not only sheds no light on an ethical issue but becomes integral part of the problem, an accomplice of sort, stuck in the world of appearances and shadows in the proverbial dark cave of Plato.

As you point out, it is the assumptions and whole ethical infrastructure of the Olympic games commettee that needs to be closely examined to determine if it too is in the grip of corruption and has indeed become an accomplice. For shame!

As I mention in the piece you posted this very morning, one cannot get out of the box of modern relativism and opportunism, parading as progress and the non plus ultra, by utilizing relativism and logical positivism in contempt of timeless ethical humanistic values. A Socrates interviewing a Lance Armstrong would have had no problem identifying the problem at its root cause and calling it what it is: corruption and shame; which paradoxically is what he himself was conspiratorially charged with and condemned for, i.e., corruption of youth.

For Socrates to do that however, to be willing and be ready to die for his ethical principles and therefore die an exemplary death, he had first to repudiate and distance himself from a shallow culture that proclaims “my country right or wrong” or “my mother drunk or sober,” that is to say, he would have to first reject the ephemeral world of disposable material goods, fame, entrepreneurial capitalism and profits, the so called modern material “good life” and consider spiritual values such as the Good, the True, the Beautiful and the honorable.

The same words of Socrates as recorded by Plato just before he took the hemlock are instructive here: “Gentlemen, the issue is not whether I live or die, for we all die eventually, the issue is whether corruption which is faster than death, catches up with you, and once she has caught up she may be leery to let you go.” And so Socrates will forever remain in the hall of true fame where true cultural heroes dwell, remembered as a just man done in by corruption, while his accusers and their abettors who voted to condemn him, will forever remain in the hall of shame, those forever in the grip of corruption.

Neil Armstrong having made winning at any cost his life’s ideal and false god, in the process destroyed his self, his family, his friends, if indeed he had any, and his career in sports. As somebody in the grip of corruption, he remains unrepentant. Let those who have ears let them hear, for alas, the parting words of Socrates remain to be pondered in our Brave New World.

Emanuel Paparella2013-01-21 13:58:23
P.S. It bears mentioning here that many in and outside of the media have not accepted Armstrong’s apology as sincere and complete. The president of the World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada) John Fahey and the US Anti Doping Authority (Usada) are insisting that the disgraced cyclist explain the full extent of his doping “under oath.”

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