Tag Archives: wag the dog

Even Small Tails Can Wag Big Dogs: Lance Armstrong, The Media and Public Perception…

About a week ago I watched the documentary “Stop At Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story”, which obviouslycyclisttail chronicles the rise and fall of cyclist Lance Armstrong. I found it incredibly interesting, firstly because the Lance Armstrong saga was itself something that I honestly hadn’t followed that closely over the years, but only heard about through random appearances and news pieces and the overall Lance-worship that went on for a good many years. As I watched the film and started to put together the main figures involved and see how he was of course “doping” from the very beginning, and probably only stopped during his bout with cancer (cancer caused no less almost certainly because of the doping itself) I started to appreciate another layer of the whole thing, the way in which the Lance Armstrong tale really embodies such a perfect example of how easily the hearts and minds of the general public can be guided and manipulated.

Lance Armstrong was a living icon, about as close as humans these days can get to reaching full-on godhood. Far beyond just another “sports hero”, in the minds of so many around the world, he represented some kind of “archetype of the human spirit”, something to be inspired by whether you gave a rip about cycling or not.
He was a cancer survivor after all, and his creation of the “Lance Armstrong Foundation” cemented his status as not just a living sports legend but a full-on Philanthropist guru who attended elite Hollywood functions and did PSA’s with Presidents.

So on one level, it’s not hard to say that Lance’s fraud being hidden for so long isn’t hard to believe, when we step back and think about how much his “legacy” had become interwoven and synonymous with. “American pride” for starters, but then there was the reputation of professional cycling (which is no small industry itself, particularly in places like Europe), his copious endorsements and corporate sponsors like Nike and Oakley, as well as just the broader medical/pharmaceutical establishment, having such a heroic face to attach to the notion that “we are winning the war on cancer”, and all the donation money that was flowing in due to the rejuvenating life-blood that was Lance and his larger-than-life story…

On the other hand, in the “grand scheme of things”, the “monolith” that was Lance Armstrong was really small potatoes in comparison to so many other controversial topics and scandals going on today, where issues of so much greater importance have yet to see the light of day in the open public forum. After all, in the end a cyclist cheating in the Tour de France is hardly a matter of national security or massive corporate-level fraud, but that’s really my whole point. It took years and years for the truth about Armstrong to finally come out, for the few who had testified against him to be exonerated (even though, like a true coward, he would never actually go so far as to admit to the allegations of those such as Betsy Andreu, who heard him admit to taking a laundry list of banned substances while he laid in his hospital bed).

He was, overall, just an “average guy”, with no government connections, no massive financial backing and no political clout, at least to start with. He didn’t even have a college degree, and yet this guy, along with the team he rode with (who also “doped”) and a relatively small cadre of team doctors/managers/backers all “conspired” together to the point where eventually this man was virtually untouchable, due to the fact that he came to represent such a veritable cash cow of “inspirational value”.

So to someone such as myself, the story of Lance Armstrong is astonishingly indicative of just how willing the public can be to believe the thing that it so wants to believe. We don’t like watching our “heroes” fall. We don’t like having a little “paradigms” shattered. We don’t like feeling fooled, betrayed and duped, to be shown that the thing we were so long worshipping was not the divinely-bequeathed symbol of our own uber-humanity, but just another empty idol. If this can be demonstrated to such a staggering degree in an example as comparatively minor as that of Lance Armstrong, then no wonder so many people are so absolutely opposed to questioning things with far greater ramifications, whether they be the events of 9/11, or the “safety” of adjuvants in vaccines, or the broader global techno/financial/security net that is closing around us all, a little bit more each and every day…

Is The “Black Awakening” Gaining Momentum, And Are We Hitting The Snooze Button…?

mass-shooters6Last night’s shooting on the campus of Florida State University is the most recent ‘mass shooting’ in America, an occurrence which seemingly now become so common-place in our collective thinking that it almost seems as though societally we have become virtually numb to them, lest we happen to have been personally on the scene of the incident, or related to someone who was. A gunman walked into the campus library after midnight and shot at least three people, before being shot by police, and the very morning after it is not even the headlining national news story. We are instead being bombarded with pre-emptive backlash against Obama’s speech later tonight where he will allegedly explain his new executive order on Immigration (as if it’s the first time he’s done this!), or seeing footage of the amazing snowstorm taking place in Buffalo, New York. “So the guy only managed to wound a few people before killing himself?”, we say. Yawn. Is the Buffalo Bills football stadium going to be ok under all that snow?

Back in the days when something like Columbine happened, people all across the country were aghast and in shock, racked with the haunting, inner question of “Why? WHY!?!??”

But now, after all the intervening years with Gabby Giffords and the Boston Bombing and Sandy Hook, a few people getting shot in a University midnight study session, or at lunch in a High School by the homecoming prince, is hardly something to get our feathers ruffled over anymore. This report posits that there have now been more than 90 school shootings just in the last two years, since Sandy Hook, in December of 2012. THIS website features a “mass shooting tracker” and actually lists 253 incidents of multiple-victim shooting in 2014 alone. It’s hard to know for sure exactly how they derive their statistics, but even as a generic measure the number is nevertheless quite astounding. These kinds of incidents continue to occur again and again, sometimes with a few months hiatus here or there (such as this summer when we were allegedly on the verge of war with Russia for a couple months…) but they inevitably start up again, and the gun-control agenda slowly marches onward in stalwart manner.

I will say that when you look at the incidents since Sandy Hook, there DOES seem to be somewhat of a trend of the mass shootings being smaller in the number of victims per incident on average, yet they are increasing in frequency. Is this by design? Has the much publicized scrutiny of the events of Sandy Hook (at least within the “truther” circles) prompted the perpetrators of these programmed killings to dial it down a bit, or are the shooters perhaps just not managing to tally up as large of body counts before either being taken out by the police, or the suicide protocol kicks in?

It is also admittedly quite perplexing to notice that in an increasing number of these shooters, they are sometimes quite difficult to trace back any “tell tale signs” to programming. The recent case in Marysville, Wa with the high school shooter there is a case in point. The cold, calculated manner in which the shooter actually gunned down not just his classmates, but his close friends (one of whom was his cousin), as well as the self-inflicted gunshot to himself, chillingly seems to indicate a sinister underlying motivation, yet at this stage it is hard to make any connections to things like military family members or previous “psychological problems”.

Overall, it just seems like this whole phenomena gets weirder all the time, as these kinds of events become increasingly common, to the point of almost being “routine” to the American public…

(For more info on just what the “Black Awakening” is, I’ll point you here, here and here.)