I want to write: “I would rather be devastated by the truth than comforted by a lie” and be able to believe it. But that’s easy to say when you’re outside the drift of the regular world, writing away on your sports column. And I wonder what the ladies on the people-movers would think.
Lance Armstrong is a liar, and a fraud, and an inspiration to millions of people, and one of the trees outside my window has leaves that are almost purple, and it’s almost the end of October, and sports keeps rolling on. The TV guys are yelling about something else. Soon it will be Christmas. I have no idea how Lance Armstrong will be remembered. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if 30 years from now his reputation had been more or less refurbished, if people said, Well, everyone was doping then, and it was complicated, and he did great things. I mean, this is the West, sir; print the legend. Maybe doping will be standard practice in 2042. Or maybe not; but it’s always hard to remember that there were victims in cases like this, and what you do remember — hypocrisy and rule-breaking — doesn’t always look so bad a few years down the line. How you feel about that probably depends on what you think heroism means in America, and whether you picture Halloween or Jesus when you hear that the dead are rising from their graves.