Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Movie Quote Wednesday Collides With Lance Armstrong

"I choose to drink! And I blame it on me. I’m happy to. I’ve got an ex-wife and a son I don’t see. Why? Because I choose to drink!"                                                     ~Whip Whitaker, Flight

I read today over on Alex Cavanaugh's blog that today was the day to post your Movie Quote of the Week. Of course, he wanted me to pick a futuristic sci fi movie. Well, that didn't really fit in with what I wanted to talk about today. However, I liked the concept. Furthermore, Alex is one of those people who really praises people on his blog. He is a big encourager, high-fiver, makes wanna-be writers actually perfect their craft, gives big Shout Outs to those who get published, and hosts events for all and sundry to share their work. I admire that. I rarely participate, but I admire. So, I am posting a Movie Quote today. Thank you, Alex.

 Of course, it lends itself very well to my topic at hand.  I posted the trailer to the movie FLIGHT for those of you unfamiliar with it.  I saw it in the theatre when it came out.  So appropriately named.  Yes, it was about an airplane flight that crashed.  But, man that is such a small part of the story.  Whit Whitaker, played so amazingly by Denzel Washington, is literally a man in flight.  Partway through I wondered if they should have called it HIGH.  However, that would have been *wrong.*  Even though he was so high even when he was on the ground.  If you watched the trailer, and I hope you did, you saw that he had this amazing talent that could only be God-given.  Every person who simulated that crash landing killed all of the passengers.  This guy did it drunk.  And that is so drunk that he needed to run lines of coke to get right.  And then he drank more on the plane while it was in flight (obviously prior to the crash).  Imagine what skill he would have clean and sober, but I am jumping ahead.  (BTW, did any of you know that shooting coke would make a person who was drop dead drunk able to present a relatively presentable image of someone sober?  As for me, I had no idea.  These entertainment people are all over this drug scene.)

Here is the thing about alcoholics and drug addicts: you never know where the bottom is.  I would think that a plane crash would be the bottom.  Nope.  Not necessarily so.  Because Whit is still aware that he is THE ONLY GUY who could have landed that plane, it is not the bottom.  He saved lives.  The fact that he was drunk on the job?  The fact that the boozing and drugging had cost him his family?  It didn't matter.  See the above quote.  The man is drunk off his behind when he is screaming it at the only person who still cares a rat's ass about him, and she is on her way OUT.  "I choose to drink! And I blame it on me. I’m happy to. I’ve got an ex-wife and a son I don’t see. Why? Because I choose to drink!"  I AM HAPPY TO.  I HAVE AN EX-WIFE AND SON I DON'T SEE BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO DRINK.

Oh, yeah, he is in flight.  He is in flight from his LIFE.  Things probably got hard and he started drinking and then they got harder and then he ran.  He is in flight. And then he drank more and then he couldn't come home.  And now his son hates him and he is in FLIGHT.  He later says in the film not to worry about him because he lies about his drinking better than anything else.  He's got it covered.  He's been doing it a LONG time.  Or something like that.  It was the classic liar, alcoholic response.  Once you do anything long enough it is second nature.  And to someone who doesn't actually KNOW you, they will believe it.  Of course they will.

I am going to do my best and not ruin this movie for you, because it is well worth your time.  At what point is someone redeemable?  At what point do they deserve your forgiveness?  As someone who has been lied to by the men in my life, I can look back now and say that I know I can't forgive you if 1) You keep on lying (it means you don't actually mean it), 2) Your "truth" turns out to be another lie (so you were still lying), 3) You gave me only a portion of the truth (so you were actually still lying), 4) You only told the truth when I gathered enough evidence that you were cornered (up until then you swore up and down that the other version, which was the lie, was in fact truth). 5)  You cannot say  I am truly sorry for how my behavior hurt you. I need Remorse.  Genuine remorse.

Our newest Celebrity Liar asking for Mea Culpa is Lance Armstrong.  No, he didn't kill anyone.  However, he was perceived by many as a Hero.  And he accepted the title willingly enough.  He was even a Cancer Survivor and had legions of fans in that arena who expected him to "represent" them in some way.  I would use words like Honor, Honesty, Integrity.  He gave none of those things back to the people who supported him so ardently.

I watched a good bit of his interview with Oprah asking for his side of the story to be heard.  He admitted to doping during all seven of his Tour De France wins.  He agreed that the doping wasn't particularly honorable, but it was easy.  In fact, everyone was doing it.  However, since this was about him, he didn't want to go pointing fingers at anyone else.  Hmmm.  Counterpoint: there were a handful of guys running clean on the circuit and "I really admire those guys."  Apparently he didn't admire them enough to run a clean race himself.  But, he admired them.  Well, okay.

He also readily admitted to being a bully and tearing into ANYONE who discovered his doping.  Woah.  What a nice fellow.  Someone we can all look up to: a doper and a bully.  I can't decide which aspect of his personality is now my favorite.

And then we got into the semantics over whether or not you could be on HIS team if you doped or not.  We must remember that he was Team Captain and that you lead by example.  Several non-dopers said that you could NOT be on the team if you didn't dope.  A fellow doper claimed that they regularly doped in the tents right outside, with people all around and none the wiser,  and NO ONE knew.  He related this in his book.  Lance said he had no memory of these events, but if the other guy said it then he wouldn't deny it.  WTF?  Lance also said that he didn't feel as bad about HIS doping because he only MINIMALLY doped.  I guess that means he was a light doper.  And he also said that, at the time, he was able to justify it after his cancer because he lost his ball.  You know, he had less male hormone, so he needed it more (the dope). After all, he was the only guy out there riding around out there with one ball.  I can see his point.  Not really.

So, let's look at my criteria.  (#1-5).  #1 You keep on lying.  Well, the guy lied long enough to win seven Tour de France competitions.  I would say that is a lot of lying.  #2 The truth is just another lie.  Well, that also qualifies here.  He said repeatedly and forcefully that he was not doping when he was.  Not doping was his truth.  #3 Now that it is all out we are getting portions of the truth.  "If so and so said that we doped in the tent, we doped in the tent, but I have no memory of that."  Seriously?  Is that owning it these days?  #4  You only fess up if you get caught, and there is no way out but the truth.  This guy got caught.  If he hadn't, would he still be doing it?  My gut says he would.  He doesn't really think anything he did was all that bad.  Everyone was doing it.  He was doing less.  And, let's face it, he was only working with one ball vs. other guys with two.  #5 Remorse.  I didn't see any.  The only thing he seemed to work up any emotion about was getting caught again in 2011,  Maybe he was doping then and maybe he wasn't.  But who can believe him?  He has zero credibility.  His mommy should have read him the book about The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

The best quote from the interview with Lance Armstrong: "I'm not the most believable guy in the world right now."

Ya think?


  1. Thank you, Robin!
    Sadly, I've not seen Flight yet.
    And I think you nailed it. It wasn't just that Armstrong lied. He legally went after anyone who said anything to the contrary. As you said, a bully. What a sad end to his career.

    1. You are more than welcome, Alex. You go above and beyond to support your fellow bloggers. I think everyone should know it.

      Being the movie buff that you are, I really think you would like FLIGHT. It was really misrepresented by the trailers IMO. The crash is not really "the story." Unless you mean the crash of the human being Whip Whitaker... that was the story.

      And Lance Armstrong's story is about lying and bullying and a complete abuse of power. And every time he says he is sorry he lessens the apology by saying that what he was doing was "not that bad because..." Even that clip I posted at the end about who deserved an apology... he couldn't work up the muster to say that the guy who caught him red-handed and been pursuing him for doping for 13 years deserved an apology. I am sure that Lance had bullied him in the press mercilessly (because that is what he did to ANYONE who called him out on doping), but he couldn't come out and say with heartfelt sincerity that he was really sorry to that person.

      If you watch other clips, he doesn't want this to be an END to his career, he wants this to JUMPSTART a new beginning. He was on the forgiveness couch. The expectation was that we all say, "Lance, it is okay that you lied, bullied, cheated, doped all those years. You have given us the requisite Sorry. Now get back on that cycle. You sat on the Magic Forgiveness Couch so it is all Good."

      As someone who was watched Cheaters In Motion for years, I am just not buying what he is selling. But that probably puts me in the Minority. We shall see...

    2. Make that has watched... (Why don't I proofread comments???)

  2. I agree, Alex is a good person and blogger. :) I am still not understanding why Lance had to tell Oprah. I don't like her or her show, mainly because she acts like she is the big know it all in the biz. :/

    1. There is ALWAYS a reason celebs tell the truth. He wanted forgiveness. Why? Because he wants the world of cycling to let him back in. It's as complicated and simple as that. If we say that we believe you, forgive, it's all good... you can re-enter the sport.

      He just said what we wanted to hear so that he could get back on the bike. This was a total PR/career move.

  3. When DOES an addict hit bottom??? Not when the rest of us think he/she might or should. And Lance hasn't hit bottom either, as addicted to the rush from getting away with lies as he is from getting away with the drugs. Addicted to the win, at any price. He could realize what he's lost, but his only concern is the next fix, the next race. Still using, still seeking ....

    1. My take precisely, Mary. An addict sits on the Forgiveness Couch in front of the whole world when they WANT something. In this case, it is to race again (not forgiveness.). An addict does THE STEPS when they actually want forgiveness. This was a PR move. Simple as that. Amazing how many people think he is such a "better" person after this, though. I am stunned. I read the comments on the YouTube vids and want to vomit. So, I think it worked. The world just swallowed a whole bunch more lies... but, at least, they bought from a Pro.


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