January 22, 2013

It appears that Lance Armstrong’s confession with Oprah was a massive PR disaster. I think what happened was that his staunch supporters were in denial before, and had assumed that Armstrong would always provide plausible deniability to save their faces. His confession completely removed the plausible deniability, and they were suddenly forced to confront the reality of their own gullibility. Having no way to defend themselves, their embarrassment turned into anger. So, those who were once his biggest supporters are now his biggest haters. And at this point, Armstrong’s truth is an inconvenient truth for them and they would love to pretend that he never existed. He could easily tolerate people hating him, but I’m not sure if he can tolerate people ignoring him.

Unable to either accept or deny the truth, many are resorting to the position of “Who cares?” It is an expression that falls in the same category as “I’m lying”; it is self-contradictory. The idea behind it is that we actually care but we wish we didn’t, and by saying “who cares?” we are ostensibly trying to deny the fact that we care. If we truly did not care, we wouldn’t express anything, nor read anything about it. It’s a form of self-exorcism. With this Armstrong saga, there is a lot of “who cares” going on at the national (and even global) level. It exposed something ugly not just in Lance Armstrong but in our society and culture in general, which we can neither deny nor accept.