Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dude of the Week! (#8)

This time, the not quite weekly Dude of the Week award goes Lance Armstrong. But let’s get this straight right from the top. This is not going to be another puff piece where someone gets all hot and bothered and starts licking Lance Armstrong’s balls. Er, ball. Honestly, the DW doesn’t care much about cycling and isn’t really up to speed on how much of this Lance Armstrong Great American Hero stuff is true and how much is myth. You can use “The Google”, as our fearless leader calls it, and decide for yourself.

What got the DW thinking about Lance Armstrong was his announcement that he was returning to competitive cycling. The way the Dude Whisperer sees it, there are two likely reasons for the comeback, both of which are extremely dudelike.

The more likely of the two is this. Lance Armstrong needs to come back because he wants to erase suspicion that his previous exploits were drug enhanced and/or he’s suffering from an unwillingness to accept that aging places limitations on his body. Think of your dad refusing to let anyone, especially your strapping young lad of a boyfriend, help with his luggage. Denial about fading physical potency? Trying to clear your name whether you’re guilty or not? Dude traits of the highest order.

But wouldn’t it be great if the reason was this? What if Lance Armstrong just really, really likes to ride a bike? Think of Woody Allen, who pumps out feature length labors of love every 15 months, even though a lot of critics would suggest his prime was over when his wife was 17. Or think of Jesse Helms, who got such joy out of discriminating against minorities and subjugating women he worked tirelessly in the Senate for 30 years even thought the peak of his bigotry was accomplished fairly early on with a 16 day filibuster against creating a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Actually, on second thought, don’t think of that. But what if Lance Armstrong just wanted to race because he loved it, even at the ‘risk’, as a dude might see it, of looking old or average or diminished or vulnerable? That degree of self-ease would be the best kind of dudeliness there is.

And so Lance Armstrong, for coming back- whether it’s for mid-life crisis-y reasons or excellent self-assuredness, you are the Dude of the Week!

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