Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Defying Belief

I'm not sure which I find more difficult to believe: that Lance Armstrong actually DID dope his way to fame and riches or that Manti Te'o truly believes he was deceived by a girl online...then perpetuated the great hoax about her dying of leukemia and its help in preparing him to be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Actually, I am generally cynical to feel no surprise by either of those facts. Too many inconsistencies in both men's stories cast the pall of suspicion not easily lifted, no matter how many tearful remonstrations one hears.
What DOES surprise me somewhat, though, is the willingness of people...professional journalists among them...who fall hook, line, and sinker (catfishing?) for these stories, report them as truth, and the rest of us are so willing to lap up these "truths" as if Moses or Rush Limbaugh had delivered them personally!
In Armstrong's case, he would have us believe that in a sport rampant with drug use, he was able to defeat all the dopers for seven triumphs just because he was that good? That would mean that all the PEDs the other guys were taking just weren't working. We believed because we wanted to believe and because those nasty French guys were just jealous that an American had dominated the signature event of their country! The feel good aspect had a great allure to it, and it was easy for us to believe Armstrong.
The Te'o/Notre Dame story was equally compelling: a dying grandmother AND girlfriend propelling Notre Dame's biggest star to the pinnacle of college football acclaim (not to mention an undefeated season: something ND fans needed to reestablish some sort of elitism). In this age of internet savvy on the part of most young people, how is it that this young man got duped? How does a woman he says he never met (though his dad tells a different story) become a "girlfriend" even though she doesn't show up for two scheduled meetings? Hello!
Admittedly, this story will be old news in a couple of weeks when we've all gotten tired of the Te'o memes we're doing now...after all, the Super Bowl is coming up, and the Final Four and Spring Training. Oh, look! There's a rabbit...our ADD for news will take us in another direction, and as long as we hear it on TV or read it online, it HAS to be real, right?
P.T. Barnum was right.


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