I never liked Lance Armstrong. Now I have a solid reason for it. As rumors suggest, today an interview with Oprah will be broadcast where he admits to using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. What a career he had – 7 Tour de France wins. And what a time he has had denying that he cheated. Apparently, if you want to be a world-class cyclist you need to take performance-enhancing drugs, otherwise you just won’t cut it. This is what all cycling fans will tell you. And guess what, every professional cyclist wants to be a world-class cyclist. Can we really blame them all for cheating?
Men are cheaters by nature. We cheat on our wives (not me, I’m not allowed), we cheat in school (only that one time), we cut corners at work, and we lie about all kinds of shit. Are we different from women? Don’t women lie too? Sure, but the lie about different things. The whole world is talking about Lance Armstrong and his lie because of what’s behind it. There is much at stake. It’s not just about being a liar, it’s about one of the greatest sports achievements of all time. It’s about the future of sports in general. His lie has consequences for so many people all over the world. Not only about how we will live our future athletic lives but how we feel about athletics as a human phenomenon. Heavy shit. What could women possibly lie about that would make such a ruckus? The boob job? I knew they weren’t real. What’s that? Your baby is from another man? Alright, well …sucks for your husband, but doesn’t really effect too many other people.
Women can lie but the damage is limited. When men lie, nations fall, people die, and shit gets generally fucked up. Why do they do it?
The difference is what men have at stake. To understand our motivations, we have to know where we came from – for both men and women. We came from a time when all that mattered was genetic proliferation. I say we still live in a time when all that matters is genetic proliferation. We want to have babies, to expand, to dominate and rule. That’s what those mice in my attic want and knowing this is what keeps me awake at night. I can just hear them mating all night long and squealing with delight at the thousands of progeny that will soon be in every crevice of my house. But it’s what we want too. All living things do – all of them, and we humans, with all our consciousness and flashy clothes are no different.
But men and women are different. We want the same thing – to expand our genetic presence. Maybe we don’t necessarily want to have 1000 kids, but we want to expand and live in the minds of every human on the planet. But having different hardware means running different software. Men have endless sperm and women have limited eggs. Compare the 12 eggs a fertile woman produces each year to the millions of sperm a man has in his pants at any given moment. Since men have so much sperm, there is plenty to go around. For humans this has meant that some men dominate. Some men get more women than other men. Anthropologists are pretty much in agreement that traditionally all human societies were once polygamous and have only become monogamous through imposed laws. But in our nature, men seek more than one woman. What does that mean? Do the math. If there are 1000 men and 1000 women, and 200 men have 2 women, then 200 men have no women. That sucks. That means that success for a man can mean a genetic jackpot while failure means genetic death. Faced with this predicament, men are willing to go the extra mile in life. They may even be willing to cheat.
Women are not faced with this problem. Since pretty much any woman can find a man to impregnate them*, they do not have this great discrepancy between winning and losing. Therefore they are not willing to cheat as much as men are in status related battles.
So, for men, it’s in the blood. If it wasn’t Lance Armstrong it would have been someone else. If drug use in sports is not strictly controlled or if the public turns a blind eye, then someone will step up and make use of the opportunity. I was mad at my dog when she ate that whole cake someone left on a chair, but after thinking for 2 seconds, I turned my attention to the person who put it there in the first place. The nature of men is to eat cakes on chairs. It is up to the public to fully 1. support groups whose job it is to remove all temptation and 2. to scorn all athletes who break the rules – both in the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Or maybe we just have to go through this cycle forever – they win, we ask, they deny, we catch them, they admit it, we forgive them. Entertainment from start to finish!
* If you think you’re not “impregnate material”, try this. Go to a bar tonight. Any bar, and go up to every guy and ask “want to bone me tonight?”. I’ll bet you 5 bucks someone will. I don’t care what you look like. It’s a different story to get him to put any resulting kid through college, but that’s not the point I was trying to make.