I always cringe a little when I hear people say the word “polarise” at the poker table.
And when grown men talk about themselves in the third person it makes me want to puke.
But when I heard that Lance Armstrong was going to go on Oprah bloody Winfrey to stage manage his confession that he’s a cheat it made me want to ingest some high strength laxatives before stripping naked and starting break dancing – firing off some projectile diarrhoea in all directions as a small token of my utter contempt for the man. Yeah, rapid fire head spins, windmills and helicopters with liquid shit flying everywhere and preferably splattering in his face.
I’ve never had any time for Oprah Winfrey either. She just irritates me. Post interview she apparently said that “he confessed but not in the way I thought he would”.
How so? Did he admit his cheating through the medium of rap? Or write the words “I CHEATED” in the snow with his drug laced piss?
The interview will be shown over two days starting tonight (January 17th) and despite my revulsion at this piece of garbage wrapped in skin, at some point I will be watching it. But only as an object lesson into seeing how the mind of a sociopath works.
Ever since I read “The Sociopath Next Door” I’ve taken an amateur interest in the subject and mark my words Lance Armstrong is a first class sociopath. He’s a clever one too. Watch this ESPN video from 2006 and you almost come away rooting for him “Yeah poor Lance, you show them!”
But of course he was lying through his teeth. And that’s what he will be doing tonight as well. So remember this ESPN video if he starts claiming to be sorry! I expect him to bring something out of the ordinary to the table – I thought he would before Oprah’s statement – because he’s clever and manipulative, as all talented sociopaths are. So I shall be watching carefully.
Laughably, I read somewhere that he wants to clear the slate so he can return to competition?
Competition? He’s dreaming isn’t he – he’s 41 years old!
The fact is that Lance Armstrong is going to go to prison for perjury and he knows it. (And he’s going to be bankrupted in multiple lawsuits as well. I guarantee you he’s spent these past silent months hiding all his assets.)
The only reason he’s appearing on Oprah – the only reason – is to reduce his prison sentence. He’s merely manipulating a very bad situation of his own making.
It’s not that I feel strongly about the drug taking. I don’t harbour any such feelings against all the other drug cheats and if the organisers of the Tour de France announced that drug use was legal on the basis it’s such a hard event I’d probably say fair enough.
It’s just that Lance Armstrong is such a total and utter wrongun. He was the architect of the drug program, the enforcer and by all accounts a ruthless bully and control freak. You either took drugs or you were hounded off the team. Any journalists who hinted at drug use were ostracised and cold shouldered: no interviews, no contact. They would also find that other teams didn’t have a place in their car for them because Lance’s team wouldn’t talk to anyone sympathetic to “hostiles” either. He physically threatened his team mate Tyler Hamilton at a restaurant with a load of his heavies when he decided to confess and then he spread rumours that the team masseuse was a prostitute to discredit her. And of course, there was the aggressive use of lawsuits to silence those who dared suggest that this former cancer patient, who was only a run of the mill rider before the cancer (best placed 36th in 3 previous tours) had showed abnormal improvement.
“My batting average is ONE THOUSAND” he thundered in the 2006 interview with ESPN. Well we’ll see about that come the end of 2014 shall we Lance?
But the thing that sticks in my mind the most of this disgraceful man was his treatment of Christophe Bassons. The Frenchman was an honest clean rider – the only one in his team and very possibly the entire peleton. He was so righteous he resisted enormous temptations to dope:
“When it came time to renegotiate my contract in, they proposed two entirely different contracts. The first was for 30,000 francs a month; they also offered a second contract of 300,000 francs a month if I would go on the EPO program.”
Yet he remained clean. Armstrong’s treatment of him was disgraceful. He rode up next to him one day with his team mates, bully boy style and started berating him, snarling threats and telling him he didn’t belong on the tour, asking him “why don’t you go home”. He also gave interviews discrediting Bassons on TV. But rather than fighting the doping, cycling turned on its opponent. Bassons quit the tour soon after. I bet I know who has more regrets right now. (I would say Bassons is the one with the “clear conscience”, but as he’s a sociopath Lance Armstrong literally doesn’t have one, so it couldn’t be clear or otherwise)
We’ve all known sociopaths at some point or other but it was only after reading “The Sociopath Next Door” and thinking back over my life the penny started to drop. I’d go through them..“Oh yeah, he was one. He HAD to have been one. He was definitely one”. And if they had league tables Lance Armstrong would be Premier League. This is why I’ll watch with morbid curiosity: to educate myself on how they operate so I can permanently avoid anyone I ever see acting likewise.
Because it’s not easy to spot them until you really get to know them. They’re not all headcases and ogres and they certainly don’t have a big “S” tattooed on their heads, helpful as that would be. But there is one interesting “tell” the sociopath gives off. I’ll conclude with two further tells of my own, although these aren’t very scientific
When researching the book the author made a really surprising discovery. Having asked many confirmed sociopaths “what emotion do you want people to feel about you?”
She got the answer “PITY”
It wasn’t power they craved, or inspiring fear or respect in their victims. It was pity. Why so?
“Because when you have people’s pity you can get away with murder” was the answer. People always make excuses for people they feel sorry for. “Oh he had a tough upbringing” or “he’s under a lot of stress”. To the sociopath this is a green light to misbehave.
So I fully expect him to lay it on thick about the cancer. And he’ll also bang on about his charidee work. So Oprah better not be giving him any credit for his charidee either. When he starts harping on about the $500m he has helped to raise she should cut him short and say “but we’re here to discuss your actions as a drugs cheat Lance”
Let’s face it – all his charity work was a device to prevent detection, or mitigate the shitstorm if it ever came on top. Just like Jimmy Savile’s was. It mustn’t be allowed to succeed. The man is pure, reprehensible scum. Come to think he’s exactly the type of person who would employ Max Clifford to improve his image and if lived in Europe I’ve no doubt he’d do just that.
So if you’re tempted feel a scintilla of pity for him then please don’t. The one defining characteristic of all sociopaths is that they have no conscience. Emotionally he isn’t like a normal human being and he really, honestly does not give a monkeys if you lived or died. In fact if you’re standing in his way he’d rather you be dead.
And to those people who read this and say “Oh you just think the worst.” I say to them “Well what am I supposed to think?”
To conclude, here are two little known observations I’ve made all of my own from witnessing some real life sociopaths I’ve had the misfortune to know. They don’t get out of people’s way. What I mean is, if a sociopath is walking down along the pavement and someone is coming the opposite way, they will refuse to step aside. (So it gets interesting if two such characters are walking the opposite way down the street.) Now I’m not saying that this is a fool proof detection method of course, but if you see someone who refuses to yield when another person is walking in the same direction – the probability of him being a sociopath should jump by a few percent.
The second test is from my mate Dave who once made the wise observation: “never trust a man in a leather waistcoat”. He’s dead right. My personal experience has demonstrated this tell to be 100% accurate at unearthing sociopaths to date.
So don’t be surprised if Lance Armstrong makes his way to the couch and refuses to budge for the cameraman, while wearing a cheap leather waistcoat. And when he does, lets all eat a large boiled egg Madras , pop a few laxies, adopt our positions and let the breakdancing begin.