In the reports of Lance Armstrong’s confessions to Oprah Winfrey it stroke me when he said, that he was convinced to be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it.
It’s this kind of power that you get when you are famous. Others will bring you not only your slippers, but will try to read every wish from your eyes even before you formulated it in your brain. Yes, you feel very powerful! You rule the world! No one will dare to criticize you, and when they do, you just sue and destroy them, like Lance did.
And meanwhile you don’t realize that you put yourself in an ivory tower, in a golden cage. You have no idea anymore what a ‘normal’ life looks like. And you don’t realize that this kind of power is very fragile. If you think you can allow yourself to make up stories and fabricate your image like you want it to be, without reality as base, it’s like getting into the air on a balloon and don’t see the birds that pick holes in it. You will fall down eventually, guaranteed.
It reminds me of a theater play of Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray. And even now Lance Armstrong seems to be in control of everything that happens. “There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful.” (chapter 11) For Lance Armstrong it’s not the search of beauty but of sport and the control over his body.
The power of fame is like an illusion. I would prefer to keep my feet on the ground, especially if my head is surrounded by wonderful clouds of fame and success.