According to the Idiom Dictionary, “if you say that someone you admire has feet of clay, you mean that they have hidden faults”. Of course, all of us have faults and many of them are hidden, that’s part of being human. I’m consistently amazed; however, at how offended and surprised the masses seem to feel when the latest and greatest celebrity shows that they do indeed have feet of clay.
Take Lance Armstrong. No, really, take him! Unless you’re living under a rock somewhere you have probably been privy about Oprah’s interview with Lance. Even though I love Oprah, I still have not been interested in watching the interview. Just seems like it would be too rich with the set-up of all things having to do with branding and spin and not enough humanity although I do believe Oprah is very intuitive and so it would be interesting to watch what she seems to be “picking up” from Lance.
A guy I dated decades ago once told me that some of the best articles you could ever read are located in your local newspaper’s sports section. For some reason, I’ve never forgotten his advice. In our own Austin American-Statesman, Kirk Bohls summed up what many were feeling after Oprah and Lance’s long ballyhooed interview in his Thursday column. Then in Saturday’s Statesman, Suzanne Halliburton wrote about “Armstrong Talks of Pain He Felt” which, I gotta admit, put a chink in my armor when I read about Lance’s interaction with his 13-year old son, Luke. Oh yeah, he’s a Dad too. That one got to me. I had to remember that even Lance has clay feet. Big clay feet. And his son knows it now at such a gentle age.
In our world of making celebrities and unfathomed amount of monies we seem to get so caught up in the spin and glitz of it all that before we know what is happening the human in the center becomes lost in the tornado of things much bigger and each part takes on a life of its own. Soon huge entities supporting millions are built on top of the celebrity with branches, limbs and roots reaching out to eternity. And what we all forget is that those clay feet cannot hold up under all the pressure.
The burnishing light of truth will always find the cracks.
So, yeah, it really sucks that Lance got lost inside of his fame at a cost to many least of all himself and it sucks that the balancing side of his celebrity is a big huge glopping seedy amalgam of mess and it sucks that just shy of Lance doing himself bodily harm it seems to be the only way to satisfy the public about his remorse but what we all need to keep in mind is that we all, every single one of us have clay feet.
Remember the Glass Houses……….