I feel awful. I am an early riser as a consequence of my job, but getting up early always feels terrible just like it always has even as a kid. The difference now is that I will drink a gallon of strong black coffee before 8 am. It is now 4 am as I write this.
The big news for me is that Lance Armstrong finally confesses to being a doper. Maybe at this point, all the Lance worshipers will finally admit that their hero is not a hero. For me, the real crime was not the doping, but the ten year cover up as Lance vilified, sued, threatened, and intimidated anyone who didn't go along with his lying. Now, he slinks onto Oprah's comfy couch with a pathetic apology and all will suddenly be forgiven. This is not contrition. This is someone that is sorry that he got caught.
I marvel at the level of self-delusion that allows someone to go for a decade holding together a lie such as this. Lance deserves kudos for being so unlike his other partners in crime--Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis--who unburdened themselves some time ago. Lance held on hard where others with greater consciences couldn't go on with it.
Conscience is a strange thing. People try so hard to blunt conscience, but it persists. I try to not be so harsh on people like Lance because I am mindful of my own sins. I don't like being in any judgment seat on anyone because I am not worthy. I divide the world into unrepentant sinners and repentant sinners. Right now, I am a repentant sinner, and I hope to stay that way.
Turning off comments on my blog has had an effect on me similar to turning off Facebook. I got more response from Facebookers to the things I wrote mainly because it was status updates and pictures which take very little in the reading commitment department. Commenters on the blog tended to be more thoughtful when they bothered reading what I wrote, but most of the time, they would rather write stupid stuff. I have been trying to remember the last time a commenter actually left something I valued on my blog, and I am drawing a blank. The only thing that has changed for me these days is that I no longer deal with the disappointment of some idiot blathering on a rented soapbox when I check the comments.
I am questioning the value of democracy as well. Seeing the massive deficit, the ballooning national debt, and that sorry election between Romney and Obama, I don't see where citizen participation in government makes any difference whatsoever except to turn the government into a trough of looted cash for a nation of swine. Monarchy cannot be worse than this. Within a generation, the United States already had higher taxes than anything King George ever put on them. And our president is nothing more than an elected king beholden to the people that elected him.
Monarchies are bad, but they end any illusions of Utopia. A good king is better than a bad democracy, and all democracies go bad. This is because people want to be on welfare and not work. This includes many rich people who lobby for subsidies. Ultimately, Utopia is getting something for nothing, and this is impossible. But it doesn't stop people from trying. The virtue of a monarch is that the king has the option to say no. No elected official has that option. Saying no gets you unelected.