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Winners of the Tour De Farce- Tig Notaro and Lance Armstrong

Winners of the Tour De Farce- Lance Armstrong and Tig Notaro.

Andy Langer, a writer for the Texas Monthly, filed what was termed an, " Exclusive," on October 5th  2012.

In this curious piece, Langer was headed to Lance Armstrong’s Austin home, for an interview. The first since the scandal truly broke. 

These were not Lance’s halcyon days where most interviews revolved around how wonderful he was.

Langer couldn't marvel or fawn about Lance's defiance of odds. Odds that became even more impressive when he faced stage four testicular cancer. A Superman for the modern era -- who not only didn't die when faced with terminal illness, but seemed to prosper.

Lance was not just a success, but a savior of sorts: Massive cancer charity with Livestrong. Yellow bracelets on wrists throughout the world. His steely athleticism in the face of sickness-- an inspiration to those who saw late stage cancer as a death sentence.

In better days, Lance might be seen as kick in the ass for the cancer free slackers, who couldn’t manage a mile, on their recumbent exercise bikes. But, those days were now marred by scandal and mired in distrust.

As a journalist, Andy Langer, had before him an interesting opportunity. He was no Woodward, No Bernstein. No Michael Hastings. No Mike Wallace. No Barbara Walters even.

 But,that could change if he fulfilled the article's promise: An "Exclusive," -- A candid talk with Lance Armstrong about his astounding fall from grace. The first interview since he could no longer deny the lies. Couldn't disown the doping and the defamation -- the decade long con that left casualties in courthouses throughout the land.Those who told the truth, to be left defamed or destitute, were doing a little dance.

Langer had the chance to lend insight into Lance's twisted soul, perhaps? Surely, Lance could anticipate the hot seat.

The embattled cyclist was facing a world of unwanted scrutiny, and Andy Langer must have prepped for this plum assignment. 

 It was one of those tasty “truth rising to the surface,” deals. It was one of those when the truth does swim to the top, those who tried to drown it, are set to sink situations.

 But, that wasn't what Langer and Lance would cover for Texas Monthly Magazine.

Instead of a hard hitting article, there was not even a soft ball situation. Not even a Nerf ball was lobbed. Those who would read the article,would be treated to Lance Armstrong's views on "Comedy and Cancer." No, I'm not joking.

On the date of the interview, October 5th 2012, things weren’t yet so far gone for Lance Armstrong. He still had that Oprah Winfrey interview scheduled. If he could convince her vast viewership of … of … his ... forgivability... his capacity for redemption..?  If the everyone did it shtick clicked, then...  By all indications, he saw the obstacles facing him as of October 5th 2012 as surmountable. A comeback, they call it.

Comedy set, instead?

 As Andy Langer approached Lance's Austin lair, the only weapon left for him and his “camp” was the everyone was doing it defense.
 Andy Langer didn’t ask Armstrong about any of that. Andy Langer described Lance as the world’s “most famous Cancer Survivor,”
before he'd learn  that Armstrong had  been apprised of a very special comedy set.   And, that Lance's interest in this set and this comedian was  so piqued that it would comprise the heart and soul of what they would discuss.

"Live" it was called. Pronounced as Liv not Lyve. Sort of like Live strong but without the strong. An obscure lesbian comedian had caused some publicized fuss by performing a comedy set hours, a day, two days, three days, four days, or a week before being diagnosed with Cancer. If you look online to pinpoint her date of discovery, you'll understand why I say that there are five different versions of when she learned her diagnosis( that I know of.)

 So special Armstrong downloaded it on the same day Louis CK released it on his website, or perhaps Lance ordered an advance copy. So noteworthy that it is discussed for nearly the entirety of the three page article. Then, Langer rushed it to print, on the same day! Special and urgent both!
Lance Loves to laugh?

Armstrong was well known for bicycling, then cancer and bicycling, and then for epic deception, and cancer charity. Comedy? Not so much.Who woulda thunk that this serious seeming schemer was a follower, and fan of comedy. 

Langer's three page article is titled: Lance Armstrong talks candidly about cancer and comedy.

Langer then does nothing to divert his attention from Tig Notaro's set, and towards any discussion of the astounding facade he'd maintained through so many tour de France( and courthouse,) - wins.

No, all that Lance Armstrong wants to talk about is Notaro, and her set, and the vast potential he sees in her -- to assist those stricken with cancer.  It's as if she's about to become a speaker for LiveStrong.

( Louis CK promised that anyone downloading the tape would be not only inspired to tears and laughter, but that Tig Notaro would donate "most of it to cancer charities." And, yet Notaro has not donated a cent to anyone. Could it be that when Lance Armstrong's comeback failed spectacularly, so did some shady deal he had with fellow scammer, Notaro? Was say Susan Komen not an alternative, cause they might ask too many questions?)

Lance expressed such hopes for herm and this tape, but any hope for some juicy details about the imposter of the century are dashed by Lance and Langer's fixation on Notaro's comedy tape.

Andy Langer: The way it's worked out, you're the cancer athlete. Does Tig Notaro run the risk of being the cancer comedian? 

Lance Armstrong: Melissa Etheridge was the cancer musician for a little while. Christina Applegate was the cancer actress. If [TIg] continues to tell that story she'll be known as that. She may also say, 'Look, I told the story. I'm happy to say I'm a cancer survivor. I'm not going to tell it every time.' Neither approach is right or wrong. That was my whole deal. I could be very private about it or very public. I chose public. And I've continued to be because of the success of the foundation. It's what we do and it's expected that I'll continue to tell my story. That's my honor. We'll see how she chooses to talk about in the years to come. Either way, if this thing blows up the way it could and should, it'll have a serious impact on people with cancer and cancer survivors. It'll be very helpful for people. She's done her part.

And, Notaro and her record label, Secretly Canadian, used this super strange plug/non scoop/ comedy bicyling feature... to sell as many copies as they could.

Read the whole article. Then, wonder who Andy Langer is, and why he is writing such shenanigans. I smell a Nick Kroll phone call, and so should you. After all, Notaro and Nick Kroll and Lance Armstrong all were guests at Lake Bell's wedding and Kroll Inc.(an actual empire, really,) is investigating the bicycling scandal, as we speak.

Wonder too how Notaro has been able to get away with promising to cancer charities, and not even pretending to deliver. Same with her kickstarter project, "Clown Service." Same with her depraved stalker story. When Notaro re-launched some bizarre "Bentzen Ball," production, she was now promising funds to gay charities. 

Wouldn't she want still to promise to cancer charities,a mere year after her miraculous non struggle with the disease?

Your choice, of course, but then please wonder why her album was called "Live" in the first place. My educated guess? Another dirty deal fell through for these two.

 Oprah, Langer, Tig and Lance tag team?

Then, the Oprah interview took place and Armstrong's semi- contrite new persona didn't take. The public opinion that had been so steadily favorable,for ten years, had soured into a disgust too deep. Those pesky naysayers were seen as long slandered truth tellers. 

Floyd Landis, Betsy Andreu, Eric Lemonde et al. -  once seen by some as jealous men, or vindictive women - bent on unseating a super successful cancer survivor- were now seen as soldiers of a stupid war --  A battle created entirely by cheaters. Liars and cheaters, with the best drug cocktails, smear campaigns, judges, and attorneys that money could buy.

Tig Notaro to the rescue? 

 At this point, Lance's comeback was a big bust. Could maybe a cancer person with some visibility put in a good word? Tig, you know how I plugged you. You owe me.
And so, when Nick Kroll snagged Tig Notaro another press opportunity- this time with Syndey Brownstone of Mother Jones Magazine- she delivered this:

(mother jones)MJ: What's the most eye-opening subject you've tackled?

(tig notaro)TN: Hmm. We had a guy who used to cycle with Lance Armstrong, and he was telling us how everybody dopesPeople are isolating Lance out as the bad guy when it's just a part of cycling. That was interesting.

MJ: If doping is the practice of cyclists, what's the practice of comedians?

The practices of this particular comedian, is a book length story, that is being written.


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