It’s weird and sad how our heroes fall sometimes. David Oliver Relin wrote “Three Cups of Tea” with Greg Mortenson. The book describes how Mortenson, an unlucky mountaineer, built schools in remote parts of Pakistan and became a humanitarian in charge of a non-profit. Three Cups of Tea taught the world that education can thwart terrorism in Central Asia. The book also led people to believe that average joes can do anything they set their minds on - even finding non-violent solutions to international problems. Then came allegations of inaccuracies in the book and that Mortenson was using the bulk of donations on private jets and personal expenses. Relin took his life in November.
Shit. Mortenson gave me hope that riff-raff like myself can make a difference. Turns out he might have been dishonest. And I feel bad for Relin because he did write a good tale even with the alleged fabrications, but Relin never claimed to build schools that don’t exist. Maybe the praise and support that Mortenson got should go to Razia Jan and Malala Yousufzai. Jan returned to her native Afghanistan to start a free school for girls despite the sexism and Taliban threats. She was recently a finalist for CNN Heroes of 2012. Malala, a schoolgirl, also braved Taliban opposition to campaign for girls’ education in Pakistan. The Taliban shot her in the neck and Malala is now recovering in England. I don’t think you can lie about these accomplishments.
Mortenson and Relin aren’t the only ones who tumbled from their pedestals. Paula Broadwell that plucky biographer for General David Petraeus? She was fucking her source.
Even Lance Armstrong let us down. My late friend, who was battling cancer, admired Armstrong because he beat stage 3 cancer in his lungs and brain to win the Tour de France 7 times. Then came the evidence that Armstrong was doping for his races. I still wear my friend’s Livestrong bracelet because Armstrong survived cancer and you can’t take that away from him.
But still, fuck you phonies who were our inspiration and gave us false hope. Your deceit shows us that ordinary people can’t do extraordinary things. That we have to lie about our shit to get recognition. fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou.