It’s hard to entertain the idea that Charlie Sheen is NOT insane. In the past few months he seems to have gone completely off the deep end by insulting the creator of the show that brought him millions over the past ten years, flying to the Bahamas to party with three women and appearing to have the mannerisms of a man who’s smoked more crack than Marion Barry. But when you dig a little deeper, or throw logic and circumstantial evidence completely out the window, Charlie Sheen seems to lose a little bit of crazy – and we, the viewing public, seem to take on its unhealthy grime.
Before we talk about Charlie – why don’t we talk about you and I?
What Would You Do If You Had His Money?
I don’t think I’m going to go out on a limb in thinking that if you’re reading this for entertainment purposes you’re probably not a millionaire trust fund kid or a Hollywood producer who could fill a hot tub full of champagne and hookers on a whim . More than likely you’re a person like me who has a regular 9-5 existence and a desire for greater things. If you’re like me you probably wake up some mornings and wonder what life would be like if you had the kind of money that Charlie Sheen has lying around.
“I’d quit my job.”
“I’d finally write that novel.”
“I’d travel the world.”
“I’d do whatever the fuck I wanted to and fuck everybody else.”
That’s how most of us see fame and fortune: an open gateway to the never ending slip-n-slide of excess, debauchery, the ability to pursue our interests without judgment and being able to wear a brand new pair of socks everyday .
The unfortunate reality of being rich and famous in today’s internet age is that you are no longer a person free to do what you want; you become a commodity to be traded, banked upon, leveraged, scrutinized and when you do give in to your baser compulsions – mocked. Our society has created an entire industry around not just the idea of celebrities but in watching and, in some cases, hoping for their downfall . We love to scrutinize their actions when, in reality, the times in which we rejoice at their fuck ups…they’re really only doing the things we all wished we could do and maybe we’re just a little jealous that they get to and we don’t.
100% Fake Charlie Sheen. 100% Genuine Statement
Once we start to put it in that context we really have to examine what makes US think that HE is going crazy?
Is It The Interviews and Internet Videos?
“Look how he’s acting in interviews!” Screams the imaginary person I made up to push this point forward, “And he’s on the internet non-stop with streaming videos and twit-pics and, quite frankly, he looks like shit.”
I get your point, made-up person, and let me tackle them one at a time.
1 – The Internet
Of course he’s on the internet. Charlie Sheen is a celebrity and when you’re rich and famous and commanding the attention of millions it becomes hard to live your life outside of that spotlight. Many celebrities have fallen apart after losing the glowing adoration of fans, only to have their careers resurrected because of internet infamy and end up on talking head comedy shows – Hi Tonya Harding. Others have used the internet to propel themselves back into the spotlight and achieve financial and commercial success. Sheen is following in Conan’s footsteps so closely that he’s even launching a live tour; tickets to which sold out in a record breaking eighteen minutes. The internet has the second best track record to reviving careers. The best, obviously, is to end up in a Quentin Tarantino flick.
2 – He looks like shit.
Are you sure about that? Maybe he just looks like a regular 45 year old guy who’s put a lot of milage on his body. We’re so used to seeing celebrities at their best that when we see them in a normal light we simply can’t accept that they look like the rest of us. Fact of the matter is that a famous person’s image is a closely guarded hallmark and everyone from their agents, to photographers to news reporters will strive to put them in the most flattering light possible. Madonna is 52 years old but every time she appears on magazines or in concert she looks stunning for a 52 year old women, but it’s all a lie. She’s the age of most Grandma’s, it’s not physically possible for her to look like the sex symbol she once was.
I’ll never believe you again, photoshop.
So maybe the fact of the matter is that WE have just grown WAY to accustom to seeing celebrities as they’re presented to us – after photoshop, make up, lighting and a controlled camera – and we’re not capable of seeing them as they really are. And some of them are old as shit.
3 – The Interviews.
The interviews he’s done have certainly been out of character for a person who has spent a majority of their life in front of the camera. If that’s your basis for your amateur diagnosis, Dr Dipshit, then you might want to have a little sit-down discussion with Joaquin Phoenix; because he did the same thing a few years ago for a fucking joke. That joke took more than a year to payoff and saw Joaquin Phoenix appear in public in his goat-fucking-insane persona just to exemplify the craziness.
After watching the following video I’m not completely convinced that this couldn’t all be a joke.
The truth is we don’t know how celebrities live their lives behind closed doors. We get glimpses through what is let out for public viewing or leaked for our consumption. As far as we know, this is how he always acts when he’s not on the set.
Is It What’s He’s Saying?
One of the best things to come out of this debacle has to be the quotable one-liners that have come out of this man’s mouth. Some of them have been Ron Burgundy in caliber. I personally keep this soundboard up at work because any question I’m asked can be answered by clicking one of these Charlie Sheen quotes. But more than just some t-shirt worthy zingers that have come out during interviews; there might be some real astounding grains of wisdom and comedic brilliance in the “Torpedoes of Truth” that have become trending topics on twitter.
Those are the three hashtags that Charlie Sheen shot out of his atomic brainhead with his mind bullets that became trending topics in moments.
“So?” Yells another person I made up to help illustrate a point, “It’s just twitter.”
He’s not speaking to an empty room. The man literally set the world record for twitter followers. And let’s not discount the overall affect that social media has on our current society; if social media can cause revolutions across the entire middle east then you’re not allowed to eschew it, imaginary person, when celebrities use it for their own gain.
“But that shit just sounds crazy!”
At first blush yes it does; but the more that you think about it the harder it gets to distinguish between the self propagandizing that Sheen is doing and the self affirming mantras people take home from a Tony Robbins Inspirational Seminar.
There is one particular quote that I’ve heard talked about a lot on the internets, talk radio and in bathroom stalls. It’s a quote that a lot of people point to when making their accusations about Sheen’s frame of mind and apparent lack of sobriety.
They hear these words come out of an addict’s mouth and their first inclination is to say, “That’s absolutely not possible. There is no way that someone who’s been doing that much for that long can simply cure himself with his mind. “ But if you change one part of the statement…
Suddenly Middle America is no longer waving their school marm finger at ole Chuck’s antics; instead he’s being held up as a good Christian who, through the power of magic Santa in the clouds, overcame his inner demons to become a better man.
Is It His Poly-amorous lifestyle?
“But lookit at how he’s living his life. Shacking up with three women and what not. That’s just not okay.”
Please tell me that you’re not serious. For Six seasons, SIX LONG YEARS, America was in love with the idea of septuagenarian Hugh Hefner living with, sleeping with and courting three women who were almost one quarter his age as they lived in his posh mansion in the Hollywood hills and bared their tits for public consumption.
We’re the society that made celebrities out of two over-privileged socialites because they fucked someone on camera.
We’re the society that made Snooki a New York Times best selling author.
We’re not allowed to jump on our high horse now and proclaim that we hold our celebrities to a higher standard; because we’ve made celebrities out of our lowest common denominator.
And honestly, if you had his money and you could get away with it – you totally would.
So if he’s not crazy; what is he then?
You’re not going to believe me when I say this: Charlie Sheen is the world’s first fully actualized celebrity. He is the first celebrity who acts exactly how we would the rest of us would act, and probably how some of the other famous folk would like to act, if we were in their position. You can’t tell me that other celebrities haven’t had the urge to do exactly what he’s doing. They are people who exist outside of the rules of regular society, who make more money in one year than most families see in a lifetime, and you’re going to tell me that they’ve never gotten mad at a boss? Told off the wrong people? Gotten drunk at an inappropriate time? Said some crazy shit that they regret? Of course they have, they’re people, humans, just like you and me, and they’re bound to fuck up too.
The only difference is that Charlie Sheen is doing everything everyone – including celebrities – wishes they could do and he’s doing it without any regret, any apologies or any concern.
“Wait. So that means?”
Yes. Charlie Sheen is Tyler Durden.
You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh.