March 1, 2011
Life The Movie: Charlie Sheen
As I've said before, in one of my favorite books Life The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, author Neal Gabler argues that the real life celebrity is bigger than the fictional character. Sheen exemplifying this idea to the max, and I have a hunch that he is vaguely aware of it. He has painted himself as the hero, Chuck Lorre as bad guy, and CBS as the evil "syndicate" that is oppressing him. He even uses fantasy language, calling himself everything from a fighter jet to a warlock.
While bizarre celebrity outbursts are not anything new, I feel like the Sheen outbursts are fresh, because unlike, say Mel Gibson, they're mainly outlandish, hilarious, and pretty much not-offensive. And when I say hilarious, seriously, check out some of the highlights. (Now with real time quotes http://www.livethesheendream.com/)
The tragic thing here is that Sheen, whether he is on drugs or not, is definitely is not well. Something is going on and our celebrity driven culture is fascinated by him because we're expecting something bad to happen. We have a front row seat to a high speed train heading for the bridge, and the bridge might not hold. We can't look away. I hope that Charlie figures out what is going on and gets "better," but I'm not really sure what that means for him. Perhaps it just means pulling him out of his personal "narrative" and bringing him back to reality.