October 27, 2010

Charlie Sheen Has An Awesome Experience, This Time With Drugs and A Hooker, Which Was The Same As Last Time

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Charlie Sheen:

Sheen appeared highly intoxicated when officers arrived to his room around 1:30 a.m., and a woman with him said they had been out drinking and partying that night, according to a law enforcement official. She said he was yelling and tossing furniture when they returned to the room

The part not in this paragraph is that he was naked, she was naked, she was a prostitute, and she was hiding in the closet.  Cocaine was probably involved.  Also, he had just spent the day with his ex-wife and their kids, all who were asleep in the next room.  That's class.

First, the drugs.  I know this isn't a particularly psychiatric thing for me to say, but I like dropping truth bombs on the unsuspecting: lots of people get drunk and high and... do nothing.  Watch Craig Ferguson.  Play Xbox.  Take a nap.  Go to work.

I'm not condoning it, but our minds get tripped up at the drugs as if therein lies the majority of the explanation, and I'm sure Charlie et al would like us to stop there as well.

This goes for psychiatric illness, should he have one.  "He's bipolar."  So?  Seriously, what am I supposed to do with that?  Society can't have it both ways, you can't tell me "it's a hurtful stereotype that the mentally ill are violent" and then 180 it and say "he got violent because he was mentally ill."  Sometimes they go together, sometimes they don't, but you can't offer either one as an "everybody knows that" and hide behind your postmodernism.

Second, he has no incentive to stop.  There's a physical toll on his body, I guess,  but meanwhile he's having drunken sex with super hot women-- so what if they're prostitutes--partying, going to clubs, etc.  He trashed the Plaza Hotel.  That's where he's at with his addiction, the Plaza Hotel.  He's three moongates away from anything resembling rock bottom.

When he gets caught, he gets a slap on the wrist and his show gets picked up for another season.  The picture they splash all over the news that reflects his insanity is this one:

charlie sheen.jpg

I'm not advocating punishing him, but you can see that the whole system is set up to keep him going at this level.  Surprise.  He does.  If you're wondering why this nut doesn't change his life, it's because you pay him not to.

II.

"He's not a bad guy, he just has a problem."  Actually, you have that backwards, he doesn't have a problem, he is a bad guy.  I know this because he beat up (allegedly, at least) two women. This isn't the place to get into whether the bitch done deserved it, running her mouth all damn night long, the point is his thinking about it.  If I (allegedly) beat up a girlfriend, I'd feel TREMENDOUS guilt, I would really have to rethink the need for my existence.   I'd also be scared that she'd call the cops and shamed as a woman beater, ruining my life and/or career; and I'd be Ed Norton 25th Hour terrified of going to jail.  Charlie Sheen apparently feels none of these fears, at all, ever.  After he beat up the first bitch who deserved it he should have sworn of bitches just out of self-preservation, but no, back into the mix, and if the next one gets out of line she'll be getting the People's Elbow.

That's narcissism-- "writ large" as they say in magazines that suck.  Even if the drugs made him completely insane, the fact is that he regularly puts himself in situations that involve something getting punched, and the only explanation for that is that he doesn't see rules as objectively applying to him, he only sees his behavior as situational, in his context.  In other words, there's always this: "well, hold on, this is a different situation, let me explain..." followed by two hours of words.  There's always an explanation, it's always different this time, which just means it's exactly the same.

III.

"It's an addiction, he can't stop."  Put the microphone down, wildman.  Everyone can stop.  You may be bad at math but your brain is doing math all the time and it calculates to the millivolt whether the reward is worth it.   Internal forces conspire against you, for sure-- maybe it values things wrongly and maybe your body tries to to trick you when you want to quit by making you more hungry so you eat more, or more anxious so you drink more, more bored, more angry, maybe you remember more vivdly that your wife cheated that one time, or that Karen is dead-- whatever-- but it still ends up being a binary question, "do I do it or not?"  You can argue that the scales are loaded one way or another but it is a scale nonetheless.  The secret of the universe is this: all decisions are binary.  You will never be happy if you fight this.

IV.

I can help you with your choice, with varying success, but when you are punching other people and that isn't enough to get you to stop no one can help you.  Before you say, "I want to stop drinking" you have to first have thought it more important to say, out loud, "I want to stop punching people."  The latter is for the good of others; the former is for yourself, with the byproduct of being good for others.  That's why it fails.

V.

Denise Richards got him to the hospital, and is now trying to protect her kids from Charlie's nonsense and media exposure.  You know how I know that?  She was on TV blabbing about it.  I certainly don't fault her, but the desire to interpret personal events in a public forum changes the meaning of the events.  "My fans are going to want to know."  Sure they want to, but that doesn't mean you should tell them.  In fact, for your own good as well as theirs, you shouldn't.

The result is it goes from being outstandingly negative to almost positive.  If you hired a prostitute or punched a girlfriend you'd hardly put it on your Facebook, but this gets written up in TMZ as Sheen The Party Wildman.  Cool.  The male deconstruction of it is, "man, if that was me, I wouldn't be trashing the hotel room..."  That's where he went wrong, see?   He took it too far, but the lifestyle sounds enviable...  and anyway he sounds like he'd be fun to hang out with, right?  Ladies?  Am I right?


brooke mueller.jpgI'm in

If the repercussions for nonsense and punching your girlfriend is another girlfriend and more nonsense, it's hard to identify a reason to stop.  Which is why it won't.  But you're being lied to, by yourself.  And now I'm not talking about Charlie Sheen, I'm talking about you.

---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych










Comments

Yes, there's probably a lot... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 11:57 AM | Posted by A: | Reply

Yes, there's probably a lot of fun being had here. A lot of self-loathing too, but.

The thing that stops me doing this kind of stuff is simply embarassment. He might want to do this stuff, but he knows that it will be reported gleefully by the world media, especially when he has inevitable freakouts and wakes up / is arrested in public places.

What I can't understand is why doesn't he worry about what the people who knew him at school think about him now, because they'll be consuming the stories and viewing him with a sense of superiority, and maybe pity, like anyone else. I'd be embarassed to be such a famous screwup. Why isn't he? Does the coke totally destroy the brain's ability to feel those things. Or am I the weirdo because I do care what my peers of decades ago might get to know about my mistakes and private life?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (23 votes cast)
sacred -> scaredcahn... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 12:55 PM | Posted by Typo patrol: | Reply

sacred -> scared
cahnge -> change

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That's what happens when th... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 1:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Typo patrol's comment, by Jack Coupal: | Reply

That's what happens when the mind gets ahead of the Spellchekker.

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One of my Facebook friends ... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Posted by Chiara: | Reply

One of my Facebook friends who normally seems extremely rational said she wants to party with Charlie Sheen, that it's clear he has problems, but it sounds like he knows how to cut loose and have a good time.

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I don't think he sees himse... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Posted, in reply to A's comment, by Chiara: | Reply

I don't think he sees himself as a screwup, though. You are still part of the real world, where other people check your behavior by giving you social consequences for acting badly. I think he left that world some time ago.

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Fortunately for me, I see C... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 2:01 PM | Posted by MH: | Reply

Fortunately for me, I see Charlie as the worst actor on TV on the worst show on TV, so I don't feel guilty about (not) financing his habits. I mean really - why watch Two and a Half Men? The only person on the show who can even deliver a one-liner is the housekeeper...

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I have a friend who was a p... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

I have a friend who was a publicist for 'Two and a Half Men' around the time it premiered. They wanted Charlie Sheen to do a press junket in Vegas (to promote it, obviously).

His manager said, paraphrasing, "No Vegas, no damn way, Charlie + Vegas do not mix". So to get him to go they agreed to fly him out there first class (he wanted a private jet), escort him to his hotel room, and then lock him down overnight in his room so he wouldn't get out and mix with all of the temptations Vegas has to offer (because Vegas, not Charlie, is the problem, you see). In the morning they let him out and he did the junket, then was immediately escorted to a flight home.

Which was all fine and good, until they got the bill from the hotel and there were approximately $3200 in charges from the mini-bar and room service for alcohol. No one was really sure how he made that happen.

For whatever it's worth. Thought it was a semi-relevant story.

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I am bipolar, but I don't a... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am bipolar, but I don't act like an a$$hole. I am not abusive to my wife and kids. Basically, my mind does not function normally. I am on a rollercoaster with constant changes in mood and concentration. I have given up booze in order that my meds help me better function. Bipolar people are nice and mean just like the overall population. We just have minds that are not properly wired.

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some people even like to ta... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 2:26 PM | Posted by randy: | Reply

some people even like to take cocaine and play world of warcraft. with ferguson on in the background.

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Another typically entertain... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 3:36 PM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

Another typically entertaining and well-written post, but what's with you and Craig Ferguson? Is he a personal friend of yours or something?

I ask because I know from your fondness for Greg Giraldo that you appreciate good comics too.

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I could write a whole essay... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 3:36 PM | Posted by Butterfly McDoom: | Reply

I could write a whole essay. Instead, I'll try to keep this short. (Edit: I failed.)

You can argue that the scales are loaded one way or another but it is a scale nonetheless.

It is nigh impossible to stop acting out when you don't have enough perspective to see that a scale exists in the first place. In the throes of an addiction there is no (or at least very little) conscious recognition of a scale. There's no recognition that a choice does in fact exist.

When you're in it up to your eyeballs you can't see or feel anything but your fix - the line of coke or case of beer or piece of ass. You become blind to the harm you are doing to yourself and to others because the whole point of the addiction is to not feel, whether it's to not feel heartbroken, anxious, vulnerable, etc.

You become something like the Trashcan Man from The Stand. Like him, you lose your sense of self (if you even had one to begin with) and identify instead with the debased creature who will do anything for validation. You're an addict; you have no perspective, so it doesn't matter how objectively shallow or flimsy that validation is, or how low you'll go in order to get it. You will do anything in your power to get the attention you need, whether it's recognition from the Prince of Darkness or validation that you're hot/smart/strong/a worthwhile human being. "All for you," the Trashcan Man says, and unconsciously you tell your inner addict the same thing, over and over, because you don't realize you're not serving it - you're enslaved to it.

You cannot be conscious of the scale because you have programmed yourself to believe that it doesn't exist or, at the very least, it doesn't matter. You can't afford to care about the scale - about hurting yourself, much less your wife, your girlfriend(s), your kids, your publicist - because that would require you to feel the feelings you are desperately - unconsciously - trying to escape from.

Like TLP points out, the system is rigged to keep Sheen right where he is - and by extension, the people who are watching, too.

People don't really want to know what's happening inside an addict's head. It's scary. It's out of control. It's irrational and ugly. But it's the reality. Going to rehab and "getting better" is a myth. You don't just decide you're going to stop today. You have to decide to stop every day. And if you're lucky, that becomes your new unconscious choice.

None of this is meant to excuse Sheen's behavior, or anyone else's. He's still fucking up and hurting a lot of people. He'll still have to answer for his terrible actions and the pain he's caused if he ever comes back from this joyride. But because he's not making choices from the same place "most of us" make choices, I think it's worthwhile to have a little understanding - not sympathy, not even forgiveness - just understanding.

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A: "The people who knew him... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 4:08 PM | Posted, in reply to A's comment, by EH: | Reply

A: "The people who knew him at school" are exactly like him.

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His ex-wife is supposedly a... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Posted by Tree Frog: | Reply

His ex-wife is supposedly a former hooker and cocaine user. The kids were add-ons to that relationship and when it went kaboom, he got substitutes to stick to his pattern.

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"You don't just decide you'... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 4:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Butterfly McDoom's comment, by Kyle: | Reply

"You don't just decide you're going to stop today. You have to decide to stop every day. And if you're lucky, that becomes your new unconscious choice."

This should be on posters and PSAs.

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I like Charlie, I like his ... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I like Charlie, I like his show, let him live his own life.
It's better to live short but the way you want it (it is not the way I would chose, but it is HIS life, not mine) than waste unmercifully long years doing what someone thinks you'd better.

I am not defending Charlie, I am defending the right of every person to make his own life choices even if it means wasting your own life. Enough of the nannies already.

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"You may be bad at math but... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 5:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"You may be bad at math but your brain is doing math all the time and it calculates to the millivolt whether the reward is worth it."

jesus christ yes

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You're right. Addiction is ... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2010 8:17 PM | Posted by Tony: | Reply

You're right. Addiction is a binary thing and very simple to cure despite what rehab people and crybaby drama queens would have you believe. With me, my addictions became even more boring than the boredom I was trying to escape. When I determined I wanted to do something different, they were amazingly easy to slough off.

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"Do, or do not. There is no... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 12:24 AM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'"

- Charlie Sheen

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I tend to agree that addict... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 12:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Tony's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I tend to agree that addicts who whine about how impossible it is to stop, are just trying to justify their failures.

The reason it is impossible for many addicts to stop is because the brains of addicts, their personalities, their whole being, is majorly deficient in many ways:
1) They are debilitated in their ability to care about long term consequences, or feel rational fear about poor choices.
2) The personality is immature and self centered even outside of the acute effects of addiction
3) As an extension of #2, they do not care about hurting other people as much as normal people do. They feel less guilt and less shame than normal people, sorta like very young children.
4) As related to #1, their capacity to make a plan and stick to it is non-existent. They are not capable of delaying gratification, and suffering pain for a long term benefit. They live life randomly, and are driven by desire and impulse.


Now, these flaws in their personality are just as biologically real as their downregulated opiate receptors after a long standing heroin habit. So, in a way, addicts ARE CORRECT when they talk about how hard it is and how impossible it is to quit. They are deficient people. They don't have the traits I have, or you have, where we can recognize our problems and put all effort into stopping the shitty behavior. Even if they were to try to be better, an addict quickly is set off track by impulsive craving because their personality is so deficient. They quickly prioritize immediate benefits over long term rewards, no matter how terribly important are those long term rewards... and to many addicts, they just don't give a shit about anyone but themselves, even after they are detoxed, they remain self centered shitty people.

If you or I were to suddenly wake up with a coke addiction, all that would happen is we would go through awful withdrawals for awhile and then stay clean forever. But addicts aren't like that.. they give into their cravings over and over again, they are completely undisciplined and have a capacity to set long term goals and follow them through rather similar to a 5 month old puppy.

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I mean really - why watc... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 4:27 AM | Posted, in reply to MH's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I mean really - why watch Two and a Half Men? The only person on the show who can even deliver a one-liner is the housekeeper...

... said the person who clearly has a secret passion for the show.

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It's quite easy to stop an ... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 5:15 AM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

It's quite easy to stop an addiction if you want to do it.

Suddenly any half-assed methosed will work.

Sheen obviously doesn't want to stop yet. Everything's cool. Why should he?

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Hollywood needs its badboys... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 7:12 AM | Posted by Frost: | Reply

Hollywood needs its badboys... And Charlie probably knows in his heart of hearts that what talent he has is not in itself great enough to keep him afloat, and nothing, nothing is worth sinking into oblivion, out of the public eye. He needs his party animal image every bit as much (if not more) as the partly scandalized, partly fascinated, but above all ENTERTAINED crowd that secretly envies his lifestyle.

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"The secret of the universe... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"The secret of the universe is this: all decisions are binary." Add to this that the solution is commitment to a decision, and indeed you have the secret of the universe. Make your own happiness, don't look for it.

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If you're watching it, its ... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 11:25 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If you're watching it, its for you. Now where have I heard that before?

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"Charlie Sheen apparently f... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Posted by DCF: | Reply

"Charlie Sheen apparently feels none of these fears, at all, ever. After he beat up the first bitch who deserved it he should have sworn of bitches just out of self-preservation, but no, back into the mix, and if the next one gets out of line she'll be getting the People's Elbow."

You don't know what he feels, this is just a biased guess (which is the best any of us can do). He may feel tremendous guilt, but just not enough to change.

"The male deconstruction of it is, 'man, if that was me, I wouldn't be trashing the hotel room...' That's where he went wrong, see? He took it too far, but the lifestyle sounds enviable"

You ever get coked up and bang a hot hooker? It's pretty fun and lots of people do it every day and then go about their business like the drugs you were describing. Just sayin.

"If the repercussions for nonsense and punching your girlfriend is another girlfriend and more nonsense, it's hard to identify a reason to stop. Which is why it won't. But you're being lied to, by yourself. And now I'm not talking about Charlie Sheen, I'm talking about you."

Ouch. I have no response.

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"...then lock him down over... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Posted, in reply to BHE's comment, by DCF: | Reply

"...then lock him down overnight in his room so he wouldn't get out and mix with all of the temptations Vegas has to offer (because Vegas, not Charlie, is the problem, you see)"

Well for a guy like that, Vegas is A problem. At least he was realistic about HIS problems to insist on being locked down.

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