March 3, 2011

The Trouble With Charlie Sheen

crazy like a fox

You want me to confirm he's bipolar?  An addict?  A narcissist?  You don't need me for any of those things.

You can judge a man by what he says or by what he done, and this is what he's done: taken Scarface levels of drugs and slept with lots of pornstars, gotten rich, kept his hair, and not gotten fat, skinny, or AIDS.  Not bad for a Wikipedia page.  Mine just says, "horny/scurvy."

And he's held down a job, well, up to now anyway, and produced products that reveal absolutely no hint whatsoever of his personal behaviors.  I'll give you a thousand bucks if you can find the scene in Navy Seals that looks like he was doing 7 gram rocks.  (Ok, ok, the whole movie looks like...)

Of course, as fun as all that sounds-- and I admit it sounds wicked awesome-- he's also having legal, employment, and diagnostic issues, and if you put your ear up to the TV you can hear America breathing a collective sigh of relief, thank God he's falling apart, because if he wasn't crazy and there's no God then what rationalization could you possibly have for not following his lead?  We want our celebrities sexy and wild but the narrative has to include a built in reason why we can't imitate them, something like divorces and cops and rehabs but definitely not genetics, lack of commitment and social retardation.   Your life sucks, but at least you have your health.  Enjoy your five ounces of wine a day. 


"Why do you sleep with pornstars?" asks the marionette from 20/20 after weeks of texting him and visiting his home.  Seriously?  What answer is she waiting for?  I'm not saying it's for everyone, but the question answers itself, right?  It's a tautology.

The question her producers are getting her to ask in this po-mo way is, "what's it like to be able to sleep with pornstars?  Got any footage?"  I wish they would simply have asked it that way, but she doesn't want to appear salacious, she wants to appear concerned, indignant, superior.

In a particularly enlightening exchange, she recalls a radio interview he had done and proclaims, "one message you put out there that didn't sit well with people was that using crack socially was ok as long as you can manage it."  Sheen's insanity suddenly disappears and he laughs in her face.   "Was that a joke?" she asks indignatiousnessly.   "Come on," Sheen says shaking his head, "you're a smart [sic] lady [sic], what do you think?   Of course it was a joke, because it was so absurd..."  Sheen may have a highly evolved brain but there was a better answer:  "I do crack, and you all think it's hilarious.  I say I do crack, and you all  get self-righteous.   I sleep with pornstars, you all want details.  I say that I sleep with pornstars, and you all judge me.  I may be crazy, but you-- you, you manipulative harpies, are just terrible, manipulative, harpies.  Interview over.  I'm going on break."


An observation: Sheen went publicly insane early last week.  It wasn't until this Tuesday night, after Extra and Today started showing the goddesses, that the court ordered an extraction team to medivac his kids. He's had a week of full on insanity, 20/20 had an entire crew in his house last Saturday, Radar was in there all day and no one felt obligated to rescue the children, but go on TV and publicly say you like multiple vaginas and they put your name on a database.  No more interstate travel for you.


Is Charlie Sheen bipolar?

The only thing you're never supposed to do in psychiatry is offer an opinion without conducting a full psychiatric examination, they're very emphatic about this, which is weird because half your grade on the psychiatric board exam comes from diagnosing a guy in a 10 minute video clip from 1977.  (Academic dishonesty spoiler alert: he has OCD.)   Thus,  I will reveal here that I conducted a brief examination of Charlie Sheen, online, from my car. 

I know mania when I see it, but I also know that there are a dozen reasons for mania that I can't see from the outside.  The pressured grandiosity is pretty characteristic, the cause of it isn't.

But there's a much bigger story about Charlie Sheen's illness you won't see anywhere, way more important than his actual diagnosis.

Lunatic or not, Sheen makes one very solid point: CBS is not doing right by him.  I don't care what he's done, Charlie Sheen is a big time actor from a Hollywood royalty pedigree, CBS made a fortune and a half on him, and now when he needs somebody in his life with a little power to step in and help him make some better decisions, they abandon him. 

Forget CBS, I'll go further and say that all of Hollywood abandoned him, as they do all of their "employees."  Ok, so he fires his publicist and goes on several different interview shows talking about his time as the Air Force.  You know what each and every one of those shows should have done?  Refused to let him on.  Not aired the segments.   Whatever happened to taking care of your own?  SAG, and all that?  Viacom should have declared a media blackout immediately, so the public wouldn't even know he was going nuts, or at the very least not display it on purpose.   There's something very cannibalistic about Hollywood, we're not surprised when they drool over an exposed breast or turn on a President, but am I the only one who finds it weird that they eat each other after years of relationships and profit? Is there any species other than soccer players that think it's ok to eat one of their own when they get ill? 

Sheen made money from, and for, Hollywood, and when they couldn't make any more money off him that way they let him on Piers Morgan and made money off him that way.  Is his breakdown so important 20/20 devoted an hour to it?  Is it news?  Doesn't this distract us from $100 oil and the fact that Egypt's Facebook Revolution is being run by the military, or is that the whole point after all? 

This is CBS, this isn't some half-assed intervention by the five other waiters at the TGIFridays, CBS has limitless resources, they could spend a million dollars to hire a battalion of psychiatrists or extraordinary rendition him to Paraguay and not only not miss the money, but make a profit when he comes back fluent in Spanish.  Dos y Media Hombres!   Even the Federal Government takes better care of its battle fatigued, and that's saying a lot, because they suck at it.

Whether Sheen did this to himself is irrelevant, and didn't you tell us mental illness was "no one's fault?"  You don't abandon a guy when he needs you most even when he's fighting you, especially when he's fighting you.  He didn't hurt you, he didn't attack you, all he did was go bananas.   You don't drag him out into the open and tie a honey sandwich around his neck and let bears eat him.  "Well, we tried to help him before."  You keep trying, that's your job as his "friends" or his coworkers or whatever you said you were to him a month ago, and for damn sure you don't videotape it to trade for Camel Cash or whatever currency CBS uses nowadays.

cbs_cares.JPGzark off

It's the old psychiatric argument, genetics or environmental?  I can't comment on Sheen's genetics, but his environment blows.  And yes, that's a professional opinion.


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