Loathing Charlie Sheen

 Charlie Sheen is what’s wrong with America, and you know it. Born the rich, handsome son of a movie star, he was a successful actor — a millionaire in his own right — before he turned 20. But because this is America, he became convinced over the next 25 years that the ability to say things while looking attractive on camera is a talent that entitles him to wealth and the directive to flaunt his vices in public. And because this is America, maybe it does.

He certainly has his place in the collective psyche of the Super Mario Brothers generation: He was great in Platoon and Wall Street, hilarious in Major League and both Hot Shots movies. He taught tens of thousands of Americans about phrenology and garbage collection in Men at Work. He certainly has the charisma and charm to make people laugh, even as they’re witnessing a man’s life unraveling. What exactly accounts for his bizarre surge in popularity — or notoriety, depending on who’s telling the story — will likely be debated by culture scholars and publicists alike for decades. Surely it has something to do with celebrity worship, the nature of modern media, and the sneering veneer of Americans jaded by endless wars, a crumbling environment, and a painful recession.

Regardless of the public response, Charlie Sheen still acts like an active addict, ranting and raving into any microphone he’s given, smart enough to turn a question into a platform but not self-aware enough to realize how idiotic he sounds invoking tigers, warlocks, and trolls. Like a typical addict, any problems he has are someone else’s fault. There are no admonitions, just a series of admittedly hilarious — but nonetheless distracting — biochemically fueled, fantasy-filled soliloquies: Sound and fury signifying less than nothing. That is America.

Charlie Sheen is the rich guy laughing directly at the working people who are funding his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour, his incessant quest to remind the world that a lucky asshole should never have to lose his job telling dirty jokes to a fat kid on a prime-time network television show, no matter how many kilos of coke fall out of his nose when he sneezes. When a group of angry audience members at a recent show in Detroit realized they’d just paid a lot of money to watch a rich drug addict repeat some stupid catch phrases on stage, they demanded their money back. So Sheen, relaxing with a cigarette on stage, chortled something along the lines of, “Sorry, dude, I already got your money.” That too is America.

He is the popular dickhead in high school elected prom king, the one who, years later, looks back wistfully on the days of wedgies and cowering freshmen. He’s the boss’ nephew who shirks his responsibilities at the office but gets the promotion anyway. He’s the insurance executive cashing in while denying claims, the banker who buys a yacht while the loans he bundled choke the economy. He’s fast food, fast cars, stupid commercials, stupid women, porno, parties, a twitchy grin that belies a life of indulgence and self-destruction.

Charlie Sheen is America. And America is not winning.
Sat., April 23, 8 p.m., 2011

 
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Sleu2008
Sleu2008

So I read all that Mooney wrote and then read it again. The thing is if you erase the anger from the posting he is right. We as Americans continue to support people in the media with our words and money. The thing is no one is proud of who Charlie has grown up to be. His family is not shamed by him but rather worried and struggling how to get through this time in his life. Drugs and Alcohol are only a part of this guys problem.His children are in pain and suffering from his actions. Just as many kids are in America. We need to stop the abuse of self and work on what really matters in life. That being showing all around you how to be kind , generous and motivated. Carlie is the guy that will pay with all he ever was in life.Judging him at this point is well way too late. He is a drug addict. But he is also someones child and someones father. Treat him with the respect we all would want but don't continue to support him when he is indulging in self harm.

Egwerner
Egwerner

Late comment but yes, this writer is right on target. Courageous, truthful, incisive -- small wonder that some of Sheen's fantasy-fans feel obliged to smear this prophetic review.

MDM
MDM

How mean are all of you. Mean People Suck.

Right on!
Right on!

Preach on!!!! I would never lay my money on the table for him to snort up!

Baaaaahhhh!!!!!!!
Baaaaahhhh!!!!!!!

WOW someones bitter, sucks to be you Mooney and anyone else who feels the same : )Life's too short to be that pissed off about someone else' s life. It seems that the losers are the always the ones pissed at those who are "Winning"

Lorrent
Lorrent

Thank God someone finally said this. He is a sad trainwreck and I hope for everyone's sake people don't give this guy more of their money.

Lorrent
Lorrent

Thank God someone finally said this. Americans are only fascinated by Sheen because he's a distraction that makes them forget how shitty their own lives are. He's like the town drunk that everyone feeds beer because seeing him stumbling around makes them feel better about life. I hope nobody gives this guy money.

Bitterness I think not!
Bitterness I think not!

I'm not so sure it's bitterness that is fueling this rant. I think Mooney is only pointing out the obvious. You must have already given your money to go see him this weekend.

Bap1346
Bap1346

No, "Baaaah" just has a different definition of winning. I don't know this writer personally, but I bet his heroes are people who have won pulitzers. Your hero smokes crack and says the word "Warlock" a lot. Baaaahh is definitely winning.

 
Loading...