900,000 people (myself included) are following Charlie Sheen's brand new Twitter account, which he created in the midst of a manic media blitz that caused him to lose his job. His craziness earned him a restraining order (from the ex-wife he went to jail for beating and threatening with a knife, who says he threatened to murder her this time), and caused state authorities to remove his children from his custody. Among the evidence presented in the custody battle: A text message announcing he "must execute" a "stoopid Jew pig."
Two and a Half Men is going off the air, and psychotic Charlie Sheen is America's new high-grossing show. I don't blame anyone for failing to look away (I'm certainly not!) but can we at least acknowledge how creepy this is?
Charlie Sheen is no longer a mere thespian, nor a mere playboy; he has become a modern icon of unfiltered, untrammeled masculinity, an embodiment of Nietzsche's Übermensch who no longer needs the Hollywood hype machine; he has achieved orbit. His publicist refuses to work with him anymore, yet Sheen is booked on every major media outlet in the country. He is the prime topic of American conversation, not for his crimes, not for his work, but simply for being Charlie Sheen. Not like the fame matters to him beyond the godlike amusement of generating spectacle, because he is the essential self-contained man.
Yes, there is an element of irony in every Sheen-praising essay and #WINNING tweet. Beckerman goes on to admit that elements of Sheen's life are "not admirable," but concludes that "every honest man on earth would nevertheless trade places with him in a (chemically accelerated) heartbeat." Really?
Let's keep this in perspective: Charlie Sheen is an unhinged man who has alienated everyone who has ever loved or meaningfully cared for him. He is now cycling through a cast of disposable hangers-on, humiliating himself on a daily basis. (Not to mention his kids. If you thought your dad was embarrassing, try having one who brags publicly about orgies with women younger than you are.) If Sheen really isn't on drugs, then he's either in the midst of an unprecedented pink cloud state, or discovering some previously undiscovered mental illness, perhaps one that he has been self-medicating for years, with uneven results.
Sheen could, in theory, sustain this foamy-mouthed state for awhile: He's rich, in high demand, and Sheen-friendly porn stars are a renewable resource. But whatever is causing the current state of Sheen (natural brain chemicals? degenerative disease?) could give out at any moment, thereby causing the rudest awakening imaginable. And that's the real reason we're watching this trainwreck, isn't it? We're watching ourselves in a mirror as we squeeze a big, ugly zit named Charlie Sheen, waiting to see if it will pop. [Image via @CharlieSheen]