Of Meltdowns and Hysteria and The Endless Forgiveness of The American Audience


It is a hell of a drug.

Charlie Sheen is a very famous child who has done copious amounts of that drug.

For as long as we, as an audience, have known this guy, we have known he is a voracious pussy-hound with a nose so wide open you half expect Road Runner to come speeding out of a nostril, chased by a Wile. E. Coyote on a steam engine.

We have rewarded him for this behavior with notoriety, fame, and our dollars. Some of our favorite portrayals are, in fact, and as follows:

Likable, hollow-eyed drug-addict in Police Station – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Himself (as hollow-eyed, likable drug-addict in John Malkovich’s Living Room) – Being John Malkovich.

So recently, he’s been cashing a check on a lowest-common-denominator sitcom where he makes stale sex jokes for 22 minutes while Jon Cryer bugs his eyes out like a stress squeezy and a fat kid stares, bewildered, at the nearest wall until he hears his cue and mumbles a line or two.

At some point, Sheen lost his shit and decided to turn off his filter, and the rain of choice quotes tumbling out of his giant noggin has been an interesting combination of insanity, comedy, insight, and hyperbole so ludicrous that not even Don King’s jaw could contain the weight of the words. He is a vengeful Cokehead Confucious, all dilated pupils and pugilistic punchlines.

It’s kinda fuckin glorious to behold.

I’ve been told this is a glib reaction to a man’s public meltdown, and that my response is unsympathetic.

I would agree, if this were any sort of meltdown. But it’s not. It’s just a professional cokehead shooting his mouth off to anyone who will listen.

I don’t see anyone plugging their fuckin ears.

So, since we’re all listening, and we’re all watching, we’ve been watching, since his first coke busts, since he SHOT his girlfriend Kelly Preston, since news kept leaking out about the diseased penis attached to his body that is single dong-edly keeping the Los Angeles escort industry in the black, since he allegedly threatened to beat up Denise Richards, since he exposed himself as a 9/11 Truther, so on and so forth, I think it’s safe to say this isn’t a meltdown.

So for people asking “Will he ever work again?” I say “Of course he will.”

Mel Gibson was offered the “Mike Tyson Role” in Hangover 2 mere months after it was revealed he beat his pregnant wife, shortly after it was discovered he was a massive anti-semite.

He would have been replacing Mike Tyson, semi-literate, bipolar rapist and spousal abuser who is now looked at as a viable comedic actor in popular comedies.

Had Rick James managed to live longer than a few months after Dave Chappelle turned him into a punchline, I think I’m pretty safe in guaranteeing he’d have starred in his own biopic that would have turned him into every fratbro’s personal hero.

Michael Vick got caught murdering dogs for fun and profit. Starting QB at the Pro Bowl.

Mel Gibson melted down. Mike Tyson melted down. Rick James melted down so hard he MELTED OTHER PEOPLE. These are 4 cherry-picked, off the dome examples of an honest to god meltdown. What Charlie Sheen is doing is NOT a meltdown. Charlie Sheen is talking shit, like a cokehead will.

He will have a career after this. If he could shoot one of his girlfriends and STILL get hired for a fuckin Hot Shots movie, he can get a role as a supporting character in a comedy looking to provide some cheap heat and easy press. Because he’s proven for about 20 years that he can do the work.

He’s not like Lohan, who can’t handle her shit and has melted into a freckly puddle of tears and silicon. He makes his call times, he regurgitates the diarrhetic smears of dialog swiped across his script pages, he hits his marks, and he gets his checks.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not defending the guy. I don’t think being a professional cokehead is a cool thing. I’m pretty sure Charlie Sheen is a gaping asshole who I would likely want to smash in the face with a shovel until that open nose spouted magical tiger blood all over his ugly-assed bowling shirt, were I left alone with him for longer than 2 hours.

I’m just saying that worrying about Charlie Sheen or predicting doom for his career seems like a pretty shortsighted thing to do. Hell, on the list of Celebrity Meltdowns, I don’t think Sheen even cracks the top 20.

Drew Barrymore was snorting rails off bartenders’ cocks at age 13 while dancing topless at the Viper Room and she’s got a fucking PRODUCTION SHINGLE NOW. Hollywood knew what Charlie Sheen was, what he was capable of, and what ridiculous bullshit could and would come falling out of his stupid mouth when they decided to pay him 2.2 million an episode to dance like a monkey while scriptwriters sang the song of frontal lobotomy set to a laugh track.

They’ll pay him again. That’s what they do.

He’ll talk some more shit. That’s what he does.

If he’s lucky, he’ll get to play a Superhero for Roman Polanski in 15 years and Ricky Gervais will make fun of that one time he went on a bunch of talkshows and told people he was a warlock.

And we’ll watch.

It’s what we do.

Published in: on 02/28/2011 at 7:29 pm  Comments Off on Of Meltdowns and Hysteria and The Endless Forgiveness of The American Audience  
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