Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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February 2nd, 2011 · No Comments · Social Commentary

Charlie Sheen once said in relation to women, I pay hookers not to stay…. but to leave.

There is a long list of actors who come from a pedigree. Most are never as successful as their famous parents. Charlie Sheen is argueably the exception. Almost certainly financially so. He has been used to the same party life style since he was a teen. The unhappiness which drives him to seek pleasure, fleeting though it is and followed no doubt by massive depressions (that’s just the bio-chemistry of it and indisputable), does however threaten to kill him. Not since Robert Downey Junior has a male actor as prominent in our pop-culture struggled publicly with an addition. It’s always been Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, Amy Winehouse (got an hour)? There was a time when he won the Oscar for “Chaplin”), that I couldn’t even watch Robert Downey Junior because I knew that I wasn’t getting the real thing. Unlike an actor who is over-exposed (say like Tom Cruise), it sucks when you know that the person on the screen can’t possibly be giving you their best.

Such MUST BE the case with Charlie Sheen.

I can’t watch 2 and 1/2 men anyway because, well it’s inane, contrived and stuffed with fake laughs – not like the Odd Couple which was filmed in front of a live audience. But the general sentiment is that he hasn’t hit bottom yet and is still in denial. True rehabilitation takes time, sometimes years, especially if the drug lifestyle is as ingrained in his psyche as it is. My question is how come the cops always seem to be there when Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton slip up but not so Charlie?

The answer is he’s gotten a pass, a dangerous one. Money can buy you anything and that is the problem now for Charlie. Because he’ll be waging a mental war in his head for a long time to come. I wonder what finally got the execs over at his CBS to finally realize that the situation had gotten out of control and that the negative connotations for the network were becoming increasing detrimental? But the rehab at home cure? I’m glad they realized that solution was ridiculous. While there is no one size fits all cure I can tell you that some people I know had to stick themselves out in Arizona for 2 years to get rid of their demons (back in the 1990’s).

The funny thing is that as more and more of these media faux pas’ occur people buy it less and less. From Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” to “rehab at home,” I think his handlers realize that there are fewer viable courses of action for situations like this lest people wind up like Brittany Murphy. The (caring) public has had enough.

The temptations hit at the craziest times and under the most unexpected of circumstances (see previous post on cocaine crosswalk). Anyone who is sober will tell you it’s a lifetime battle. The guy needs to be isolated from all of the enablers and the hangers on.

I was in a coffee shop not too long ago talking to the owner and we were talking about the old days, but how happy we were in our new lives and with the responsibilities that we have as husband and parent. Will Charlie Sheen ever understand that the pleasure of this reality is better than any drug or dangerous sexual encounter? Maybe Charlie Sheen should get out of the sitcom business that one day he’ll look back on with embarrassment, and realize that he was like a monkey in a cage performing for people who may have started laughing with him, but wound up laughing at him.

I was originally going to link to ABC (those vipers), so you could hear what his latest hooker had to say. What’s the point of repeating her name, she’s just the latest in a string of women who from Gary Hart, to Jimmy Swaggart, to Tiger Woods to Charlie Sheen to try and grab their 15 minutes of fame.

Instead I think, if Charlie Sheen for some reason reads this – he’d be better of watching THE CLASH live in Paris doing Complete Control and listening to Joe Strummer asking the question, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

I’m not saying that anyone I know who has been in a similar situation is any better than Charlie Sheen. I’m saying that his situation is like a mirror on the society that enables him to continue doing what he does, and rationalize it.

Note: Charlie Sheen has voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center. Then this from his “representative”. “Due to Charlie Sheen’s decision to enter a rehabilitation center, CBS, Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Chuck Lorre are placing Two and a Half Men on production hiatus. We are profoundly concerned for his health and well-being, and support his decision”, a statement released today said.”

Hopefully you’re in time and it sticks.

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