What Do We Want From Charlie Sheen?

Even though we’re sick of him, admit it, we’re not  through  with him.   There’s already an app to block out Sheen and Sheenisms, so you’ll never have to see his name or face again online.

At the same time, there is a craving for more, for some escalation of his madness and for a resolution that one hopes will be somehow shocking but not involve him blowing his head off on TV.

What does Charlie Sheen do for us, do you think? Is it a  simple  distraction from our own problems or the problems of the world? Is it some primitive need for human  sacrifice? Is it the perverse satisfaction of watching a  privileged  Prince turn his own life into tatters? Is it his need for attention that  repels  us, even as we give in to him?

I never gave a shit about him before. None of my family has watched his TV show until this week, just to confirm that it’s truly, inexcusably awful.

But now I need something from him and I’m not sure what.   I feel like a Roman waiting for the lions or something. It isn’t going to be anything good, that seems clear.   Maybe he represents human nature at it most  base  and out of control.   Maybe he needs to act out our secret fantasies of  going  insane.

If you have any insights, lets hear them!   I’ll say one thing:   I have no interest in a Sheen-blocking app, but make one for Lady Gaga and I’m there!

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24 Responses to “What Do We Want From Charlie Sheen?”

  1. sam Says:

    I could not care less about anyone.

  2. annemarie Says:

    i never liked charlie sheen because he looks like an old queen (a real queen), but a few days ago, i spent about an hour looking at various you tube clips of his rants, and i found him thoroughly endearing- the rampant egotism, the mixed metaphors, the unapologetic immorality…it’s wonderful, like a hollywood version of a season in hell. unfortunately, i think he probably is having a manic episode. i certainly would not like to see him meet a tragic end. i hate when morality and conventional wisdom wins.

  3. EJ Says:

    I’ve just read this http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/opinion/04holmes.html?_r=3&ref=opinion which seems to cover a lot of my concerns about him.

    I wish he would go away. I don’t wish harm upon him, but I am sick to the back teeth of people calling him a legend, or trying to excuse his appalling behaviour.

  4. Lara Says:

    I have a degree in psych yet I hate how everyone wants to dissect his mental state.
    I think he’s an immature man who has more money than he knows what to do with, takes pride in his bad habits and hookers, has an enormous ego that’s been crushed and is lashing out like a bratty child. His interview on Piers Morgan was really calm. Piers gained his trust and didn’t attack him in any way.

    Part of me hopes he’s just acting and not losing his mind, but I don’t blame him for losing it a bit after being fired. I quit following him on Twitter yesterday. It was getting to be too much.

  5. patni Says:

    http://beijing.globaltimes.cn/two-cents/opinion/2011-03/630731.html

    this is interesting for another point of view, and the mention of the Sheen presidency…. I can’t stop watching him. I have watched friends and family destruct and it never made me laugh, except for my old aunt who fell apart in the old ladies home. She just drank a lot of sherry from a crystal decanter, and made up a lovely 6 year old princess in a castle story of her life. She was just so happy, and went out in a cloud of imagination and perfection.

  6. Muffy Says:

    I have a love/loathe relationship with Charlie. He is the amalgam of a man that I had relationships with.

    For the past 25 years I have loved the charm, the misogynistic attitude, the alcohol fueled fights, making up, breaking up, and you wake up one morning and decide to get off the crazy train.

    Today, I loathe Charlie.

    I really loathe that talent was wasted, money squandered and dysfunction left in its wake. Charile has been lured by the Sirens of alcohol, drugs and narcissism.

    My Charlie was led by the Siren of Death two years ago leaving behind a daughter with a lot of quesions, but not sure of the answers.

  7. Make Do Style Says:

    I’ve missed it all except by youtube default but if I lived in the States I’d be captivated!Your analysis makes me want to see more! With you ref Gaga

  8. SarcasmISallIneed Says:

    Sorry for the off the topic comment sis wolf but lately i so wanted to talk with you about blogs.
    i know you already talked about blogs a lot but here’s my opinion.
    as a person i always see the good and bad aspects of everything so this applies to blogs too.(pardon my grammar i am greek not american-english)
    I love the way you talk about the negative aspects of blogs with humor and sarcasm cause i breath for sarcasm.
    so here we go:
    sea and mom ohhh you’ve already talked about this. I used to kind of like some old posts of sea and was jealous of the designer gifts she got but now she is all about flashing her money money money and wearing hideous vintage outfits.What really happened to her? When did this change happened? from a girl with jeans and a pair of margielas to a girl with crazy outfits that all she talks about is money? ok i get it mom and sea have daddy’s credit card but why do they need to buy tons of belts and jewels with huge animals and tons of $1200 shoes? why doesn’t carol go for the carry bradshaw of the crazy shoes look? don’t they buy things to her?
    next goes rumi and rumi wanna be girls as http://pursenboots.blogspot.com/ who is also a california girl that doesn’t shut up about life in cali and wears revealing slutty outfits with a touch of hippy nerdiness that rumi doesnt have.this girl even had her hair the same color with rumi.so back to rumi,yeah some of her outfits are slutty and yeah all of her outfits seem similar to each other and yeah her pics are too self-centred lately but i don’t hate her:
    1 because she puts up with being called a slut all the time and didn’t take off her comments section
    2 cause her style is not something too exquisite but still i sometimes enjoy her old posts.
    3 because girls go for the rumi haircolor. i even adviced my best friend to go for the brown hair with blond endings no matter if she has no clue who rumi is.and fashion toast as a name sounds stupid to her.she rocks the look better than rumi.
    stylescrapbook’s andy and fashion squad’s caroline are cute beautiful girls with unispiring outfits and posts.
    blond salad is the proof that money doesn’t make style.Not even sea can prove that better than salad.cause at least sea has some kind of style.Salad just wears jeans,tops,coats and bags that cost $500 but looks so boring and so unispiring that you think that her outfits cost $5.Have no idea why she won the blog award.
    bryaboy: hit me now cause i somehow don’t hate this man-women repeller even thought i don’t like his site.
    Oh did i just said man repeller? the only reason i checked out this blog was a post of yours about her. Now,seriously,what’s wrong with that girl? why doesn’t she need to dress that way? doesn’t she get that she is not only man repelling but women repelling too? her outfits are hideous…magazines stop loving her!
    if you wanna love a girl with hideous clothes love susie bubble cause her clothes are too colorful and hideous but i love her i admit it.i just checked out her blog for the first time and i love her..something about her face,the way she holds her camera,the way she writes screams girl involved in the fashion world,fashion blogger…something on her seems sooooo fashion worldly (if a word like that even exists)
    another hideous girl is tavi.ohhh tavi tavi! what’s wrong with ya girl? why can’t you be a normal american teen with abercombie clothes and uggs or a fashionable gossip girl.why do you wanna look like an old lady?and why looking as a granny is fashionable?
    the cherry blossom girl and pandora have nice photography and that’s all they offer to me
    amlulu’s closet is a typical spanish girl with no style sorry spanish ones i still luv ya all.
    karla’s closet: hmmm i liked some of her old posts with blazers,scarves and rihanna inspired boyish hairstyle but now all she wears is vintage clothes meant to be worn by 30 something women not young girls.
    a blog i want you to check out is http://www.fashezine.com/ this girl really knows how to talk about fashion and being inspired by different kind of things..her style is not my style but i do like her knowledge of the fashion world and the way she passes it on..make a post for her.
    come over the dark side we have candy: cindy if that’s her name has a rocker chic outfit i yeahhhh about but her wearing stuff all the other bloggers wear is a no no to me
    so after a long annoying comment i wanna end up with this question: do bloggers go famous only when their style is crazy-hideous looking with jeffrey cambell platform boots,huge statement rings and other extravagant clothes? do they get famous because they are thin enought to wear size zero? why do they all need to have the same it bags,the same it statement rings and shoes? is that what fashion is all about? wearing stuff that are it each season?
    why do 40% of the bloggers live in amsterdam,stockholm or california? where are the new yorkers? as a new york lover i have to scream out loud fashionable new yorkers come outtttttttttt…
    i personally love new york’s fashion as presented not in sex and the city (i don’t consider it as a fashionable show not until late seasons and the first movie) but in gossip girl!
    Gossip girl: a show that conflicted many many reactions upon people but you never talked about it sis wolf.I personally adore serena van der woodsen’s style in season 3 and 4 and her mother lily van der woodsen’s style…their chic effortless outfits just blow my mind..love their one shoulder dresses with statement earrings and hair up does for the official occasions,love serena’s boots and jackets for walks around the city.This is my style a chic effortless look that combines many many other elements too..sometimes rocker chic,sometimes ladylike,sometimes edgy,sometimes boho..i thought of making a blog where i can comment about fashion and share my own style too with a bit of sarcasm and humor and i am really into it lately.Guess what? i met a very famous blogger i don’t wanna name now and she actually told me that my style is not good enought for blogging…i swear she did…if i was mean enought i would go public for her and her selfish-self centred posh attitude but i am not..i just want you to comment on it…
    we were in an official gala,i was invited for the first time at such kind of event and i went for black one shoulder dress, chandelier earrings with dark red stones,very dark red clutch,black high heeled pumps,red lipstick,black eyeliner and hairdo..i was all dressed up but still feeling that that was me..and she wore a colorful printed dress,brown ankle,gold zebra striped long jacket,a hideous huge gold dragon necklace and red bag…( huge gold dragon necklace-do you get who she is???) and i talked to her and my thoughts of making a blog and she said my style was not good enought to stand in fashion world…lol..
    so being a young lady is not fashioable any more…sorry

  9. Winterbird Says:

    Poor thing is crazier than a bed bug and is imploding right in front of us. I just keep thinking about his mother.

  10. liz (the who cares girl) Says:

    “…but make one for Lady Gaga and I’m there!” = yes!

  11. Ann Says:

    I never liked Two and a Half Men but I did enjoy him in some of his movies. This whole thing makes me nothing but sad. I don’t follow him on Twitter and I have only watched a snippet of his most recent UStream rant and had to turn it off because it was excruciating to watch. I don’t find this funny, I can’t handle how people are elevating his behavior into something to strive for, I don’t want to see this end in the terrible way I fear it is going to. And if this is all an act, then great, he fooled everyone – but if it’s not, why the hell are people thriving on watching someone self-destruct?

  12. Kelly Says:

    I have some very smart friends who have told me about the work of Rene Girard. I’m just going to plop some stuff from his Wikipedia article here (which by the way I can barely manage to understand). But the upshot of the whole theory is that we need to see Charlie crash and burn.

    “Since the mimetic rivalry that develops from the struggle for the possession of the objects is contagious, it leads to the threat of violence. René Girard himself says, “If there is a normal order in societies, it must be the fruit of an anterior crisis.” Turning his interest towards the anthropological domain, René Girard began to study anthropological literature and proposed his second great hypothesis: the victimization process, which is at the origin of archaic religion and which he sets forth in his second book Violence and the Sacred (1972).

    If two individuals desire the same thing, there will soon be a third, then a fourth. This process quickly snowballs. Since from the beginning the desire is aroused by the other (and not by the object) the object is soon forgotten and the mimetic conflict transforms into a general antagonism. At this stage of the crisis the antagonists will no longer imitate each other’s desires for an object, but each other’s antagonism. They wanted to share the same object, but now they want to destroy the same enemy. So, a paroxysm of violence would tend to focus on an arbitrary victim and a unanimous antipathy would, mimetically, grow against him. The brutal elimination of the victim would reduce the appetite for violence that possessed everyone a moment before, and leaves the group suddenly appeased and calm. The victim lies before the group, appearing simultaneously as the origin of the crisis and as the one responsible for this miracle of renewed peace. He becomes sacred, that is to say the bearer of the prodigious power of defusing the crisis and bringing peace back. René Girard believes this to be the genesis of archaic religion, of ritual sacrifice as the repetition of the original event, of myth as an account of this event, of the taboos that forbid access to all the objects at the origin of the rivalries that degenerated into this absolutely traumatizing crisis. This religious elaboration takes place gradually over the course of the repetition of the mimetic crises whose resolution brings only a temporary peace. The elaboration of the rites and of the taboos constitutes a kind of empirical knowledge about violence.

    Although explorers and anthropologists have not been able to witness events similar to these, which go back to the earliest times, indirect evidence for them abounds, such as the universality of ritual sacrifice and the innumerable myths that have been collected from the most varied peoples. If Girard’s theory is true, then we will find in myths the culpability of the victim-god, depictions of the selection of the victim, and his power to beget the order that governs the group. And René Girard found these elements in numerous myths, beginning with that of Oedipus, which he analyzed in this and later books. On this question he opposes Claude Lévi-Strauss.

    The phrase “scapegoat mechanism” was not coined by Girard himself; it had been used earlier by Kenneth Burke in Permanence and Change (1935) and A Grammar of Motives (1940). However, Girard took this concept from Burke and developed it much more extensively as an interpretation of human culture.”

  13. Tricia Says:

    Oddly, I became addicted to Two and a Half Men during my maternity leave so I feel sad about Charlie Sheen. It was comforting watching his crap show while taking care of a newborn alone. Every day I looked forward to the moment the baby would fall asleep and I could sit on the couch with a huge glass of wine and watch a show about really jerky men. I don’t watch it anymore, but I feel like I owe him some sympathy.

  14. Sister Wolf Says:

    Tricia – And I became addicted to listening to Howard Stern in the middle of the night when I was awake nursing my baby. I still feel a connection to him because of that.

  15. Erika Says:

    Thanks Kelly, I am going to read this. I have a lot of theories myself about the need for scapegoats and the collective unconcious.

    Regarding this, he seems to be having a manic episode and the low is going to suck bad for him. I also hate to see people relishing or admiring this but it does fit with the times of pop culture that we live in. People LOVE trashy. The heartening thing is that every trend reaches an apex and then goes to the exact opposite so I am hoping it means real art and quieter times will be what we focus on.

  16. Jill Says:

    Schadenfreude

  17. Cricket9 Says:

    How strange – I have absolutely nothing to say! Never watched the show, never listened to his rants, in other words, I did a good job pretending that he does not exists. Should try to do this with more people.
    Now, I hear that Donald Trump wants to be President – what a swell idea!

  18. Sister Wolf Says:

    SarcasmisallI need – Someone really said that to you?!? Jane?

  19. Hortense Says:

    On board with Annemarie, some despicable part of me was evil-charmed by the shiny Sheen.

    As someone diagnosed with bipolar who does Mental Health and Disabilities activism, often via challenging stereotypes by having people let loose, Sheen’s high-flown mania was sort of fun to witness…like “do I do that?” (Urkel voice). We in the community have discussed it, though, and generally don’t want to claim him. He had nothing remotely okay to say for people with real mental health problems, and that’d be fine if he’d actually taken the time to insult us more creatively, but his metaphors betrayed his mediocrity. Maybe threshold disorganized schizophrenia is his correct DX?

    Nah, I think this is to be a new entry in the DSM: Nepotistic Sub-Mediocrity Half-Man Two Halves Coke-burnout Lacking-Personality Disorder, Subtype: The Sequel, dual diagnosis: Prosi Addiction. Meh. Celebrities just don’t know how to go crazy with as much flair as the plebes do–it must be all that method acting limitation and inner-PR.

  20. Sister Wolf Says:

    Hortense -I hope you’re on the board of the new DSM. They need you.

  21. jomama Says:

    i have to admit i liked his show. but probably more because of jon cryer than him. it was mildly entertaining to know that sheen was just playing himself. but cryer was the real comic talent on the show. but after sheen’s episodes, i couldn’t watch anymore because it just, well, creepy to see him. can’t really explain it (no more than i can explain why i liked that show or why i’m slightly addicted to the real housewives of ny and beverly hills). i can’t imagine his behavior is an act since he’s really not that good of an actor. chelsea lately (another guilty pleasure of mine) did a funny routine about how it’s ironic that he claims he’s “winning” because he’s obviously a big loser.

  22. sue Says:

    Love what Hortense said: witty and wise. The man is deeply awful and sad and, as you inferred, you’d have to believe and hope that he is a distraction from all the real problems facing the world. It’s pretty terrible that we’re talking about him. I’ll stop now.

  23. Andra Says:

    Well, it’s like watching a road accident scene.
    You don’t want to look but you just can’t help yourself.
    And when this poor bastard does finally self-destruct, which we all know he will, we will all feel smugly superior.
    That’s human nature, folks, take it or leave it.

  24. lisa Says:

    He has a DIY ethic that speaks to my inner punk. He says things that make sense to me on some level (maybe I’ve been working in the mental health field for too long). He’s transcending marketing, which in 2011, is almost impossible. This is why I find him somewhat interesting and Lady Gaga not at all.

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