The Redemption of Charlie Sheen?
I have to admit, I have never paid much attention to Charlie Sheen. Until the media barrage of tiger blood, I thought of him only as Martin Sheen’s son, Emilio Estevez’ brother, and the guy from the 1980’s classic movie “Wall Street.”
That’s right, I have never watched an episode of “Two and a Half Men.” I only understood the popularity of the show when the rock star from Mars let us know that he was winning, and it appeared to the rest of us that he was actually losing. . .his mind, his job, and his grasp on reality.
Now, it seems, he is attempting a comeback from his meltdown.
His Comedy Central Roast will air next week.
I happened to catch a snippet of his interview with Matt Lauer this morning while I was working out in the gym. I wonder how many who watched the interview were hoping for the Charlie Sheen of last February, rather than this subdued, regretful, repentant dad.
No tiger blood, no goddesses – but still proud that he gave losers permission to think they are winning.
I am not convinced he is as sober as he says he is. He was unwilling, or unable, to give a time reference for how long he has been sober. Sheen said it had to do with his disapproval of AA. I’m not so sure. I can tell you the date of my last cigarette, for instance, eleven years ago.
The ten minutes I spent with Charlie on the elliptical machine this morning got me thinking about celebrity meltdowns, and meltdowns in general.
I’ve come to some conclusions.
Celebrity meltdowns are generally more dramatic than the meltdowns normal people have. I think that’s all about money. The media encourages bad behavior – it’s good for ratings. No one makes money if I rant and rave.
A person like Charlie Sheen can afford to lose his job. He’s set for life. If I go crazy and lose my job, I will be lucky to keep a roof over my head.
Insane wealth breeds insanity. It must. Look at the many celebrity meltdowns we have seen in the past decade.
As in real life, some, like poor Amy Winehouse, end up dead.
Some, like Whitney Houston, fade into oblivion.
Some, like Lindsey Lohan, are still waiting for the jury.
A few, like Mariah Carey and Britney Spears, actually manage to redeem themselves.
I think the media-huffing public enjoys a good redemption. We, in fact, hold the power. If we buy the new tickets, watch the new shows and listen to the new songs, redemption occurs. If not, we relegate the crazed celebrity to the has-been oldie-but-goodie where-are-they-now shelf.
I think, too, we enjoy the idea that comebacks are always possible. It feels good to know that, if we ourselves screw up, redemption is possible for us.
Are we witnessing the redemption of Charlie Sheen? It’s too early to tell if his talent, tenacity and lineage outweigh his pathetic addictions and narcissism. In tough times, the American people have very little sympathy for the over-privileged.