Mar 222011

The Charlie Sheen buzz seems to be dying down a bit. It’s been like watching a car accident- we all look, and then we turn away, disgusted with ourselves for looking in the first place. I’ve been able to turn away, but every now and then I’ve reflected on what he’s been saying. While it may seem obvious that he’s nuts, it’s his particular kind of nuts that interests me.

Charlie Sheen during one of his infamous interviews

Take a look at how he describes himself:

  • I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.
  • I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man. 
  • Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs.
  • I just didn’t believe I was like everybody else. I thought I was unique.
  • I’ve got magic. I’ve got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time – and this includes naps – I’m an F-18, bro.
  • You can’t process me with a normal brain.
  • If you borrowed my brain for five seconds, you’d be like, ‘Dude! Can’t handle it, unplug this bastard!’” It fires in a way that’s maybe not from, uh… this terrestrial realm.
  • I expose people to magic. I expose them to something they’re never going to see in their otherwise boring lives. And I gave that to them. 
When I put all these together on one page, one thing jumped out at me: Charlie Sheen actually believes he is more than human. That he is not just more famous than us, but that he is superhuman.

I wonder where he got that from?

Well, not really. He got it from us, of course. He’s been treated like a superhuman most of his life. That’s how we treat our celebrities. They can have anything they want, whenever they want it. They don’t have to follow the rules because when they break them, we welcome them back with open arms as soon as their next hit. And we absolutely, positively throw ourselves at them. Tell me that you wouldn’t love to meet Charlie Sheen right now. Of course you would! Why? Because he’s famous. A celebrity. And all of us adore celebrities.  The more I think about it, the less surprised I am at what Charlie Sheen has become and the more surprised I am that more celebrities aren’t the same way. 

Once I realized this, I first thought that Charlie Sheen would someday be in for a giant shock. He’s going to die, just like you and just like me. I figured that would jolt him because, deep down, he knows he’s different from us. When he found out he wasn’t, that would shock him.

But now I’m not so sure.

After all, Charlie Sheen is a movie and TV star.  Young Guns came out in 1988, almost twenty five years ago. It was on last week and there he was. Rio Bravo, a John Wayne film from 1959, was on last week as well. Movies and TV shows never go away. A hundred years from now, people will still be watching Charlie Sheen. Maybe even a thousand years from now. He really is different. He really is immortal. We made him that way. It’s not so bad, though.

Being a mere mortal has never looked so good.