Charlie Sheen

Am I the only person in America who hasn’t seen him yet? It seems half my Facebook and Twitter feeds are Charlie Sheen jokes — my friends, not just the media, are obsessed.

I can’t get with it.

This is a man who has damaged other people and himself multiple times. I’m not a clinical psychologist, and as noted I haven’t seen the interviews, but you can’t avoid hearing the quotes, and it’s obvious that Mr. Sheen is not in his right mind. The extent to which he is consciously driving his own downfall as opposed to being exploited by the media, doesn’t seem all that relevant to me. Either way, it’s not something I want to observe. Either way, it’s not something I want to participate in. Over the weekend, I posted a link to LOLcats captioned with Charlie Sheen quotes on Facebook, but I took it down almost immediately.

I’m not claiming some moral high ground here. Maybe I’m a deeply sensitive soul, maybe I’m too thick to get the joke. I try hard never to mistake the latter for the former. Some of the most compassionate and also media-savvy people I know are posting some of the best jokes.

What’s your take on it all?

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8 Responses to Charlie Sheen

  1. Shulamuth says:

    I didn’t even know there was an obsession running around! Now trying to decide if I want to figure out what this is all about or just put it on my “weird pop culture — ignore” list.

  2. Gnatalby says:

    The situation seems to suggest the question of whether schadenfreude is ever an okay feeling.

    If you think it is– as I do– then Charlie Sheen is a target you can feel utterly guiltless about. He’s a horrible person, it would be hard for enough bad things to happen to him to make up for all the bad things he’s done to other people

    If you think schadenfreude is never ok, then it doesn’t seem okay even when it’s Charlie Sheen.

    I think maybe what you’re reacting to is that Charlie Sheen is so awful it’s making vocal people who are much stingier with their schadenfreude.

  3. Jerry says:

    Didn’t really know who he was until last week. Then read his Wikipedia article, section Personal Life. Ugh.

    I did experience some schadenfreude because he’s hurt so many other people, but I still feel guilty about it. A person’s bad experiences can have a silver lining when they’re educational, but Sheen’s not learning from his mistakes, is he?

    Some people on Less Wrong (a site devoted to “rationality”) are arguing that Sheen is just being too honest because he really IS superior: talented, rich, handsome, blah blah. Scott (Dilbert) Adams blogged about Sheen (they’ve met) in pretty glowing terms and when a commenter mentioned the assaults etc, Adams just said “Alleged!” Double ugh.

    Starting to get a Polanski vibe from all this.

  4. Q says:

    It was horrifying when he continued to abuse alcohol, drugs and women, yet kept his job because he somehow remained “bankable.” I guess the real horror is that the CBS audience finds that stuff amusing.

    The decision to finally pull the plug on the show satisfied my need for schadenfreude. The LOL cats were funny. What I find gross are major network news shows covering this like it’s news. Even if you think the jokes are funny, putting him on 20/20 to rant about tiger blood is at best pointless and at worst exploitative. Look. at some point this guy is either going to get better or die, and in either case I hope 20/20, the Today Show and GMA are all ashamed of themselves for making a spectacle of this.

  5. Sarah says:

    While I find Charlie Sheen reprehensible for things he’s done, spousal abuse at the top of my list. I just can’t join it’s now clear he has some serious mental problems. Best response I’ve seen so far is by Craig Ferguson on why he is not doing any more Sheen jokes, really worth watching.

  6. bluemoose says:

    I’m with Q — whether you like Sheen or not, giving a person who is on or past the verge of cracking a large media platform to rave, and calling it news? Extremely questionable, both from an ethical and entertainment standpoint.

    Our cultural obsession with celebrities using their fame and money to crack up way more spectacularly than your average American addict baffles me.

  7. Q says:

    Further to my original rant, would it be newsworthy to go downtown to a homeless shelter and interview a schizophrenic? No, that would be disgusting. So why is it OK with Sheen? Because he’s rich?

  8. B says:

    This is off topic, but I love the new look of the website!

    As for Charlie Sheen, I feel like you do. I think he is clearly mentally ill, and therefore I don’t find his rantings to be humorous at all. But as you say, because pretty much everyone else I know seems to feel otherwise, I do feel like perhaps I am missing something.

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