Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Charlie Sheen

Without any question the most compelling news story of the last 20 years is this Charlie Sheen public meltdown. I can't keep my eyes off it, and I am guessing you can't either. It's not the fact that the most highly paid television actor in history is more out of control than a wicked combination of Keith Richards/Hunter S. Thompson/Bill Clinton. I think the best part of it is that people think to themselves, "Damn, I wish I could do that!". He is currently living the dream, and speaking frankly and insanely about it at the same time. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

You just can't hate the guy. Normally an overpaid oversexed Hollywood Star would be the focal point of an angry Frankenstein mob. But this guy has a teflon shield to him. He destroys a hotel room and knocks around a prostitute with his kids sleeping 15 feet away on Xmas Eve. The next day he greets the press with a friendly "what's up guys?" and a wave. Nobody seems to get really angry with him. Even people he has done HORRIBLE things to speak of him in affectionate tones. It's unbelievable.

Seriously, who could have pulled the shit he has in the last few years and kept a job at Home Depot much less a job on the highest rated sitcom on broadcast? Conservative broadcast groups like CBS will hang you out to dry at just the slightest provocation. Those creeps that run these media corporations will crucify you in an instant. Any of those empty suit upper management types will do anything to insure they get a maximum year end bonus, and if they think some out of control actor on one of their programs may cost them $500, they'll have them quietly killed for the insurance money. Afterwards they will eat at Mr. Chow and sleep a deep satisfied sleep while their news division prepares a "news magazine" obituary special on the tragically deceased star with a tidy sponsorship fee from McDonalds. It's a cruel business. It's why it pays so well.

Yet, Charlie flames across the sky like the greatest comet any of us have ever seen. Will he be dead in the next 6 months? Sure, it seems impossible that he won't be, doesn't it? Yet, he seems to be doing exactly what he pleases as he pleases, and that strikes a chord in all of us. My God, if I could hold a press conference and refer to my "fists of flames" and my "tiger blood"... That dude looked straight into a 20/20 camera and said this about his daily life. "It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view."

What the hell will happen next? It's easily the best thing on TV right now. You put him in front of a TV camera and let him go. It is absolute ratings gold. I could watch him talk 24/7. Based on the heroic quantities of cocaine he is injesting, I would think he could talk for a week without pause. The thing that I find the most weird about the whole thing? At times, between the claims of his extraterrestrial brain and his "bi-winning!", come these odd moments where he makes sense. Granted, I can't imagine how out of control he would be to work with on the set. However, he was delivering the goods. The show was/is routinely "winning". His contract doesn't have a single mention of a conduct code (and how did the CBS lawyers let that happen by the way?). Everyone was making so much money, there had to be a way to keep the money train on the tracks. But that is all over now... Damn...

I have never seen one episode of Two and a Half Men. I probably never will. But I will tell you this. Charlie Sheen is my favorite TV actor of all time. He may look like a cracked out lunatic, but you know what that guy is doing right now? That's right. Winning.


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