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« March 2011 »

Memo to Charlie Sheen: TRY HARDER.

In my attempt to spend a bit less time talking about politics, it's inevitable that my eyes will turn to the entertainment industry, the second greatest source of stupidity in America. Unfortunately, right now, there is no entertainment industry in America. There's just a bunch of people watching Charlie Sheen.

Sheen's latest rampage of hookers and incomprehensibility raises some interesting intellectual and moral questions. For example, is it wise and appropriate to pay this much slack-jawed attention to what may be a legitimate mental disintegration? The answer is yes, but only because it's Charlie Sheen.

Seriously. Look at his IMDB page. Pretend "Platoon"'s not on it. Now think about the life of wealth and excess Charlie Sheen has gotten to lead as a result of that Rose Bowl parade of floating turds. This isn't Beethoven going deaf, here. This isn't even Dan Brown getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Indulge to your heart's content.

But if you're anything like me, you'll find that your heart's contentitude is directly proportional to how much Charlie Sheen news you can avoid. Not because it's sad, but because it's sad. By which I mean not because it's tragic, but because it's pathetic. It's not even great crazy. Charlie could borrow Macho Man's sunglasses and bandanna, and he'd still be outshone by Qaddafi. I never thought I'd say this, but when it comes to career-disintegrating instability, Charlie Sheen is no Mel Gibson. Let's do a quick comparison, shall we?

CHARLIE:Yeah. I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. Too much?"

MEL: Sugar-tits.

No fucking contest. Especially when you add in context. Sheen was being a dick on national television, or at least ABC. Mel called a COP that after driving drunk. Point to Mel.

CHARLIE: "I have magic as well as communication in my fingertips, many of a time."

MEL: "I deserve to be blown fast! Before the fucking Jacuzzi! Ok, I’ll burn the goddamn house up, but blow me first!"

Again, Sheen comes up short in every possible way. If Mel Gibson had magic in his fingertips, I think we all know how he'd use it.

Hell, Charlie even tried to be a little bit anti-Semitic, referring to Two And A Half Men writer Chuck Lorre as "Chaim Levine". Which makes Charlie the Jew-hating Washington Generals to Mel's full-court Holocaust-denying Harlem Globetrotters.

The unmitigated, unavoidable incompetence of Sheen's breakdown almost makes me suspect it's a publicity stunt. Not for Two And A Half Men, a show that needs no publicity because the masses already embraced it beyond all reckoning, but for Charlie Sheen, media entity. If it's a publicity stunt, it's an awful one - it's led to the at least temporary cancellation of his dear-god-why popular sitcom, it's turning him into a punchline, and it's proving that yes, there is such a thing as bad press.

But isn't that exactly the kind of publicity stunt a Charlie Sheen would try and pull? Maybe he really does believe all the mildly crazy wacky zany shit he's saying. Or maybe it's all a ruse designed to get us talking about Charlie Sheen. But either way, one thing remains constant. Charlie's not as entertaining as he thinks he is.