Published on March 2nd, 2011 | by Lisa McInerney1
Sweary’s Jaw: Lines of Charlie
His most recent meltdown may have left some of you in a heightened state of befuddlement, but those of us who like to keep abreast of celebrity carry-on were never in any doubt that Charlie Sheen is more mental than nerd-rage.
The horrendously public split from Denise Richards, the charges of domestic violence, the loud n’ proud addictions to gambling and pornography, the airplane full of hookers: Charlie Sheen is nothing if not entertaining, so long as you’ve not been saddled with a conscience and have plenty viewing capacity from behind your sofa. A Hollywood brat allergic to taking anything seriously, it was never likely Mr. Carlos Estevez would bow out of the limelight gracefully, as Husband, or Father; even with a Delorean and a helpful professor at your disposal, I wouldn’t recommend popping to the 80s to bet on 2011’s Charlie Sheen moving in with two porn stars and hypothesising the arrangement as “an organic union of the hearts”. The odds would have been too short to make it worth your while. Look, I know no one could have predicted such loose logic as “You can’t process me with a normal brain”, but c’mon. C’mon. It’s Charlie Sheen. He’s a walking non-sequitur. It was what he was put on this earth to be.
We love it when celebrities lose their minds.
I don’t know if this was always the case. I wasn’t around for the Golden Age of Hollywood. I was barely around for the Golden Age of The Den. It might be likely that we once thought of entertainers as entertaining only when they meant to be – real people, on their days off, and entitled though their hard work to a little of our respect, or admiration, or even love. Perhaps, once, we didn’t watch them clamber unaided onto pedestals where they proceeded to get langers drunk and plummet off in a most unsightly, hilarious manner. Maybe stars were once people who made us starstruck. Now they’re hateful, egotistical opportunists only worthy of our attention when they’re acting like earachey toddlers. Wah! I OD’d on hookers! Wah! I shaved all my hair off! Wah! I’ve been sentenced to twenty minutes in jail!
Yup, there’s nothing as satisfying as a crazy celebrity. One we love to hate. There’s only one thing worse than being talked about, after all.
I can’t decide whether or not I should have a problem with this.
On one level, celebrities who act out when the spotlight veers away don’t deserve to be treated like private citizens. If one builds a public profile around telling the world of one’s messy relationships, diet plans, and heart-wrenching struggles with constipation, one cannot be surprised when the sneering public demands MOAR SORDID LUNACY! Lindsay Lohan cannot expect to be treated as a national sweetheart if she spends more time in court than Marie Antoinette. Charlie Sheen cannot expect us to demand that Oscars rain upon him if he keeps treating women as perishable commodities and referring to himself as a mind-altering substance.
On the other level, the deeper level, the weepy-onion level, celebrities who have been spoiled half-mad by yes-men, money, and their fans enabling their stupider proclivities cannot be held to the same standards of decency as the rest of us. They’re not like the rest of us. They’re immature, insecure, and cannot stop dancing down those Yellow Brick Roads in their heads because they’re so sure the paving’s crumbling to pieces behind them. That’s the thing about mad celebrities. You have to remember that they’re mad. It’s not funny coz it’s true!
Charlie Sheen is spitting at us the nonsensical balderdash we love to dunk our heads in, true. He’s having a wild ould time doing so, and we’re having a wild ould time listening to him. It’s very, very funny. And it’s very, very sad.
I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive, and it makes me feel durty.
What about you? Is Charlie hilarious, or are we horrible people for soaking it all up?