Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Food (and Drugs, and Booze, and Women) for Thought

I just posted this as a comment on a Facebook friend's wall, during a discussion that had a couple of people playing the morality police and admonishing Charlie Sheen as "sick," and a "pathetic moron.":

"Why is Sheen pathetic, sad, a moron, whatever? Jesus, you pay a guy 2 million dollars A WEEK for doing essentially nothing and then, what, expect him to behave with humility? You really think he won't become a rampaging id with a God complex? Sheen's doing porn stars in the bathroom at Daniel and downing $2,500 bottles of champagne and believes he's invincible because, why shouldn't he? I always wondered, if you had the money and resources to live your life completely hedonistically -- and you had the ego to where the judgment of others didn't matter to you -- would it really be wrong or somehow immoral to live like it was one non-stop party? Who am I to suggest how someone else lives his or her life and to look down my nose at them disapprovingly? The only factor that I think makes Sheen's decisions very, very questionable is that he has children. Other than that -- good for him. Have at it. Lord knows I'm not gonna get to enjoy my life like that; I certainly don't see why I should pretend to be offended by his decision to as an adult. It's his life."

You can debate me on the truth behind the motivation for Sheen's insanely arrogant posturing -- in other words, you can be like any one of the cavalcade of pious "experts" the cable news channels have paraded out to comment on Sheen's behavior ad nauseam, saying that it's obvious how sad and lonely he really is -- but what if he is just having a hell of a good time with the admittedly unbelievably charmed life he's led? Morality isn't always a relative thing, but what if Charlie Sheen's decision to stop worrying even for a second about what anybody thinks of how he chooses to live is actually good for him?

Now, just for the hell of it because it seems so fitting, here's the Butthole Surfers -- The Shame of Life.


Alanna said...

Agreed. Plus you posted the Butthole Surfers. I love you!

Alanna said...

Is that...an AD I see at the top of your page? ;)

Juan said...

At this point, to say Charlie Sheen is “sick” would seem to me more like a simple description of fact than an expression of moral judgement.

brite said...

"but what if Charlie Sheen's decision to stop worrying even for a second about what anybody thinks of how he chooses to live is actually good for him?"
Sadly Chez, this is pretty much the definition of a sociopath/psychopath.
So what makes Charlie Sheen different from that marginalized guy we all ignore, who's begging on the corner?
Money. Lots and lots of money. An entire life justifying his self-absorption and aggrandisement, for which he is paid handsomely.
We do live in a BizArro World.

cashlock3 said...

I find it to be so hypocritical of the show to have created this character & stuffed their pockets with dollars for years due to the success of this Charlie. Now, when the star acts as the character they concoted, he is out of control & they must cancel the show. What a bunch of frauds.

Eric said...

The only part that bugs me with Sheen are the alleged woman-beatings and costing his coworkers their jobs. That's hurting others--to the extent he's only hurting himself, however, well, so what?

It's kind of like all those years ago when people were talking about Michael Jordan's "gambling problem." No. A gambling problem is when you're cashing out your kids' college savings fund or screwing your wife's credit rating by maxing out the family cards or robbing a convenience store so you can pay your bookies or double down. Losing a gazillion bucks that's chump change out of all your contracts as an athlete and professional endorser--whatever. Sure, it might be nicer if he was spending that money on feeding orphans or saving endangered butterflies, but it's his bank account.

So it might be nice if Sheen was a humble man who spent his money buying computers for poor kids and eradicating malaria, but he's certainly entitled to spend it all on drugs and hookers if that's how he rolls. Nothing wrong with as much wild hedonism as you can afford, if that's your thing. It's only a problem if he's hurting someone else.

Which gets us back to the stuff in the first paragraph. But, y'know, that kind of stuff would be just as douchey if he were somehow doing it sober.

Chez said...

Actually, Brite -- that was exactly my point, but it works in ways you might not be considering. When me and my friends were heavily into drugs, we used to toss around one very big question that I alluded to in the FB post: If money wasn't an object and you fulfilled your obligations and responsibilities (eg, showing up to work on time and doing well while you were there, etc.) would partying with most of your life really be so awful? Would it be inherently immoral? Sheen made at least one point yesterday that's tough to argue with: If he's performing well for CBS, why should network execs or producers give a shit what he does in his spare time? Granted, his antics do draw negative publicity, and that's an honest issue for the network.

Incidentally, he's not lying when he says Chuck Lorre has spent the past year castigating him in public -- occasionally on his own show, no less. He has a legitimate beef there.

Anonymous said...

hey how about the fact that aside from being a colossal asshole (don't have an issue with that so much). Charlie Sheen is a self admitted felon.

Last I checked purchasing and consuming massive amounts of cocaine is still against the law in this land.

Why is he not in joil?

Janean said...

As long as he's only hurting himself, with consenting adults, and blah, blah, blah, etc, etc,..I don't think the "morality" of his lifestyle is anyone else's business.

I think it's weird to cancel the show if it was still getting high ratings. I would think that unless he became impossible to work with and was disrupting the actual filming of the show it doesn't make sense to shut it down until people stop watching. I thought that's really all that networks cared about anyway - if a show and/or star is bringing in money.

I wouldn't bet any money on his sanity or rationality at the moment, but I find all of the seemingly manic things coming out of his mouth more entertaining than morally offensive. What do I care if Charlie Sheen thinks he's more special than me? He's just saying out loud what other celebrities often think but have enough concern about what the public thinks of them not to say.

If he wants to destroy his health and fry his brain it's his body after all.

I think anyone who's righteously offended by all of this is just possibly jealous.

slouchmonkey said...

He had no morality clause in his contract. Period.

Fungi said...

Chez, we should make Charlie an honorary member of "The Tribe". He's really not doing anything different then we did back in the day.

-Drugs. Check.

-Strippers (or in his case Porn Stars). Check.

-Warlocks with Sabres. Check.

Chez said...

We did have warlocks with rocket-fueled sabres, didn't we.

Fungi said...

Yes we did my brother. We had warlocks, lesbians, medieval masturbators, jawas, etc.

It should be a movie.

brite said...

Chez, this a question I, too, have asked myself, of myself and my friends and family in the past:
"Would it be inherently immoral?
and the answer is No. But then you asked:
" If he's performing well for CBS, why should network execs or producers give a shit what he does in his spare time?"
And answered yourself:
"Granted, his antics do draw negative publicity, and that's an honest issue for the network."
If Charlie Sheen wants to be apeshit crazy, and his friends and family don't seem to mind, then he should choose a career that is not subject to and somewhat relies on the general public's opinion.
What fascinates me is the difference in the public perception of aberrant behaviour depending on the economic standing of the person in question.
Wait...rocket fueled sabers? Warlocks? Good times....

Chez said...

Yeah, but here's the thing, and maybe you hinted at it -- Sheen's insanity wasn't damaging the show in terms of ratings. His character on the show was basically him, so it's not as if his hedonistic behavior was somehow making the public perceive the show differently or impede the suspension of disbelief. Once again, he may have been in the headlines -- but he was doing his job, and making a shitload of money for the network in the process.

brite said...

*moment of truth*
I have never seen the television show in question, so I can't argue if Sheen's behaviour is 'in character ' or not, but as American culture is in someways the most um...conservative culture on the planet, I'm surprised that he kept his job as long as he did.
It's really no different from the stock broker that pays his bills, shows up to work, etc, but when he starts talking about the nano robots that live in his ear at work, even if it doesn't affect his job performance, eventually he'll be offered something like stress leave.
Also, Fungi, I would watch that movie.

Kevin Davis said...

I would argue that Charlie Sheen's behavior would increase ratings... shit I'll actually tune in to watch that show if it starts up again.

I agree that cable news blowhards shouldn't be playing morality police. I'm personally not offended by Charlie Sheen. I will say, however, that is not a life I look up to and say if I was being paid $2 million an episode that's what I would do so I personally think it's a bit sad but who the fuck am I to judge him.

Narbe said...

These recent interviews totally remind me of Rick James saying "Cocaine is a hell of a drug."

Anonymous said...

someone who gets married 3 times and has 5 children is probably not satisfied with the hedonistic "who gives a damn" lifestyle.

the guy is searching for something else.

and i'm sure he'd find it - even as a single man - if his life didn't solely revolve his own pleasure. george clooney is a more enviable playboy. he does what he wants in his persona life (no wife, no kids, villa in italy), but contributes artistically and politically to the world. his is a non-conformist life that in the end, will have been worth living. sheen's will have been a total waste.

Alanna said...

Agreed he is searching for something else. The entire escapist mentality that he embodies is playing itself out for the entire world to see. Who are we to judge, really? But it's pretty obvious he could benefit from some cognitive behavioral therapy.

kanye said...

Context, as always, is everything. 2-1/2 Men averages about 15 million viewers/week...a little less than 5% of the population.

In other words, 5% of the population finds Charlie Sheen's behavior acceptable enough to watch his show every week, and the other 95% of the country simply doesn't care.

I will say this: Brite, your comparison of Charlie Sheen to a stockbroker, at a micro level, is pitch-fucking-perfect! :)

Zöph said...

isn't sheen basically the ultimate hedonistic randian?

namron said...

Allow me to utilize my eighteen (wasted) years of Catholic education here. There is an objective, discernible standard of behavior to which a human being must adhere. That standard does not vary by wealth or station in life. Asshole behavior is asshole behavior. The ability to be an asshole and the choice to be an asshole are completely within Sheen's discretion, and he does a pretty god job explaining his decision to be an asshole.

VOTAR said...

I'm sorry for not keeping up until now, but...

...which one of us was the "medieval masterbator?"

Anonymous said...

This is just speculation but the most likely conclusion from his behavior is that he is mentally ill and a chemical abuser. In other words a double winner, addicted to substances and mentally ill and in need of professional treatment. If his is in the throes of a manic episode he is at risk of a severe acute depression with suicidal ideation when and if he cycles down.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone should be "allowed" to judge him or tell him what he can or cannot do in his private life, but at the same time he is getting paid to do his job. and if drugs or alcohol interfere with his job (which they have, and stopped production, and affected his cast mates who I'm sure are tired of dealing with him) then he shouldn't be fired. He should be held to the same standards that everyone has for working. So maybe you can't tell him what to do but you can fire him if he is not doing his job properly.

Anonymous said...

But Sheen was a problem on the show. He was routinely late, forgot his lines, etc. He failed to show up for two weeks one time. Two weeks. What is the cost of having cast and crew ready to go for 2 straight weeks during which absolutely no work can be accomplished due to the absence of the star?
It was doing well in the ratings. Such shows don’t get dropped for no reason. It’s an extraordinary step for the producer to be the one to pull the plug when he is making money. Sheen’s on-set problems were cutting into the bottom line.
I don’t care how much coke he snorts or how many stars he sex with. I do consider it wrong to not meet your basic work requirements; especially when so many other people’s livelihoods depend on you doing your job and meeting your contractual obligations.