Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What about Egypt, You May Ask? Take a Number Because It’s all about our #1 Drug Addict Charlie Sheen Instead

Eric's been out of town for a couple of days.  He arrived home late last night and was all wound up!  I know he thinks I didn't miss him, but I really did.  I even left him my first gift of the season on the front porch.  He appropriately gave me a pat on the back, which I always appreciate.  It's nice to receive the recognition.  I'm anxious to hear about his trip and thoughts while he was away, but some of it may have to wait until later.  I'll need to nap in between.

      We enjoy keeping it light on this blog, but what’s the
use of our national news when entertainment has trumped everything?  Yes, this has been a troubling trend – actually, the whole rationale behind most of the “news talk” TV shows since the War in Iraq began – and we wonder if it’s because certain media moguls want to make sure that we don’t and aren’t able to keep our eye on the political ball so to speak.  Many of our friends have been electrified by the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and now what looks to be going on in Libya.  But instead of focusing on a delusional, power-mad nut who’s led a country for thirty years that’s imploding all around him, the “news talk” eye is on another delusional, money-hungry nut who’s led an amusing, but middling, comedy show for the past seven and a half years instead.

      Charlie Sheen has stated that death is for weak people and that he really enjoys his coked out semi-private frenzies all while playing craps with the paychecks of a couple of hundred professionals who’ve worked on his show. 
He blamed CBS for canceling the rest of the season and was considering a $300 million suit against the network unless
the executives re-instate the rest of the season for which he demands $3 million/episode (up from $2 million/episode before this conflagration).  Who uses his addiction and the welfare of those who work with him as leverage for a 50% pay hike?  And we wonder why some parts of the world think we’re a decadent society?

      Two and a Half Men is a cute show and part of its edge came from the subtext that Charlie Sheen’s character seemed to be modeled on Charlie Sheen about a decade ago (not the part where he almost died of a drug overdose and his father asked fans to pray for him).  A friend of mine, who is a pretty regular viewer, doesn’t know if she can morally watch the show from now on because she feels it celebrates Charlie Sheen’s drug addiction and rampant promiscuity, rather than laughing with and at a fictional representation of Charlie Sheen’s past behavior.  Metaphysically, Charlie Sheen is no longer acting and what once was a comedy is now a reality show that has ground any real coverage of national and international events to a halt.

      I realize that people can point at entertainment history and say that this is nothing new.  Movie executives from the ‘30s to the ‘60s fed stars all types of drugs to keep them “happy” and “healthy” and kept their various legal and personal proclivities hush hush.  Yes, it was hypocritical and patriarchal and I’m sure people suspected what was going on with both the talent and the bosses.  This is different, however.  CBS is saying “enough,” finally, after their questionable stance that Charlie Sheen is still able to work just fine after these binges.  Really?  Tell that to any one of the millions of American employees who sweat out drug, alcohol, and HIV tests wondering if they’ll lose their health insurance or their jobs.  Yes, rockers such as Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Courtney Love have been sensationalized for their drug use and many celebrities have gone through rehab – it went from a mark of survival in the ‘80s to one more item on a ‘To Do’ list for any run of the mill publicist to handle for any run of the mill celebrity, but it’s turned into a celebration of the addiction, rather than the addict’s talent.  Yes, Charlie Sheen is an addict as is Lindsay Lohan and the media, which doles out celebrity needs to recognize its hurting children and like any good parent say “Time Out, these are your consequences.”  Not only are these celebrities addicted to drugs, they’re addicted to attention.

      The only ones I feel sympathy for are those professionals that work on the show, the people performing the different jobs like those that Natalie Portman thanked during her Oscar acceptance speech.  They’re out of work and many have families to think about.  However, let’s keep it in perspective:  they’ve had steady employment over the past seven and a half years unlike many Americans struck by the economic downturn.  What if CBS called Charlie Sheen’s bluff and recast with another actor.  It won’t be the same show and it will probably lessen its life, but it’s been done before a number of times.  One recent and celebrated example was when Charlie Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox on Spin City eleven years ago.  That was Charlie Sheen’s comeback – his second or third chance.  Dexter would point out to Charlie Sheen that he may have used his ninth life.

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