Me and Charlie Sheen

Categories: Pop Rocks

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Barely a week has passed since Charlie Sheen's Krakatoa-style career meltdown and it's already hard to think of anything new to say about it. You've already got warlock pictures, expert rehab advice from Dr. Drew (who's already threatening to topple Dr. Phil as Most Annoyingly Omnipresent Medical TV Windbag) and rumors that he's shopping a tell-all book about his Two and a Half Men years entitled -- wait for it -- "The Day The Laughter Stopped."

Somewhere Jerry Lewis is about to release the hounds. For me, I think the laughter stopped the night the pilot episode of Two and a Half Men aired.

Sheen himself only compounds the problem, giving increasingly incoherent interviews that better writers than me would find it hard to top: He's an F-18? A Martian rock star? "Bi-winning?"

I don't have any particular insight into Sheen's behavior, or parallel experience which sheds some light on his demons. I can't even really relate to the guy who, even though he's only a few years older than I am, had such a radically different upbringing.

All I can tell you is that Charlie Sheen helped me become a man.

I should clarify. Sheen, or his movies anyway, were a constant companion during my adolescence. In Red Dawn, he helped give a face to the belief all boys of my generation held that one day we'd be forced to take up arms against Commie invaders. Platoon's Chris Taylor helped give rise to a new awareness of the Vietnam War, while Wall Street's Bud Fox provided a cautionary take on 1980s excess.

Then there was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Everyone remembers the "Drugs?" scene at the police station. Or at least they should:

Kinda sad, really. But that particular look -- leather jacket, bad hair, dead eyes -- served me well in 1986, specifically the summer before my senior year of high school. Now, I wasn't consciously aping Sheen when I got dressed for the Honors Colloquium reception at UT. Truth be told, I didn't realize the thing was semiformal until I got there and realized that not only was I one of the only guys there not in a coat and tie, I was the only guy there in army pants and a leather jacket (reading the orientation literature must have slipped my mind).

I was lurking in a corner, idly wondering how to sneak a beer from behind the bar, when an actual girl approached me and struck up a conversation. We ended up hanging out for the rest of that weekend, even dating for a while in college, and we're friends to this day. Which is why I feel sort of bad for bringing up the reason she said she came to talk to me in the first place: because I reminded her of Sheen's Ferris Bueller character.

The rest, for Sheen at least, is fairly sordid history: increasingly questionable movie roles (Young Guns to Hot Shots! to The Three Musketeers to...Shadow Conspiracy), punctuated by unfortunate forays into 9-11 Truthism and, well, you know the rest of it.

It's hard not to identify, in some small way, with others of your generation who end up on such wildly divergent paths. Sheen didn't have to end up a woman-beating cokehead, just like Christopher McCandless -- another sad figure I inadvertently ended up empathizing with -- didn't have to end up dying in a bus in the wilds of Alaska. But there's no way to tell what bouillabaisse of external and internal factors led them there, and how things in our own lives might be different, but for an accident of birth or absentee parent.

Even as Sheen continues to make Mel Gibson look like Gregory Peck, I'll always have a soft spot for the asshole. Not just for indirectly getting me some action back in the day, but also because the guy has aged so, so very poorly. For crying out loud, Sheen's only three years older than me, and he looks like he's in his 50s.

Now I don't feel so bad about not dyeing my hair.

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steve
steve

Charlie Sheen, Charlie SheenDoes whatever a rockstar canMound of coke, any size,Doing drugs, gettin' highsLook Out!Here comes our Charlie Sheen.

Is he strong?Listen bud,He's got african tiger blood.Can he do that porn star?Take a look in that carHey, there!There goes our Charlie Sheen.

On set of his showReading his Chuck Lorre linesSuperman on blowThe bitchin' dude opines.

Charlie Sheen, Charlie SheenFriendly neighborhood Charlie SheenWealth and fame?He's adored!Action is his reward.

To him, life is a great big bang upWhenever there's a hang upYou'll find our Charlie Sheen.

chef504
chef504

My life has been full of parties, and at times I have associated with individuals that were far from in their right minds. Being a chef in New Orleans during the early 90's was quite a scene. There was no food network or celebrity pretty boy chef culture. It was rife with criminals, drug dealers, fixers, and anyone else that couldn't work with normal folks. I said that to say, I have been around people on weeks long meth binges and Sheen is on one now. The difference is, all the people I knew had limits to the amounts they could spend. They would Beg, borrow steal, but there was an end that everyone I knew had to realize. They would have to quit when the resources ran dry. Sheen has something like 82 million dollars. He will either have to quit or he will die. I hope he gets his shit together.

Kyle
Kyle

It was a bad show, he is a bad man, and I'm glad to see them both flaming out. I just wish he'd stop hurting people on his way down.

Katy
Katy

Don’t forget his “Being John Malkovich” cameo, as himself – in the future.

I’m too young to have experienced the young Sheen’s on-screen greatness when it was in its ascendency, but… Sometime in the last week or so, Sheen has transformed himself.

He’s gone – in my mind – from a washed up sitcom hack having a Lindsay Lohan-type public breakdown into something else entirely. I mean, look at what he said in the radio call-in show (Alex Jones! Really!) and morning interview. He said he was on a drug called “Charlie Sheen” and talked about his “fire-breathing fists.”

It reminded me of when I used to introduce my dementia-afflicted grandfather to my friends and always knew there was a chance he was going to take his pants off and then punch them.

Am I putting too much thought into this?

CL91
CL91

Don't forget his Adonis DNA and tiger blood. That's pretty important, in my opinion.

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