Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bad Time Charlie

I love Charlie Sheen. There’s nothing like watching a drunk dig his own grave, not realizing that his inane diatribes are being taped for the comic relief of thousands in recovery.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that his father, Martin, has been in Alcoholics Anonymous for years (I’m not breaking anonymity here, since Martin outed himself a long time ago.) Or maybe the drug cocktails Charlie has been ingesting have finally had the effect he wanted and, as it says in the AA Big Book, he has found much of heaven and [has] been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which [he] had not even dreamed.”  I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. I watched Charlie’s latest interview on Good Morning America and he seemed to be channeling Richard Nixon.

I find the furor surrounding this unfortunate man’s delusions interesting. Sheen Jr.’s rants have had unexpected repercussions both in and out of the 12-step community, where his criticism of the Big Book is seen as heretical since hundreds of thousand of people in the past 70 years have found relief in AA literature. Charlie, briefly put, is a ticking time-bomb, and there’s sad solace to be found in knowing that, when the things explodes, it will do far more harm to Sheen and his family than to anyone else, 12-step adherents included.
In his present state, Charlie epitomizes everything that qualifies him as a stone addict and alcoholic. He is in total and complete denial in regard to his situation; he is grandiloquent and full of himself, a far cut above mere mortals, a man of tiger blood and magic DNA; he knows his situation better than anyone else—he is not an addict, and if he was, he cured himself by blinking. He also seems to be under the impression that the powers-that-be who initially hired him to star in a so-so TV show will be willing to abase themselves to keep him under contract. He’s wrong. Hollywood is littered with the corpses of successful actors who, becoming too troublesome to the mother studio, are discarded.  Fatty Arbuckle didn’t survive and neither will Charlie. Right now, his slapstick interviews have a vague, train wreck type of allure, but YouTube is full of that sort of entertainment.

One who did survive, Robert Downey Jr., has found far more success and fame in recovery than he ever did as drunken tabloid fodder. There’s a lesson to learn there but Charlie’s not ready yet. He hasn’t bottomed. In fact, let’s face it, right now Charlie S  is in hog heaven. He’s living with two women, one of whom is a porn star. He has unlimited money, very little interest in anything outside of himself, and an avid audience watching him self-destruct. He is the subject of millions of Tweeters, the darling of the paparazzi, and his real-life is far more entertaining than that of his sitcom character.

So here’s my advice Charlie: Go for it. There’s a pretty strong possibility that you’re gonna die before you should, but what the hell, live fast and leave a beautiful corpse. Except that the latter probably won’t happen. The mortal remains of addicts are seldom pretty. So good luck with that…

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