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I met Charlie Sheen a few years ago, on the set of his show, Two and a Half Men. The writers made a few references to Dilbert in an episode, and that turned into an invitation for Shelly and me to come down and watch the taping.

Charlie was very friendly, and acted as though he was familiar with Dilbert. I often tell the story of Charlie doing a head-to-toe visual assessment of my wife from four feet away. He wasn't kidding around. Just curious, I guess. Somehow he made it seem normal.

In my two minutes of interaction with Charlie, I got the strangest vibe from him. There was something extraordinarily deep, or maybe dark, or intense, about him. You often hear it said of celebrities "He's so normal." I didn't get a normal vibe from Charlie. Not even close. It wasn't a crazy vibe, or a drug vibe. It just wasn't anything I've seen before. It was haunting.

Like many of you, I've been watching his crazy-talk interviews and reading about his unusual life choices. I'm not embarrassed to say I'm fascinated by it all.  But the thing that interests me the most is the intersection between honesty and insanity. There is some theoretical amount of honesty that is indistinguishable from mental illness. Charlie is blurring the line, or maybe spending some time on both sides of it. It's clearly intentional. And it might be working, at least in terms of pressuring his show to restart, at which point it would be the most watched show on television.

It might look to you as if he is crazy because he speaks about himself as some sort of walking god with powers beyond what we humans possess. Crazy, right?  Maybe.  If we allow him some literary license when he says he has tiger blood and Adonis DNA, let's examine the claim.

I witnessed him do hours of dialog during the taping of his show and he never missed a line. His costars didn't do nearly as well. I was very impressed.

Charlie has also survived incredible amounts of drugs and still appears totally healthy. He looks better than any 45-year old I know. He has also spoken of his ability to go all night without getting tired. I'm usually done by about 9 PM. Maybe he does have an unusually strong constitution.

How about talent? He's had dramatic roles in films, and he's the highest paid actor on television. Is it totally crazy for him to think he's built different from the rest of us? Successful people often believe they are special. Charlie's problem is that he's saying it. He's also saying anything else that pops into his head.

How about his nerves? Would you have the guts to even attempt to do the sort of work he does in front of a live audience? I get the sense that nothing scares him.

Imagine if you stopped filtering everything you said and did. You'd have to be in Charlie Sheen's unique position to get away with it, but just try to imagine yourself living without self-censorship. Wouldn't you sound crazy?

Imagine you are so unafraid of consequences and the opinions of other people that you start sentences before you have a plan for how they will end. Sometimes a sentence turns out well, and sometimes you compare yourself to tigers and mythological gods.

I think Charlie is fascinating because he's living without fear. That translates into a disturbing degree of honesty. And at the moment it gives him an amazing amount of power over the media, which he is using to his advantage.

I can't judge his mental health. And clearly he has a drug issue that will last a lifetime. But I also think that a total lack of fear would look like insanity to the casual observer. And perhaps it is. But it's a strangely great kind of crazy.

Hey, CBS, if Two and a Half Men starts up again, I'll cancel whatever other plans I have so I can see it. Advantage: Charlie.
 
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Mar 8, 2011
What happened to the Charlie I grew up with he is only 1yr older than me, I am bipolar some people make excuses for him saying he has bipolar, well I raise 3 of my grandchildren ages 22 months, 4 and 5 and sometimes they can drive me crazy but I can deal with it, Charlie wake up and be the man we all know you can be. I bet your Dad is so disappointed in you, yea he has had his ups and downs but he has always been a wonderful man. Come on Charlie grow up.
 
 
Mar 8, 2011
What happened to the Charlie Sheen we used to know and love, I am just a year younger than him, I do have Bipolar and it is not an excuse to act the way he is, I know dealing with Bipolar can be hard but it can be treated, I am raising 3 of my grandchildren ages 22 months , 4 and 5 and I can handle them and not go crazy well he is just making excuses cause he can, please Charlie get a hold of your self and be an actor again not a jerk
 
 
Mar 6, 2011
i read a few comments before i decided to use the word 'socieopath'.
they have no fear, they're narcissistic and they have impulse control problems. they feel no obligation to society at large and some research has shown they have a dim 'startle' response; they can't be shocked as quickly as the 'average person'.
the average person, is not interesting.
so, my take on charlie sheen is that he is interesting, he is typical for a person who is bored with 'average people' and average living, and as long as he can continue to pay for his own drugs, women and rehab, i don 't understand why he is news. it isnt our business what he does wtih his money.
but, if he ever needs any of my money, then, ill revist the topic.
 
 
Mar 6, 2011
wooo! that was the coolest blog I have seen so far. I'm addicted to charlie sheen. and this blog really helps a lot, like the new <a href="http://www.essay-service.org">essay, service</a> online. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging. Anyway Im a great fan of charlie sheen so no matter what they say about him not will not change my admiration towards him.

 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 6, 2011
You might want to reexamine your definition of fear. From the few brushes I've had with public information about him, he's full of fear.
 
 
Mar 6, 2011
his 20/20 interview remixed and ready for some win. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0NIMTPYYcU
 
 
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Mar 5, 2011
I'm not a big tv watcher, but my son loves the show Two and a Half Men (as does my father-in-law). I decided to do a reading on Charlie yesterday (I'm a Medium & Psychic), and do not like what I saw. I don't want to take up comment space posting on what I read, but you can visit my blog: jillfeyka.wordpress, or go to my youtube channel: creativeendeavor635 and view the two-part video that I made relative to the reading. In any event, this man needs help. He is a father and has young children who need him - sober and clean. It's very difficult to watch someone in the public eye make a downward spiral, and this is what is transpiring. There is always room for change - as I hope my reading changes, but it's up to him.
 
 
Mar 4, 2011
I sent this post to a few people, and my wife came back with the following. She normally finds my interest in Dilbert/SA blog mundane, but not this time. And while I'm a big fan of Mr. Adams, there is a certain validity to the ad hominem attacks relating to this post. (Sorry, Scott.)

Anyone who defends “sounding crazy” needs some therapy himself.
Anyone who thinks that the “head-to-toe visual assessment of my wife” was curiosity is not someone I’m interested in hearing from.
Anyone who looks for evidence to support that a drug addict is a “walking god” should use his time and talents elsewhere, really.
Anyone who thinks that Charlie Sheen looks good is blind – and the only way he looks ok is because of rogaine, botox, chemical peels and grecian formula.
Anyone who thinks that his lonely viewership = “advantage Charlie” needs to get over himself.

Ouch.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
I forgot to finish my comment which is to say I think Zuckerberg and a lot of people of the dotcom generation probably has a lifetime subscription for Ritalin which I would think has a similar effect on the personality as cocaine. He struck me as a classic example of a tweaker. And similarly, Charlie is clearly coked out of his mind.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
Frankly, he just needs to grow the **** up.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
About Charlie...apparently some have never known nor lived with a Bipolar individual who was both brilliant and just plain stupid and vulnerable at the same time. Charlie is brilliant, but if he takes meds, his brilliance will be dulled and he will just be stupid and vulnerable. There is no place to go with this illness, but....sorta like my husband, who took his life at 53. He was brilliant, quirky, successful, had everything. But when you have this disease, 'everything' is not enough to save you.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
Charlie Sheen ,

What are you going to do when your " Goddesses " start writting books , and talking to the muckrakers ? Or is their nature and character above this ?

You know that when they use you all up , they`ll just move on , right ?
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
Scott - there's a larger message to your post. Most people believe they're coming from a rational place, so if you think someone's crazy or f--ked up, and that person isn't just very dim, odds are there is experience shaping his words such that he thinks he's being perfectly rational. If you can figure out why that is, you can cope with the person much better.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 3, 2011
A similar observation might apply to Hugo Chavez. He's saying what many third world leaders think, but won't say. The difference is that the CIA already tried to oust him and failed - AND he has oil money.

If we accept that comparison, then it's a short hop to Qaddafi.

Interestingly, and I think relevantly, Bernie Maddoff thinks of himself as a good person.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
Charlie needs to get it together.He obviously has an addiction of one form or another.Or one form or more.Either way,he needs help.At one time I too thought,"this couldn't happen to me".I can only imagine the difficulty in accepting and admitting an addiction problem when one has all the fame,money and false independence he has.I say "false independence" because he obviously is dependent on something,or things.(Drugs/alcohol).It just goes to show that addiction is not choosy about who.I'd like to meet Charlie and introduce him to my sponsor.A.A. is not a cult.It's the only way out for a lot of people.And its success rate is 100%.That's right.100% for the ones WHO DO what it suggests.Come on Charlie!!!! Put up the white flag and get on with life.The other option is not real pretty.I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
 
+17 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 3, 2011
I have had a really bad three months. Great financially but 14 hour work days, and intense pressure.

Yesterday I told the lady who live 3 apartments down that she was a waste of oxygen. She laughed asked me is I was joking. I told her I wasn't. Normally I would just tell her that I was really busy and I can't fix her computer after she gave it to an 8-month old baby to play on. I told a client that he was wrong. that the information he found on a blog about guaranteed page 1 position on Google was complete nonsense, and his 5 page website that hasn't been updated in 3 years hasn't a chance.

I told my friend who sends me virus hoax emails twice a week that she is a gullible moron, and that I will no longer be replying kindly to every one she sends showing it to be a hoax after she sent it to her entire contacts list. If she hasn't learned after 2 years that every one is a hoax, there is no hope for her. No, I don't need luck, a financial windfall or Bill Gates to give $5 to Haitian orphans.

If I'm like this as an ordinary person having a few busy months, imagine if I was a multi-millionaire, handsome super movie and TV star who has worked flat out for most of his life.

I'm really glad he isn't going the "mea culpa" route so many stars do, pressured by a PR company or TV network with a lot to lose. Not everyone in the world HAS to have conservative family values. Whatever habits he has, it isn't affecting his work - and I like his work.

And if you decide to marry a bad-boy, super-rich, handsome movie star, you can't expect him to turn into a hobbit. He is what he is and he's never pretended otherwise.
 
 
Mar 3, 2011
Yikes, I'm seeing a strong parallel between Charlie Sheen's behavior and the Mark Zuckerberg character from the Social Network. I myself prefer to avoid freewheeling sociopaths whenever possible.
 
 
Mar 2, 2011
Interesting, because this is more or less exactly a conversation I had the other day. Not the honesty part, but the "this is all a publicity stunt for his show" part. Quite interesting.
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 2, 2011
I did some digging online to see if Charlie Sheen's behavior is actually a typical pattern among drug addicts. Turns out that it may be. I found a few interviews with drug addiction therapists and they find it very sad that this behavior is being filmed and shown on TV. They say that this is typical behavior of either (a) someone who is unraveling due to heavy addiction, or (b) extreme bi polar disorder.

I think we're seeing someone unravel before our very eyes -- and his talent and charisma are working against him because it creates an illusion of a super-human being to whom normal rules do not apply. We have seen this pattern before, in famous actors, sports figures, and musicians. There are two outcomes: tragic and untimely death, or a long road to healing that involves professionals, and support from family and friends.
 
 
Mar 2, 2011
I think your point about crossover between honesty and 'mental illness' is kinda interesting... and I'm a wee bit ashamed to admit that I find the recent interviews fascinating too.

But I'm not so sure about this 'fearless' stuff... how do you know? How long would Charlie Sheen last in Somalia? I imagine he lives in a fairly sheltered world compared to most of the human population.

I don't buy any intrinsic fearlessness. He has a drug-addled brain and huge ego. He's a good actor, so I'm not surprised he can give us that beautiful megalomaniac, detached-from-reality babbling (his delivery is perfect), but until he tries to fly off a tall building or puts on a cape and fights crime in downtown LA, I'll keep assuming he's probably capable of fear. ;-)

Anyone wonder whether he's just getting himself into character for a really weird movie role we haven't heard about? Seems unlikely. But so does a lot of stuff right now.

-k
 
 
 
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