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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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+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 2, 2011
I'm very surprised Amy Winehouse is still alive. Unlike CS, she isn't looking so good lately...imagine a skeleton with a beehive. Maybe CS is a demi-god of sorts. I certainly don't have the power to say what I am really thinking and get away with it due to my lack of super-powers.
 
 
Mar 2, 2011
Why don't we leave Charlie Sheen to his own devices. I don't care what he does, and I don't watch his show. It is not that I don't like him, I just don't care.

 
 
Mar 2, 2011
They could cast Mel Gibson into the roll and call it 2 3/4 men. That would p--- off Sheen. Not sure if Mel would go for it though.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 2, 2011
Yes, yes, but:

I don't think Charlie Sheen is very honest, and allthough he has good looks, at present he looks about ten years older then he is.

I love the show 2-1/2 men, but I would probably also like it if someone else played the part of Charlie Harper. It would be difficult to find someone, but not impossible.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
@Phantom II
I don't plan what to say and having absolutely no regard for what people think of me, and I'm not in a insanitary ward.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
I think turkey goblet is right, he is probably a sociopath.
Your comment about getting a strange vibe from him sounds familiar. My father had an acquaintance who I felt immediately was very strange, but if you had asked me to define it, I couldn't say what it was about him which set me off. Even more oddly, I am usually the last person to be sensitive to this sort of thing. My father told me that the person had had treatment for mental illness.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
Scott, you have outdone yourself. At various times, in reading your posts, I believe you have reached the absolute zenith (or more accurately, nadir) of your ability to rationalize black into not only white, but ultraviolet. Then you knock me off my pedestal of disbelief with a post like this one.

My only question is: "What HAVE you been smoking???"

The only real question vis-a-vis Charlie Sheen is, "Which, or how many, of the plethora of mental disorders contained in the DSM-IV affect Charlie Sheen?"

Is it bipolar disorder? Delusions of grandeur? Megalomania? Adams syndrome (delusions of robotic omnipotence)? All the above?

If Charlie Sheen was not the son of Martin Sheen, who gave him a leg up and his entry into Hollywood, but was instead merely your next door neighbor, you'd be on the phone to the authorities to have him placed into 72-hour psychiatric hold before the sun went down. Instead, you seem to have some sort of cult-like attraction to his bizarre behaviors, going so far as to say maybe he really IS some kind of demi-god who can ingest huge amounts of drugs and alcohol and come out as though he's been through some kind of health spa regimen.

It has been said, and as I've said to you here before, that when men stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing; they believe in everything. Scott Adams: Sheen apologist and worshipper of a false idol named Charlie Sheen.

I would hope that, if you are looking to elevate some human being to demi-godhood, you'd pick someone better than Charlie Sheen. If Charlie Sheen, who had a leg up in Hollywood from his famous father, is ever lucky enough to have CBS revive his show, then he will be one of the luckiest people on earth and CBS management will be among the stupidest.

And when he finally pushes that one toke (or snort) over a line too far, and meets his inevitable tragic end, I hope you won't be dusting off "Candle In The Wind" in his memory. He needs help, not adulation, and if he doesn't get it, chances are he will have no chance to see 50.
 
 
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
Let's see, on Two and a Half Men Charlie plays a narcisstic, womanizing rich playboy named Charlie - maybe he's not as good an actor as you think.

On the other hand, considering the witty banter from Charlie Harper's character versus the sheer non-sense that comes from Sheen's mouth, the writers are BRILLIANT.

I think he needs to go into whatever program Robert Downey Jr. went to. That guy really turned his life and career around.
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
@Nehi
Not that I agree with Scott, but you can have 'unique' robots. In a world of PC's, an Apple is 'unique.' That wouldn't mean it has free will, just that it has different programming

In order for events in which we are implicated to be true actions there's a requirement: that they be expressive of what we are. The most obvious sign of this is that they be relevant to our explicit goals, motives, and intentions. Curiously, this is the most difficult area for those who want to defend the intuition that we are free. Everyone knows the determinists’ argument: I do things because I am motivated to do them; but I do not choose my motives. So while, for example, we may withdraw into the extra-natural arena that is the human world, that which withdraws — including our motives and so forth — is a piece of nature and subject to natural laws. And these natural laws are not, according to determinists, particularly special ones.

Biodeterminists would argue that even the most abstract and elevated motives are simply transformed instincts, which in turn are an expression of the unconscious imperative of our organic being, designed to ensure the replication of the genetic material it carries. There is a half-truth in this: namely, that the motives of our actions lie deep. But the other half is error: for the depths from which our specific actions arise are not the impersonal ones that reach into the biosphere from which we have evolved. What makes our actions expressive of our individuality — what, in short, makes them ours, and us properly accountable for them — is the fact that they arise out of subjective and personalized depths (even if the latter ultimately stand on biological need).

We can defend this claim by taking the argument into enemy territory, as it were, and revisiting Benjamin Libet’s experiments...

Continue reading here: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/how-can-i-possibly-be-free

 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
@GLK
"but what you're saying about Charlie's uniqueness seems to challenge your belief that we're all moist robots with no free will."

Not that I agree with Scott, but you can have 'unique' robots. In a world of PC's, an Apple is 'unique.' That wouldn't mean it has free will, just that it has different programming.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
Hey Scott, here's a list of Sheen quotes that support your theory nicely. http://www.livethesheendream.com/
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
I am just glad this isn’t another one of Scotts “The future is great” posts.
I hate it when he does a blog post that goes like this:

Imagine a future where your pants are perpetually engulfed in flames. Now I know some of you are going to be uncomfortable with this idea but let’s imagine scientists invent something that makes your legs and lower torso very hard to burn.

This isn’t too hard too believe, scientists already make Shuttles that can withstand the intense heat of entering earth’s atmosphere.

Now think about some of the benefits of your pants being engulfed in perpetual flame.
First this would reduce heating and cooking costs for middle class Americans. Helping our economy and making our country greener.

Now imagine an App that detects infrared heat signals. You could use this app to find out how many people are on fire in your neighborhood and then invite them all around for family fun night.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
I don't know why they don't just restart the show without Sheen and rename it "Two Men".
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
I was saying Hypomania but I guess I meant more the possibility of just straight mania.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
He seems to be in the middle of an episode of Hypomania. Your description of it as a strangely great kind of crazy I think is a great description. From the people I have known who have had Hypomania it is something amazing to witness as a somewhat distant observer but living with a person with those traits can be very difficult. Some of my favorite artists have stated themselves that they have wrote and recorded some of their best works during episodes of Hypomania. It is a disorder that seems very fitting to an artistic mind. In his interviews he acts just like the people I have known and I believe him that he isn't on drugs at those moments. Some people I know that have family members going through the same thing can't even watch those interview clips of him because it reminds them of their family members too much.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
Biologically, I suspect there is damage to the brain from large !$%*!$%*!$ of cocaine. I would guess at frontal lobe and amygdala damage due to the lack of fear and impulse control. It is also possible that he has tapped into a larger percentage of his brainpower, leading to some sort of clarity and hence removing fear, but I highly doubt that. I choose brain damage over insanity (of course, some lump those two distinct categories as one).
 
 
+44 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
Hey Scott, I don't mean to be a pebble in your Birkenstock, but what you're saying about Charlie's uniqueness seems to challenge your belief that we're all moist robots with no free will. Just sayin.'
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
Since Insanity is defined by a deviation from the normal, I would say Sheen's lack of self
censorship and generally atypical behavior is a form of insanity.

As for the success of re-staring the TV show -
a. Watchers will only be disappointed. The character isn't Charlie. Its just a show. Its not a reality show. So after the first episode view numbers will fall off.
b. The cost of rebooting it and having it implode due to his actions - wow. That would be big. And the insurance costs to cover that risk - also big.
c. Big Picture - Lets reward someone for acting anti-social, refusing to get help, hurting other people, hurting himself and then watch every other spirally star blackmail studios with the same antics. It would not be a good plan.

I do feel sad for him. And for his family. There is a lot of pain there and my guess is that its radiating out and hurting more people than the media covers.
 
 
Mar 1, 2011
http://scoop.today.com/_news/2011/02/04/5987480-charlie-sheens-mouthful-of-gold-teeth

Goes to show you that massive amounts of makeup and plastic surgery can make people look respective even if they'd otherwise look like one of Dog the bounty hunter's fugitives.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
Eerie... I was just making a similar argument at lunchtime today. "What if everything Charlie Sheen is saying is true? Take the warlock and magic stuff and call it metaphor for a moment... what if he really is so much better than the rest of us, and he's just decided to drop any false pretenses of humility and let the world know? Sort of like a football star showboating before he makes it to the end zone? He's got family, he's got money, he's indulging himself in life's pleasures and seemingly none the worse for wear right now. What if he's on to something and the rest of us have trapped ourselves by limiting our imagination and what we think we can accomplish?" In a Richard Bach your-mind-creates-your-illusion-of-reality sort of way. Like when you're having a dream and you will yourself into changing the dream storyline.

Then I read this blog post... your blurred "interesection of honesty and insanity" observation is dead on.

Of course, I got 4/10 on the "which quotes belong to Sheen and which belong to Gaddhafi" game found elsewhere on the 'Net, including a quote where Sheen says 9/11 was some sort of story. So it's hard not to weigh the overwhelming evidence in favor of "manic cycle of bipolar behavior" and leave it at that.
 
 
 
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