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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+52 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
From an evolutionary standpoint, extreme narcissism generally is a strategy for success.

People are eager to believe, follow, or at least pay plenty of attention to a Cultive Personality. Valid or not, a narcissists sheer assuredness of *whatever* allows followers to not have to think for themselves, just follow.

- If a nationalistic dictator says lets invade Russia, people line up to do it.
- If a religious nut claims to be on speed-dial with God, people shovel them money and even sacrifice themselves.
- If a quitter-governor from Alaska spouts political nonsense, supposedly educated Americans want to put her in charge of the country.
- If a self-aggrandizing entertainer who mistakes their specific skill for something actually useful to society, people unfathomably pay attention and furtherly enrich the entertainer.

Scott, Charlie Sheen’s “great kind of crazy” is simple narcissism, and he is simply a rather useless court jester in the big scheme of things. That said, it still is hard to turn away from the spectacle, isn’t it?.
Mar 1, 2011
I hate reality shows, but if he started one it actually could be very entertaining.
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
Well, he did beat his wives, though. If it weren't for that I'd be on the "Go Sheen" team as well. Unfortunately, I just can't. Spouse abuse is 100% unacceptable.

[Allegedly. No court has yet shared that certainty. -- Scott]
Mar 1, 2011
I seem to notice alot of similarities between Charlie,Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump. Not sure what that means other than all seem to have an incredible ego. Also,, Rush has admitted to a serious drug problem to. One big distinction between the three for me is that I can't stand to listen to Rush or the donald. But I do find Charlie strangely fascinating.
+42 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
There was a fascinating parallel this morning, watching Charlie Sheen and Ghaddafi interviews minutes apart. Both apparently believe they will win, despite a world around them that assumes they will lose. And after listening to both of them calmly getting interviewed and laughing at their critics, you start to believe that they might get away with their behavior. Would Charlie Sheen be as charming if he had an army instead of a sitcom?
Mar 1, 2011

+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 1, 2011
"I also think that a total lack of fear would look like insanity to the casual observer"

That line jumped out at me. I recall learning on Star Trek that, "Only a fool has no fear."

So, on Klingon, he'd not be considered crazy, just stupid.
Mar 1, 2011
I think his inevitable downhill slide to rock bottom is just beginning. He also claimed he healed himself of his addictions by just thinking about it. That's not honesty Scott, that's delusion. It's not difficult to believe that the rest of what he says is not honesty but also delusion. Intrade should start up a category for things like, will he OD by the end of the 2011 and die or be jailed for felonies by the end of 2012, I'd "buy" those if I could get in around 25.
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