Charlie Sheen: Rebel without a Cause?

We are obsessed with celebrities. Countless magazines’ sole purpose is to dismantle the private lives of the rich and famous for all to see. And within this celebrity-obsessed culture nothing gets us going like a good breakdown. These usually work by the same script. Stardom, followed by breakdown, followed by rehab and/or apologies. These breakdowns have achieved such a ritualistic quality that South Park made an episode about it, claiming they are human sacrifices, made to bring in a good harvest.

The American actor Charlie Sheen seems to be next in the line of human sacrifices. Following in the footsteps of Britney Spears and Mel Gibson, Sheen has received massive media attention after he was fired from “Two and a half men” earlier this year. (Everyone not familiar with Sheen’s recent activities can find more information here )

There is an important difference, however, between Spears’ and Sheen’s story. While Spears was already famous and the press gloated in mock concern about the tragedy of her downfall, Sheen has been propelled to stardom after his breakdown. His interviews have quickly become iconic for his unapologetic explanations of his lifestyle that portrays his self-image as almost god-like. “Charlie Sheen” has even become a verb, which the Urban Dictionary defines as:

Unequivocally winning, regardless of circumstance, conditions, or whatever anyone else thinks or does. You have beaten life. Drive on!

or as an adjective:

To be intoxicated to the point of incoherence. To take more drugs for longer periods of time than one should safely get away with.

There is also a wide collection of pictures online of people who have Charlie Sheen Tattoos (here)

So, where does this fascination, and admiration, for Sheen come from? The most obvious reading, of course, is that everyone is just staring on in morbid fascination, waiting for Sheen to crash ...

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