Monday, April 4, 2011

Charlie Sheen: Hero of the hour?

As you have undoubtedly heard, Charlie Sheen's live shows didn't go over so well over the weekend. Practicing alcoholics are never as funny as they think they are, in the long haul. With editing, yes. For a whole show, no. From ABC:

After all but getting booed off stage at the Detroit, Mich. debut of his live show, "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option," it's unclear if or how Sheen's month-long tour will proceed.

Anticipation ran high for the event. Ticket holders milled about the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit before the 8 p.m. start time, sometimes yelling Sheen catchphrases like "tiger blood" and "winning" to rev up fellow attendees. As of Saturday afternoon, all 4,700 seats at the theater had been sold.
Sheen managed to up the crowd's enthusiasm for the start of his act. Before his official debut, he played a montage of video clips including scenes from "Apocalypse Now," the film starring Sheen's father that Sheen claims to be obsessed with. He then strutted on stage with his "goddesses," Bree Olsen and Natalie Kenly, who proceeded to engage in a passionate kiss, much to the delight of the crowd.

They then went backstage to burn a bowling shirt similar to the one Sheen wore on "Two and a Half Men." While footage of the shirt on fire in a garbage can played on the big screen behind him, Sheen urged the crowd to hold up their lighters, asking, "Doesn't anyone smoke cigarettes anymore?"

The spectacle mirrored the ranting and raving Sheen's done online and in interviews over the past few weeks. But after that, things took a turn for the weird.

Sheen stood at a podium in front of a pseudo-presidential looking seal saying "Warlock States of Sheen" and launched into a nonsensical speech seemingly directed at his critics.

He started, "Tonight I am delivered by cyber cloud, with the stomp and glisten of heaven's produce section." He then talked about burning something "down from the mount of olive" and "gasoline rainbows." He frequently damned "trolls" -- presumably, "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre and his former bosses at CBS and Warner Brothers. He called Sarah Palin a "whore" for no apparent reason.
No apparent reason? Of course there is an apparent reason, that you media-swine refuse to take seriously: He's a misogynist pig.

The fact that so many people find his woman-hating amusing and worth celebrating, lets us know exactly how far we have to go.

Anna Holmes' piece in the New York Times, linked above, details all the woman-pounding Charlie has humorously engaged in over the years. And as a rich, privileged white man, he gets by with all of it (paging Chris Brown! Chris Brown, call your office)... and of course, since so many of the women getting pounded are mere actresses, models and sex workers, they 'deserve' it:
A woman’s active embrace of the fame monster or participation in the sex industry, we seem to say, means that she compromises her right not to be assaulted, let alone humiliated, insulted or degraded; it’s part of the deal. The promise of a modern Cinderella ending — attention, fame, the love and savings account of a rich man — is always the assumed goal.

Objectification and abuse, it follows, is not only an accepted occupational hazard for certain women, but something that men like Mr. Sheen have earned the right to indulge in. (Mr. Sheen reportedly once said that he didn’t pay prostitutes for the sex; he paid them “to leave.”)
Haha, ain't that funny? Is he serious or joking?--go the predictable onlooker-comments... ohhh, he's just being funny. Actually, I think he means everything he says, and he has repeatedly proven that he is willing to back it up with a nice right to the jaw, if any nearby female should argue.
Indeed, it’s difficult for many to discern any difference between Mr. Sheen’s real-life, round-the-clock, recorded outbursts and the sexist narratives devised by reality television producers, in which women are routinely portrayed as backstabbing floozies, and dreadful behavior by males is explained away as a side effect of unbridled passion or too much pilsner.
And so, a pricey live show-tour by a woman-hater, or should I say ANOTHER woman-hater (there are oodles of rock stars and hip-hop stars and country-and-western stars who have gotten plenty rich off of women-hating... paging Eminem! paging Ted Nugent! etc) ... and then I see Phyllis Schlafly (barfs for emphasis) on C-Span over the weekend, telling us that feminism is over with and no longer necessary, and what are these harridans and harpies still so pissed off about?

One wonders if she has flipped her channels lately, over to ABC (live video of Charlie at above link) or to the millions of other outlets that have advertised Charlie's zealously-sexist antics over recent months. Hello? What planet is Schlafly on?

They deserve each other, most assuredly.


LarryE said...

Necessary point one is that I agree with you both about Charlie Sheen in particular and about how misogyny still sells in general.

That said, in fairness to the reviewer, the impression I got was that the bit about "calling Sarah Palin a 'whore' for no apparent reason" was not about the "whore" part but about the "no apparent reason" part. That is, it wasn't "Why is he calling her a whore?" but rather "Where the hell did a reference to Sarah Palin come from?" It was an expression of the disjointedness of the whole exercise.

Still, it served as an appropriate jumping-off point and so was put to a good use. :-)

2020 said...

It isn't suppressing to me in the least that his tour is bombing. My theory... and it is only a theory is when people see him ranting on TV, they are engaging with it passively there's a barrier it doesn’t seem completely real. However when you've paid money for it and are actually sitting in the audience and he comes out on stage and starts talking all of a sudden it hits you "shit this guy's not kidding". Yes he really is as crazy, vile, and misogynist as he appears to be on TV there’s nothing fun or edgy about it. Its people start to feel sick, because now they are complacent in this man’s derangement violence and mental collapse. Since people on the whole hate to be asked to question the choices they've made they become angry and lash out hence the booing. Hopefully this whole sorry exercise will be the catalyst for people to start recognising him for what he really is.

JoJo said...

The dude is wacked. He needs to get together w/ Lindsay Lohan and they can flame out together in a blaze of glory like Sid & Nancy.

D. said...

Damn, I just ate!

Phyllis Schlafly is not someone I can contemplate without misogynist language which I would rather not have in my mind. Ugh.

I see rehab in Charlie Sheen's future.


supposedly the Chicago show went better, but I'd still be hard pressed to pay to see him crash and burn.

Sarah said...

Elsewhere, filmmakers and screenwriters blame audiences for being misogynists, whining that they can't market their art unless they degrade their female characters in order to make them likable. It's not just the media, it's not just the audience, it's the damn patriarchy, all up in this shit.

sheila said...

Not a big fan of Sarah Palin myself, but calling her names like that is ignorant. You should have put up a pic of the Little Rascals He-man woman haters club.

Yeah, Charlie's a little whack. Maybe a lot. Kinda sad to see he's making money off his demise. I guess it'll help pay for rehab. Or, a funeral.

Lindsay said...

"One wonders if [Phyllis Schlafly] has flipped her channels lately ..."

Oh, somehow I think she'd find a way to blame the women, and feminism, for everything Charlie Sheen did to them.