You may know him from his early movie successes like Wall Street, Major League, and (my personal favourite) Hot Shots. Or perhaps you know him from his more recent success as Charlie Harper on the hit TV show Two and a Half Men. Maybe you only know his father, Martin Sheen, who starred as President Jed Bartlett on the West Wing. Whatever the case, you should know Charlie Sheen since he’s been a staple of our popular culture since the mid-80’s; which is likely why his very public break from reality has captured our imaginations as much as it has. If you want to know what’s up with the man with the tiger blood… I can explain.
Charlie was always a little outspoken and a little off-kilter. Take, for example, his very vocal views on 9/11. He suggested that it looked like the “buildings came down in a controlled demolition” and he was one of the primary spokespeople for the 9/11 Truth Movement, which suggested the government may have been involved in the 9/11 attacks. However, I hate to even begin to make the comparison to the crazy he’s been saying more recently.
It started in February 2010, when Charlie Sheen took a break from his show to enter rehab. By March, he was out and by May he had signed on to do the show for another two years at $1.8 million per episode. Things seemed like they were going okay. By October, however, he was removed by police from his hotel after drinking, using cocaine, and causing $7,000 in damage to his suite. In January 2011, less than a year after leaving rehab, Sheen was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by paramedics while suffering from “severe abdominal pains” and a day later began rehab in his home.
While in this house-arrest/rehab, the real crazy started. He phoned the Alex Jones radio show and called Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre a turd and a clown. He also said that he had embarrassed Lorre by “healing at a pace that his un-evolved mind cannot process.” Two and a Half Men still had four episodes to film in the season, but after these remarks the episodes were cancelled.
That’s when the fun really started. On February 28, 2011, Sheen did an interview on ABC News in which he was very open about his past drug use. He said he was proud of the parties he had, but was now bored with it and wasn’t afraid he was going to relapse. He also made comments like:
§“It [my brain] fires in a way that’s… umm… I don’t know. Maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm.”
§“I’m not bi-polar. I’m bi-winning… I win here and I win there.”
§“I have tiger blood, man.”
§“I blinked and I cured my mind [of addiction].”
§“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once you’ll die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
This crazy caught the imagination of the public. In later interviews he said he had “fire breathing fists” and that he was a “high priest” and “Vatican assassin warlock.”
Now, here’s the thing. He wasn’t entirely wrong. Does he sound crazy? Of course. Is he living in his own world? Very likely. But while living in his world, he kind of was winning in ours. He was dating two incredibly attractive women, while living in a mansion and being paid more than any other TV actor ever. Plus, he seems happy… crazy, but happy. Arguably, he was winning. He’d likely eventually die of an overdose, but he was, at the time, winning.
To make matters stranger, as Charlie sunk deeper and deeper into his own world, he began marketing this world to sell within our own. He joined Twitter and had a million followers within 25 hours and 17 minutes. He started producing drinks called “Tiger Blood” and shirts with his various sayings. He created an online show where he talked to his camera and began to document all of his conversations. He starred in a short comedy sketch seeming to mock himself then launched a sold-out tour called the “Violent Torpedo of Truth.”
So the question remains. Is Charlie on drugs? Is he just burnt out from all the drugs he’s done to the point that he’s never really sober? Or maybe, just maybe, Sheen was bored with his success and is trying something new. Maybe he’s selling us a new character, not unlike Joaquin Phoenix portrayal of his drugged out self in the mockumentary I’m Still Here. Only time will tell what Charlie has in store next.
And if you want to know what a Vatican assassin warlock is… well… I can explain.