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“I don’t ‘support’ him, I just want to watch the trainwreck, you killjoy.” (Paraphrased) March 29, 2011

Posted by thesporkgirl in Domestic Abuse, Substance Abuse, Why Unfollow Charlie?.
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Rebuttal #1 was to the argument that “He’s not hurting anyone but himself.” to which I answer, “Yes, he has, and is still,” in this blog post: http://wp.me/p1qbZi-23 The second most common contrary reaction I hear is along the lines of “Let’s make some popcorn and watch this trainwreck!!” Although to ME the history of violence aspect of this is of supreme importance, maybe for you it’s not, and I get that. So let’s set aside all the issues of domestic violence entirely, let’s imagine this is something less dangerous, more self-contained, as if he were only going to hurt himself.

My reaction to that could simply be summed up, “Why?” Look, I get it, there is schadenfreude. That is a thing. But please consider a little empathy. If your sibling, or best friend, were in the throes of either untreated bipolar disorder or severe drug addiction, whichever the case may be (or both, or something else entirely), would you really want people salivating, staring, waiting for them to display another episode, for their own entertainment?

A few years ago, outside ComicCon, a homeless/drug addicted/mentally ill man was passed out on the sidewalk in broad daylight. I waited while my sister went to go get the building’s security. In those few minutes, two teenagers loomed over him, each in turn, giving thumb’s up and devil horns, posing for pictures, grinning and shouting “ENN WHY CEEEE!!” it was so, so ugly. I was so shocked I didn’t even yell at them, it wasn’t until they were done that my mind managed to wake up enough to mutter “That’s disgusting” to them. They looked stunned at my reaction. Like who WOULDN’T enjoy someone else’s pain as much as they were? It’s hilarious, because he’s not like us, spoiled little brats buying action figures and limited edition goobledeegook with their allowance. He’s basically not a person, look how different we are, *devil horns* *grin* Barf. Don’t be those kids, ok?

Maybe you’ve never known anyone dealing with serious issues like these, so to you it’s impossible to imagine. Or maybe you know it well enough but you think he deserves it, and there is some deep-rooted evolutionary desire to see people who have done bad things suffer. To the first of those options, I would ask that you look into a little bit. Read a little about what families of sufferers go through, and try to remember that this is a deeply disturbed man. But he is still a person, and he has children and parents and siblings. And if you’re really in it to see him get what’s comin’ to ‘im, it’s kind of like you’re camped out in the town square waiting for the next public hanging. Or ideally, public flogging. A very long, drawn out, disturbing public flogging where the doomed soul puts on a grand show at first. Keeps it going for weeks now, and indeed shows no sign of remorse or repentance, and seems to think you are all there to support him.

That is my second, more minor point. Perceived support. If you are following him on twitter to mock him, to watch a mental breakdown, well, he doesn’t know that. His supporters don’t know that. Take a look around twitter sometime, and you’ll see sooooo many people who are honestly, really, actually supporting the guy. Cheering him on, “Yes! You are a hero!” and “I want to party with you!” even “I love you, Charlie, let me be your next goddess!!” So if you think you are in this metaphorical town square to watch him hang, you aren’t booing him. And everyone else (or a lot of them anyways) are cheering. And even if you hear a few boos, a few witty one-line put-downs, that is actually drowned out by the cheering going on. All anyone sees is 3 million people, and the most vocal ones are cheering. Kinda hard to pick out the jaded booers or silent protesters in a crowd that big and that loud.

Thirdly, it’s not like you will miss anything. Not in today’s media-saturated society. His twitter stream isn’t providing that promised explosion and meltdown. It’s boring. He has no motivation to provide entertainment to you for free anymore, because he is trying to sell shows instead. You aren’t watching a trainwreck. And I hate to break it to you, you never will. It is monetized now. When it was just him and the ladies and one assistant typing for him, there was a chance of genuine insight into his mind. No longer. Now, it is a brand. And they won’t let you see the brand’s collapse live online, for free. If or when this episode ends for Charlie Sheen, it will go out not with a bang but with a whimper.

Lastly, although it is doubtful anyone in this category will read this, if you honestly like and support Charlie Sheen (despite everything, for whatever reason, that is still your right), in my opinion you should STILL not want him to have 3 million followers on twitter. That is not helpful to someone going through whatever it is he is going through. It is enabling and encouraging damaging behavior. If you like him, you should want him to get better, seek treatment, and start making better decisions. This fanbase of people urging him to continue to self-destruct for their own amusement isn’t helpful. He won’t make a change for the better because you and 3 million other people are telling him (perhaps inadvertently) to keep on doing exactly what he is doing. Doing what he is doing has landed him in the hospital for physical and mental repercussions of this lifestyle as recently as two months ago.

I realize the above is a little high-horsey. And I am sorry to rain on your parade. But it’s still your parade. If you are watching for the drama, all I can really say to you is, “Still?” *taps watch* “It’s been awhile now. Still fun?” and if you answer “Yes, you killjoy.” I have nothing more to say on this particular aspect. Entertainment is subjective.

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Comments»

1. MichaelEdits - March 29, 2011

I haven’t figured out why anybody cares, and I’m not just saying that because I’ve lived in Asia for the past 12 years and nobody’s ever heard of the guy here. I never could figure out why celebrities are celebrated. Didn’t William Shatner tell us “It’s just a TV show”?

2. shana - March 29, 2011

Thank you for this post. I think that it is those of us who have family members who suffer from co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction see this situation differently.

It is easy to write off the situation or laugh at it if you don’t have someone like this living in your home, or are responsible for finding a treatment center that can actually help them.

My family member who suffers from bipolar and alcoholism has been arrested multiple times and been placed on a 5150 hold for FAR less than what Charlie Sheen has done.

I hope for his children’s sake he is able to someday find some peace.

3. Pollypureheart - March 31, 2011

I agree it’s wrong to enjoy and get some thrill out of others troubles but I have NO sympathy for Sheen. He is a thug and sleazebag who seems to refuse to own up to his s**ty behavior particularly towards women and the WORST part is he has women like his co-star Cnchatta Ferrell supporting his sorry a## it makes me sick. There isn’t a DAMN thing funny about DV nor should we keep making excuses for this prick who is too OLD to be acting this way. He is a grown a## man and it’s waaaaay past time people held him accountable for his actions.


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