It's been painful watching actor
Sheen, the talented former star of the
It's been impossible to avoid his disheveled hair, his darting eyes, his scary intensity. Gaunt and jittery, Sheen has gone on whatever show or channel would have him in a full-court press of pitiful publicity.
Normally, this kind of celebrity slobber is nothing but a silly distraction, but somehow, his very public breakdown has gotten to me. Perhaps it's the 24-7 barrage of Sheen news. Perhaps it's the reminder of
Whatever the reason, I find myself returning to this unhappy observation: Few seem to survive fame intact. And in this celebrity-saturated society, being famous for doing something well is not enough. You've got to be wacky and weird. Bizarre is the coveted calling card.
So what has the highest-paid actor on TV done to set off my alarm? Oh, so many examples to cite:
On his sobriety: "I am on a drug. It's called
On his strange behavior: "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending like I'm not a total bitchin' rock star from Mars."
And on why he doesn't need rehab: The
Many have publicly speculated that Sheen suffers from bipolar disorder and is in a classic manic episode. He denies this -- sort of. "I'm bi-winning. I win here. I win there," he told
These celebrity flameouts eventually end, but rarely in a happily ever after. In the meantime, let's hope Sheen serves as an object lesson, in this era of reality TV, for the countless Americans pursuing their proverbial 15 minutes of stardom.
Fame cannot replace character, nor is it a substitute for good judgment. Fame promises but never delivers. Beware, all ye who go there.
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