Thursday, October 16, 2008
Ok, not only is Charlie Sheen the highest paid actor on television now, he's also the best.
Well, maybe that's stretching it a little. He's not the best actor, by any means, but I would argue he is the best public figure on television.
In the '80s, Charlie Sheen and his brother Emilio Estevez were on everybody's radar: Emilio had his Brat Pack connection, Charlie was Emilio's bad-boy brother, and they were both in the Young Guns franchise.
Times have changed and the poles have shifted. Now Charlie is the star (no more Navy Seals for him), while Emilio does shit like Bobby, which maybe three dozen people snoozed their way through.
Why did Charlie stand the test of time while Emilio crashed?
Because he's the embodiment of the right to live his life any way he chooses and to publicize it so. He elects to be the king of excess, and he does it admirably. So, he bangs a couple of hookers a night. So, he loses thousands on cockfights. So, he overdoses after injecting cocaine 'cause he was bored. So what?
What I most appreciate about Charlie Sheen is that he never tries to hide his lifestyle. He publicly acknowledges all the ridiculous shit he does, and he does it with a wink and a grin. He knows he's scummy, his characters know they're scummy, but they're happy in the gutter all the same.
Before anyone has a chance to give him shit about his life, he's given himself it two times over. He does it in interviews, he does it in his characters. Whether on Two and a Half Men or Spin City or Major League, he takes the piss out of himself because he knows that's smarter than hiding from the truth.
He's a libertarian icon. I say more power to him.