Sheen isn’t new

By Yaroslav Mikhaylov


Charlie Sheen is crazy.

He was horribly overpaid for his show, has a history of misogyny, marital problems and a terrible working relationship with his boss.

He continues to provide ample ammunition for critics and pundits looking to shoot down his career. And yet, the one behavior he has exhibited that is being criticized the most is his penchant for wild cocaine-and-porn-star parties. Sure, the man parties like a wild animal, but so does most of my target audience. Few people on this campus party as hard as he does, of course, but there is nothing inherently wrong with throwing an awesome party. Sheen has done plenty of things to be vilified, but his drug and sex life should not be the primary reason to criticize him.

Drug use is between a man and his internal organs. Plenty of celebrities have done drugs.

In fact, people like Keith Richards, Robert Downey Jr. and members of The Beatles used large amounts of drugs. Robert Downey Jr. successfully turned his life around, stopped using drugs and became a serious actor and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Keith Richards and The Beatles on the other hand, kept on doing drugs throughout their radically successful careers.

The Beatles even managed to keep most of their behavior secret despite multiple arrests where Paul McCartney attempted to smuggle massive amounts of marijuana on tour. And I don’t think any of The Rolling Stones ever really stopped doing drugs. Drug use is not the end of a life or a career. It is possible to put it behind you and recover.

It is also possible to use drugs and still maintain a great career and personal life. Sure, Charlie Sheen’s habit of “banging seven-gram rocks and finishing them” is not healthy or remotely attractive, but it is probably not much worse than the sort of thing Richards and Jagger were doing at the height of the Stones’ popularity. And it was not drugs, but rather Sheen’s abrasive personality that finally led to his suspension from “Two and a Half Men.” To condemn Sheen’s drug use while holding up Richards as a cultural icon is not only incongruous but hypocritical.

The other critique of Sheen is his family living arrangement. He has been married three times, with each marriage ending in a contested divorce. He has reportedly partied with many pornographic actresses, and was – as of the last week – living with an adult film actress and a model who he calls his “goddesses.” Happiness in relationships is hard to find, which is as true for college students as it is for rock stars from Mars. Most people on this campus have been in a relationship where they were smitten with their significant other, only to realize later that the relationship wasn’t working.

Sheen has made three mistakes like that, and has finally realized that divorce is a lot of paperwork, so he isn’t trying again. And why is he so quick to marry them? Because each wedding consists of at least three socially acceptable mega-parties and Sheen sure loves his parties. Now he is very happy in his polyamorous relationship with two beautiful women half his age, so let him be happy with them. Just because his idea of domestic bliss is not equal to many does not make him a bad person. Likewise, there is nothing wrong for him to have had sex with porn stars at his crazy parties while in the process of getting a divorce. His relationship with his wife was over at that point and his relationship with his “goddesses” had not yet started. There were no victims of his activity, except for those seven-gram rocks.

So, Charlie Sheen parties like crazy and has sex with adult film stars. Where is the problem here? He is happy with the life he led. He described his drug binges as “epic.” He waxes poetic about his beautiful girlfriends. Sure, there are problems with his party life. He has gone to rehab at the urging of the rock star Slash and is unlikely to have the chance to raise his own children in any sort of fatherly capacity. And it goes without saying that he is currently unemployed.

He is an abrasive and horribly vain person, but that’s not what he is being criticized for. We’re used to famous actors, like Christian Bale for instance, throwing hissy fits over nothing. We take it for granted that the privileged will yell and scream about how “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” will make our children take acid and Dr. Manhattan’s blue penis will turn them into sexual predators. Charlie Sheen is not a good person; he is a terrible role model and may, in fact, be bipolar. But as far as his sex life and his partying go, he’s bi-winning: he’s winning at both.

Yaroslav Mikhaylov is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].