Whatever demons drive Charlie Sheen, they are fast running out of road. He still has a huge fan base, but if he continues to trek around the country spitting on them like he did to his fans in Detroit on 2 April then those numbers will dwindle as well. His opening night as a stand up comic was a disaster by every possible measure. To illustrate the scale of his popularity (in spite of losing his role on the TV show Two and a Half Men) I should repeat that his opening night as a stand up comic had sold out within minutes of the tickets coming available online. Minutes. It’s important to remember this fact because it is the very same group of fans who rushed to buy tickets who also began walking out during the first twenty minutes of his debut in disturbing numbers, all with discouraging comments of disappointment about their idol’s performance.
In fact, people continued to dribble out the front door with such frequence that when it came for a musician’s break, Sheen ducked out a rear entrance, never to return. He not only drove most of his fans away, he bailed on the few who respectfully remained.
Charlie Sheen’s adamant denial that drugs and alcohol have a negative impact on his life, that his usage of either is beyond his control and that he can manage life without help from anyone demonstrates the sort of hubris that is symptomatic of severe addiction. It provides the cornerstone for alcohol and drug abuse recovery as it is the first issue an addict in a recovery program is required to face – admission the addict is not in control of himself or his addiction.
The process of addict recovery begins with the term bottoming out. Coined from hitting the bottom of the wine barrel some seventy years ago, the bottom for an addict is that place in life where an individual finally finds himself without the means to care for himself, feed his habit or reinforce his denial. It’s where friends and family can no longer be tricked with clever lies into giving them money, room or board. There are no more cookie jars to rob or bartenders to con into giving them just one more freebie. No place to hide. At the very bottom of the empty barrel there’s literally nowhere else to go except to look inward and finally figure it out. No, I am not in control. I am not the most powerful being in the universe. I am a slave to my habit and I cannot break free without the help of another human being. This is where recovery begins.
For Charlie Sheen there is still time and hope. And I for one wish him good health and sobriety.
But what has any of this to do with Sarah Palin… indeed.
Charlie Sheen, at the peak of his popularity and success playing the role of Charlie Harper presumed he was immune to things to which other mortals were vulnerable because he was, after all, Charlie Sheen. Laws of nature and physics, rules of public decorum, morality, none applied to him. He was Charlie Sheen Harper , irreplaceable, invincible, immortal. He could do as he pleased and his fans would nonetheless rally around, the network would forgive him and his audiences would laugh at his material no matter how poorly he prepared. He was Charlie Sheen Harper.
29 August 2008, Dayton Ohio:
Sarah Heath Palin stepped from the rim of obscurity onto the brightly lit stage of a nationally televised Republican Rally and basked in the spotlight the way most of us soak up the sun. She drank in the sound of her own voice, whetting the appetite of her salacious pride. She feasted on the cheering roar of the crowd as if it were food from the Gods – of which she now counted herself as one.
Sarah Heath Palin’s political career peaked that night, in that moment. It would become the high she would continue to seek but never again achieve. However… and aye, here’s the rub… her relentless search to recapture that single moment of euphoria would lay a destructive course not just for herself but for the country she claimed to love…