Actor Charlie Sheen has been all over the news this week in the wake of yet another porn "star" and cocaine bender. As a result, his show "Two and a Half Men" has taken a hiatus while Charlie chills on the sticky couches with drug counselors in the coke den he calls home, which also sometimes serves as a porn set. Meanwhile, photos from the infamous evening of debauchery make the rounds of the gossip media, a grinning Sheen flashing what's left of his cocaine-ravaged front teeth topped with gold caps.
The fact that a member of Hollywood royalty is looking like his next role should be relegated to that of starring in "Crackman and his Pimpmobile" or "Two And A Half Teeth" isn't much of anyone's business but his own, but it raises questions about priorities and values in the world of celebrity.
Sheen had the stellar luck of sliding out the right birth canal. Then he had the good sense early on to change his birth name of Estevez to that of his famous actor father, Martin Sheen, to redirect his future train wreck onto the correct track of nepotistic entitlement. His first role came at the age of 8, and he doesn't seem to have had much of a problem with landing work. The automatic success, family name, and lack of struggle in a competitive industry could explain an early sense of imperviousness to consequence.
Then came the hookers, drug binges, parole violations, and overdoses resulting in hospitalization. But you know what? Charlie Sheen is a pretty good actor. So good that he's the highest paid across a televisual landscape littered with reality show fledglings totally lacking in self-awareness. Charlie Sheen—like his dental work—is pure gold. Most of the people who still watch TV aren't surfing the Internet and seeing all this news about Sheen having sex with paid help and absorbing his paycheck through permanent and temporary orifices. Sheen is enough of a pro to pull it together to read some lines written by someone else. But try the following line on your grandma (assuming she's a fan of Sheen's show): "Hey grandma, did you know that one of the 'Two and a Half Men' has track marks on his arm under his yuppie wardrobe, was reenacting porn films with call girls last night, and has a nose like the guy's from the Operation game when the tweezers hit the side?"
"No! You do not say that about that Martin Sheen's lovely boy!" she'll say. You see, the Sheen family is in her house twice a week, between 'The West Wing' DVDs starring dad Martin you bought her and Charlie Sheen's sitcom. You don't speak that way about grandma's two best friends after Katie Couric and Brian Williams!