Charlie Sheen was hospitalized last week due to intense abdominal pain after engaging in a thirty-six hour booze and coke-fueled bender with numerous porn stars.
Sure his liver probably looks like camouflage and he’ll likely be dead before I finish writing this, but I’ll be damned if following his ridiculous exploits isn’t fun (albeit slightly tragic).
Sheen’s recent drunken misadventures also inspired me to finally acknowledge the butt pimple on television’s ass, the MTV program Jersey Shore.
From what I gather the show documents the intoxicated antics of seven legally retarded Italian Americans and their pet Ewok, while they spend the summer getting shit-faced and heralding the apocalypse by establishing themselves as stars of a hit TV show.
With Charlie Sheen and the cast of Jersey Shore seeming to have a lot in common, I decided it was time to re-watch Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and try and figure out what Sigmond Freud would make of all this.
FACT VS. FICTION
On Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen plays Charlie Harper, a wealthy, drunken, sleazy lothario who enjoys prostitution. In real life, Charlie Sheen is a wealthy, drunken, sleazy lothario who enjoys prostitution.
The fact that Sheen is literally playing himself on camera is awesome. Even more awesome? He’s the highest paid actor on television.
On Jersey Shore, what you see is what you get with each one of the self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes. There is no fictionalized version of the cast. These overpaid and uneducated chowderheads simply live in a perpetual state of intoxicated, ignorant bliss.
These people can’t seem to comprehend the negative effects of excessive drinking and tanning. And their GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) catchphrase? It’s asinine. It sounds like they randomly picked a bunch of words out of a pop-up book, which is probable considering they all most likely read at a Grade One level.
What GTL should really stand for: Gay. Tool. Loser.
Both shows seem to provide entertainment to the masses. However, it’s a lot different getting a kick out of watching Charlie Harper seduce a married housewife than it is watching that little meatball Snooki sneak beers while at work, do shots by herself on her break, then get arrested for being drunk and disorderly on the beach in the early afternoon.
Sure, both shows glamourize bad behaviour, but there’s an inherent buffer that accompanies fiction. Despite the striking parallels with his own life, in the end Charlie Sheen is still playing a character. Because Jersey Shore is reality television, we’re simply watching a pudgy alcoholic gremlin humiliate and degrade herself.
Watching Two and a Half Men can make for fun, adult humour. Watching Jersey Shore makes me want to take a shower and get a blood test.
So what’s the appeal of Jersey Shore? Living without consequences? Laughing at them instead of with them? Whatever it is, the show is crude and tactless and I’d rather put a cigarette out in my eye than be exposed to people I probably should, but don’t, feel sorry for.
Charlie Sheen parties with porn stars. He has for years. From shagging Adult Film Hall of Famer Ginger Lynn back in the nineties to recently tearing it up in Vegas with Bree Olsen, the 2008 AVN Award Winner for Best Anal Scene, it’s safe to say that Charlie Sheen loves him some upscale whores.
The women of the Jersey Shore on the other hand? They are about as trashy as they come. Literally. One of them showed up at the MTV house in Jersey with her clothes in a trash bag.
Sure porn stars get plowed more than a farmer’s land during peak crop season, but at least those chicks get regular STD testing since it is mandatory for actresses in adult entertainment.
The ladies on Jersey Shore, on the other hand, look like they crawled out of a herpes nest and onto national television.
Like him or not, there’s no denying that Charlie Sheen is pure, Freudian id. There is no ego or superego. There is no conscience or guilt. The man simply indulges his primal instincts like he’s a horny caveman who snorts cocaine instead of hunting wooly mammoths.
Few of us will ever know what it’s like to embrace our most basic desires with such reckless abandon. And while it is sad to see Charlie Sheen hospitalized as consequence of an epic tailspin of booze, drugs and whores, there are worse ways to go than doing jello shots off of award winning badonkadonks and motorboating balloon sized boobs.
TALENT OR LACK THEREOF
Charlie Sheen in an immensely talented actor. From his leading man turns in films like Platoon and Wall Street to his Leslie Nielsen-esque performances in slapstick comedies like Hot Shots! and the Scary Movie franchise, Sheen has demonstrated a broad range of talent.
And despite the train wreck that is his personal life, the son of a bitch continues to improve as an actor.
Compare his performance on Spin City, his first foray into sitcoms, to his current work on Two and a Half Men. Years of steady sitcom work has honed his comic timing and he’s mastered playing for laughs. Two and a Half Men is so risqué and chalk full of double entendres that a lesser actor couldn’t get away with half the stuff Charlie Sheen does.
Charlie Sheen cracks wise about things like gang bangs and anal sex every Monday night at 9 p.m, and he’s so damn good at it everybody watching the show just takes it in stride and thinks to themselves “Oh, that Charlie.”
The Jersey Shore cast, however, have no discernable talent whatsoever, unless you count lifting up your T-shirt a skill. It’s the TV equivalent to putting a bunch of rodents in a cage and watching them eat, crap, fight, hump and exercise.
The point is that Charlie Sheen can do something that most people cannot — he can act. The cast of Jersey Shore does something that everyone can do, and I know plenty of people that can party a hell of a lot better than these greasy fist pumping troglodytes.
Despite his seemingly self-destructive lifestyle, Charlie Sheen remains a consumate professional who consistently shows up on set on time and does his job. His exploits make for tabloid fodder and great monologue jokes for talk show hosts, and there’s no shame in having a chuckle over his coked up pornographic misadventures.
The guy is larger than life and he literally parties like a rock star. His lifestyle is one of excess and it’s normal to find humour in the sheer lunacy of how this well publicized wild man chooses to live his life.
On the other hand, the fact that Jersey Shore is a television ratings juggernaut and has cemented itself within pop culture is a disturbing and sad reflection on our society’s addiction to fame.
It’s one thing if MTV wants to exploit people like Snooki and The Situation in an effort to get ratings. It’s something else entirely if our celebrity obsessed culture is keeping these moronic grease balls relevant to the point where they’re endorsing products and making millions of dollars from hawking everything from tanning bronzers to protein vodka.
The world was a better place before the dominance of reality TV. People used to get famous for having a talent or an ability. Now our celebrities are stupid kids idolizing shows like Teen Mom and getting pregnant on purpose or talentless stereotypes whose limited intelligence have deluded them to the point where they think they have something to offer.
Here’s hoping Jersey Shore flames out and Charlie Sheen keeps on snorting lines off of porn star asses.
Because that’s the way it should be.