Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charlie Sheen and an over-emphasis on Hollywood

For as long as Hollywood has been producing movies and television shows, a large portion of the American population has been fascinated by it.

I like being entertained as much as the next person, but I have never quite understood the celebrity worship that takes place in our country.

There is nothing wrong with being a fan of a particular artist. However, we cross the line when every movement or word spoken by that person is treated like national news.

The latest celebrity under the white-hot spotlight of scrutiny is Charlie Sheen. Sheen first came to prominence in the 1980s in such excellent films as 'Platoon' and 'Wall Street.'

Since then, he has had an up and down career. In recent years, he has had a lot of success on the television comedy 'Two and a Half Men.'

Of course, his personal life has been the subject of intense study in recent weeks by both the media and the public. With his apparent fondness for partying, he has apparently fallen into the abyss and appears in desperate need of a life preserver.

I have never watched 'Two and a Half Men,' but if his alleged behavior is true, I guess he is the one who is really the 'half a man' from that show.

Still, it is important to avoid taking cheap shots like the one I took in the previous paragraph. Because as much as we would like to deny it, we can not know for certain how we would react if we found ourselves in his shoes.

This is one of these situations where we really need to look in the mirror. If we have any genuine humility within ourselves, we would have to acknowledge that we are capable of falling into the same abyss that he allegedly has.

How would I react if millions of people told me how great I am? How would I react if lots of beautiful women were at my disposal? How would I react if I got paid millions of dollars just to do my job?

If I am honest, I would have to concede the possibility that it could impact my behavior. If people kept telling me that I was fabulous, chances are that I would wake up one day and believe that I could do no wrong.

While Sheen has nobody but himself to blame for some of what he is going through, the public has to be considered contributors to this situation. We are an odd country. There is something about us that is fascinated by watching celebrities struggle.

I do not understand it. It is like we love to build people up, but if they fall, we start kicking them when they hit the ground. Hollywood is a community that is known for its ruthlessness and lack of compassion. It appears this attitude trickles to the public when it comes to people who go astray.

Compassion can be difficult to muster when we see people struggle that appear to have all the advantages. When somebody has money, power, charisma, good looks, and popularity, it is a lot easier to not have patience with them.

However, should we not all strive to treat people the same no matter what their status in life is? Rich people and poor people may not have the same types of problems, but I think we would all agree that every one of us have problems.

I know I appreciate it when the people in my life show patience with me when I make bad decisions that make me look like a blithering idiot.

The bottom line is the way we treat people says a lot about us.

We would do well if we remembered that.


Anonymous said...

I see your point, but Sheen has a long history of disrespecting women. His latest stuff is nothing new.

Ten Irish said...

Charlie's dad is a class act, despite some left-wing attitudes. Yet this acorn of a son fell as far from the tree as it's humanly possible to fall, and, nut that he is, never quite grew into anything but a gnarly place for squirrels to nest.