Ghost in the MaSheen

Initially I had high, if not unrealistic, hopes for Charlie Sheen’s enigmatic ‘Violent Torpedo of Truth’ appearance. If Sheen was the Übermensch from Mars, as previously postulated, then his alien lexicon certainly must have a metaphysics to match. I hoped for more tirades, phantasmagorical tangents and deeper forays into Warlockian cosmology. Forget petty deliberations about the future of the novel: Sheen’s narrative was poised to inherit the future of postmodernism itself. Alas, it is with regret that I must report that the dude has got no game, as evidenced last Thursday in Atlanta. The Warlock’s curious cosmology now probably rests forever incomplete, perhaps one of the greatest underdeveloped philosophical texts of the 21st century.

The evening of the show, outside the Fabulous Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta, the schadenfreude hung as thick as a humid summer evening in Georgia. A mix of rednecks, fratboys, sycophants, celebritists, disaster tourists, hipsters and detached meta-ironists adorned the streets, curious to experience perhaps the oddest and newest form of popular entertainment: the unhinged celebrity meltdown, live in your hometown! Videographers, bloggers and mainstream TV crews worked the crowds panning for the archetypal caricature of Charlie’s Kids. They had no shortage of wonderful subjects.

One interviewer to a dopey lidded Georgia boy:
“He bombed in Detroit, do you think he will bomb here?”
“Huhu, I hope so.”
Remarks the stoner, in the true spirit of the deprecation of the times.

The show itself was predictably unfocused, persistently heckled and Sheen did very little of the infamous bizarro ranting that initially popularized his meltdown. He mouthed a few catchphrases when he wasn’t smoking, his delivery completely frazzled and bewildered. Vacant and ghostly white, he ambled forward. If it weren’t for Jeff Ross (“how do you roast a meltdown?”), whose roasting intervention literally kept people from walking out, the show would have been an epic disaster. Finally, Sheen’s brief monolog at the end smelled pathetically like a desperate plea to get his TV job back, claiming in reference to his former bosses, that “it’s up them to give the people what they want.” Gone was the fire, gone was the game. Face it Charlie, the drugs don’t work.