lavish celebration of the best and brightest movies from 2010. Stars were interviewed on the Red Carpet, badly timed jokes were cracked by the ceremony's younger-skewing hosts, the network's five second tape delay came in handy during Melissa Leo's Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech, and gold statuettes were handed out to some of Hollywood's most deserving artists/entertainers. But one significant figure in the entertainment industry was nowhere to be found during the proceedings: Charlie Sheen.
Despite his absence (court-ordered or otherwise), Sheen's presence could be felt in two instances throughout the night: once when a drag-clad James Franco cracked a passing joke, and once when a promo for Sheen's upcoming interviews with Good Morning America and 20/20 aired during the telecast. Gee, given his recent epic BIFF on a radio interview with Alex Jones - leading directly into the announcement that Two and a Half Men is no longer a viable television program - you'd think he would stay away from public exposure for a while. But prudence was clearly never the Sheen way...
Selections from said epic BIFF can be found in this article - I wanted to give it its own paragraph, lets it get lost in the shuffle. You can find the full audio here. It really is some pretty amazing stuff. I don't know where he found the inspiration for such powerful vitriolic rants (my first guess would be the drugs he was taking, and my second guess would be a reaction from quitting said drugs cold turkey), but I think he could be on to something, both in style and in substance.
One thing is evident from listening/reading to this interview: Charlie Sheen is on a power trip. Whether it's the after effects of a cocaine-fueled delirium (in yesterday's interview with NBC News, he references "7-gram rocks") or whether he has actually transcended into a higher level of being, he clearly thinks of himself as far above the rest. Amidst inane babblings about Pope-funded conspiracy theories (see title), references to his army of invisible assassins, and favorable self-comparisons to fighter jets, Sheen pokes fun at the "unevolved minds" of those who "can't process" the pure awesomeness with which he lives his life. This theory of evolution calls up at once Nietzsche's ubermensch - also to a lesser extent Professor Xavier's X-Men.
Another example of his winning ways is his ability to instantly cure his "disease" (i.e. his substance dependency) with the power of his mind. And so far this cure has seemed to stick - as of Thursday's radio interview, a series of drug tests had revealed that Sheen had been drug free for 72 hours. Don't expect Sheen to return to the clinic for more testing any time soon, though - his conditions regarding a urine test: "the first one's free, the second one goes in your mouth."
He also appears to have internalized his father's character's journey in the Vietnam War classic Apocalypse Now. During the interview, he revealed to Alex the design of his newest tattoo (discussed at minute 8 of the audio): the banner from the "Death From Above" card Col. Kilgore throws onto his victims... juxtaposed with the apple from The Giving Tree. "There's my life. Deal with it. Oh, wait. Can't process it. Losers. Winning. Buh-bye!" I think Sheen's commentary speaks for itself on that one...
I heard from someone who knows someone with a background in cognitive neuroscience that when people listen to someone who they genuinely believe has healing power from God, or who claims to speak in tongues, etc., their frontal lobes totally shut down. The section of their brains that process rational thought go out to lunch, and it's essentially as if they've been temporarily lobotomized. This is the effect that great religious orators have on their followers.
Meanwhile, who are the great orators of today? Politicians? Enlightened listeners can easily see that they're just looking for votes. Corporate leaders? They focus so much time and energy into perfecting their business acumen that most freeze up in front of a microphone. Sports stars? Half the time they're inspiring, half the time they're embarrassing, none of which is particularly insightful.
When push comes to shove, today's greatest orators are actors, those who have trained to use their voices as an instrument to trigger human emotion. And since today's culture is all about catching celebrities at their worst, the great speeches of the great orators aren't ones they've rehearsed or practiced, they're the spur-of-the-moment outbursts that reveal the true personalities of these people who we watch every day.
Charlie Sheen has revealed that he is a self-destructive mess who has very little regard for anyone but himself. And I will continue to follow his story to whatever end.