Defending Charlie Sheen


In March much of the media denounced the actor Charlie Sheen for his wild behavior, which includes a history of drug use and an affinity for porn stars. Early in the month, a judge stripped Sheen of custody of his twin sons. By mid-month, he had been fired from his role on the CBS show Two and a Half Men for "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." He responded with a series of defiant and sometimes wacky interviews, attacking targets ranging from CBS to Alcoholics Anonymous.

The libertarian stand-up comic Doug Stanhope, two-time winner of Time Out New York's Best Comedy Performance award, offered us three defenses for the TV and movie star:

1 A.A. is voodoo. Any 12-Step program requires a belief in God as its central component. When a judge forces rehab as the only alternative to jail time, the breach of the wall between church and state is egregious.

2 Sheen's pastimes are his own business. Nobody has disputed Charlie Sheen's work ethic. That's why his show is the top-rated sitcom and he is television's highest-paid actor. If your dry cleaner spends his weekend dressed in a diaper burning effigies of Ronald Reagan, your only concern should be if he got the mustard stain out of your shirt.

3 They're taking away his children because he's weird. Sheen passed not one but three drug tests before sheriffs came to take away his children. This means that their only grounds must have been his bizarre behavior. Take note, Tom Cruise, the next time you jump up and down on Oprah's couch.

NEXT: Pop Democracy in the Middle East

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  1. I tend to think that AA–that any 12-step program–is voodoo because many of the former’s tactics resemble voodoo spellwork. There is the God thing, although, not having lived in an area where voodoun is widely practised, I have not met anyone who is both a voodooist and an AA member, and thus has a number of higher powers. One little tactic that always gets a smile is the ‘pray for one’s enemies/persons against whom you hold a ‘resentment’ ploy’. Goes like this: list everyone and everything that pisses you off. Write the names of all of those on a piece of paper. Draw a line beneath the names.

    List all of the God-endorsed qualities and things you would like for yourself, and pray to your higher power(s) that the persons/things listed on your list receives them as well. Draw a circle around everything you have written.

    All of that would seem an autohypnotic maneuver–you eventually stop perseverating on the world of shit that makes you mad and eats up all of that intrapsychic energy you tend to waste on such matters. You calm down, forget about it, and are no longer bothered by those people and institutions.

    The one time I tried to practise a voodoo/Wiccan spell, it backfired egregiously, or high school physics was at work. Whatever the case (I tend toward the latter explanation), I quit all of that and am now pretty much Christian. I don’t much care how God works, just that he does, most of the time.

    Still aint got no good shit though, and ppl are still the worst thing about this world.

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