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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Media fails to note real issues in public displays

While I typically try not to discredit famous literary greats, I do believe that Shakespeare may have been incorrect in “Romeo and Juliet” when he wrote Juliet’s famous lines, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Clearly Shakespeare did not have the foresight to predict the colossal power in the former Carlos Irwin Estevez’s now hugely commoditized celebrity self, Charlie Sheen. But then again, Shakespeare probably wasn’t too familiar with the magic that Warlocks possess at level 100. With Sheen’s barrage of exploits, radio surfing, oh-so-coveted 20/20 spot and more, this “rock star” without even a second thought landed himself a hall of fame ejaculation of, “Are you f’ing serious!”

Does it even come as a surprise that Sheen has made my list? In this long week of epic battles fought by Sheen in judgment prevention, not only has he coined several phrases that YouTubers have made into what could possibly become even better than Antoine Dodson’s “Intruder Song,” but his Twitter account landed him a record breaking number of followers hanging on every character of his tweets. Can you say “winning”? Heck, Sheen is doing so well down at Sober Valley Lodge that he’s even got goddesses roaming the premises, no doubt eager to spend some quality time with those Adonis-like features, and perhaps a bit of erected tiger blood? I cringe at the thought.

But who’s to say this isn’t just another wacky celebrity trying to pull a Joaquin Phoenix. So far the M.O. is down: crack, prostitution, and ridiculous media attention. All he is missing is a rap career with a mix tape titled, “That’s how I roll, bro.” Could you imagine the embarrassed looks of NBC, CNN, ABC and every other media harlot that bought into this crazy circus?

Yet scam or real trouble, what is mentioned during every interview are the very real life consequences of addiction, mental illness, and domestic matters gone wrong. While the implications of seeing a person who believes he has an extraterrestrial brain deteriorate on national television is very possible, what’s frustrating on top of the lack of actual news, like Libya, are the ways in which these issues have only been discussed in relation to Sheen. Finally the media has a platform with which to segue into specials that deal with problems that affect a great portion of America, yet I haven’t heard any word of Oprah rallying up the troops to use her celebrity power for good.

And here lies the problem. Much like the neglect taken with Golden Voice Ted, the media seems at a loss to use their immense connections into millions of homes daily to effect a change with an outcome that doesn’t glorify a man for the sake of a joke or bestow instant fame to someone not ready to handle it. In the end it doesn’t matter how the pie’s been sliced; be it a second chance gone wrong, or the ravings of Sheen, continually the core issues are mentioned but pushed under the rug the minute the sensationalism dies down.

And while even this article has poked fun at the fastballs being thrown out by Sheen, what I can’t help but still notice after the laughter has died down, is the great sigh of sadness felt when thinking about how this capitalistic fodder does nothing productive for the audience it is being projected to. While I don’t particularly like the idea of selling and consuming crazy because it makes great reality TV, I could live with this if the byproduct educated the masses at the same time. How many experts does ABC need to call in about Sheen’s potential bi-polar episode before someone decides that maybe it might make a bit of sense to pool all these resources for a PSA about the combinations of drug use and their life-altering effects on the ol’ noggin? Perhaps if I begin to make a series of rants to be aired on KDIC and printed in the S&B about my Grinnell blood and bomb-diggity approach to being successful despite an academic decline due to a former addiction to Big Cookies, SHACS will do what the media couldn’t and educate the dangers of no limits. Column writer oh column writer, wherefore art thou f’ing seriousness?

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