Two words: Charlie Sheen.
If that didn’t get you laughing, you’re probably without Internet access, obsessed with the news from Wisconsin or Libya or actually living in Libya.
For those without cultural barometers, Sheen, the actor and star of TV’s drekfest “Two and a Half Men” is suffering an epic Hollywood trainwreck meltdown of Biblical proportions and the voyeuristic public is hitching a ride.
The downward spiral began last year when Sheen entered a rehab facility, then trudged on for a few rocky months, which included a rollercoaster of alcohol and cocaine. He filed for divorce, was taken to the hospital with reportedly abdominal pains and entered another rehab program.
All of this is old hat in the entertainment business, where narcotic-fueled celebrities lose their inhibitions and minds at an alarming rate and either end up in rehab, prison or dead in some Sunset Boulevard hotel next to a screaming hooker.
What makes Sheen’s colossal blowup so engaging, intriguing (and hilarious) is his use of language. Not that Sheen is a profanity-spewing guttersnipe, but rather a distraught madman poet railing against the scumbags in his industry while embracing the cosmos like a lusty bohemian on smack.
In spite of his oft-amusing and bizarre tirades (or because of them), Sheen, who was a Twitter virgin before Tuesday, now has 1 million followers on the online instant messaging site. He had half a million followers before he even submitted his first tweet.
When Sheen gives interviews, he skewers his detractors while constructing a monument to his own ego and brand, an alpha male wolverine ravenously tearing into the gamey flesh of the weak-willed, sanctimonious phonies he perceives as persecuting him. Within this murky wonderland delirium beats the savage heart of a rakish warrior, a drug-addled fuck-machine with a penchant for booze, fast living and porn stars.
His verbal warfare is like Sheen, Hunter S. Thompson and Timothy Leary took a road trip to Vegas, gambled away their money, raided the brothels and zipped back to L.A. only to shoot heroin together on the bathroom floor of the Viper Room.
I overheard two old biddies speaking at the local library about Sheen’s cataclysmic career shift.
“I hope he gets his life straightened out and gets cleaned up. Think of those poor children,” one grandmotherly lady said.
“It’s just awful, isn’t it? So self-destructive,” the other one replied.
I hope he doesn’t get sober. Celebrities and the glitterati hold no interest for me, their exploits vain and self-centered, yet I feel extreme schadenfreude in this case, watching Sheen duke it out with destiny and pummel Hollywood with verbal upper-cuts.
America is fascinated by it. Sheen is a circus unto himself and we must devour every catchphrase with gusto. These Sheenisms may be cleverly-crafted gonzo koans written by a publicity director, or they may be genuine aphorisms from the actor's fevered imagination.
Wherever their source, we're riveted.
A friend of mine phoned me and said he's spellbound by Sheen's media blitz, saying America is held rapt by it all and "he's a social rubbernecking delay" we just have to crane our necks and watch as this accident unfolds.
Sheen’s statements have gone viral and sparked several websites featuring his most colorful quotes. Whether he exists like Belushi or Farley remains to be seen, but it seems like the celebrity with the tiger blood and appetite for winning is careening the runaway locomotive off the tracks and into oblivion, pulling the vast unwashed multitudes with him.
Here are some of Sheen’s most noteworthy remarks from various interviews and sources:
“I have one speed. I have one gear. Go.”
“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
“I don’t live in the middle anymore. That’s where you get slaughtered. That’s where you get embarrassed in front of the prom queen.”
“I have a disease? Bullshit. I cured it with my brain.”
“The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them look like droopy-eyed armless children.”
“I’ve got a different brain. I’ve got a different heart. I’ve got tiger blood, man.”
“I’m gonna win inside of every moment and they can just find the most comfortable chair in their small house and sit back and enjoy the show.”
“The motto now is you either love or you hate and you must do so violently.”
“They’re not welcomed to be in the presence of what I am doing.”
“Rhymes with winning? That would be us. Sorry, man, didn’t make the rules.”
“We are high priest Vatican assassin warlocks. Boom! Print that, people!”
“It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view.”
“It comes from my grand wizard master.”
“There are parts of me that are Dennis Hopper.”
“Most of the time – and this includes naps – I’m an F-18, bro, and I will destroy you in the air and deploy my ordinance to the ground.”
“Watch me bury you.”
“Don’t live in the middle.”
“Look what I’m dealing with, man. I’m dealing with fools and trolls. It’s just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee.”
“I got magic and poetry at my fingertips.”
“I am a peaceful man with bad intentions.”
“We win so radically in our underwear.”
“I drink water through my eyes.”
“A.A. was written for normal people, people that aren’t special. People that don’t have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA.”
“Come on, bro, I won Best Picture at 20. Wasn’t even trying. Wasn’t even warm.”
“You can’t process me with a normal brain.”
“As I said, ‘The first one’s free, the next one goes in yo mouth.’”
“I’m not Thomas Jefferson. He was a pussy.”
“People say, ‘You have to work through your resentments.’ Yeah, no, I’m gonna hang on to them and they’re gonna fuel my attack.”
“You have to hate everyone who is not in your family because they are there to destroy your family.”
“Imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists.”
“If people could just read behind the hieroglyphic.”
“There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.”
“The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.”
“They picked a fight with a warlock.”
“We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
“There’s my life. Deal with it. Oh, wait, can’t process it? Losers.”
“Surprise. That’s what winners do.”
“Could I have one little part of my life that’s not TMZed up the butt?”
“I'm bi-winning! I win here and I win there.”
“You borrow my brain for like five seconds and be like, ‘Dude! Can’t handle it! Unplug this bastard!’”
“I’m tired of thinking I’m not special. I’m tired of thinking I’m not bitchin’ and a total frickin’ rock star from Mars.”
“I’ve exposed people to magic!”
“They lay down with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and just look at their loser lives and then they look at me and they say, ‘I can’t process it!’”