Sheen, the Nietzschean
by Kiko Matsing
Everyone thinks that Charlie Sheen is having a very public mental breakdown, as he goes around TV and radio shows ranting about his cancelled show. I’m not so sure. Yes, he’s manic and grandiose. Maybe even narcissistic, delusional, and in denial too. He certainly looks rough with that raspy voice and sallow face. But he also strikes me as very self-aware, and in fact often regards himself with irony. (Listen to his interviews with fellow hedonist, Howard Stern, for example: Part 1, 2, 3.) Now that does not sound like a fellow who is losing his grip on reality.
I think Sheen’s interviews are hilarious. Even more so because it shocks the knickers off media’s petit bourgeois who pretend to be concerned about his mental health, while salaciously salivating on his story. The so-called psychology and substance abuse ‘experts’ who are asked to weigh in are the worst. What a bunch of charlatans! They need a snort of that Charlie Sheen drug, and maybe they’ll pick up his sense of humor.
I love the way he spits out one brilliant one-liner after another. This dude has lightning speed fluency with words. Just like that other manic and voluble stand-up comic, Robbin Williams. Tiger blood, Adonis DNA! Haha! Whatever it was he was taking must have hot wired the verbal centers of his brain.
“It’s a war. And it’s on.”
“They picked a fight with a warlock.”
“I have one speed. I have one gear. Go.”
“I’m not ‘aw shucks’. Because I’m gnarly.”
“They’re [pornstars] the best at what they do and I’m the best at what I do. And together it’s like, it’s on. Sorry, Middle America. Yeah, I said it.”
“We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
“Let’s hook up and just bring fiery death.”
“You can’t focus on things that matter if all you’ve been is asleep for 40 years. Funny how sleep rhymes with sheep.”
“I guess I’m just that goddamn bitchin’.”
“I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total freaking rock star from Mars.”
“It might be lonely up here, but I sure like the view.”
“Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.”
“I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs.”
Charlie Sheen has fully embraced a life of hedonism that is both decadent in its excesses and aristocratic in its imperiousness. He disdains the dull plebeians at CBS–those bean counters in stiff suits who fret over decorum. If anything, his aphoristic pronouncements reveal a Nietzschean amoral will-to-power. He lives life large and in-the-moment, because he can–like Nietszche’s tyrannical Übermensch, or, in Sheen’s words, a “total freaking rock star from Mars”. He also seems to understand, from his many interviews, that stars shine brightest when they’re about to burn out.