Tuesday, March 8, 2011

POP #1 ("It will go up when I'm ready for the people to receive it.")

The beginning of an occasional series of riffs and exultations on the things which fascinate me most in popular culture - weird, wonderful, brilliant, sad, sick, and emblematic of the absurdity of pleasure, pain, and the impossible.
image by Patrick Kennelly
So, not to beat a braying, impossible to kill horse - but it's unavoidable to escape Charlie Sheen, and no matter how tragic and horrible it may seem, that's maybe not such a bad thing right now. 

His truly indecipherable mass media displayed "meltdown" has rapidly become a sort of performance art masterpiece.  As he says in another one of his videotaped conversations, which is actually a monologue, "this is being recorded because people need to hear my gold as it rolls out, not as its like disappearing, disappearing like so many magicians' frickin' rabbits." 

It's easy to assume this is just the downward, drug-fueled spiral of one of the most raging narcissists in show business, but I, and a many, many others think there's something else at work.  Sheen has realized the key to what it's all about in our Pop! culture - which is this idea of "reality," a word that has become a part of the fictional lexicon, it's momentum trumping the more crafted spin that used to define what we were forced to experience in the culture ("We are in the middle of a movement here, an odyssey of epic, EPIC proportion," "don't they know we are in the cyber-pocket of greatness?" as Sheen says in Sheen's Korner).  Now it's a cycle of either calculated, or not, or both, personal aggression followed by apology, followed by.... and on. 

"It's radical, its radical and people are doing exactly what they should be doing, which is watching ME...because we have all the answers, we have all the gold, we have all the solutions...and keep in mind that any time I roll something out, my plan is the best plan in the world, and people are starting to wake up and Realize that, that their plan is shit and my plan is gold.  Walk into my plan, and you're going to win, win, win."

Every possible media outlet has been attempting to fuel this supposed "bloodsport," but Sheen's way ahead of them ("I have one speed, one gear, and that's go!" ).  We all have an inevitable fixation on "snuff" - and this is directly where it's heading.  A million+ may experience the first public death in tweets.

John Galliano enacted another form of performance with a much circulated video of his obviously drunken, cynical elegy to Hitler.  This got him sacked from his post atop Christian d'Or, but he's kept out of the public eye, which is not a very good idea, as Mel Gibson proved.  What's striking that it's their anti-Semitic tirades that found Sheen and Gibson in deep shit, mainstream career-wise, and not their long acknowledged abuse of women, as the Guardian article above acknowledges.

There are few borders left to cross, but the global abuse of women, played out as both religious ritual and popcorn entertainment (the I Spit on Your Grave remake is coming out soon) is still safe.

And here's the latest from the A.V. club's comprehensive,  up-to-the minute chronicle of Tiger Blood-fueled, all-things Sheen.

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