Charlie Sheen is a poster boy.
No, I’m not talking about a poster boy for cocaine overdose or how to utterly shipwreck one’s life. Though Sheen could fill an infinitum amount of reality shows with such surreality.
I propose the recent shenanigans of Sheen not only display his own personal excesses, they display with crystal clarity our own excesses as a society.
For too long we have been bingeing on the most ridiculous and superfluous news our culture has to offer. The hangover effect we will reap from it will not be worth the seconds of satisfaction we got from watching a rap about an attempted rape or a father getting hit in the groin by his kid.
In the world right now:
A deranged dictator who is capable of real damage to the world has made Libya a cauldron potentially bubbling over to an international war.
In a display of global implications, thousands of protestors in Egypt still storm the streets and cry out for justice and freedom from a tyrannical government.
The United States Supreme Court continues to hand out landmark rulings nearly every week like they’re sticks of gum.
And yet all we are infatuated with are the drug induced incoherent ramblings of a madman. I mean really, count the Facebook statuses you can attribute to Sheen alone. Case in point: Sheen made Twitter history when he recently opened an account and garnered 1 million followers in just 24 hours. We can thank him for such thought-provoking gems such as these:
“We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
“They picked a fight with a warlock.”
“Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my sabre.”
A regular warrior poet you are, Mr. Sheen. Or something like that.
Charlie Sheen is not the primary issue, rather he is just a microcosm of what’s wrong with our insatiable thirst for meaningless information. And I do say what’s wrong with “us” and not the big bad mainstream media. The media is just playing the ratings game, and if a monkey that scratches and sniffs it’s butt gets them the right numbers then they just as well will show that 24/7.
Try this yourself. Take the aforementioned shot to the man region for example. Upload a video on Youtube of a father getting hit in his manhood while playing baseball with his child and you will get 1,000+ hits and 100+ comments by the end of the day. We take illogical delight (at least I do for some reason) in a father being virtually emasculated before his children and world. And this is a man who is doing the good and fatherly thing by spending quality time with his child, which is becoming the unfortunate exception in our biblically man-less culture. Yet, write a thoughtful piece on the scourge of fatherlessness on our society and it’s rating will remain stagnant with little or no participation from the e-world.
A keyboard playing cat is an internet mover and shaker, but a dying father and husband’s heart-rending last words of wisdom to the world are barely a blip on the radar.
Our constant diet of shallow frivolousness is an indictment on our spiritual depth. “I will delight in Your law” once said the wise Psalmist (Psalm 119). The contemporary Psalmist says “I will delight in the foolish meanderings of a publicity and cocaine addict.”
What’s worse: living a wretched life or delighting in the fruits of a wretched life? Those two are not as distant of cousins as we would like to confess.
We must be vigilant with what we sow into our soul on a daily basis. If we become what we behold (2 Corinthians 3:18), we may want to turn the tube off the next time Sheen (or the likes of him) is given a megaphone to air his madness. Especially if we are self-aware of our inherent fascination with train wrecks and car crashes.
Apart from the grace of God, we would all end up as the poster children for a sad wretched self-absorbed life. We do have the same ancestral father after all (Romans 5:12). We are struck with the same tragic malady (Romans 3:23) Sheen is just a natural-born member of the depraved human race like every other man, woman, and child is (Eph 2:3-5).
Maybe we shouldn’t laugh so hard at Charlie. We have a lot more in common with this “Warlock” than we are willing to admit.