Is Charlie Sheen's belief in his innate exceptionalism a more honest position than false humility?

Yes, I know Charlie Sheen is world class, whoring, drug using jackass. His recent interviews pretty much nailed that proposition to the wall. Having said this, one theme he kept returning to was how he was different from other regular people who could not keep pace with either his expanded consciousness, or his (claimed) ability to function at work while indulging his gargantuan appetite for drugs and partying.

His argument was (I believe) distilled down into the following propositions.

I refuse to believe or entertain the argument that I am not exceptional. I live an exceptional life that pleases me, which involves using large quantities of drugs. I am regarded as as exceptional talent who performs competently and professionally as actor while working. I am rewarded for that talent by being paid an exceptional sum. In being able to do all these things compared to lesser men I am a rock star from Mars.

Hubris to be sure, but is he actually wrong? If he is empirically paid and treated (more or less) like a rock star from Mars he is on some level an exceptional human being. If he has now internalized that notion after years of being regarded and rewarded as a superstar is he wrong to say ordinary people cannot judge him for the style in which he chooses to live his life?

He’s not a rock star from Mars. He had a shitty show with a laugh track and asinine, lowest-common-denominator “humor.” Before that, he had the good fortune of being cast in a few good movies. All he knows how to do, seemingly, is indulge his hedonistic desires, and he’s able to do that only because he has so much money. Without the money, he’d just be another scuzzy bum, hoboin’ and homeless, hoping to hell that a good cocksucker might happen along who doesn’t mind the smell.

Show me someone who can actually act and provide good, quality, artistic performances while living that lifestyle, and I’ll be impressed. If it were Jon Voight or Elias Koteas or Garret Dillahunt or David Rees Snell publicly celebrating a drugged-up, oversexed lifestyle, I could dredge up some respect for their convictions. But Sheen is so mediocre…I don’t see what I’m supposed to admire about his outlook.

I dont see why ordinary people cant judge him for domestic violence.

The info so far makes it clear he wasnt professional in his work habits and was being carried. Various professionals have gone on the record saying they think it is likely he is having a hypomanic or manic episode of some sort.

Its just denial. I could see a theoretical argument in all of this, but the practical reality with this case is someone publically having a meltdown.


Yep, he seems to show classic symptoms of mania.

There are many many many good actors among us. Your neighbour might astonish you, given the right part to play.

Being a successful actor really is a matter of time and place…or influence. Being Martin Sheen’s son might have helped. :wink:

Lets be honest: actors give us pleasure but they don’t cure cancer or perform neurology. Some are paid at extraordinary levels which simply points up how skewed our values are today.

To answer the OP, from Charlie’s perspective, he is correct. Everything he has and receives tells him he is a superman.

He is an exceptional actor. A person who prances around in front of a camera, pretending to be someone he is not, entirely to entertain me, and other people like me. Does that make him inherently superior to us? I don’t think so. Millions of people find him entertaining, which makes him valuable to an entertainment company, so he gets paid more than most people, but superior? Please.

There’s still some hubris involved.

Sheen is a talented actor and he earns a lot of money. He’s honest when he claims these things. But then he goes beyond this to claim he is some form of homo superior and is immune to the laws of reality or any social conventions.

Being rich and famous does not protect you from the effects of drug abuse. Being rich and famous does not mean that you will never be broke and forgotten. Being rich and famous does not entitle you to abuse the people around you. And being rich and famous doesn’t mean you’re not insane.

Well he’s the only Vatican assassin I know. That alone makes him pretty exceptional.

His job is a lot more compatible with that sort of leisure pursuit than some. I don’t think my crumby office job would keep me employed too long if I called in sick and blamed it on the hookers & cocaine. I doubt he’s necessarily ‘gifted’ in boozing, snorting and whoring - more that coke provides the apparent stamina, and certainly the gratuitous self-belief, necessary to think so. Which will all come crashing down with heart failure at 50.

If we just stick with the question in the title, then, yes, I believe admitting that you believe yourself to be special is more honest than pretending to be humble. But, so what?

If we go with the actual post, then the questions are: Is Sheen in any way exceptional? and Do we have the right to judge exceptional people. The answer to the first is yes, but that’s true for every human being. The answer to the second therefore follows: we are all exceptional in one way or another. The only way your proposition would make sense is if judging people was itself wrong. Even Christians, who have the verse “Judge not lest ye be judged” do not believe all judging is wrong.

If I try to extrapolate something more meaningful, it would be, Do we have the right to judge people who we believe are better than us? My answer to that would be also be yes. Humans are inherently imperfect, and we cannot ignore that. It is good that at least some people are skeptical of our betters, as they might not actually be better than us after all.

I’m not trying to Godwin, but the analogy is apt: Many people thought Hitler was better than them, and thus did not question him. Those people thus allowed some pretty bad thing to happen. Obviously Sheen is nowhere near that bad, and nobody seems to want to follow his philosophy, even if they like the man. But he’s quite capable of doing some damage on his own. Of course we have the right to judge him for his damaging actions.

Charlie Sheen is behaving like an insecure teen, trying to shout louder than the little voice in his head that forever tells him he is a failure and soon to found out.

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

He reminds me of my manic-depressive mother-in-law when she’s going through a manic phase.

The really good Vatican assassins are the ones you don’t know about.

Depends on what statements come AFTER the “I’m exceptional.” If the thought is “I’m exceptional,” and nothing more, then lots of people can say that. Isn’t every human being unique?

If the thought is, “I’m exceptional and therefore the rules [or laws or behaviors] that apply to ordinary human beings don’t apply to me,” then there’s a problem. You might recall a chap named Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment who thought he was exceptional.

Agreeing that he appears to be going through a manic phase.

But he’s not wrong about some things, clearly. He is winning. Especially by the standards used in the west; fame, money, houses, cars, chicks, influence, etc.

As for the claim of tiger blood, I could convince myself he does have special blood. His father was a pretty solid substance abuser and skirt chasing hound, in his day. Who’s to say that doesn’t give Charlie some genetic predisposition that allows him to do 7 rocks in a day? That’d be some special blood, to be sure.

The Adonis thing is simple, I’m sure women fall all over him, and he’s been hearing and believing such praise for years.

Living as he does, in Hollywood where he has been considered ‘all that’ for so long, is a pretty insulated way to live, in a crazy environment, effectively being treated like a ‘rock star from mars’.

As for the claims that none of this will hurt him, again, being troubled, sent to rehab, landing in court - lots of stars have done as much without significantly hurting their careers. Some have even soared to new heights after their ‘difficulties’. Think Robert Downey Jr.

As for consorting with porn stars and whores, it didn’t hurt Huge Hefner any, and he had children!

We can certainly judge him for the domestic abuse, but he wouldn’t be the first star to face such accusations, yet still get work.

You gotta give props to his, recently fired, publicist. I had no idea he was such a whack job, prior to his public rants. Seeing the depth and breadth of his crazy, hanging out all over, now tells me whatever he was paying his publicist was well worth it. That guy deserved whatever he was getting paid and then some.

He’s only exceptional in that so many buy into his schtick that’s exceptional. I almost can’t blame him for having such a high opinion of himself. He could fill a bathtub with vomit and plenty of people (the media and the public) will gratefully lick it up and beg for more, and he knows it.

But he’s an emperor with no clothes.

If he’s so exceptional then why did he need to go to the ER not long ago after only a three day party?

Pfft. Charlie can’t hang. Put him in a time machine back to about 1972 and force him to party with Keith Richards for a week. That’ll learn him.

Right or wrong, it’s incredibly off-putting.

Um, I could be wrong, but I get the sense it was the nuthouse or the emerg, actually.