Would you call the recent "Charlie Sheen" phenomena Mass Hysteria?

The Sheen fiasco was fascinating and entertaining in a train-wreck sort of way and Charlie was quick to strike while the iron was hot but it seems that the mixed (at best) reception of his live show has all the hallmarks of people who have come to their senses and realized it was kind of stupid to pay $95 bucks to see him.

That seems to be the trend these days. because of the internet, ideas spread and get famous so quickly but in most cases they stay confined to the internet, here it escaped into the real world and people who plunked down money when caught up in all of it seemed to shake their heads clear and say, “What the hell was I thinking?”. I suspect anyone who has paid money for that crazy bacon-related stuff you can buy online or pays to see Rebecca Black in anything will have the same reaction.

I guess this is a sign of the age we live in. Not judging, just discussing it.

No. Mass hysteria is a specific psychological/medical phenomenon, where people start getting sick without any real cause. It usually shows up in high-stress situations where one person shows “symptoms” – usually fainting, headaches, or other things that have no clearcut causes – and other start complaining of the same thing. No clear-cut cause can be found, but the victims insist they were genuinely sick (and they probably felt that way).

I think it’s more like a traffic accident. You don’t want to look but you do anyway.

I recall once there was an accident, where a truck carrying beer overturned on Fullerton in Chicago (a fairly busy street). The driver was hurt a bit but he was up and walking at the ambulance and no one else was involved. I think he messed up turning somehow.

Anyway, I was just fascinated by the beer all over the street. People were running up stealing the cans of beer, and it was all like surreal. There was no point to me watching it. I don’t drink so I wasn’t going to steal the beer, but to see the cops trying to rope it off and the people coming up and taking beer, and the rerouting of traffic.

It was something to see. It was a disaster and maybe if the driver was killed I would have left, but I think that is more what Charlie Sheen is like

I haven’t noticed anyone getting hysterical about Charlie Sheen except Charlie Sheen.

Well said. Other than the Sheen catchphrases showing up here and there in my Facebook feed, I’ve had no problem ignoring the hoopla over the idiot.

So how many dollarbucks would you pay to see him?

The dude has nothing on Nick Cage, who was recently arrested for drunk and disorderly after a drunken public shouting match with his woman over what house to rent.

Yup. People were just amused.

$95 might be a bit steep for a live show, but the theatre can be expensive, so I don’t know if it was any dearer than other similar shows. He was pretty famous before and headlined one of the most popular sitcoms in the US, so it’s not like he’d have had a hard time getting people to come to his show anyway.

Except for the media. If Charlie Sheen wanted to sit in a room and rant it wouldn’t have any interest for the rest of us. The fact that every newspaper and TV channel thinks his antics are ground breaking news is the mass hysteria. Thank you CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC. Don’t bother to report on Afganistan or Iraq anymore, we really need to know is what Charlie thinks of hookers and blow, over and over and over again. With a little Royal wedding coverage to fill in the gaps.

Memes leaking into the real world is quickly becoming more of a commonplace thing. If I were to guess, I’d venture that it’s partly because as folks grow up internet customs are becoming more mainstream, and also because news shows are turning to the internet for content more and more, so they’re more likely to notice memes and report on them. There’s also the fact that this particular meme included a celebrity; Chuck Norris Facts got some airtime back when they were transitioning from popular to played-out.

I fully expect a news story about bronies to surface in the next couple of months.

Given that Charlie Sheen was the star of a TV show and his original mad rants were on the radio, I don’t think you can call this an internet meme that transferred to other media - it was the other way round.

Not necessarily, the lines get blurrier all the time. Internet memes arise out of TV news stories all the time, like Antoine Dodson. Sheen may have been a crazy fucker on the radio, but it was “the internet” that decided he was an AWESOME crazy fucker and worthy of interest.

Yeah, the lines are definitely blurry, but this one was definitely more non-internet than internet - unusually so.

I agree that the Sheen phenomena is not particularly related to the internet. Virtually everything I’ve heard about it was through television.

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Maybe we should have a new forum called “Meltdowns”. If kind of seems insulting to cafes and the art in general to toss Sheen in there.

I’d call it “Mass Gawking.”

Or possibly “Mass whatever-it-is-that-you-call-people-who-go-to-auto-races-because-they-hope-there-will-be-a-huge-crash.”

Translation: I think most people who did attend the shows were hoping to see him humiliate himself. And they got their money’s worth.

If I ever do go to an auto race, I will certainly be hoping for a huge crash.

It’s not Mass Hysteria, it’s Mass Winning.