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Charlie Sheen: Winning. But Is He Happy?

Charlie Sheen is obsessed with winning, as in, “The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning…” “Just winning every second…” “Winning, anyone?…” “Duh, winning!”

What’s winning? To Charlie it’s sleeping with all the attractive women he can buy, and treating them anyway he wants. When he abuses women does “beating” carry a double entendre – batter and win?

Two trains of thought prevail on the source of happiness. One side advocates freedom. The other, deep bonds.

Charlie, the libertine, seeks the former. Devoid of moral or social restraint, he feels more deserving of freedom than others. After all, the libertine’s liberty comes through other’s bondage.

Winning. Conquering. Total liberty as burden heaps onto others.

While your classic libertine could indulge in rape, murder and mayhem without much thought for the victims (think Marquis de Sade), Charlie may actually experience some, uh, “concern for others” (quotes indicating irony) seeking to believe his victims enjoy it, too. A little narcissism can help with that: I’m feelin’ good, so you must, too.

When Andrea Canning asked in a 20/20 interview how he thought the women felt, Charlie explained, “I expose people to magic. I expose them to something they’re never otherwise going to get to see in their normal, boring lives.” 

Let’s see, death threats, beatings, shooting, a rampage. Magic, indeed.

It helps when others are things – objects, sex objects – to be treated anyway you want. Yet as the “thing” becomes dehumanized, so does the dehumanizer.

Charlie Sheen: part libertine, part narcissist. Either way, it’s all about himself. Me, me, me without any real concern for you.

Yes, two perspectives prevail on the roots of happiness: freedom versus deep bonds. Social research suggests that deep connection is what actually creates bliss

In fact, some see addiction as arising out of deficiencies in deep spiritual bonds, whether the craving is for drugs/alcohol, sex, or thrills. Sheen may be exhibiting each of these. Making us wonder how joyful he really is.

Some suspect Sheen is mentally ill. If former child star, Todd Bridges, is right there may be a connection between drugs and this illness. In a discussion on The View this week, Bridges said that stopping cocaine use led him into “cocaine psychosis,” which he believes Sheen may be experiencing now.

Of course, Charlie thinks he’s fine. He’s winning. And he repeats it so often that you have to wonder who he’s trying to convince.

What is happiness’ source? Deep connection? Total freedom? Treating others like objects to be used, abused and tossed away? Drug use?

Winning and happy? That depends on your pursuit.

Georgia Platts

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Charlie Sheen: Celebrating a Bad-Boy Who Abuses Women

Charlie Sheen got fired. Until now he seemed to be rewarded more than punished for bad behavior, including a history of violence against women: He shot a fiancée in the arm, he hit a woman who wouldn’t have sex with him, he was arrested for beating a girlfriend, a porn star locked herself in a hotel bathroom as he went berserk, two of the women he married filed restraining orders against him after he issued death threats.

But right now I’m less concerned with Charlie’s behavior than with our own. Why did this abuse bring him greater celebrity than shame?

As Jezebel founder Anna Holmes pointed out in a New York Times piece, offense at abuse depends on the sort of women abused. Porn stars, prostitutes and suspected gold digging wives aren’t sympathetic. 

But sometimes violence against women just doesn’t seem like a big deal. Eminem had a huge hit and huge accolades for “Love the Way You Lie,” which highlighted Rihanna singing “I like the way it hurts” as Eminem chanted, “It’s like I’m in flight, High of a love, Drunk from the hate,” while Megan Fox got beaten up in the accompanying video. The song garnered critical acclaim, including Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. In fact, going into Grammy night, he led with ten nominations, including Album of the Year. No one seemed too bothered about eroticized abuse.

Oscar felt pretty hip awarding “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” a few years back. Isn’t “owning,” degrading and beating women all part of the pimping life? But hey, it’s all good, as they say.

Or, Super Bowl audiences sat shocked when Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson’s bodice, revealing a bare nipple. Few cared that choreographed “slapping around” led to the grabbing and ripping. Abusing women is acceptable. But nudity is horrifying.

Then there’s Smack a Slut Week which runs October 3rd – 7th, and can be celebrated “anywhere you like, by, you guessed it, smackin’ sluts,” as The F-Bomb put it. Just a joke? One study found that men discriminated against women more after hearing sexist jokes.

Even the red hat from Devo’s “Whip It” video, depicting a man whipping the clothes off a female mannequin, is now a part of the Smithsonian collection. Accepted, mainstream stuff.

I won’t even get into the eroticized violence so often depicting women freshly killed in high fashion ads.

My first cue that Charlie had a sadistic streak was a news report that he alerted police to a “snuff” film in which a killing that followed sex looked a bit too real to him. Now, he seems to get off on harming women in real life.

Meanwhile, the rest of us stand by, barely noticing. Or celebrating Sheen’s behavior. He’s a bad boy. It’s a lot of fun, and no big deal.

Georgia Platts

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