Charlie Sheen on Twitter: Why I can't stop reading
I am senselessly fascinated by Charlie Sheen’s Twitter account. I know it’s bad — bad for me, bad for society, bad for the human race. And I pride myself on having somewhat good taste. In my spare time, I enjoy reading the first 100 pages of presidential biographies, and listening to classical music while falling asleep, and adding foreign films to my Netflix queue with every intention to watch them eventually. Also, not to make any moral judgements, but Sheen himself seems like a magnificent douche rocket. And yet I cannot turn away. I’m not the only one: On the heels of Sheen’s mega-rated 20/20 interview, the actor has already accumulated just over 1,001,000 followers as of the writing of this sentence. What are we reading, exactly, my brothers and sisters in the Sheen Twitter cult?
You would think that a “Charlie Sheen Twitter Account” would be filled with nonstop ravings and pictures of Sheen enjoying all-day hot tub siestas with his goddess-galpal-nannies. Nothing could be further from the truth. His first tweet was an image of Goddess #1 and Sheen grinning and waving around a couple of drinks — she holding a Naked drink, he holding a chocolate milk. You could sense the teasing subtext: What’s more adorable and non-Sheen-like than chocolate milk? From there, Sheen alternated between the willfully weird (tweeting a picture of himself holding a cake illustrated with his face on an Academy Award), the everyman posturing (“I’m here for my people!”), and that most hallowed form of tweeting: The vague reference to events that will dominate the news cycle within the hour. “My sons’ are fine… My path is now clear… Defeat is not an option..!” he proclaimed, not too long before reports emerged that the actor had surrendered his children to police custody.
About 15 hours ago, the celebrities arrived. Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather hurled three tweets Sheen’s way, noting that he really enjoyed the actor in The Chase. (Sheen responded: “My man!”) Diddy, of all people, asked Sheen for his address so they could throw what we can only imagine would be the craziest alcohol-free party of the millennium. “Get dressed my man…sending the driver!” said Sheen.
But here again, Sheen is being a bit savvier than you might expect. When comedian/actress Natasha Leggero tweeted, “Charlie Sheen is our Egypt,” the actor gamely responded, “I’ll take it!” (He’s since retweeted comedians Sarah Silverman and Paul Scheer.) It makes sense that Sheen would embrace comedians because, like few other performers, Sheen has become a kind of master of self-parody. You could argue that eight seasons playing a fictional version of himself on Two and a Half Men was the perfect incubation period for his new multimedia existence. In just a matter of days, Sheen has already become a kind of Internet Megameme — he’s like the perfect combination of Chuck Norris and the Double Rainbow guy, with just a touch of Dramatic Chipmunk.
The sheer volume of offensive gonzo insanity that Sheen has been spewing will almost certainly stop being interesting just a few minutes from now. But in some ways, the actor almost seems to have rewritten the meltdown playbook for the new digital age. Much of Sheen’s current state of mind seems to be based on the megalomaniacal sensation that everyone on earth looks up to him. I’m not sure that’s true. But there is something fascinating about seeing the man’s unfiltered thoughts pour out online. At least 1,011,000 people — the current total as of this sentence — agree with me.
PopWatchers, are you reading Charlie Sheen’s tweets? Do you think he’s just a digital idiot savant, or is he cannily utilizing the form to his advantage? Does anyone think that, when he was planning his first tweet with his goddesses, that he said something like “Let them tweet cake!”
I don’t tweet about winning, but I do guarantee perfect grammar — follow me @EWDarrenFranich
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