The Rant 


I want my own country. Or at least my own home in Los Angeles with my own set of cameras, housekeepers, and flunkies. I need a platform, man. I'm tired of this sheltered little life in Memphis. Maybe just a trip to Wisconsin would do it. I don't know.

Does anyone else ever feel like everything in life should change when a winter like this past one we've had finally seems to subside and the mud in the yard starts to dry and you know it won't be long before it's so hot outside here that people will be dropping like flies? Well, maybe not everything in life should change, but it does feel a little like waking up from a long, weird dream. I tend to sleep with the television on low for white noise and the long dreams get punctuated sometimes by what is being broadcast. I know: It's not the healthiest way to sleep, especially if the set is left on one of the 4,000 channels that have been covering Charlie Sheen 24/7 since ... well, since what?

Exactly what was it that shoved everything else in the world to the sidelines so that Charlie Sheen could have all the attention? Was it another one of his telephone rants that kicked off this last blitz of him mugging for the cameras? I think the news of one of his ex-whatevers slapping a restraining order on him for threatening to spit on her feet might have been one of those tidbits that crept into my psyche while sleeping and caused me to sit straight up and wonder why I had to be born in the United States. Spit on her feet?

I've been trying to be a good American and form a celebrity-obsessed opinion about the whole Charlie Sheen thing, but I just can't seem to find the love on this one. I really, really don't care. I don't care what happens to him, to his goddesses, to his ex-wives and ex-girlfriends or his dad or brother or even that much about his kids. I'm sure they will all survive somehow and still live lives of privilege without ever having to clean a toilet or cut grass or anything like that.

I think my lack of interest stems from the sheer fact that Sheen is just not very interesting. He's never done anything memorable other than help start the Brat Pack and look what happened to those people: washed up. If Sheen were, say, incredibly handsome or talented or original or funny or bright, it might be different. But he's not any of those things. He's kind of a loser who landed a lucky role on a television sitcom and, as the highest-paid television actor in the business, is still just more proof — like much of life in general in Los Angeles — that money absolutely cannot buy taste. It can get you plenty of drugs and hookers and that's fine and I would never look down my nose at someone for that, but if you're going to just be the star who is best known for drugs and hookers and stupid moves, be that star. Don't have kids. Don't try to be intellectual.

But then again, I don't really have an opinion on this. Other than to say that if you haven't seen the New York magazine online game in which you read a crazy-sounding quote and then choose whether you think it was said by Charlie Sheen, Muammar Gaddafi, or Glenn Beck, it really is kind of fun for about two seconds.

But back to having my own country. I want this so I can issue statements. When I read (or heard in my sleep) that Gaddafi had blamed the upheaval in Libya on al-Qaeda trying to send in 37 million pain pills and a bunch of drugged milk and Nescafé to "alter the minds of the young people" and get them to join the revolution, I was jealous. See, I want to be able to make statements like that. I'm not sure why, but I do. I think the 37 million pain pills and drugged Nescafé might have been delivered to Charlie Sheen's house by mistake, but I still find it awesome that Gaddafi would blame all of his country's problems on Tramadol and spiked instant coffee.

Now, HE is interesting. He's a nut, but at least he gets to make comments like this: "Their ages are 17. They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafé. ... They are criminals. ... Is it logical that you let this phenomenon continue in any city?" Totally insane but very interesting. If I just had Midtown Memphis under my rule I could issue great statements like this. I don't even need an entire country. I could blame the CVS protests at Union and Cooper on beer. "You come into the old church at midnight to give to the peoples beer to make them angry and they begin to sweep the streets with signs and shouts! You are criminal!" Or something like that. Oh, well. A guy can sleep with the television on and dream, can't he?

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