OK, my interest in the ongoing Charlie Sheen saga is bordering on obsession. This is more than just an inability to look away from a "train wreck". This is something we've all experienced, playing out in a very public way, with public figures playing the starring roles.
These are high times for "meshuganas" (Yiddish for crazies). Let's take stock here: We've got Muammar Gaddafi hanging on to the dregs of power in Libya, esteemed fashion designer John Galliano, late of the house of Dior, proclaiming his love for Adolf Hitler and his hatred of Jews in a Paris cafe, and Charlie Sheen in complete denial over his drug issues, living it up with goddesses, and nursing a pretty severe case of verbal diarrhea. What gives?
Unfortunately, the three examples I've used here garner attention because of their occupations: a dictator, a fashion designer and an actor; three job descriptions that are assured of brushing up against media exposure at some point. What about the rest of us? All the anonymous schmoes who inhabit this planet who exhibit the same narcissistic, maniacal behaviour without a drop of ink or a byte of bandwidth sacrificed on their behalf, are guilty of inflicting the same torture on their social circle without the rest of the world being the wiser. Who doesn't have a friend who behaves like Charlie Sheen? Who doesn't have to survive under the yoke of a boss who behaves like a dictator? Who hasn't come in contact with a person whose ignorant views make us want to dive under tables? We all have.
There are times in life when the waters are calm and the breeze gently drifts over us. Then there are times when the winds whip and the waters roil with anger. When you exist in a milieu with individuals who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic, you know it. The world feels off-kilter and life has an unsettled vibe to it that can unnerve the crap out of you. I've been living through that sort of scenario for the past year or so, and it is not what I would call "fun". To be at the mercy of a "mad" person is the worst type of psychological torture you can experience. Physical torture is bad enough, but when you expose yourself to manipulation at the hands of another, you're lucky to emerge from it by the skin of your teeth. When you get the opportunity to view it from afar, you simultaneously are grateful that you're not the one immersed in misery, and you feel bad for those who are.
So, Muammar, John and Charlie: I know this doesn't make sense in your twisted brains at this particular moment in time, but see if you can shift the focus off yourselves for a while and think about the pain you are inflicting on those around you. Same goes for any anonymous schmoes who may be reading this right now. It's not all about you. You may think it is, but it is not. I've said this before and it bears repeating: control is an illusion. In the end, you will be the ones getting hurt; those you inflict yourselves upon usually wise up and walk away. Usually.