Anatomy of a celebrity breakdown

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By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer

I love Charlie Sheen. I know it’s an odd statement to make given his current state, but I have since first seeing him in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

But even I, the most dedicated of fans, am tired of hearing his name. What does it say about us that a man clearly fighting the disease of addiction has captured our attention so effectively?

One of Sheen’s greatest strengths seems to be that he always manages to land on his feet. A lot of that has to do with his brutal honesty. He’s given interviews in the past that have shown he’s not like other celebrities who try to hide their pasts – how could he? His honesty, besides real talent, is something that keeps getting him jobs and has made him one of the highest paid actors on TV. People like him, and he’s always come off as a guy you’d want to hang out with.

As Sheen began to unravel in the public eye a few months ago, his Twitter account blew up. “Winning” and “Warlock” became catchphrases and his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour sold out. Most people have just laughed it off – After all, it’s just Charlie being Charlie.

But I wonder, why is it entertaining to watch a talented actor who’s a father, son and brother crash and burn?

It was only when he made his appearance in Detroit, the first stop on his tour, that people started talking about how sick he was and how badly he needed help. It’s ironic that only when their money and time went to waste did they realize this isn’t a joke – it’s watching a car wreck in slow motion.

It’s no secret that we’re a society that loves a comeback and people who pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but I think it’s become obvious in recent years that we would rather see that epic train wreck. We’ve forgotten that the celebs we love seeing like this might not be people that we know or even people that have any real impact on us – but they’re still people.

In a time when we’re the facing the prospect of another war, real tragedy in places like Japan and countless other problems, why is Charlie Sheen garnering so much press? This man, who has a lot of talent but is falling apart at the seams, needs serious help fixing his life, not public attention.

Maybe it’s time to do what seems impossible. Ignore him for awhile, stop giving him money and interview opportunities and maybe that will make him realize that he needs help.  Maybe ignoring him will be the thing that helps us break oour own addictions with people who shouldn’t get attention for being sick.

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