Sheen, Gadhafi flip the script

In front of cameras, both give new meaning to reality TV

March 03, 2011|Susan Reimer

Those of us with self-esteem issues — and we are legion — could learn a thing or two from Charlie Sheen and Moammar Gadhafi.

The embattled American actor and the embattled Libyan strongman granted interviews this week to let the world know how much their people love them and how wrong everybody else is about them. The internet and magazines were rife with comparisons of the talkative duo.

During his interview, Sheen demanded a $1 million raise for each of the remaining eight episodes of "Two and a Half Men," his TV show that CBS has announced it will not film because of his outrageous behavior.

And during his interview, Gadhafi said that his people would "die to protect" him, though it is his supporters who are killing their countrymen.

And while everyone thinks Sheen is on drugs, Gadhafi says those who are rioting against him have been fed hallucinogens by his enemies.

With the cameras rolling, both men appeared relaxed, confident and determined to tell their side of the story after a couple of weeks of very bad press.

It was after that that things got a little crazy.

Sheen told NBC's Jeff Rossen that he had "tiger blood and Adonis DNA," and Gadhafi denied to ABC's Christiane Amanapour that there were any protesters at all in the streets of his country.

"No demonstrations at all in the streets," said Gadhafi.

"I am winning," said Sheen, who called his enemies "fools and trolls, weak and defeated." Gadhafi blamed the rioting — which he said was not happening — on al Qaida.

Listening to the two of them, it was easy to wonder if you were the one who had been fed the hallucinogens.

Wearing gold-rimmed aviators, flowing robes and a really bad headdress and disembarking curbside from his motorcade, MG was MJ redux. He said he was not president of Libya because Libya does not have a president. "It was ruled by its people."

Reporting that he was currently living with two women whom he called "the goddesses," Sheen said that he was "tired of pretending I am not special." He described himself as a "rock star from Mars," and said, "You can't process me with a normal brain."

That last, I venture to say, is true.

All of this makes you feel as if you've been hiding your light under a bushel, doesn't it?

You can't screw up the courage to ask for a cost-of-living raise from the boss, and Charlie Sheen can put 129 members of a television cast and crew out of work by declaring that no earthlings realize how extraordinary he is.

And then he can demand a raise.

You can't convince your neighbor that it isn't your dog pooping on his lawn, and Gadhafi can simply laugh at a trio of international journalists who ask about the aircraft shooting at his own people. What aircraft?

You have to hand it to these two guys. And then you have to ask how they got where they are, and is it "The Twilight Zone"?

Gadhafi, so beloved that his people are closer every day to throwing him out of the office he claims not to hold.

And Sheen, the star of a television sitcom so banal that CBS would rather cancel it than deal with a guy who is anything but.

susan.reimer@baltsun.com

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