If We Don’t, Who Will?

Charlie Sheen has two big things going on with him, at least.  The first is the kind of delusional entitlement that the insularity of fame brings, a kind of bullet-proof arrogance that can only exist when one is surrounded and insulated by a cadre of “yes men” whose livelihood revolves around the star.  I have seen it many times while working with rockers.  You don’t even have to be a megastar for this phenomenon to happen.  It happens to many people with certain opportunity and rising fame.  I found many of those rockers to be grateful for anyone who would enter their sphere and be honest with them rather than always telling them they were great.  So not all of them latch onto and demand that everyone around them is cowtowing to them, but it just happens.  They lose touch with reality, they lose perspective.  They are told repeatedly that they are special, and maybe they are.  I certainly think some of them are special, though “special” can be a curse as much as a blessing.  

How far back Sheen’s sense of entitlement goes is certainly up for debate since he is the child of a star.  He may have had this entitlement issue his entire life and then just had it magnified through his own wealth and fame.  To me, this is the central issue, with the addiction being a second issue.  A person can stop taking their drink or drug of choice and if they still have this entitlement mindset, they are still likely going to feel justified to some extent to think and/or act out violently and treat people badly in general.  Entitlement is a trait that has been identified by the pioneers of profilers such as John Douglas and Robert Ressler to be a key underpinning of serial violent offenders.  It is what drives Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson, just as it is what drives a group of frat boys to gang rape a passed out coed.  

Letting violent offenders plea out of jail time such as we are about to see happen to Mel Gibson does nothing to serve victims nor send a message to other budding offenders.  Leaving Charlie Sheen on the street after he has broken multiple laws (just the hookers alone should have him locked up, much less letting them allegedly babysit his children) is a travesty and strikes hard into the hearts of every woman out there who has been abused and not found justice.  No one even talks about how spotlighting these sex workers, most of whom must have grown up with some form of abuse or neglect that enables them to accept their chosen role as nothing out of the ordinary, sends a terrible message to young girls out there.   

I was in the copy room the other day and a young coworker came in on the end of a conversation and said she hated the cops.  I asked why, and she said,  Because when I was a child, I used to call them all the time, and they would never do anything.  How do you think she feels watching these men walk free while they continue to make millions of dollars and maintain millions of fans and tons of support?  How do you think any woman who has ever been physically or mentally abused feels when she watches Oksana present her uncontrovertible evidence against Mel Gibson, evidence that other abused women have no chance of collecting for presentation to the Court, and see that even in the face of this overwhelming evidence, he will likely never do one day in jail?  

It’s appalling that the L.A. Deptartment of Child and Family Services has repeatedly proclaimed Mel Gibson to be “an excellent father,” after hearing the rage-ridden tapes and seeing the broken teeth.  It is their proclamation that will allow the prosecutors to justify a small punishment for Gibson.  These are supposed to be our standard keepers, our protectors.  And where are THEIR standards?

Certainly watching anyone spiral downward has a tragic element.  There are those out there who think it is cruel to ridicule them at such a tragic turn in their lives and careers.  I say if we don’t, who will.  


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