My Bonnie lies over the ocean….

Navigating human society is not easy. I guess it’s a bit like trying to follow railroad tracks laid down by law, custom, ethics and  social interaction without either getting too embedded in them, where the tracks can slow you down or even bring you to a grinding halt, or, on the other hand, flying too high above them where you lose sight of the tracks altogether and go careening off in some random direction. The ideal analogy, I suppose, (and in keeping with this extended metaphor, ) would be the Japanese High Speed Rail System where the trains hover over the track, free of friction’s drag yet held on their course by the gentle, but unyielding, force of magnetism. At this perfect distance from the track, the train, thrust forward by a powerful engine, hurtles along its path as if weightless:  unimpeded, yet securely fixed on its direction, effortlessly leaning into every turn and straightway.

Now, some people find themselves weighted down by excess baggage, burdensome laws or an unfamiliarity with custom. Perhaps their skills at social interaction cause them too much friction with the rail. Perhaps they simply don’t have enough fuel or a sufficiently powerful engine to keep them moving forward at the necessary velocity. Many of these either fall off the tracks or come to a shuddering halt, Some need society’s help in getting back on track or have to be towed for a while. For most of us it’s a balancing act. Staying “on track” requires constant attention and daily effort. The journey is full of difficult, steep inclines and exhiliarating curves or descents; there are times when we can just “let go” and take advantage of a “ good head of steam” and the law of gravity to enjoy the view and simply coast. Then there are times when we have to grip firmly to the tracks and focus on just getting to the next station. There are, however,a rare few  who have to deal with a different problem altogether.

In these cases, there is simply not enough weight or pressure on the train to keep it close enough to the track. The steadying influence of social discourse, mores, laws and custom  – forces that keep us close to the track- can be compromised when the fuel that drives the train becomes too rich. In the hands of an inexperienced driver, the engine can deliver too much power, too much speed. Seduced by the opportunity to ignore the track and go his own way, the driver gives in to this more powerful force and allows the train to diverge from the set tracks and follow its own unchartered course. In our society, the most potent of these mega- fuels is money. Frankly, we have become so seduced by the mystique of money that there is no problem, no crime, no behavior that can not be “fixed” by money. Is it any surprise then that someone like Charlie Sheen, who used to earn over $1m a week for a few hours of work became totally unglued. The anti-gravitational pull of so much cash yanked him off the rails of the civilized discourse and sent him spinning into a universe of his own. Now he has been severed entirely from any social or professional attachments, I worry for his well-being.

Now, more than ever my friends, remember: Only Connect!

Charles Shaughnessy


49 thoughts on “My Bonnie lies over the ocean….

  1. Hi…I am new to this & I’m not particularly into “Blogging” or things of that nature, but I have been watching The Nanny lately. Do you (this is to you Charles…durrr) ever get tired of people thinking you should be with Fran Drescher? I was on You Tube and do you realize how many people have put together songs mixed into the episodes where you and her “Get It On”! It’s crazy.

    Soo…the new talk is about Charlie Sheen…I’m sorry but I can’t feel sorry for him anymore…I don’t care how cute he used to be (he ain’t lookin so good now) and he’s had too many chances for help. I mean…he’s on a show made for him…he doesn’t seem to be sorry or he wouldn’t think a comedy tour would be appropriate…sorry charlie but I think he’s gonna sell out the seats but get tomatoed in the first 15 minutes. I feel bad for is co-workers. That’s who we really should feel bad for. Plus, the poor kid on the show who has to be subjected to it.

    Well…I wish you happiness & a fun Memorial Day Charles…I don’t know what other shows you’ve been on or movies but be sure to let me know and I’ll be glad to watch.

  2. Wow Charlie, what can I say, this is “heavy” stuff! You have opened up a “can of worms” for which there are no easy answers. It amazes me that, with a mind like yours and the way you write, you studied Law at University! Although now I understand why you didn’t become a lawyer. Let me spell it out for you; on the one hand you have Law – concrete, dry, matter of fact, “black & white”, realistic, “down to earth”. On the other hand you have Charlie – abstract, metaphorical, “grey” as opposed to “black & white” (I’m not talking about your hair colour!), analogous, idealistic, imaginative, creative and innovative. Two total opposites.
    I love your train analogy. I’m a visual person so I have this wonderful imagery/movie of the high speed train in my head.
    Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I don’t have much respect for Charlie Sheen or the character he plays in Two & a Half Men. I feel sorry for him and the fact that he can’t get his life together and wish him all the best but I don’t think having too much money is his problem. Money is not the reason he “became totally unglued”. His problems haven’t just started now, things have been happening for the last twenty years if one believes the media and the Court cases.
    There are many rich celebrities who behave responsibly. Are you telling me that if I gave you $1million, Charlie, you would “go off the rails” and behave irresponsibly? No, I very much doubt it. We are also not talking about a teenager going through adolescence either – Charlie Sheen is only ten years younger than you Charles Shaughnessy. If there were obvious, easy answers to these problems it would put psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists out of business.
    The only reason we here about Charlie Sheen is because he is famous. In Australia, we have similar situations with “Aussie rules” football players. Some have problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, women, depression. Do they forget their values, principles, morals by which they live or maybe they didn’t have any to begin with or maybe they became overwhelmed with the fame and are unable to handle it or maybe the drugs induced their mental state. Whatever the reason it is a small minority – only a few – the rest of the football players are responsible. So, why do some people “sink” and others “swim”? Some people manage to pull themselves out of the “dark hole” they are in and get on with their lives. Why is it that from the same disadvantaged family one child will make something of their life and another won’t? Maybe it depends on the individual and their personality type, their childhood background and possibly (to use your word, Charlie) how CONNECTED they are to other people. Do they have meaningful relationships with other people? I again reiterate one of my favourite quotes which I believe to be so true. “It is our connections to other people that give meaning to our lives”. The emotional “connectedness” of family and friends is so important. Isn’t solitary confinement used as a punishment? It’s also inspiring to read or hear how other people have coped with adversity. It helps us to identify with them because we feel they understand the emotions/problems we have been through. Isn’t that the reason for the many support groups? Fran Drescher is another example. All the cancer sufferers identify with her because she understands, because she has experienced it herself, so this helps them to cope and deal with their situation.
    Yes Charlie, “Navigating human society is not easy” but most of us do. Having a sense of humour helps too. Is it too flippant of me to end with the words from a Monty Python song from the movie “The Life of Brian”. “If life seems jolly rotten there’s something you’ve forgotten and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing; when you’re feeling in the dumps, don’t be silly chumps, just purse your lips and whistle that’s the thing and always look on the bright side of life…”.

  3. Well, if anyone is looking for something to watch on TV on March 20, TLC will be airing a documentary about Charlie Sheen–one that focuses on the meltdown. It will include interviews with other celebrities who have experienced breakdowns. For some reason, I really don’t think I would set my DVR to record it if I had one, nor will I watch it when it is broacast. Too much like slowing down to gawk at a traffic accident along the highway.

    Meanwhile…I’m going to go ahead and jump in with the proverbial $50 question everyone who has been commenting is probably wondering–Charlie, are you going to join in on the conversation, or sit back and watch/read the discussion? Because sometimes it feels like you’ve abandoned us…and I know my students wouldn’t stick around if I asked them a question to discuss/debate and then left the room. We really enjoy connecting with you through the blog and would appreciate it if you could join us in the conversations.

    • Well said regarding Charlie Sheen, If he doesn´t want help then it´s his beer. I think he is just excentric like many other celebreties. We can´t excuse every bad behaviour to mental illnes. He is obviously not that “mad” when he commented in a European media that he is just “acting ” all this.I think there are more problems these days to bother with him.
      As for your $50 question, “our Charlie” quite often lures us into a discussion (which we want) and then leaves us to ourselves which actually isn´t the idea of a blog.
      I too miss Charlie´s answers or addendums , makes it much more fun.So Charlie here is a little reminder not to forget us, especially your old troupers who have been loyal for quite a number of years.

  4. I´m a little late in commenting on this blog, and most has really been said. I understand that you Charlie are concerned about Sheen, but I think there has just been too much hype about him which probably partly encouraged his behaviour.He may or may not be ill, and usually people like this have to really fall deep before they come to reason, and unfortunately with his behaviour he has not only damaged himself but probably left many unemployed.
    However as of today we were all shocked by the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan so, the headlines now have other things to report. I think not only are we humans” derailed”but also nature, due to of course our greed for more perfection and shareholder value by destroying nature and in order to get all this.
    I´m not a religious person , but I think with so many catastrophies which we have had of late (NZ & Chile for e.g)these things are sent to us as a warning from the creator of this Earth whoever it may have been.
    I found your views very interesting and something to think about.

    • Well said. It is scary. I am not religious either. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to take notice there is definitely something going on more here than meets the eye. Armageddon in route or some planetary metamorphosis? Right: Chile, New Orleans, Haiti, & now Japan. Mother nature is very active these days. Her natives are seemingly restless as well. Viva la revolutionion! But that of course is a whole another blog. And you are so right. We need to divert our focus accordingly to more important matters.

  5. Craziness such as this goes on, then silly law suits stem wherein money talks but the bullshit doesn’t walk. Where else does this happen? Only in America baby!

  6. Of course, there are many who believe that Charlie Sheen is mentally ill, and this may very well be so. As others, have pointed out, mental illness is very hard to relate to or understand if one, themselves, has not experienced it or have been close to someone who has. I personally know that mental illness is very real and extremely frightening. I know that there are mental illnesses that are physiological in nature and a person has no control over its effects other than using medication and learning coping techniques. Yet, because of the illness itself, understanding one’s dependence upon medication is extremely difficult, and in addition, nobody wants to hear that they are mentally ill. Yet for many, depending upon the severity and type of mental illness they experience, they may already know down deep inside that they have a problem and want deeply for someone to intervene in their behalf even if on the outside they appear to not want that help. And, as we all have heard, keeping someone that is mentally ill on medications is a challenge in and of its self.

    I can’t help but think, though, that there are mental illnesses that come on because of the lack of balance in our lives or other exterior influences such as drug use. Certainly these things take a toll on the brain and sometimes it is difficult to know whether the illness is a cause or effect of the outward behavior. I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter because either way the person is now dealing with the results of that disease, but it can be a factor in understanding that our behavior can have an effect on our mental health.

    Our mental wellness is actually very fragile, especially for some, and there are challenges we face in life that might be just enough to take one over the brink. It is important for each of us to realize that other than those strong physiological mental diseases for which one has no control, there are some things for which we do have control. We need to take care of our mental well being. It is, I believe, as or even more important than our physical well being, and often a more difficult juggling act. As an example, some people have attention deficit disorder. I experience just the opposite. I have the ability to hyper-concentrate. It makes me successful in my studies in mathematics and physics. Yet, without proper management of it, my mind can be taken over by not only the problems I am studying, but also the problems of the world. When my mind literally LOCKS onto these problems, I can become absorbed so much into the problem that I can go without sleeping far too long. Just as there are medications for ADD, there are also medications for hyper-concentration. I have conceded to the fact that I will be on them for the rest of my life and I have had to also learn other coping techniques. Some people still place a stigma on mental illness. It will be wonderful when our medical advancements will allow them to be diagnosed as easily as other diseases. Perhaps that will remove the mystery and stigma that surrounds them. It will also give us the ability to rule out mental illnesses, which can be a catalyst for one to begin taking responsibility for their actions. Please everyone, take care of yourselves and I’ll leave you with the words of Charlie:
    Now, more than ever my friends, remember: Only Connect! It is an important part of remaining well.

  7. Oh charlie you are so right about this stuff i have never been able to understand how someone could have it all and one day just throw it all away when there are so many out there just try to get by may be if we stop showing him so much attion then maybe he would see how wrong he is maybe he should be but in a room and listen to him shelf and he will fine the help he need some times you have to take a step back listen to what we say and then we think why did i do that what was i thinking oh i know i wasn’t.

  8. Charlie, you have given me an insight to look over my future. So many of your thoughts run through my mind and I look back over time; scary isn’t it? I have read all comments before mine, and, now can only say” I am the caboose, and I plan on staying on the train”! And, thanks Charlie, for treating your fans with such care and consideration.

  9. Thinking i am one of those passengers that is weighed down by baggage. lol Hopefully i haven’t fallen off the track yet or will one day or fall off the rocker. Although the train of life goes on whether we won’t to get off or not. Worried with my social problems the possibility of becoming a hermit someday. The strange old lady muttering to herself in the grocery store. hope not. lol Charlie Sheen has most definitely fallen off the track. “Laws, morals, and customs keeping most folks on the track.” This is true. Myself having also considered that basis of religion has some to do with governing. As a fellow bi-polar suffer (if that is actually what is wrong) medication should benefit him alot. Seems as some folks just develop an I just don’t care anymore attitude. Just my opinion of course. Did not like Jo’s descriptions of bipolar. Sounds very much like me dang it. Also the way that Charlie seems to have been acting lately as well. Although i have heard that folks with aspergers can ramble too. It is hard to hear that you may be batso. No matter how much you may have an inkling that something is up. I can’t help but sympathize with the dude. Man am i turning into such a bleeding heart. All my struggles has done gone and turned me into a softy. And you guys are very sweet with your posts on this blog. Hope he will somehow find out how much America cares and supports him getting help. But surely his family loves him and that would be great too. You guys are awesome and it makes me happy to be a part of this blog.

  10. I don’t think money caused this problem. It may have made the drugs more easily accessible, but it certainly wasn’t the root of it all. He has some major character flaws and a slew of mental issues that sent him spiraling down this black hole. His grandiose attitude and manic/bipolar actions need to be addressed immediately or this could end tragically.

  11. my mother once told me once well what her father said shit our get off the pot maybe someone should say this to charles sheen because it getting old get back on the track or hit the road jack please get help charlie there too many other people in so much trouble these days many won’t get the help they need but you can like you can get help many won’t or can’t so a little girl once said stop don’t do it anymore just stop!!! don’t be just a memorie be the solution keep the faith charles & God be with you.

  12. I forgot to mention, but couldn’t find the words but this is a beautifully written analogy Mr. Shaughnessy, and when you write a book one day I’ll buy it.
    Kindest Regards,

  13. This is an excellent blog and a wonderful analogy. Like most of the others here, I too am concerned about the path Charlie is headed down. Generally speaking, consequences are the deterrent which keeps us from doing things we shouldn’t. Unfortunately, in Charlie’s world (Hollywood) there are rarely significant consequences for bad behavior. There may be a momentary glitch, but many times the additional press just furthers his/her career. For instance, how many chances has RDJ been given to reinvent himself? It looks like things are going well for him now, but he could slip again because after every slip so far he has been handed another pile of gold to do another feature film. Hollywood, for its part, apparently finds it amusing as they joked about his past deviant behavior during the Oscars. To take the original analogy of this blog one step further, if Charlie is the train then Hollywood (and the media) is the guy selling the tickets to all of us who stand on the platform and wait to see where the train is headed. I’m to blame just as much as the next guy, as I settled into my seat at the theater opening weekend for Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, etc.

    One person, in particular, that I am really concerned for in this Charlie Sheen mess is Angus T. Jones. He started working on Two and Half Men when he was ten years old. Hopefully he has been sheltered as much as possible from the apparent toxic environment created by the adults around him. Child stars have enough potential problems without adding these antics to the mix. Certainly their parents are responsible to raise them properly, but I believe a healthy work environment for these children is paramount to their success in life, not as stars but as people. Not to be missed in this conversation, is how well-adjusted our “Nanny” kids seem to be. My guess is that they had some excellent, down-to-earth, on the “set” role models.

  14. “…we have become so seduced by the mystique of money that there is no problem, no crime, no behavior that cannot be “fixed” by money.” Actually, yes, there are—quite a few. While people might think that money can fix all problems (after all, if O. J. Simpson had not had the fiscal resources to hire the best defense money could buy, would he have been found not guilty in the murders of his ex-wife and her male friend?), it really cannot. I’m sure, for instance, that John Walsh would gladly give up all the wealth and fame he has achieved to have just one more day with his son Adam. Money cannot buy health; it cannot protect you or loved ones from harm; it cannot provide you with complete satisfaction (no matter how much people might think).

    And the cases of Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff (and others) clearly demonstrate that no amount of wealth immunes a person from prosecution. Wealth cannot guarantee you a “not guilty” verdict if you are indeed guilty of a crime (and Rod Blagojevich is finding out how expensive it truly is to defend yourself against criminal charges). Al Capone—who made a fortune through bootlegging, racketeering, gambling, etc., in the 1920s—still spent time in prison (although it was for tax evasion; apparently he failed to report his ill-gotten gains as income).

    Possession of wealth also does not automatically guarantee that a person is destined to do bad things with that money. Andrew Carnegie amassed a great deal of wealth in the steel industry (or, as one of my students wrote, the steal industry), but he distributed his fortune in building libraries (unfortunately, he failed to include money to pay for books or to keep the lights on), establishing a college, and creating a foundation. John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett (and others) used their wealth to form charitable foundations to fund research for the betterment of society. So, not everyone is wasting their wealth on frivolous things like material goods.

    In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Timothy (I Timothy 6:10, KJV), he stated, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” This is probably one of the most misunderstood (and misquoted) verses in the Bible—often misread as “money is the root of all evil.” It’s not money itself that it the root of evil; it’s what people do irresponsibly with the money that is evil. Wasting it on consumable material goods—how many cars or homes does a person really need?—while at the same time complaining how the government doesn’t care for the poor shows how occasionally the nouveau riche don’t fully understand the responsibility that comes with wealth. Perhaps one requirement for everyone who signs a contract valued at $1 million or higher is that they are required to read Andrew Carnegie’s essay on “The Gospel of Wealth,” in which he explains why the self-made rich have a responsibility to distribute their fortunes in a way that all of society benefits and the wealth is not wasted on frivolous pursuits (granted, he was one of those industrial leaders who amassed his wealth through broken strikes, crushed competitors, and low wages to the immigrant work force, but his heart seemed to be in the right place).

    Finally—and this part refers back to my previous comment on my blog post. I did spend 11 years working in the revenue-processing department at an amusement park. After a while, money is just pieces of paper with pictures of dead people on it. The only value money has is what mankind/the government has assigned to it—the power to purchase, and, in some cases, the power to destroy. The unfortunate thing is that, like JoAnn said, some people like Tiger Woods think they are immune from the rules of society because they have money—when, in actuality, they should feel more responsible, because they are role models who young people look up to and emulate. I wonder how many people three years ago wanted their children to grow up and be like Tiger Woods—and how many of them still think that today.

  15. Hi Charlie—So good to have you back–and this blog is a doozy !!!Do you or anyone else responding to this blog think that just maybe, Charlie Sheen is putting us all on–I guess I wonder how anyone with any intelligence at all would be doing and saying the off the wall things as he’s doing–it occurs to me that he may , in the end, tell us all what fools we were to believe that he really meant anything at all by all this crap he’s come up with. And then, of course, he would have pulled the ultimate joke on the world, and he’d feel that now he really is the ultimate ” rock star”. I’m just saying—this has been just a little more food for thought–

      • Or he may use it as a defense (stating that is was all just a gag or he was just high at the times) when he comes to his senses and looks back on it. Perhaps a publicity stunt? An ultimate play? idk But it does seem more as a mental breakdown. Course he is an actor. lol Then he would deserve and oscar for this real life saga. It is always good to look at the big picture. I admire you there.

    • That thought has crossed my mind too, Bev…espec. as it has gone on now for so long. I do hope it’s NOT true, because an awful lot of people(crew, makeup and costume, food cart, etc) all lost their jobs over this.

    • Good call Beverly. Saw the news this morning and he is planning on going on tour. Charlies seems to be eating up the attention that he is getting. He already admitted that he was just acting. Although some still state that it sounds as if he is suffering from hyper mania. Enough so that it scared his ex and his family. Perhaps he thinks all the attention is making him that rock star persona. Although i would think being a teen idol, son of famous actor, brother of great actor, famous tv and movie actor himself would in fact be enough attention & money for one person. Now a comedy tour? Heard him say that he needs the 100 million because he has a family to support. lol Trying to sound like a working stiff. ha Too funny! Too much is never enough i guess. He is indeed something else crazy or not.

      • The machete was a nice “just acting” touch. Sounds like bipolar to me. Although i have never claimed to be a reincarnated Princess, a Messiah, or Joan of Arc or anything. lmao

    • So true, Beverly. I just wonder–if the media had just ignored Charlie Sheen for 24 hours–in a sense, a day free of news about his shenanigans–would it have escalated to this point. Perhaps Liane is right, that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (and the recent earthquake in New Zealand) is a sign of God’s displeasure with the celebrity-centered focus of the media, and we need to get our priorties in order again. Sometimes, all we need is a wake-up call to realize that there are more important things in life than worrying about someone who obviously does not care about the impact of his actions on others.

    • Like Beverly, I’m starting to think Charlie Sheen is crazy like a fox. The AAC here in Dallas is nearly sold out for his show, as are many other venues. It is certainly interesting that he is really cashing in on this whole thing.

  16. Forgot to add to this awesome blog. The seductions that come with having money are a powerful force to reckon with no doubt. For those of us that have none. Not sure of how i would act if i had some. It very well could change many of us. The ability to go wherever and do whatever sounds great. But with more power comes more responsibilities of managing and using it. Not sure that i would want to wear those shoes. Being a commoner no one gives a hoot what i do. lol It will never makes headlines. And thank goodness. Excess of any particular thing doesn’t seem good. Then, To much ain’t ever enough i reckon. I have never had to much fun. As rednecks like to say. I worry for Charlie’s welfare too. I remember what happened to that singer from Milli Vinili after everyone found out they were lip syncing and he had to give back his grammy. He killed himself. Losing his kids and his job plus he addictions to boot. He could fall from grace and crash. Loss of career etc. I pray for not another Elvis type ending. Maybe he will move to a tropical island somewhere. Sounds like a better ending to this story. At least that is what i would do if i was him then try and get my kids back.

  17. Heard his family might do a “5150” on him which in Cali means his family can hospitalize him and get him stable in 72 hours. It might save his life. I hate when late show people make fun of him, and don’t realize the man has a real disease, and a little tough love might be good for him.

  18. Pingback: My Bonnie lies over the ocean…. (via Only Connect!) | sophiawellmar

  19. Charlie, your take on humanity and the world is magical to me. I knew in the first paragraph that you were speaking of poor Charlie Sheen. I am like a lot of us, quite worried for his well being. Your amazing eloquence brings this to light for us all. You are truly a master of words and the human condition. I can only say, Thank You.

    • This is exactly how I feel. Charlie has such a wonderful way with words. I hope that Charlie Sheen does get help. It’s sad to see someone destroying themselves the way he is.

  20. Thanks for the excellent commentary! If you saw Dr. Drew Pinsky’s analysis on a news network, you’ll know that in his opinion, the Charlie Sheen condition (“hyper manic”) has the potential to go to “a bad place.”

    There have been many discussions – and some revisions to ethics rules – by the leadership of my profession concerning the actions we should take when a partner or employee goes off those rails due to substance abuse or other conditions. Counseling programs are in place, but they are still voluntary. Individual firms and companies are free to develop their own rules about intervention, mandatory leaves of absence for treatment, etc.

    There is, however, a difference between us and the entertainment community.
    In most other professions there would not be a claque facilitating or encouraging the meltdown. Charlie Sheen does not need apologists, he needs professional help. Perhaps it’s time for Hollywood leaders to think seriously about these issues and develop policies – whether it’s SAG, studios, networks, or individual employers. Charlie, your thoughtful comments may be a beginning, and others need to join you.

  21. Great analogy here as always. It has been hard watching him embarrass himself so and seemingly loose touch with reality. Having always admired him as a fan since the 80’s. It was shocking but does remind me that in reality he is only human and not just a mega star. Hate that he got fired. I am a fan or two and a half men. Can’t imagine the show without him making it but maybe. That was an obscene amount of money. Perhaps always growing up as a Sheen too may have made him feel untouched able or something along those lines. Embarrassed for his family too. Hoping he doesn’t end up in an asylum or prison. And by the way, that Japanese train sounds spectacular.

    • His problems also bring more to public light the hardships of addictions. Hopefully it will help America become all the wiser that drugs and /or alcohol addictions are an equal social class destroyer. Also possible mental illness or breakdown can happen to anyone. I have always believed that drugs and alcohol can bring out or at least magnify a persons underlying problems. Due to the fact that drugs & alcohol take away your inhibitions or cause you to become more moody and paranoid. Agree with Charlie here in the thinking quite possibly the pressure of being famous since birth was just to much or he just overindulged. We have definitely seen other stars do this. I think the recent hotel robbery porn star thingy was a red flag for what was in route. Perhaps he was in fact like his Charlie character on two and a half men all along. I still struggle with understanding how folks can choose drugs over their kids or trying to get some help. Is the saddest part of it all. As Dolly Parton once sang, “Time can’t be bought back with silver and gold.” And boy has this been all over the news. I hear he set some sort of twitter record.

  22. Charles is lovely metaphor makes it a good idea of how well you are
    As for the money, unfortunately we can not live without want, but take away too much money from the people of humanity, humility and simplicity
    Just remove from our minds the thought of the money and immediately understand what a person needs is so simple and inexpensive
    or maybe not !!!!!!

  23. Not only are you a brilliant actor, humanitarian, father and husband, you are a man of deep thought and conviction. You put your thoughts in such simple terms all can understand the soul within the man. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Charlie – wow – you traveled a lot of miles along those “tracks” in that blog to give us a metaphor for what happened to Charlie Sheen – and so many others who have sadly gone his route. And I agree with all of that. But I want to comment on something else.

    In your radio interview on which I enjoyed btw, you talked about how we Americans have been sort of brainwashed as to what beauty is – and it focuses on the personal image instead of the magic and light from within a person. I was not blessed with physical beauty – all the lumps and bulges are me but they don’t express my love of life, my zest for living every day and lifelong urge for learning and adventure. Thank god my husband of almost 28 years loves me for my inner self and not the outer package. I am sadly in the majority when it comes to lack of beauty. But don’t our efforts to change how we view people start at home? Let’s take the Daily Douglas which is now not going to air – who could be more beautiful than Kym Douglas (and I imagine she is both inside and out – she clearly has that “magic” as do you) and though I haven’t yet researched Lisa Coffey, my guess is she is yet another beauty – in order to make your internet commerce successful, aren’t you doing the same thing by focusing on external beauty – fashion, beauty tips, etc. and using gorgeous gals to promote it? How does that make you different? I am only seeking interaction here and connection. I just would like to understand a bit more. Maybe it is your industry and there is no way around it because the merchants aren’t going to go for the average gal wearing their duds. Enlighten me further please.

    • I think if you look up Lissa Coffey on the internet, or go to the website that Charlie told us to go to, you would not have made such a flippant remark. No one ever saw an actual episode of The Daily Douglas, just a short demo, so you have no idea what the concept of that show would have been if it had ever been done.

      Don’t know how you could categorize a show that has never been on the air and the person that is doing that show without knowing anything about her and only assuming.

      Doesn’t look like Lissa focuses on external beauty at all. The Internet Commerce as you put it, well, we don’t even know what the content or design of that show is yet as nothing has been said other than check out Lissa Coffey.

      Sorry Charlie, I know this topic has no business being in here, but I looked up Lissa Coffey and I for one can’t wait to see the show that you come up with for her. It certainly will have a great deal of substance to it and for everyone, not beautiful people and not geared toward entertainment. She seems quite down to earth.

  25. Hi Charlie,
    I know, poor Charlie Sheen. Making that kind of money can buy you a lot of things and friends. It can also act as a social lubricant that can get you out of tricky situations. I don’t think money can save you from yourself. It can’t instill a sense of well-being that you get by living your life right. How many Sheens does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One. He holds the lightbulb and the whole world revolves around him. The drugs and the crazy talk are just symptoms of something eating him away from the inside out. Kurt Cobain had a Publisher’s Clearing House letter framed on the wall. It of course said “Kurt Cobain, you may have already won 10 million dollars!” I know Kurt is another example of someone who struggled with his demons in the public eye, and I don’t mean to suggest that this will happen to Charlie Sheen, but concern in his intance is warrented.

  26. I totally agree about obscene amounts of money being a problem in today’s world, as I think of Tiger Woods’ response when he got caught with his mishegas “I didn’t think the rules applied to me”. And sadly, in today’s celebrity/money-fueled world…they often don’t. The consequences may catch up eventually, but there is so much enabling going on, and money to buy attorneys. People with money are “allowed” to do things that would cause the rest of us to be sportin’ an orange jumpsuit whilst making license plates. That is especially true in Washington DC. So many of the young celebrities(like Lindsay Lohan) have been a train wreck since before they could drive…and the people in charge turn a blind eye. I can remember the photo of Lindsay passed out in the back seat of a limo, obviously strung out…and she was SEVENTEEN. Who the H let her in the club in the first place, much less served her alcohol and drugs? But, oooooh, aaaaah, she was a big macher in Hollywood, so right this way Miss Lohan.
    But Charlie Sheen…oy. I’m not sure that I see his problem as “too much money and he lost perspective”. I think his fame and his ability to make $$$ for the network has enabled this to go on FAR too long…but what I see is mental illness. Some of us are ‘blessed’ to have close family members with bipolar disorder, and we are seeing big, flaming red flags. The lack of sleep, the incoherent rants, the senseless babble(that makes sense to him), the delusions of grandeur and immortality, the self-medication, the risky behavior….classic, classic stuff. He can’t go on like this much longer, so hopefully his ‘crash’ will end in a depressive state, and not in a pine box. A suicide attempt might be the best thing that could happened right now, because it would get him HELP. Sadly though, the ‘help’ will involve mood stabilizing psychotropic drugs that will blunt his creativity…so he’s not going to like them. It’s been very painful for a lot of us to watch.
    Very sad though, that money can change people so drastically. There is SOOOOO much good that can come from that money, so many charities/foundations that need help, everyday people who need a hand-up. And instead, it’s spent on conspicuous consumption. And as David Vidal knows…one of my biggest pet peeves in life, are the Hollywood and Washington elite who open their pie-holes about how terrible the poverty, etc is and how the government should do something…when they have the $$$ to fix so much of it, if they’d just sell a house or three. Charlie, you and Susan have so much to teach them, and I so admire the 2 of you for that.

  27. Hi Charlie,

    Totally love the train metaphor that you spoke of. We use that metaphor around my home a lot, because my husband works on the railroad and it just fits life in general. Staying on track and getting back on track and such..
    In regards to Charlie Sheen, I hope and pray that he gets whatever help he needs to get his life back on track.
    But first he has to realize that his life has gone off track. I don’t think he’s there yet. No one can make him hit bottom, he has to do that himself. That is the only way he will know that he needs to look up, and get up and get his life back so he can be a good father to his sons, and a person that can handle what life has in store for him.
    I don’t know if he’s on any kind of drugs or drink, but something is way out of control.
    And yet so many are cheering him on.. That’s only extending the inevitable. Prolonging the day till he stops and does a real long hard look at himself.
    There will be a day of reckoning, and its not going to be pretty..
    I pray that he will see himself as he really is.. and see where this is all leading.
    He will need all our prayers, for his healing of mind, body and spirit.

    Many blessings,

  28. I think we all are concerned for Mr. Sheen’s well being, Charlie. I personally believe that the man needs some major psychiatric help whether HE thinks so or not. But as JoAnn and I have mentioned once or twice before *wink, wink*….the love of money is a root of all kinds of “bad”. Charlie Sheen has just proven that right. Look at the mess it has gotten him into. Mammon definitely took Mr. Sheen down the wrong path. However, in our society today, the “fast track” is considered one of the best ones to take. This fast track is what everyone seems to be on these days, chasing an illusion that it will get them where they want to go. But in reality it is taking them in the opposite direction. Staying “on track” definitely does require constant attention and daily effort but NOT on the things that Charlie has put his attention and effort on. There is only One who can keep us on the right track. And it certainly is not our society, our money, or even our family as they have all failed for Charlie Sheen. It truly is a sad situation and I feel deeply sorry for the man.

  29. First, I would like to say that the I think the train metaphor is pretty close to perfect when discussing this situation. I completely agree with the statement “Staying “on track” requires constant attention and daily effort.”
    That being said, the situation with Charlie Sheen is just sad. What is even more sad is how much enjoyment people are getting out of watching a human being spiral downward. That’s just not right. People are constantly quoting him and waiting to see what he’ll do next. They (mainly teenagers my age, as I’ve come to discover) are almost idolizing him. And for what? This is a man who should be helped. He had his first live web broadcast several days ago, and I viewed part of it due to plain old curiosity. It truly made me sad for his children. It made me sad for him. He is someone who needs our thoughts and prayers because, without them, he could end up in a terribly dark place (if he isn’t completely there already.)

  30. You see a train–I see a roller coaster. I’m thinking it’s from spending all or part of 15 years working at an amusement park–not as a rides operator, but as a person selling food or processing revenue. A roller coaster by design should not veer from the track, or a wreck may occur–in a sense following the path that society (or the engineer/designer) has laid out. But occasionally it does–the brakes don’t work, the coaster doesn’t have enough momentum to go up the next hill, the passengers fail to adhere to proper safety standards and do not secure themselves in the cars–and, in some cases, choose to stand up when the ride clearly is designed for people to sit, not stand–and accidents occur.

    What we have in Charlie Sheen’s case is someone who chose not to follow the safety guidelines, who chose to stand up in the car, who chose to risk other people’s lives when seeking his own enjoyment/pleasure. Instead of wondering why Charlie Sheen CHOSE to behave the way he did, why don’t we look at the success stories–people who have behaved responsibly, people who do not live lavish lifestyles, people who don’t let being a celebrity go to their heads. If people would just ignore him, pretend he didn’t exist, didn’t lavish attention on him–in a sense, encourage this type of behavior–then maybe he wouldn’t behave that way. It’s like a child throwing a temper tantrum; if you ignore it, and they are not endangering anyone (including themselves), then it will stop (of course, this is being written by an apparently heartless person who has no children). It’s a way to get attention, that’s all. By the way–Charlie, I know that you definitely do not fit into the category of a celebrity who has let success go to your head. But, unfortunately, we are more likely to hear about the antics of someone like Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, etc., than we are to hear about the good works done by celebrities like you.

    A final point (for now): the history lesson (I knew you were waiting for this). The roller coaster had its origins in the old mine trains that were used to pull coal (and miners) out of the mines. The earliest “runaway trains” weren’t the ones hauling goods or people using the rails (in other words, the railroads) and jumped the rails and lost control, but were coal-filled cars that got loose and hurtled back into the mines, dumping the coal back underground–and crushing any poor soul who got in the way. In a way, what we see with Charlie Sheen is the proverbial runaway train–only in this case, the casualties aren’t people like him, but his children, his family, and his co-workers who are left to deal with the aftermath.

  31. We have choices in life, and there are consequences. I guess after thinking about it, it’s not a surprise that Charlie Sheen’s life has gone south. He may have a mental disorder such as Bipolar I where something in life triggers a mania(high) and there are times of depression. The mania is unlike anything in a functioning society. The railroad completely derails, and money is just a side effect of the disease. People experiencing Bipolar Mania lose their jobs, their wife, their family, and the trail of destruction seems limitless, and you want to help them find a solid ground, but unless they take some responsibility and stay on their medications….life will never get better for them. I’m not this man’s doctor, but he so reminds me of my ex-husband. Even after all of the destruction, and the dust settles you can’t help but feel sorry for them because they are indeed alone in their own world. It makes me angry because why can’t they see how good they have it that they have a family, and someone loves them, their children need them. It’s just like Martin Sheen said of his son.. his problem is like a cancer. Cancer can take our loved ones away out of our reach. Money won’t buy a person happiness, but many buy into the lie that it will solve all of our problems. It’s a long hard lesson that few people learn. We’re not perfect, and I shouldn’t be so harsh to judge anyone. It’s not my job. Just in observation as I have said before I wouldn’t find a man like him attractive, because he’s dillusional. Money has made him worse, and there’s no telling what havoc will be reaked on the world wide web or the evening news. I guess what made me angry at him the most is the disrespect he shows toward his bosses, and the creators of the show that made him lots of money and fame. He bit the hand that fed him, and now he doesn’t have a job. Now he is everywhere in the press and in our faces. The people that will suffer the most unfortunately will be his family..especially the children because they don’t ask for this embarrassment. I feel this situation will come to a no good end, but I pray it doesn’t.
    Kindest Regards to you all:)

  32. What a heartfelt post about the concern for those among us who have lost sight of the rails. I know that many share your great concern for Charlie Sheen. It is amazing to me how in our society when we see celebrities in meltdown that they become the butt of so many jokes. I have as much of a sense of humor as the next person, but I am not laughing. The worth of an individual is great and it is never humorous to me when one loses their way in life no matter who they are or what the cause. Like in Charlie’s circumstance, it is sad that it is so difficult for people to handle fame and fortune. They forget that what they have is no indication of who they really are. Wherein celebrities are concerned, I sometimes wonder how much of it is our (meaning societies) fault for lifting celebrities to a god-like level. The human ego is very fragile and perhaps it is too much for a mere mortal to handle. I have even considered this in all of the admiration we give you on your Facebook page and this blog. Yet, I am at ease with your values and the importance you place on your fans. Maybe that is why so many others lose their way; they forget those who have helped them to get where they are. For those who are celebrities, it is in part their fans. For those without celebrity status, many simply forget to be grateful. Gratitude is essential in keeping one on the tracks. The loss of gratitude is the first step toward meltdown, because gratitude is not for the benefit of the giver, it is for the benefit of the receiver. As odd as this may sound, Charlie, thanks for your gratitude.

  33. Straightforward and to the point as usual Charlie. Loved every word and I too worry about Charlie Sheen though he is the only one who can choose to break away from the life of addiction he has embarked upon. I pray that he does.

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