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Britany Spears

Tiger Blood, Winning and Abusing the Mentally Ill

I don’t know what Charlie Sheen’s problem is. The pundits were saying that he was coming off of drugs, they mentioned a pink cloud, and then the doctors that are too busy talking on TV to see any patients diagnosed him Bi-Polar.

Along with all of America I was mesmerized and entertained by Sheen’s first rants. Simply saying winning to my husband would have the two of us giggling.

And then this morning we sat in his car listening to a replay of Sheen on Howard Stern and felt sad. His stacatto banter had little to do with reality. We know that our stars don’t experience the same reality that us working folk do. We know that at Sheen’s level they’re insulated from things like the price of milk, TSA security lines and buying clothing on sale. We forgive them for being out of touch, not knowing how to make a bed, forgetting to say please and thank you, and (in Sheen’s case) we forgive the battery of women.

To be fair maybe you do. I don’t.

A few years ago we watched Britney Spears unravel before our eyes, and when she shaved her head and started speaking in strange accents no one turned the cameras off. When her kids were traumatized images were snapped and sold. When the police took Sheen’s kids away it was time to roll tape. How did this become news? What part of of watching someone’s decline into disease is entertaining?

I cannot diagnose Sheen, but I see that he’s as ill as any mental patient you’d encounter at the hospital today. I couldn’t walk into a psych ward and start mocking the patients there, but for some reason 20/20 and the Today Show can.