Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apocalypse Me: the Jaws of Life

At about 8:30 into this vid, the person talking to Sheen on the phone asks when he'll be posting the footage he's recording to Ustream.

"It'll go up when I feel like the people are ready to receive it," responds Sheen.

Perhaps because Sheen looks so much like his father, I immediately thought of Apocalypse Now, of Willard and Kurtz and Kurtz's lording ways. Then I thought of the opening scene in the movie, when Willard wigs out in a Saigon hotel.

In the scene, Sheen is naked and covered in whiskey and blood. He's doing some sort of freaked out Qigong style moves. It's an intense, brilliant scene that comes to a beautiful end when two MPs come to collect Willard. They step into the room, look at Willard and his destroyed surroundings as if it's something they see every day.

Sheen talks about filming that scene in the following vid:

As Kurtz and Willard danced in the back of my mind, Charlie continued to splinter on the screen before me. I didn't laugh, I just felt sad. Then Charlie's rant segued into talk about a book he intends to market, Apocalypse Me: the Jaws of Life.

As soon as he uttered it, Charlie Sheen was more naked and bloody than his dad was in that troubling Saigon Hotel scene filmed more than 30 years ago, when Charlie was just an impressionable teen and his dad was at once bigger than life and empty as a spent whiskey bottle.

It's about his dad, I thought. Some huge part of this is about his dad.

I sighed, nodded at my dead guys, and felt the sadness inside me melt into tragedy.

* * *


Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Whilst this has no doubt filled many column inches on both sides of the pond, this continuing car crash behaviour is actually tragic and not remotely funny.

This man is in meltdown and needs urgent help - not that the media will take that into account.

Vince said...

Exactly, a full blown mental explosion and on every media outlet known to man. What's disgusting me about all this is the amount of unholy glee being displayed by the same sort of scum that would photo some kids brains on the kerb after a RTA.

danb said...


Since I've largely ignored anything going on with Sheen, I never would have even come close to that sort of association. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Father and Son's and Son's and Father, sooner or later all of us males descend into that unanswerable hell. Most of us surface realizing we are not our father and move on. My brother never did get out of that circle of no answers. Like most of life there are no answers only questions.

James Old Guy

alphadog said...

Fortunate is the son who learns to be his own man.

Erin O'Brien said...

I hadn't been following any of this closely, but some image grabbed my attention today and I thought: my god, he looks just awful. So I went to find a vid of him out of morbid curiosity and came across the footage I posted.

I was stunned by the reference to his Dad's famous movie in his upcoming book title. Imagine being a teen boy curiously wondering in the shadow of a character like Martin Sheen's Willard. It's something I never would have considered until today.

Anonymous said...

That piece about John is one of the most authentic, gut wrenching pieces of literature I can recall reading. If my memory serves it was the first thing of yours I ever read via some link one day while I was recalling something about LLV and was looking for it on the net.

I keep hoping Charlie will have the last laugh in his macabre media circus but my guts suggest otherwise.


Hal said...

It probably is about his Dad. His father is an admitted addict himself, and if I recall from the documentary this clip comes from, the experiences of shooting this film - and particularly this scene, is what got him out of that hole.

They worked together as father and son in "Wall Street," and there is a scene when Martin's character walks out of a meeting Charlie's character has set up with Gekko where the latter will invest in the airline he works for because he can see what will eventually happen - Gekko will break the airline up, sell off it's most profitable parts, and leave it's employees hanging. He's following him out of his penthouse, and when they get to the street, he suddenly screams, "WHAT ABOUT ME??? HUH??? WHAT ABOUT ME, DAD??? Martin turns around not just because that line is his cue. That is a visceral reaction to a visceral expression. It was so real, I wonder if it was a sudden improv that Oliver Stone decided to leave in. Maybe... Charlie's dismissive comments about AA, which Martin got involved with to help during another episode like this has to come from that.

I have to admit that I've been fascinated by this, as well as amused. Charlie got off some great lines, and in a way was brutally honest about the way he lives - he is a movie star and he can do whatever the hell he wants - including doing drugs and banging his "goddesses." But that last video he made (to date at least) that you have posted here has me recoiling from all of this. That disturbed me more than anything I've seen in quite awhile. I'm going to leave him alone and say a prayer for him, and hopefully he will find his way out of this.

philbilly said...

James Old Guy +1

Took a decade or two of careening to finally consciously decide to accept only the great things my father gave me and skip the demons. Had my own demons by then anyway. Which I sometimes still summon at business meetings to scare the suits when they try to pull a fast one.

Charlie's got more parasites on him than a baboon. His Cheshire goddesses will fade with the last dollar.
I wish for him to go into the wilderness and sit by a river.

Erin O'Brien said...

I love your river suggestion, Phil, but Sheen needed to take it 20 years ago.

For the record, I don't pity Sheen. He's no kid. He's my age--45 (not that I couldn't benefit from some river sitting myself). He's had it all and blown it all. I've never followed his career, never watched a minute of "Two and a Half Men," but I'd hate to see him end up hanging from a rope nonetheless.

The guy on the phone is the worst lackey I can imagine. What a tool.

SharePoint foundation 2010 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erin O'Brien said...

Sorry for the delete SharePoint, but your content was an exact twin to Vince's and your link sure looked like spam to me.

Leslie Morgan said...

SharePoint got me in the night, too, Erin. Unlike my Kansan father, I'm not a fan of Spam.

Sheen made me go off, both on the blog and otherwise. You're dead-on. This is no kid. He's just a lost boy who's had too many things handed to him and pissed them all away.

WV = mutesin. Maybe that's what he needs to get his head screwed on right.

Bill said...

I don't care, much, about Sheen, but the way you write about this is incredibly well done. I love your talent.

philbilly said...

Agreed, Erin, no pity. But I didn't look at your link and have been blocking out as much of the Sheen deathwatch as possible. I do feel a connection to the words of James Old Guy. And in general, our culture at large eats its young for profit, and I and others have to every day on the streets deal with coke-addled misanthropes wounded by their childhoods.

Prisons are figuring out the benefits of putting inmates to work on farms. Back when I tried to make a go of it in the hood, it was well known that the majority of kids, thugs-to-be in many cases, had never been to Lake Erie, 1.5 miles north. That's changing.
My old man made a point of taking his little boys to the Metroparks and letting us run wild for a few hours while he read and slept. Probably saved our lives.

DogsDontPurr said...

I think you are right that this has something to do with his dad. Didn't his dad just write a memoir with his other son, Emilio? It might be interesting to know if something in that book triggered this whole thing.

Have you watched Charlie's "cooking show" spoof? It is one of the few things in recent days that makes it look like maybe this whole mess is more calculated than it looks.

It will be interesting to see where this all ends up. Maybe it's wrong to say that, but honestly, I think it will be interesting to find out what the end all is.

WV: adivan
Too funny, and sooo appropriate: "ativan" is actually an anti~anxiety drug.