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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bret Easton Ellis Thinks Charlie Sheen "Gets" Celebrity

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I'm sick of Charlie Sheen too. But Bret Easton Ellis has a nice essay on The Daily Beast examining the deeper cultural phenomenoms at work behind the popular acceptance of Sheen's grossness. Ellis divides celebrity culture into "Empire" and "Post-Empire," which is to say, there are celebs who respect the walls of tact and secrecy that protected the Hollwood of the past, and those who realize that things are changing. TMZ and Twitter have exposed celebrites as the hot messes they are and it is to be embraced. Ellis loves the media circus that is Charlie Sheen.

We’re not used to these kinds of interviews. It’s coming off almost as performance art and we’ve never seen anything like it—because he’s not apologizing for anything. It’s an irresistible spectacle, but it’s also telling because we are watching someone profoundly bored and contemptuous of the media engaging with the media and using the media to admit things about themselves and their desires that seem “shocking” because of society’s old-ass Empire guidelines. No one has ever seen a celebrity more nakedly revealing—even in Sheen’s evasions there’s a truthful playfulness that makes Tiger’s mea culpa press conference look like something manufactured by Nicholas Sparks.

It sucks that Charlie Sheen proves the pivotal example for a major shift in our culture, but I agree with Ellis, for the most part. Also extra points for bringing up his appearance in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

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