The Charlie Sheen Show: Unfolding Live and Uncut on Social Media Everywhere
In a week when Egypt went into a clinch over the new government’s intensions regarding human rights, freedom and higher pay, Libya erupted into what is, to all intents and purposes, a civil war and in Tunisia the body count continued to increase web trends everywhere laser focused on the same thing: Charlie Sheen.
The Oscars themselves became a footnote to the network TV star’s blitz on the media scene. Suddenly it has become impossible to not trip over his name. On daytime TV and endless chat shows reporters and celebrities pour over his every word, offer opinions, views and advice. Popular Radio shows like Howard Stern’s have held phone-in interviews, CNN’s Piers Morgan gave Sheen a full hour and ABC’s Andrea Canning interviewed him at his home and fuelled speculation over his lifestyle and domestic arrangements.
Sheen who had managed, through a public rant on Alex Jone’s Radio Show, to go from TV’s highest paid actor to unemployed has suddenly become the hottest property in the social media stakes. He topped Google trends on March 1st with millions of people across the United States and Europe looking for information on him and just two days later he clocked the fastest time ever to reach a million followers on Twitter. The Guinness Book of Records handed him the award after Sheen’s Twitter verified account (billed by him as ‘unemployed winner’) became the focus of the blogosphere and the real-time web topping the 1 million mark in 25 hours and 17 minutes. At the time of writing it has topped the 1.3 million mark.
With all these crazy numbers being thrown around the sane voice inside us just has to ask, why? Why are we suddenly so fascinated by a man who is not the greatest talent of his generation, whose inner demons, whatever they may be, are not unique, whose lifestyle, however questionable, is not exceptional in his line of work and whose willingness to participate in the media circus which usually surrounds celebrities is not that far removed from Madonna’s or Lady Gaga’s.
We are living in the era of ‘firsts’. It is the first global credit crunch we have ever experienced. Facebook and Twitter are real-time web ‘firsts’. For the first time we can find out news before the accredited news channels give them to us. For the first time institutions we help inviolable seem to have been built on clay. Charlie Sheen is the first celebrity to allow us unpackaged, raw access to his own personal view of the world. Add to it the fact that he gives us a voyeur’s view into the state of mind and lifestyle of a celebrity who’s unconventional even by celebrity standards and you suddenly have a novelty that’s as addictive as the drugs Charlie Sheen admits he used to take.Continued on the next page