June 02, 2013

Source: Marco Walker

Whereas we hate Lance”€”precisely because he’s not. Perverse creatures that we are. Isn”€™t it true? Nobody likes a loser. Even at his nadir, Charlie was “€œwinning.”€ At one juncture, he was actually “€œbi-winning”€”€”asked if he was suffering from bipolar disorder. A lesser man would have taken a bipolar diagnosis as the perfect excuse for erratic behavior and reclaimed his career.

Not Charlie. He doubled up and trumped the question. In a world where psychiatric diagnoses multiply, with ever more misleading jargon, Sheen said no thank you. He wouldn”€™t hide behind an “€œadaptive dissociative disorder”€ or any diagnosis dreamed up by men in white coats in concert with Big Pharma. As he stated in a previous Piers Morgan interview, at the apex of his craziness”€”when he was “€œtired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars”; when he ran across the rooftops of Hollywood and explained, “I’m a high priest Vatican assassin warlock”€; as he stated on CNN, people were lining up to label him manic. It was spooky. “€œI don”€™t even know what that means,”€ he said at the time. “€œMaybe they mean”€”maybe it means they expect a crash. Then maybe you (TV newscasters) can broadcast that?”€ Touché.

Lance, however, let them break him. 3.2 million viewers tuned in to gawk at his shame. Big mistake. Lance broke the golden rule of the doghouse: Do not acknowledge a higher order. Do your time, face the music; but never grant your punishers legitimacy. As Mandela and Elie Wiesel said, don”€™t give up your mind, the one thing your captors cannot physically take from you.

Lance finally succumbed to the mental warfare waged upon him by the media and this is the real reason he’s been in the doghouse so long. It wasn”€™t the doping, it was the public humiliation. Nobody likes a loser. The disproportionate hate heaped upon him stemmed mainly from his submission, if you want my expert viewpoint. (Yes, his arrogance also. To which Sheen attests. )

We have double standards. Losing is unacceptable. Then winning is unacceptable. Here at the doghouse we make no such judgments. Winning’s winning; the rest is for pedants. My professional opinion is this. Aside from waiting too long to admit to confess before finally buckling, and aside from apologizing too much, Lance erred most by exhibiting his shame. He became a dog without a bark. Did Bill Clinton ever admit this lie? No. He’s a graduate of the doghouse.

If a runner-up has grace, he”€™ll refuse the renounced medals and tell the world that doped-up or not, Lance was undeniably faster.

Our moral bias is growing outdated as technology leaps forward. We have a rather sentimental view. We”€™re scared of the artificial. We recommend Mother Nature’s way as the correct way. Subconsciously we fear the robots taking over, perhaps.

Where would Schwarzenegger be without the steroids? Steroids and a million bench presses endowed him with the outrageous muscle that gave him his start in life. Mister Universe. The Terminator. The Governator. More recently, honorary member of the doghouse after it was exposed he”€™d fathered a child with his live-in maid.

And guess what? Arnie performed no public apology. He played it by the canine book. He’s taking the offensive-defense maneuver, known only to the elders at the doghouse, further than most. No hand-wringing for him. He’s lined up to play the Toxic Avenger in an upcoming remake. Do you know how ugly the Toxic Avenger looks? Kudos to Arnie for staying true to himself, if to no one else.

There’s victory and then there’s moral victory. You tell me which you prefer. Your answer will say a lot about you. We at the doghouse, I need hardly say, have no respect for moral victory.

Such talk shows are the US version of a Taliban court-martial. Take the farcical case of James Frey, the question of his authorship”€”the truth or untruth”€”of his memoir A Million Little Pieces. He went on Oprah the second time to admit his great transgression: making up some of his memoir. Do people care? As Foucault inquired in one essay, What is an author? His answer was simple: What difference does it make who is speaking?

Time to get back to life here in LA”€”this “€œbargain basement promised land”€”€”to use the opening words of the screenplay for Lethal Weapon.

I have a meeting with a producer about a meeting he wants to set up. Someone must have cancelled on him. Then I”€™m heading over to Tracey’s. She needs help; something about the Dalai Lama? I”€™ll tell you about it next time.

Meantime, remember: Emerge from under the table at your own peril. The haters are out there, waiting to shame you and defame you. Caution is advised.

Woof woof.




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