So Charlie Sheen has revealed that he is the newest celebrity who has been infected with HIV and the entire world sat back and marvelled at their complete and total lack of surprise. In fact, while this is proving worthy of the front pages of gossip and celebrity websites and will certainly be appearing in the sketches of stand-up comedians and talk show hosts, it arrives in a time in Sheen’s career where we simply couldn’t be surprised anymore. Collectively, when we heard that there was a womanising, party-going, rambunctious, irresponsible celebrity who may have contracted HIV but that they couldn’t reveal his identity, the whole world sighed and went, “Oh Charlie,”.
But what is interesting is the timing. Considering that Charlie Sheen has been Ghengis Khan-ing his way through America with this virus, it seems convenient that the story would break now, days after the Paris bombings, which has in itself ignited a wave of anti-terrorist and anti-anti-terrorist-wars across the globe. Social media is currently abuzz not with people screaming for revenge but seeking a better understanding with people asking the question, “Why would someone do this?”
Yesterday the answer could easily have come from the well-oiled-symbiotic Government/media- PR-department sitting in either the UK or the US who used this heavily to guide public opinion for years by uniting people under their common banner that closed their eyes to anything outside of their own country. Today we are an international community, it is no longer a case of us and them but us together. Like siblings, people are tired of fighting and are starting to talk. You can see it for yourself on social media; people thinking for themselves.
Right when it seems that the tide is changing, right when our outrage is turning into a resolution to fix this mess, suddenly the media throws in the story of how some over-the-top actor who hasn’t been funny or appreciated in years has contracted a deadly disease and spread it around to many women in Hollywood’s scene. On a scale: the bombings in Paris, the unfair threats the Muslim community are enduring because of this outrage and the confusion and fear that terrorism is creating is far heavier and more important than a dirty, diseased Charlie Sheen. Of course it is. But which one will be spoken of the most and which one is more relatable to the global community?
Charlie Sheen is a perfect candidate for a distraction tactic to unify nations because: 1. He is world famous. 2. He is an utter despot who almost broke Twitter in 2011 when he joined the website for the first time. 3. He is an easier target to write about, to poke fun at and to make memes out of and 4. He is better understood.
I don’t fully understand the ISIS and the Syrian situation, conflicting information and too many “reputable sources” have created a confusing picture and nobody I’ve spoken with is able to give me a conclusive or congruent explanation. What is clear is that what triggered it was interference from the west – a fact that is often buried under leagues of memes and GIFS and statuses from so called celebrities.
Charlie Sheen however is understood. He is an actor, famous for being a womanising maniac whose libido has been famous since before the invention of the CD. How he contracted HIV is easily understood as well. His contraction and potential spreading of HIV since 2012 has turned him into the perfect distraction to prevent us from asking the right questions and thinking about who is really to blame for the Paris bombings, who is responsible for the current trouble and most importantly; how we can stop this once and for all without further bloodshed on either side.
This is not what that machine wants. Historically, war has been the easiest way to rally support behind a political party. Historically it unites and drives and brings speeches we can relate to. But now, people don’t want war, they don’t want killing and what happens when the smaller cogs start leaving the machine?
When those PR departments saw the news about Charlie Sheen they probably sighed with relief, thinking that they were saved. The newspaper websites would splatter his face with big catchy headlines across their front pages and any mention of the bombings or terrorism would be buried and never spoken of again. People would focus on finding out the dirt on Charlie Sheen. Feed people’s addiction to gossip and distract them from thinking outside of the box, they thought, keep the cogs focussed on what is easy to control so that the people are easier to lead. But haven’t we all grown up now? These tricks don’t work anymore. People are no longer looking for answers that can be easily submitted, they want revelations and understanding. People are realising that fighting fire with fire is just a great way to make a big fire. To stop the blaze, you have to remove the fuel and so they are, as a global society of individual people, scrutinising and analysing things.
Understanding each other, respecting each other’s differences and not being afraid to discover what makes all peoples beautiful and unique is the way to quell this fire. It removes the fuel and starves the blaze. What the machine has done is torn open Sheen’s life, ripped it open for everyone to see, denied him any privacy or opportunity to handle the problems without further outing people who he may have infected. They may be thought of as “victims” of Charlie Sheen, when they should be remembered as being sacrificed to the media/Government machine.