And now, inducted into this elite club straddling the blurry line between cult hero and train wreck is Charlie Sheen. There is a perverse thrill in watching a pale, $2 million-per-episode TV actor (until CBS halted production on Two and a Half Men, that is) win the deadbeat sweepstakes so definitively. And the defiant, swaggering way he’s going down — all Tony Montana “Say hello to my leetle friend” — is pure hip-hop.
Sheen refuses to allow others to have all the fun at his expense, so he parodied his own damn self on his Twitter feed (“Born Small … Now Huge … Winning … Bring it … ! (unemployed winner … )” reads his profile). Bravo, Charlie! That’s the kind of trickster move I’d expect from Kanye West.
My friend Richard O’Connor caught up with the Sheen meltdown after a long, hard day spent educating the youth. “From a man in his early 40s, today really was pretty bad,” He wrote on his Facebook status update.
“The only thing that made it bearable … Charlie Sheen!!! The voice of my generation.”
Natalie Hopkinson is a contributing editor to The Root. Follow her on Twitter.