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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Former druggies

I was flipping channels the other evening and stumbled across Charlie Sheen on a recent episode of Anger Management. He looked fine, and it occurred to me that that should have been a surprise.

It was only three years ago that he had that infamous, epic meltdown. He abused all sort of hard drugs, was arrested for domestic violence, had all those incidents with hookers, and lost custody of his children. Sheen got into a public spat with his boss on Two and a Half Men and even made public anti-Semitic comments, which is career suicide in Hollywood. It seemed he had a death wish. 

You probably remember the quotes about his "tiger blood" and his "two goddesses" (both of whom departed shortly thereafter). 

At the time, you could practically see the Grim Reaper with his scythe standing next to Charlie. 

But then, a few days ago, there was Charlie on Anger Management, looking none the worse for wear -- with a thriving career.

There seem to be plenty of other famous people who've abused cocaine and now seem fine. Barack Obama smoked crack, and look where he is now. His predecessor George W. Bush, a former alcoholic, was supposedly arrested for cocaine possession in 1972, although that record was expunged. And Bill Clinton at one point reportedly had a cocaine habit as well. None of these men exactly turned out to be cautionary tales.

So, a drug habit may lead to your nodding off in a back alley somewhere with your life completely in ruins, as we were told in high school. Or, it may lead right to the White House. 

Rush Limbaugh, at one point an Oxy-Contin addict, seems to be going as strong as ever.

The list of actors who have not abused drugs or alcohol is much shorter than those who have.

And show me the list of abstemious rock stars and I'll show you Ted Nugent.

Of course, there are people who've died from drugs: most recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brittany Murphy, and Heath Ledger. 

But all three of them died after ingesting lethal combinations of drugs. Hoffman died from mixing heroin, cocaine, and a couple of prescription drugs; Ledger and Murphy both from mixing various prescription drugs. 

So maybe the lesson is, go ahead and imbibe, but just don't combine. 

Also, stay away from the manmade stuff. Meth, a man made drug, will age you twenty years in the space of a year, bath salts will cause you to go insane in a relatively short period of time, and krokodil will actually rot the flesh from your bones. 

So, maybe, one organic drug at a time. 

But there are times when I suspect that some of the warnings I got in my youth -- which seemed to promise certain death -- may have been a tad overblown. 

Either that, or Charlie really does have tiger blood running through his veins. And I'll just have to stay jealous.

(My public service announcement for the day.) 


Glen Filthie said...

Interesting. I wonder if the fact that they can afford personal doctors, trainers and servants and fancy detox clinics - has something to do with it?

The benefit of this post is lost on me, I suppose. I see the Hollyweirdoes pushing the party lifestyle, the drugs, the homosexuality, the infidelity, and any other form of vice - and I regard them as intellectual and moral cripples. I do not understand the western preoccupation with actors.

We are far better men than Sheen is...why should we envy him or give him the time of day...?

John Craig said...

Glen --
I think you're right, there's a big different win circumstance between a rich druggie and a poor one.

I was actually being somewhat sarcastic with much of the post. My surprise at how some of the ex-druggies thrive was genuine. But in the old post I linked at the end in the reference to my envy ("Charlie and me"), I wasn't serious about admiring him for those qualities he attributed to himself; those ere obvious the ravings of a lunatic. And I certainly don't recommend drugs, though taken alone some are probably less dangerous than we were told when young.

I do envy Sheen his money, but I actually don't even envy him the women he gets: most seem to be prostitutes, or close to it, available to anyone who wants to spend the money on them.

John Craig said...

PS -- I was also working in a certain editorial commentary on the quality and moral fiber of our recent Presidents.

Spychiatrist said...

Speaking of Meth.

John, have you watched Breaking Bad?

I just finished the series on Netflix today and I must say that I really enjoyed it. The acting was intense, and the storyline was very original and I could totally relate to the protagonist, one Mr. Walter White (as in average, typical, beat down white man?) and his meth-cooking sidekick Jesse Pinkman (another metaphorical jab).

If you haven't watched this show--do.

Give us your review when you're finished please.

John Craig said...

Spychiatrist --
No, I know a lot of people swear by it, but I've never watched Breaking Bad. Thank you for the recommendation though. If I get a chance I'll watch it, but no promises as to when.

My favorite (and only regular) show on TB these days is Justified, on Tuesday nights at 10PM on FX. It's not as intense as Breaking Bad, but enjoyable in a different way because it's Elmore Leonard-cool.

Anonymous said...

Just thought of Andy Irons ex world champion pro surfer, he died of a mixture of drugs (mostly prescription)

Dont mix your drugs kiddos.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Another good example, thank you.