Southern Views

What do Americans value?

Charlie Sheen made a visit to my city of Atlanta Thursday night for his train wreck of a self-aggrandizing tour.  I had neither the time nor inclination to offer a review of the show.  Unlike some Americans, I’m not willing to wade in the muck and enable the self-destructive behavior of a mentally unstable individual.

Some of my fellow Atlantans were, and to prove it–they were willing to shell out more than $80 to see the show at the Fox.

Sheen is a complete disaster–unable to comprehend the damage he’s doing not just to himself–but to his many children.  But he is celebrated, and he continues to get rich by fleecing the gullible.

What do we value as Americans?  Do we enjoy watching celebrities preen and gorge themselves on poison because it titillates us– and offers us some perverted respite from our own behavior?  Why does Charlie Sheen dominate the news cycle?  He’s nothing more than a degenerate drug-abusing reprobate. He is a terrible father.  He is an abuser of women, and a fair to middling actor.  And yet, this is what we celebrate.

Sheen took batting practice with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket baseball team for three hours yesterday.  Why?  What has he done to ingratiate himself into our psyches so intimately?  In my America, an abuser of women and a deadbeat father would not be welcome with open arms.  Yet there he was, offering the young men of Georgia Tech venomous advice and lurid anecdotes.

We live in a country where a man with an Ivy League education, an Ivy League educated wife, and two beautiful young daughters is denigrated.  He is assumed to be callow, aloof, and detached because of his achievements.  He is assumed to be some foreign agent because his father happened to be Kenyan, and his name isn’t Bob or John.  A man who, by all accounts, is a devoted husband and father–yet is vilified and persecuted as some duplicitous agent of socialism.

Perhaps Barack Obama should develop a nasty drug habit, slap Michelle around a few times, and babble incoherently and incessantly.  He may garner more respect from some in society.  After all, that is what we seem to value.

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Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright, originally from Connecticut, is a blogger and budding freelance writer. He is heavily interested in politics and public policy. His aim is to encourage real debate between real people. Real change begins on the grassroots level, not in the media. He attended the University of Hartford in West Hartford,Connecticut, and now makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia. He also makes a mean lasagna.