The mood of his fractured nation has become more volatile with each passing day. Images on TV show streets filled with shouting, angry protestors, crying out for an end to the insanity. Meanwhile the intransigent tyrant refuses to listen to the advice of his inner circle. Recently he has gone on TV making bizarre, seemingly incoherent pronouncements about how the people love him and everything is fine – causing experts around the world to speculate whether he has lost touch with reality and become completely delusional.
But enough about Glenn Beck. I’m here to talk about Charlie Sheen. Sheen, star of the #1 sitcom on television, Two and a Half Men, is the richest actor on television, receiving a weekly paycheck of $2 million per episode. Apparently these meager wages are not enough for a man of his epic stature. This past week, Sheen went on one talk show after another, insisting he deserves $3 million an episode and denying that he has any problems with drugs or alcohol – sharing the results of his most recent drug test on live national TV on Piers Morgan Tonight.
Slamming the creator of the show that has made him the richest actor in TV sitcom history, Sheen ripped into his CBS bosses, calling them “Nazis,” “hypocrites” and “clowns” for pulling the plug on his show for the remainder of the season. Sheen, ever humble when talking about himself, has recently proclaimed in interviews that he has “tiger’s blood” and “the DNA of Adonis” and that he once “shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.” (No wait, that last one was Johnny Cash. Sorry. My bad.) Times are tough for the 45-year old actor.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, his soul mate, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has been having his own Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The strong-arm dictator seized control of Libya in a military coup in 1969 and has ruled his country with an iron fist for over 40 years. Gaddafi has made no secret of his aspirations of a unified Pan-African-Middle East Arab caliphate with himself seated at its helm. In recent weeks, the protests and level of violence in the streets of Tripoli have escalated, and it now appears Gaddafi is losing control of his formerly obedient citizenry.
One thing is certain. These two men have a great deal in common. They are both very charismatic, with grandiose confidence in their ability to “win” against all adversaries. They are both unpredictable, famously prone to wild mood swings and violent outbursts. Both have millions of people questioning their grasp on reality. Both men have people wanting them fired from their job. Both are surrounded by harems of beautiful women and cranky ex-wives. What’s more, both are avid Cleveland Indians fans. Both detest cauliflower. And surprisingly, the number 9 is both of these men’s lucky number. Oh, and did I mention they’re both raging psychopaths?
As many of you know, I am a two-time past Nobel Peace Prize winner, but I rarely like to bring this up more than every fourth post. So it was just a matter of time before I got the call from the U.S. State Department asking me to intervene to negotiate a way out of this crisis and prevent further bloodshed. Frankly, the timing of Secretary Clinton’s call could not have been worse. I had just planned to enjoy a nice quiet evening catching up on my backlog of Conan O’Brien shows on TIVO. But when your nation calls, well, what can you do? The next thing I knew, I was on a plane to the Libyan capitol. Conan will just have to wait.
Working behind the scenes, I had no time to lose. What little chance remained for a peaceful resolution was dwindling with each Cable news appearance by Sheen. I had to act quickly – and boldly. I spent the better part of this past week shuttling between Tripoli and Beverly Hills. Can I just say one thing? Don’t EVER fly Libya Airlines. They have the ugliest flight attendants I have ever seen. And the in-flight movie? The Last Song, with Miley Cyrus. Puh-lease! (Scored 19 points out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes. Seriously, dude.) Memo to self: Next time, tell Obama I’ll only fly to Libya on Air Force One.
Jetting between Sheen’s Malibu beach house and Gaddafi’s Bedouin tent, I met for hours one-on-one with each of these passionate statesmen. I came up with a bold solution that just might keep the peace. Both men are in untenable positions that they simply can’t win. So I have gotten them both to accept – in principle – the idea of a job swap. It’s a clear win-win outcome. Sheen is thrilled because it presents him with the role of a lifetime – acting the part of a supreme ruler of an oil-rich nation. He gets all the hot Arabian chicks he could ever ask for, complete with no less than seven gold-plated palaces scattered along Libya’s pristine, sun-soaked Mediterranean coast. Best of all, each palace comes with its own anti-aircraft gun conveniently located on his bedroom balcony.
Gaddafi is a big winner too. At $2 million per episode, he is assured of a steady income and a newfound level of Hollywood notoriety he has long desired. In preliminary testing, Gaddafi scored surprisingly strong among the important 18 – 39 female demographic. Focus group viewers gave Madman Muammar high marks for his zany antics and quirky boyish thuggery. A CBS executive, who asked to remain anonymous, said Gaddafi’s countless incoherent speeches and rants in front of television cameras make him a natural to succeed Sheen, concluding “I don’t think anyone will even notice Charlie is gone.”
You may ask why I am so confident things will improve for both of these problem-plagued, mercurial super stars, given their current predicaments. For Sheen, the answer is obvious. As the new supreme ruler of Libya, he will be able to self-medicate around the clock with no interference from counselors, lawyers or combative CBS executives. And Sheen recently polled extremely well with Libyan women in the 18 – 39 demo (slightly lower with the critical “women in a Burqa” demo).
A quick glance at his movie career shows that Sheen is uniquely prepared to assume his newest role as leader of a corrupt third world dictatorship. His heroic performance as a fearless fighter pilot in Hot Shots establishes his impeccable military credentials. And his stirring performance as young Bud Fox, the up-and-coming Wall Street broker in the 1987 film Wall Street showed he can quickly grasp the vagaries of the volatile financial markets, a skill that will come in handy as he tackles the economic crisis facing his newly adopted nation.
Gaddafi is equally excited about the new challenge for him. While admittedly new to the sitcom genre (his experience has been mostly in the realm of military epics and political thrillers), he is supremely confident he can win over American audiences. This, despite his past reputation for thumbing his nose at America in the 1980’s. Thanks to his political makeover in recent years, Gaddafi has already won over many enthusiastic fans in the Big Apple. During a recent televised speech in which he proclaimed that all Libyan protesters were crack-addicted, homosexual Al Qaeda terrorists, he sported a trendy T-shirt emblazoned with I NEW YORK.
Never one to set the bar low, Gaddifi, in an off-the-record session with this peace negotiator (did I mention I won the Nobel Peace Prize – twice?) confided he would be delighted to stay with Two and a Half Men for three or four seasons. He even hinted at the possibility of inviting Sheen back for a small recurring role in season seven, playing the part of his wacky unemployed cousin Herbie from Toledo. But eventually Super G, as he now likes to be called, hopes to use the show as a springboard to pursue his lifelong dream of establishing an Arab Caliphate in North America, with himself as Executive Producer.
As I write this, these two inspirational, courageous men are negotiating a few final logistical details. For his part, Super G is pushing hard for Sheen to throw in his ex-wife, actress Denise Richards, as part of the deal despite protests from Sheen’s attorneys that in America, ex-wives are not usually considered property of their ex- husbands the way they are in third world countries ruled by tyrannical Arab despots who think they are God.
Sheen, on the other hand, wants contractual assurances from Gaddafi that Sheen won’t be assassinated once he takes over the throne of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya’s official name). Representatives for Gaddafi have refused to agree to this condition but have assured Sheen’s people that no one from the senior management of CBS would be allowed to enter Libyan airspace.
The talks are going extremely well. I am confident both parties will agree to my job swap plan. Before you know it, the great people of Libya will quietly go back to their happy lives of dire poverty, spotty electricity and lack of sanitary plumbing, grateful for their new leader. And for fans of a certain popular CBS sitcom, I predict next season is going to going to be a riot – oh, I mean a good kind of riot. Not to worry.
I have to wrap this up. I am needed back at the bargaining table. Seems the American now insists that the entire nation of Libya be set to a comfortable temperature of 75 degrees whenever he is in the country. And he wants a fruit basket – with macadamia nuts – and chocolate-covered strawberries – or the deal is off. That Mr. Sheen sure drives a hard bargain.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011