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Bret Easton Ellis Explains Charlie Sheen’s Appeal

"Sheen is ... making his bid to explain to all of us what celebrity now means. Whether you like it or not is beside the point ... You’re completely missing the point if you think the Charlie Sheen moment is really a story about drugs ... The new fact is: If you’re punching paparazzi, you look like an old-school loser. If you can’t accept the fact that we’re at the height of an exhibitionistic display culture and that you’re going to be blindsided by TMZ (and humiliated by Harvey Levin, or Chelsea Handler) while stumbling out of a club on Sunset Boulevard at 2 in the morning, then you should be a travel agent instead of a movie star. Being publicly mocked is part of the game, and you’re a fool if you don’t play along ... Do we really want manners? Civility? Empire courtesy? Hell, no. We want reality, no matter how crazy." —Bret Easton Ellis dissects the Charlie Sheen phenomenon, and if you can forgive him for over-relying on the terms "Empire" and "Post Empire," it's a fairly convincing piece on why Sheen is the celebrity for our time. And "Empire or Post-Empire" seems like a natural follow-up to the "Black Swan or White Swan" party game. [Daily Beast]

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Dewars