Charlie Sheen Symbolizes Western Decadance

An op-ed by a Hao Leifeng in China's Global Times argues that "Actor Charlie Sheen is a classic example of the difference in Western and Eastern values and norms."

An op-ed by a Hao Leifeng in China’s Global Times argues that “Actor Charlie Sheen is a classic example of the difference in Western and Eastern values and norms.”

Ignoring public pleas from his father, Sheen has continued a weeklong media blitz, exhibiting obvious signs of mania. With no firm hand to guide them, Western media has deliberately goaded him into making increasingly delusional statements, more concerned about “winning” higher ratings than Sheen’s own sense of pride, or the negative example his brash public admissions about his private sex life and unverifiable international conspiracies could be setting for society.

How many young people have been led astray by Sheen’s boasts about his substance abuse and freewheeling sex life? And that was when he was in character on national television, as a randy bachelor in Two and a Half Men.

Sheen attracted 1 million Twitter followers in just 24 hours, yet more evidence that microblogs spread the most unhealthy contagions in society like a disease. Chinese family, coworkers, or the authorities would have taken firm steps to make sure someone like Sheen did not make a public spectacle of himself.

Take Edison Chen, who humbly apologized and slipped away to Canada. Or Li Gang’s father, who wept as he sought forgiveness on his son’s behalf.

The fact that Sheen continues to embarrass himself unabated, becoming even a hero to many, points to the vast differences in cultures.

His employers are unhappy that he was distracted with prostitutes and drugs, and didn’t show up to work on time. Why not take a tip from the Chinese business community, and make visits to a KTV parlor part of Sheen’s workday?

And instead of epic parties at his home with porn stars, why not keep Sheen occupied with business banquets?

Sheen goes on television and boasts that he has two girlfriends, who both sleep in the same bedroom. Is he too poor to set up his wives and mistresses in different houses?

In Chinese society, these problems are dealt with delicately and privately. Sheen is like a typical Westerner throwing fuel on the fire with each interview and tweet. It is almost as if he feels no shame and is loving the attention.

Racism, spousal abuse, addiction, politics, mental illness, boasting about mistresses, – these are all subjects best dealt with behind closed doors.

As much as Sheen has lived a life most Chinese men can only fantasize about, our admiration of him can only go so far. He has not only lost face with his public rants, but also crossed a cultural barrier no Chinese can abide.

He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US. Sheen is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland.

Martin Sheen should at once go on television and tearfully apologize on behalf of his son for his inability to keep up appearances and keep his mouth shut.

I can’t determine offhand if this is supposed to be satirical.

via Memeorandum

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FILED UNDER: Asia, Popular Culture, Quick Takes, World Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    I’d guess 50% satirical, by design or accident.

    It is almost as if he feels no shame and is loving the attention.

    Ya think?

  2. TG Chicago says:

    I’m thinking satire. Between the translation (I’m assuming there was one) and the fact that satire would have to subtle if he was actually critiquing Chinese society, it’s hard to say for certain. But I just can’t see any other way to read some of the “advice” in this op-ed.

  3. Boyd says:

    Having read many English language newspapers in foreign countries, this strikes me as typical writing (meaning non-satirical).

  4. Joe says:

    I don’t think we need advice from a culture(China) whose suicide rates are among the world’s highest.

    F**k China!

  5. John says:

    It is definitely a spectacle the mainstream gulps up fast, there will always be a market for the higher ranked people who fall down into the mud. And it’s nothing new to see cultures flare up at each other for behavior unlike the country they live in.

    Whether this whole escapade is good or bad for Charlie Sheen, who knows? This might be another Joaquin Phoenix, or the reality of a manic egoist. All in all its business, everyone is using everyone for their own gains.

  6. Dearest Charlie I am writing because I truly , truly care about you. I have never missed one episode or rerun of YOUR SHOW. Without you there would be no show, but please take back your POWER and quit responding to the so- called gods of HOllywood. I respect your honesty. your NON- Hypocrisy, and your total truthfulness. Isn’t funny that nothing was said when it involved your ex-wives, you responsibility of drinking etc: BOy! BUT the MOMENT something was mentioned about the great GOD LORRE—-ALL HELL LET LOOSE!!! No one dare speak unless The gods have all the money and netowrks behind them. You need to chilln and take some time for YOU–just you!! I have come to love you as a Friend-you bring LIGHT, LAUGHTER and plenty of humor in our lives. Let’s see how long the great gods of grapes make The Big Bang Theory last??? I don’t want to hurt or upet them,but they can only hope for the best.. CHARLIE< We love and the entire cast of Two and 1/2 Men

  7. John Herodotus says:

    As Boyd said, there is good reason to think that it is not satirical–it definitely reads like China boilerplate–but I’ve got to disagree. A Chinese person could not write that. They would never say, “Why not take a tip from the Chinese business community, and make visits to a KTV parlor part of Sheen’s workday?” A foreigner with a lot of experience in China could, though, and could write it in such a way that the Chinese would miss the subtext.

    It’s absolutely brilliant. My favorite part is the bit about being too poor to set up his mistresses. A typical Chinese-style put-down that misses the whole point.

    “It is almost as if he feels no shame and is loving the attention.” Beautiful!

    “Racism, spousal abuse, addiction, politics, mental illness, boasting about mistresses, – these are all subjects best dealt with behind closed doors.” It hurts so good.

  8. Bednarz says:

    erm:
    “He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US. Sheen is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland.”

    I must have slept through the “Sheen Administration” who was secretary of state for that, Emilio?

    I’m going to chalk this up to an uneducated rant, although if Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan get married it may force us into a war with China. Best to keep a close eye on things.