The obvious answer is neither, but when Charlie Sheen gets over a million followers in 24 hours and has hipsters everywhere quoting him relentlessly, it’s hard to deny he has appeal. Or at least, his “meltdown” does.
In this week’s issue of Newsweek, author Bret Easton Ellis says Sheen simply “gets it”, and “it” is his in your face, unapologetic attitude that he has indefinitely committed to. Easton writes,
“Sheen has embraced post-Empire, making his bid to explain to all of us what celebrity now means. Whether you like it or not is beside the point. It’s where we are, babe. We’re learning something. Rock and roll. Deal with it.”
Blogger Jo Piazza of Popeater points out that it’s this mechanism, this shitless-giving attitude, that Lindsay Lohan lacks and which is making her #losing.
“Lohan hasn't been able to commit to a message, whether messy or otherwise in the past five years…Her multiple rehabs haven't worked, yet she has never fully embraced her bad girl persona either. She never seemed to enjoy her benders very much. Not like Sheen.”
It boils down to getting your ass off the fence and staying on whichever side you choose. Are you a badass? Are you a sweetheart? Are you an ignorant East Coast fist-bumper? Despite the nasty headlines and late night parodies, people love a good character with a well-defined gimmick. And if you’re a celebrity without a clear brand or identity, the public will stick a fork in you and eat you alive.