So Live Nation's attempt to cash in on Charlie Sheen's continuing implosion by getting people to pay to watch his drug-induced rants is off to an inauspicious start. Sheen's "show" at the Fox Theatre in Detroit ended prematurely amid boos, jeers, and a steady stream of walk-outs. People who paid anywhere from $49.00 to $84.00 (and God knows how much more from scalpers) are demanding their money back.
Articles on the bombed-out performance quote audience members as saying they expected a comedy show. Baloney. Whatever other kinds of expectations these sharks may claim, the fact is, they smelled blood in the water. Spurred on by Charlie Sheen's prior embarrassing conduct, they paid for front-row seats to his continuing meltdown. As far as I'm concerned, they can consider the loss of their shekels a down payment on the penance they deserve for exploiting a fellow human being in his affliction and demeaning his dignity -- however complicit Sheen himself might have been in it.
Besides which: these vultures got exactly what they paid for. They bought their tickets in the hopes that Sheen would behave like a drug-crazed jackass, and that's precisely what they got, however unrealistic their idea of such behavior might be. The reality of addiction bears no resemblance to a sitcom: scripted and predictable, with every crisis neatly resolving within half an hour. The reality of addiction is perpetual chaos, frenzy, injustice, selfishness, manipulation, insecurity, unpredictability, bottomless consumption, and an endless series of catastrophes, one after the other, punctuated by fines and terms of imprisonment. These people paid to see all this, and now they're not happy; whereas anyone who has ever had to live with a substance abuser could have described it to them for free.
I for one have no sympathy. In fact, I hope these hyenas don't get their money back, just as I hope Live Nation loses huge on this disgraceful speculation of theirs.