Common threads in fall of the mighty
Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sordid secrets of the past three weeks — and actor Charlie Sheen pathetic debacle of a few months back — tell as much about us as they do about them falling from grace.
Oh yes, and there’s that Arnold Schwarzenegger distraction, too.
There were common threads unspooling in all their lives. Weiner’s decline was patterned on lies, sexting, deception and delusion. From the moment his crotch shot debuted in online postings, he became a media magnet, spouting untruths and denials until the final showdown Thursday, when — no doubt, prodded by the president’s declaration that he should resign — Weiner opted to step down to begin sorting out his life. His pregnant wife was visibly not standing next to him when he finally wilted.
Sheen’s thing was mostly about arrogance and avarice, as his off-camera behavior and lifestyle — with drugs, sassing attacks on his TV bosses and his sordid life of sexual princesses mixed with his indecencies with prostitutes and paid sex — became, temporarily, a daily reality series about reaction, commotion, and challenges about his
firing from CBS’ “Two and a Half Men.”
The Governator’s affair with a hired hand, resulting in a son, was certainly a stunner. Was he so good an actor, to fool everyone, including wife Maria Shriver? For a while, yes. But he made his revelation, which sent him to the dog house.
Tsk, tsk. He might have been out of politics by the time the s--- hit the fan, but his intent to jump-start his acting career is pretty much history.
For Sheen, there was that bomb of a concert tour, when he declared his “Winning” mantra, but was met with booing fans, some asking for refunds. He was losing — big time.
Yet there we were, watching the morning news shows and syndicated entertainment reports, about who shot the last volley in the Sheen power struggle case, about Weiner’s insane insistence that he didn’t know, or could not say for sure, who was inside those bulging, gray briefs.
Schwarzenegger went under the radar, for the most part.
We watched TV with disgust, in the way we ogle and examine a car wreck, as we drive by in morning commute. It’s human nature, I guess, to peek; it’s hard to snub.
After all, three souls, lucky to be in the ranks of employment before their bubble burst, were self-destructing each time the TV cameras or paparazzi or online posters found a new wrinkle in their dirty laundry.
If Sheen was off drugs, able to clear the cobwebs and apologize to make amends, he might salvaged a career and not have been replaced by Ashton Kutcher in the No. 1 rated TV sitcom. Or not.
He appears to have a major challenge ahead: to prove that he can come clean and return to his life as a productive actor. But do we care?
If Weiner — and pity the reality of an unfortunate name — confessed of his private life early on, instead of doing the charades thing before finally admitting his sick passion, he might have found some support among his colleagues, as well as rehab, to curb his dark secret. But he left too many clues, told too many untruths as he played dodgeball to media queries, until it was too late.
If Schwarzenegger determines it’s time to get the cameras rolling for his reentry into movies, would he get the support from followers once the films are out?
For now, Sheen, Weiner and Schwarzenegger are poster boys of deceit and blemish, who lost their respect along with their paychecks.
For certain, they will be back — in a reality series, via confessional books, whatever —
to attempt a comeback.
Will anyone still care?