Over at Citizen Renegade, Roissy has a post on the parallels between Jared Lee Loughner and George Sodini. He’s utterly unsurprised that a man with psychotic tendencies, paranoid schizophrenia, experiences sexual rejection, and that this helps create a vicious circle culminating in a murder spree. While Roissy points out this guy was likely too far gone in mental illness (perhaps genetic) to benefit from Game, others not so far gone can be at least reduce some of the factors in the vicious cycle of social isolation in mental illness.
Let’s test that theory with a comparison of Charlie Sheen, and Jared Lee Loughner.
Now, while this considers only data points of well, one each for a man with no problems in accessing women, and one with no ability whatsoever to access women, Hollywood is a cruel place. It both attracts, and helps create, people with mental instability. Indeed, drug habits, mental illness, psychotic behavior, are often no barrier at all to highly paid actors and actresses working, often fairly steadily. As long as a person can get a completion bond / insurance, they can work in Hollywood. Even say, Randy Quaid should his legal problems disappear, could find work. Someone will inevitably hire troubled Lindsay Lohan (who her parents by exploiting her ruthlessly helped create the dysfunction). Britney Spears has control of her life passed over to her father, and yet still works (recently appearing in “Glee.”)
What is different about Hollywood is that the most junior, minor, D-List male celebrity can have ungodly, unbelievable sexual/romantic access to women.
So let us compare Sheen and Loughner. Both are well-known 9/11 Truthers. Check. Both have documented issues with drugs and alcohol. Sheen’s brother and father checking him into rehab during the late 1990’s, and Sheen recently spent time at rehab again for drug and alcohol abuse as part of his plea bargain over his Christmas Day assault on then wife Brooke Mueller.
Sheen has had a number of incidents relating to violent behavior towards women. He pled guilty to domestic violence in the incident where he held a knife to his then wife’s (Brooke Mueller) throat on Christmas Day, threatening to kill her. Sheen was taken by police to a hospital after the porn star in his room called 911 alleging Sheen was going to kill her (reportedly she was hiding, naked, in the closet, as Sheen trashed the room in a rage). Denise Richards made allegations of abuse and violence and porn addiction during their divorce hearings. [Another link regarding the NYC incident can be found here] Kelly Preston was engaged to Charlie Sheen when he accidentally shot her in the arm. Sheen claimed at the time the gun went off “accidentally” when he was cleaning it. Preston promptly ended the relationship and engagement. Recently Charlie Sheen was spotted partying and drinking in Vegas with porn stars. Another story here.
Now, by any reasonable accounting, Charlie Sheen’s history with women is not exactly one filled with rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. Women generally don’t stay with him. But they do find him intriguing. Kelly Preston, after all, when she was young and beautiful, did agree to marry him. Same with Denise Richards. Brooke Mueller is easy on the eyes as well. For Richard and Mueller, Sheen’s well known involvement with Heidi Fleiss’s prostitution ring (he bragged about being a client), his drug and alcohol problems, and his prior failures were not deterrents to a relationship. Both were beautiful women who did not exactly lack for male attention.
While I would not characterize Sheen as stable, he is at least functional, able to do his TV show for CBS. He hasn’t killed any one.
Who said “Die Bitch!” Was it Charlie Sheen, or Jared Lee Loughner? Answer: BOTH!
According to TMZ, Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards might testify in the comedian’s criminal case next month. The disturbing reason?
The district attorney is interested in a declaration Richards signed (under penalty of perjury) on December 30, 2005. On that day, she got a restraining order against the Two and a Half Men star and swore the following in court:
In the middle of an argument, Denise was holding her and Charlie’s daughter Lola. From there, Sheen “pushed me, shoving me with his two hands between my shoulders. I was forced backwards and tripped over one of the children’s toys and fell on the floor with Lola.”
Under oath, Richards said her husband screamed: “I hope you f-cking die, bitch… You are f-cking with the wrong guy.”
Obviously, Loughner was far more troubled, than Charlie Sheen. Who himself has a history that does not inspire confidence, in stability or sobriety. No amount of success with women would “fixed” Loughner, what was required was commitment to a mental health facility and long term treatment. Loughner did not even get the short-term treatment that Sheen got. While obviously not long-term effective, the short term stays in rehab might have prevented worse problems from cropping up in Sheen’s life. Loughner did not even get that, as it seems that Loughner’s mother, Amy, who worked for Pima County as a manager for the Agua Caliente Regional Park (according to Wikipedia). One would assume that there is more to this story, given the “pull” that prevented the five documented contacts with the Sheriff’s office over death threats that Loughner made never resulting in an arrest or removal of Jared Lee Loughner to a mental health facility.
But there is some supporting evidence to suggest that unstable Men who retain the ability to function in a work environment in Hollywood do not commit the mass murders that similar types (George Sodini) in the ordinary world go on to commit. Mostly, this is because their access to women is so important they’ll moderate even their instability, in order to retain it, and critically they have hangers-on, handlers, and retainers who act to keep their meal ticket earning money. You can’t earn money in prison (or dead). For the most part. It does not make them sane, or stable, or anything like it. They can still be a menace for drunk driving and the like, and it does not affect women and girls in the same way. The sad case of Demi Lovato seems to mirror that of Lindsay Lohan. Men are more violent and dangerous than women. If Demi Lovato punched me in the face, it would have no real lasting impact. She’s a slender, 18 year old girl. Mostly, absent drunk driving, a danger to herself not others.
Where the effect on society is really, in terms of success with women moderating violent, spree behavior, is on the margins. We live in a society where there are a few “superstars” with near unlimited access to women, a few “role players” who have fairly good access, and everyone else has fairly poor access to women. For fundamentally violent, dangerous, and mentally ill people, access to women is irrelevant, they are a danger to others and need institutional treatment, not having sex. Which is unlikely to do much good anyway. [Sheen has plenty of sex, it has not “cured him” in any way. Merely moderated the worst of his behavior with help of his entourage and created his own self interest not to go too far.] But for those on the margins, where a marginal more success with women can matter, in terms of dialing down the desperate craziness to keep rewards that matter (sex, affection) it does matter. Sex and affection is not a panacea. It does not cure mental illness. But for those on the balance point, between managing their illness and being functional human beings, and those descending into full blown madness and worse, horrific actions, it does matter.
And to the extent that success in the sexual marketplace is concentrated among a fortunate few “players” this pretty much guarantees on the margins, a few more spree killings each year than a more balanced, broadly spread access would create.
This by itself is likely not important (except to the victims and their families), but is indicative of a wider spread of resource inequality, a few hyper, mega winners and a lot of those with only the crumbs. That in and of itself does not create a resilient society capable of responding strongly to crisis. Be it earthquake, enemy attack, floods, fires, hurricanes, or something else.