From The Ashes, A Sheenix Rises

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When you’re only speed is “GO,” eventually you burn out. I started writing this comic over 2 weeks ago, back when Charlie Sheen first began his one man Vatican assassination attempt of his own career, with the intention of running it before I left for Emerald City Comicon. The reason I was unable to finish it is that every time I would get done with the script, Sheen would do five more interviews and I’d have to go back to the drawing board. I wanted to somehow incapsulate the depths of his coke-fueled insanity and subsequent public breakdown in three simple panels. I soon realized this task was insurmountable and shelved the idea.

After a week passed I figured there was nothing left to say about Charlie Sheen that hadn’t already been covered elsewhere. Then I recalled a particular monolog from a prominent geek popular culture television program that seemed to sum up his entire ordeal. Those words, originally spoken with the utmost delusions of grandeur by Brother Cavil in Battlestar Galactica can be found in panels 7 and 8 above. Read them carefully and shudder at the similarities between a the grandiose ramblings of a drug addled, millionaire actor and a robot that orchestrated the destruction of humanity because of his mommy issues.  Can someone make sure Sheen doesn’t have access to our planetary defense grid? Oh, we don’t have one of those? Then we should be fine.

COMMENTERS: What other quotes from geek TV and movies would make good Sheen rants? Feel free to modify them slightly to better fit his particular dementia(though top points will go to those that fit perfectly with no alteration). “I aim to misbehave,” comes to mind.

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  1. Dr Daystrom's rant from Star Trek TOS, when he and M5 are both breaking down. I can't reproduce the whole thing here, but it does run with the whole theme of when it's ok to totally start killing the heck out of flesh beings, with the answer being "When I am more awesome than them".

  2. Wow, a popular sitcom, a winning podcast, and now a Richard Pryor impression as well? Is there anything that guy can't do?

  3. Charlie's breaking down like HAL 9000:

    "I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do. "

    "I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you."

    • No, IM didn't think highly enough of its five surviving captives to bother giving them speeches – it just liked to jerk them around by doing things like making them immortal, but still able to get hungry and thirsty, and providing urine to drink (or, the final gag, when he got them all to trek to an arctic cave for real food, only to have it all in cans – with no can opener).

  4. From the Doctor Who Series 3 finale:
    "I've been out there, in space, before all this happened. And there's a thousand different civilizations all around us with no idea of what's happening here. The Master can build weapons big enough to devastate them all."
    "You've been in space?"
    "Problem with that?"
    "No, just…wow. Anything else I should know?"
    "I've met Shakespeare."

  5. He could randomly pause mid-rant, and when the interviewer asks "what's wrong", he could reply "I could go for some licorice."

    • Similarly to Sheen, rather than from: "You're talking loud enough for the both of us though, ain'tcha?…Sad little king of a sad little hill. Call me if anyone interesting shows up."

  6. I can see him going into some sort of Alpha personality rant. Only instead of talking about him and someone else, he just means "we" in the royal sense…
    Sheen: "We're not just human anymore. We're not multiple personalities. We're many personalities. One of my personalities happens to be a multiple personality, but that doesn't make me a multiple personality. I'm looking for a little nuance here…ubermensche…Nietzsche predicted our rise…perfected, objective, something new…"
    Reporter: "What the hell are you talking about…who's we?"
    Sheen: "I'm not fooling. He's not kidding. We're not bluffing. I'm bluffing. But the rest of us…we mean business."

    • I certainly don't mean this as an insult to any character Alan Tudyk has played, but that really sounds exactly like something Charlie Sheen would say.

      • Makes perfect sense really. It was a well written and wel delivered bit about a character with a fractured and misfiring brain. That's what Sheen is living right now.

  7. So, Joel, how many times did you burst into laughter writing down Sheen's mad ramblings? This is a winner!
    Today's strip reminds me of an older one where Josh and Eli were using the door from "Being John Malkovitch" to mess with other celebrities. Is Charlie Sheen's celebritiy meltdown their handiwork too?

    • I will admit that I was pretty proud of the dialog. One of the reasons I had this one shelved for so long is that I kept thinking of new ways to go with it.

  8. "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… No, they won't! Because I'm immortal!! I've got tiger blood, and cougar spleen!!"

    • I think the Phil Ken Sebben version works better here…

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe; and from this side only! The flight of a half-man, half-bird. Dinosaurs nuzzling their young in pastures where strip-malls should be. Cookies on dowels. All those moments, lost in time. Gone… like eggs off a hooker's stomach. Time to die…

  9. From Firefly's The Train Job I believe that Jayne could be replaced by Sheen in this particular section:

    Jayne: You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here. Now we're finishing this deal,
    [breathing becomes a little more labored]
    Jayne: and then maybe, *maybe* we'll come back for those morons who got themselves caught. You can't change that by getting all… bendy.
    Wash: All what?
    Jayne: [starts swaying] You've got the – the light from the console… keep you, lift you up. They shine like…
    [starts grabbing at the air like he's trying to catch something]
    Jayne: little angels…
    [Jayne falls flat on his face]
    Wash: Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?
    Simon: I told him to sit down.


  10. Agent Smith:
    I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

  11. My name is Charlie and I am a slave. As far as I can figure, the year is thirteen hundred A.D and I'm being dragged to my death. It wasn't always like this, I had a real life, once. A job.

  12. "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you oughtta go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." – Charlie Q

  13. Other suggestions: Jeffrey Goines from 12 Monkeys. Pretty much ANY will do, but these two are very good:
    "When I was institutionalized, my brain was studied exhaustively in the guise of mental health. I was interrogated, I was x-rayed, I was examined *thoroughly*. Then, they took everything about me and put it into a computer where they created this model of my mind. Yes! Using that model they managed to generate every thought I could possibly have in the next, say, 10 years. Which they then filtered through a probability matrix of some kind to – to determine everything I was gonna do in that period. So you see, she knew I was gonna lead the Army of the Twelve Monkeys into the pages of history before it ever even occurred to me. She knows everything I'm ever gonna do before I know it myself. How's that?"
    "There's the television. It's all right there – all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We're not productive anymore. We don't make things anymore. It's all automated. What are we *for* then? We're consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact – if you don't buy things – toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers…"
    Additonally I'd suggest the Percy Bysshe Shelley sonnet Ozymandias, or a speech from the Watchmen Character of the same name. Like this one:
    "You wanna know my past? Okay. Happily. It's a matter of public record that by seventeen both my parents were dead, leaving me alone. I guess you could say I've always been alone. I mean, they say I'm the smartest man in the world, but the truth is I've often felt stupid at being unable to relate to anybody. Well… anyone living, that is. The only person with whom I felt any kinship died three hundred years before the birth of Christ. Alexander of Macedonia. His vision of a United world, well… it was unprecedented. I wanted… needed to match his accomplishments, and so I resolved to apply antiquity's teachings to our world today, and so began my path to conquest. Conquest not of men, but of the evils that beset them. Fossil Fuels. Oil. Nuclear Power. Like a drug, and you, gentlemen, along with foreign interests, are the pushers."

  14. I just discovered your comic and literally powered through it all in like a day.
    I have finally found a place that expresses my inner geek.
    I never realized how geeky I was until I read this and recognized the majority of the references. I always hid my geekiness but now I feel proud of it.
    This coming from a former captain of the football team, star track athlete, capt. dusch bag type.
    Thanks Joel.

  15. Sometimes there's a man… I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero? But sometimes, there's a man – and I'm talkin' about the Dude here – sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude. In Los Angeles. And even if he's a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that, quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide – Sometimes there's a man… Sometimes, there's a man. Ah, I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I done introduced him enough.

  16. In a way, he almost reminds me of the Prophets of the wormhole/wormhole aliens from DS9

    "You are of Earth, yet you will find no rest here."
    "The Sheen is agressive, adversarial."
    "He tries to control the game."

    And so on…although I suppose what passes as his "mind" could also count as a non-linear expression of…whatever comes out of it.
    I'd love to get him CAT scanned/MRI'd to see what his brain looks like…we could make new "this is your brain on Sheen" anti-drug commercials.

    • And simulatanoeusly made himself more famous worldwide than he has been in 20 years. Pretty shrewd move all in all.
      Plus he gets all the coke and the whores

  17. Going along the lines of the 12 Monkeys rant, I'd have to say the quote "Sorry. Uh, sorry. I, I, I got a little agitated. The thought of, uh, escape had crossed my mind, and then suddenly – suddenly – suddenly I felt like bending the fucking bars back, and ripping out the goddamn window frames and eating them – yes, *eating* them! Leaping, leaping, leaping! Colonics for everyone! All right! You dumbasses. I'm a mental patient. I'm *supposed* to act out! Wait'll you morons find out who I am! My father's gonna be really upset, and when my father gets upset, the ground SHAKES! My father is God! I worship my father! "

    … at which point Martin Sheen comes in and says "I have no son… this guy is the son of a coked-out misanthrope who probably went batshit on the set of Apocalypse Now and has no recollection of ever having done so…. wait, you mean that was ME?!?!?!?!?!"

    Brilliant strip Joel, and you've really outdone yourself!

  18. I have this vision of him doing a full Dr Manhattan and transcending reality right in the middle of a insaneterview.

    If he is a celebrity Doc Manhattan… Then maybe Randy Quaid is right, maybe somebody is taking out masked vigila- I mean celebrities… Making David Carradine 'The Comedian'…

    This train of thought leads me to believe I may have been drinking Tiger Blood…

  19. the presedents speach from ID4, Morpheus' speach from Matrix 2, the oaths of the indigo tribe, the litany of fear from Dune. and the opening of each wheel of time book.

    • “The lions sing and the hills take flight. The moon by day and the sun by night. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool. Let the Lord of Chaos rule.”

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