I really admire Bret Easton Ellis’ profound insight here. This is also an explanation as to how OFWGKTA can only work today, in this time and age.
John Mayer the original poster boy for post-Empire gets it in his legendary Playboy interview and his TMZ appearances he was the first celebrity to get what a game changer TMZ was and one of Mayer’s leftovers, Taylor Swift, gets it, taking on Mayer who casually used and dumped her and even Kanye West whose interruption of Swift on the VMAs scored a major post-Empire moment as well as creating the masterpiece post-Empire single “Runaway” in two devastating songs about them on her latest record. James Franco not taking the Oscar telecast seriously but treating it with gentle disrespect which is exactly what the show deserves totally got it. Anne Hathaway, unfortunately, didn’t get it, but we like her anyway for getting naked and jiggy with Jake G. Post-Empire is Mark Zuckerberg staring with blank impatience at Empire Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes and telling her how The Social Network and its genesis story he creates Facebook because he was rejected by a bitchy girl! got it totally wrong which it did; he was right; sorry, Empire Aaron Sorkin. Empire is complaining that the characters in Jonathan Franzen’s great 2010 novel Freedom aren’t “likable” enough. And it should also go without saying that Banksy gets it more than just about anyone right now. For every outspoken I-don’t-give-a-shit Empire celebrity like Muhammad Ali or Andy Warhol or Norman Mailer or Bob Dylan or John Lennon, there were a dozen Madonnas one of the queens of the Empire who was never real or funny enough to get it—everything interesting about her now seems in retrospect dreadfully earnest and Michael Jacksons the ultimate victim of Empire celebrity—a tortured boy lover and drug addict who humorlessly denied he was either. To someone my age 47 Keith Richards 67 in his memoir Life has a kind of rare healthy post-Empire geezer transparency. But for my younger friends, it’s no longer rare; it’s now just the norm. What does shame mean anymore? my friends in their 20s ask. Why in the hell did your boyfriend post a song called “Suck My Ballz” on Facebook last night? my mom asks. But nothing yet compares to the transparency that Sheen has unleashed in the past two weeks—contempt about celebrity, his profession, the old Empire world order…
Every time there’s a lapse in Charlie Sheen’s imaginary moral clause (he doesn’t have an actual one) the show does better than ever in the ratings. Trudging through an awful sitcom that Sheen has to appear in to make the big bucks—and that he knows is no good—has got to be its own kind of princely nightmare. (It’s not like he’s playing Don Draper so, hey, it’s worth it. It’s not even like he’s playing Jack Donaghy! He’s playing an unamusing watered-down version of Charlie Sheen and that must kind of suck.) If I had to perform these scenes or deliver these one-liners week after week after week, I’d probably want to lose myself in drugs and alcohol and hookers as well. (Actually, I want to lose myself in drugs and alcohol and hookers anyway. What man doesn’t?)
via Bret Easton Ellis: Notes on Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire – The Daily Beast.