Why does the train wreck known as Charlie Sheen have 2.2 million Twitter followers (and counting) and a radio channel devoted to his every utterance? Is he just a freak show who will fold up his tent and disappear? In fact, I think he may have more long-lasting impact on the way we share content than we would like to admit. To be sure, we’re fascinated with his public melt down. But he’s doing something else, too: being unpredictable. And we like that.
As entertaining as Conan and John Stewart are, they are also predictable. Funny, yes — but we know basically what we are getting when we share their worlds with ours. With Charlie Sheen, we have absolutely no idea where he’s headed next: dissing Two and Half Men one day, making tiger blood an instant cultural phenomenon the next (and inspiring a new energy drink).
The only thing missing: a new Charlie Sheen movie directed by Mel Gibson.