As I sat in the newsroom this week fielding calls from Denny Hecker in jail, more than one person walking by my desk compared the latest from the Hecker/Rowan camp to the other Tsunami-sized train wreck of the week: that of actor Charlie Sheen.
The comparison is on some levels reasonable. Prominent, talented and creative (yes folks, I mean that), these guys seem to think that they are in charge even when their lives are spiraling out of control.
Somehow, the power, the fame, the fawning of the hangers on, must somehow permanently alter one’s brain chemistry. Has anyone ever done a study of that? They should.
Three years ago, Denny Hecker was living in an 18,000 square foot Medina mansion, a private jet and at least three vacation homes at his disposal. Now, he struggles to afford a phone call from a jail cell. Charlie Sheen’s downward spiral is amplified by TV shows who are all too eager to accept the star’s invitation to videotape his home life complete with two live in girlfriends and his two-year-old twin boys. Sheen’s crash seems to have created a cottage industry of bystanders. Twitter announced he was the fastest person ever to reach a million followers.
Both of these men have families who will have to deal with the fallout of their famous love one’s public humiliation. What is really odd is that neither Hecker nor Sheen appear to realize how profoundly they have been humiliated, how far they have fallen and how they are each the subject of endless jokes. Both take every chance they can to blame others for what they have created.
If there weren’t children involved, it might really be funny.