Friday, February 25, 2011

Only Christ Could Truly Have Loved Us on Wall Street.

This is a post that comes from Left Field. But this isn't the Left Field of Dreams, which for me was an honor if you were chosen to occupy that sacred space beyond the diamond of the infield. This is the left field as in "Elvis has LEFT the building." But in this case, it ain't Elvis; his demise was handled, far away from the terror of the night that is TMZ or CNN. Whatever molecule of human dignity that was endowed to Sheen, Charlie, appears to have, at best, lapsed into dormancy.
I have admired the Sheen saga since I was a teen. I remember the taut, lean emergence of Martin (Estevez) Sheen as Private Eddie Slovak in a made for TV movie. The first of many roles that established this actor as an advocate of nobility among men, even if in the anti-hero or even villain. It's commonly known that as a devout young Catholic actor, Martin assumed the surname of his childhood exemplar, Bishop Fulton Sheen, for his stage name. And the actor has, to a greater extent, managed to exemplify his "on-the-sleeve Catholicism" not only in most of his roles (notably not the least, as POTUS on "West Wing") on screen but also off screen. Whether getting arrested outside the School of the Americas or some other liberal cause celebre, Martin Sheen has fought a good fight and come through the wiser, though scarred. His pivotal scene of self confrontation in real and reel life in "Apocalypse Now" had to be among the most powerful scenes of conversion from decadence and denial to fortitude and perseverence.
Many might have assumed that his younger son, Charlie, after some fitful and fitting burp roles in "Ferris Buellar" bits, might have hit the same gravitas with his performance in the second generation of Vietnam War revisionism, "Platoon." The Sheen charism, for me which extends to this day to Emilio, Martin's eldest son-actor, was in full bloom.
But the narcissist of Charlie's punk druggie in "Ferris" never seemed far from the surface of many of his roles, whether in enjoyable or farcical comedies such as "Major League" or "Hot Shots," or the dramatic roles such as in "Wall Street" or "The Arrival."
And the irony, a truly sad irony, is that Martin's "father figure" and Charlie's "rebel without a clue" was never more evident, though funny at the time, than as depicted by the clip above where they parody real/reel life with the unison gag line "I LOVED YOU in "Wall Street."
Most of the eyes and mouths of the "world" that lives on the carcasses of the demise of celebrity, whether of the Sheen, Lohan, Speers, Jackson or Presley species, won't at all think to bemoan either the loss of distraction and entertainment, or to condemn them to Mel Gibson perdition.
But, I would like to believe that Martin, a prodigal father for these times, has already prayed for the intercession of his namesake's petition to God on behalf of his woebegone son. And I join him in prayer to God in concert with the late bishop's legacy of witness and love, so that God's redemption may be made manifest and reside forever in Charlie's heart, as it appears to have done in Martin's.
May God be praised. May Charlie be saved. Amen.

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