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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Bi-Winning & Tiger Blood

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2011

“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

“I probably took more than anybody could survive. I was bangin’ seven-gram rocks and finishing them because that’s how I roll, because I have one speed, one gear… I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying is for fools, dying is for amateurs.”

Oh Charlie Sheen… you miserable, sweaty, crazy bastard. Thank you for the seemingly endless stream of nonsensical gibberish you’ve gifted to the world in recent days. Is this really the same actor who charmed the pants off teenage girls everywhere in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, brought the slicked-back hair to the forefront of fashion in Wall Street, and gave Charlie Barkin’, a cartoon canine rapscallion a vocal identity in All Dogs Go To Heaven 2? Where has the Charlie Sheen I remember gone? The person left in his wake, this shifty-eyed, sweaty mess of a human whose teeth are escaping his head one at a time, this person is a stranger to me. On a side note, might I henceforth suggest that anytime we come across someone who has the sweaty, shaky glow of someone clearly on cocaine, we call it having the “Charlie Sheen”.

He wasn’t always so crazy, or at least his publicist (who has since quit) used to keep his craziness under wraps pretty well. Sometimes I think a good measure of a persons’ worth is what they create in weakened state. It could be argued that being drugged out of ones’ gourd constitutes a weakened state. So by that rationale, what has Charlie Sheen given us? Two And A Half Men. A pox on him I say, how dare he sully our entertainment history with such total and utter swill. Take someone like Hunter S. Thompson, who was well and truly inebriated for most of his life. He gave us Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and an entirely new brand of journalism. When put into perspective that way, getting Two And A Half Men seems like we got the much shorter end of that proverbial stick.

Bluewater Publishing, renown for their terrible original series is taking a stab at depicting the life of the man responsible for gonzo journalisms inception. Written by Will Bingly and illustrated by Anthony Hope-Smith, Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson, this is a must-have for any true Thompson fan. The creators had this to say: “He is very much perceived as a caricature persona, which, admittedly, is a persona that he came up with for himself. But it meant people didn’t take him as seriously as they should have.” The jury is still out on whether or not Bluewater will be able to pull this off, but fans of Thompson should check it out regardless. 

Arielle Mullen