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I've never watched "Two and a Half Men" or seen more than one movie ("Wall Street") that featured Charlie Sheen, so my interest in this character was strictly peripheral until the media outlets began to fill up with Sheen over the past week or so.

So this man, who seems to lost his marbles along with his inhibitions (assuming he had many to begin with), features in discussions with my workmates, pops up with extraordinary persistence on TV, computer screen and in print.

For the moment, at least. How long will it take before he loses flavor of the month appeal and is replaced with some new fascination? Less time than he himself imagines, judging from the grandiose statements that it just about impossible to ignore given their blanket exposure.

Sheen is clearly a disturbed individual. Yet he is gold dust to media outlets of all kinds who know that they merely have to feature him in whatever phase his current self-destructiveness manifests itself to attract the sort of public interest that sends ratings and advertising revenues soaring.

Respect, dignity and worth seem absent from this mix. More starkly than usual, the Sheen circus illustrates all the reasons you'll find my head buried in a volume of Yeats' poems or listening to music than watching TV or browsing the internet entertainment news. Food for the soul, that. Still, despite it all, the Sheen exhibition has forced itself into my life. Why else would I be writing about it now?