Charlie Sheen rises, the Western empire falls. But are we Chinese really so different?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 March, 2011, 12:00am

It's the rise of China and the decline of the West. How do we know this? It's Charlie Sheen, or so argues the Global Times, the sister publication of the People's Daily, the motherland's greatest 'all the news that's fit to print' newspaper.

'Actor Charlie Sheen is a classic example of the difference in Western and Eastern values and norms,' Hao Leifeng raged. 'He is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland.'

Exactly. Sheen (pictured) would never happen on the mainland.

'The fact that Sheen continues to embarrass himself unabated, becoming even a hero to many, points to the vast differences in cultures,' Hao continued.

'In Chinese society, these problems are dealt with delicately and privately. Sheen is like a typical Westerner throwing fuel on the fire with each interview and tweet. It is almost as if he feels no shame and is loving the attention.'

Really? So the writer is saying such things happen; only Orientals tend to sweep them under the carpet. Hmm ... but don't we have family feuds in full public view as well? Stanley Ho Hung-sun, anyone? And the antics of a few of our own ageing playboy tycoons and their very public 'goddesses' rather put Sheen and his female companions to shame.

But since the writer says Sheen's father was 'once the president of the US' (which Martin Sheen was - in the fictional world of The West Wing) one has to ask if he was being entirely serious ...