ComPost Live: Your weekly digest with Alexandra Petri

Feb 25, 2011

The Compost, written by Dana Milbank and Alexandra Petri, offers a lighter take on the news and political in(s)anity of the day. If you believe life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it, this is the chat for you. Join us every Friday at 11:30 to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.


Welcome to the Compost live chat. For chat purposes today, I will be channeling Charlie Sheen. There is magic and poetry at my fingertips and I am about to deploy my chat ordnance to the ground. Which brings me to our first question...

The Post, along with AP, MSNBC, CNN and ABC, are telling me about the chaos facing Moammar Gadhafi. CBS tells me what's happening to Muammar Qaddafi, while Fox reports on Muammar al-Qaddafi and the NY Times writes about Muammar el-Qaddafi. If the Brother Leader of the Revolution is deposed, whose name to we get to misspell next?

I have a disease? [Expletive] I cured it... with my mind...

Spelling is just a disease of the mind. One d, two d's? These are questions for people who are on a different plane, not flying privately around the world. It might be lonely up here, but I sure like the view.

Probably the next guy will be someone with maybe six d's, eight d's. Who knows? I'm winning.

There is no misspelling, just arrays of letters that un-evolved minds cannot process. Sasdpinetdinqe I0neqtdn. On my level, that spells "Mitt Romney."

My fists breathe fire.

I don't want to judge too harshly; for all I know, the Vatican DOES have assassin warlocks, and Sheen would be good at the job.


Let me reiterate that I am an F-18. I am not only on a different plane, I am a [verbing] different plane.

Did you have to be so brutal ripping apart Charlie Sheen's delusions of grandeur by comparing him to Thomas Jefferson? Wouldn't it be more fair to compare him to Thomas Cruise? Are you worried that Charlie will drop his "ground ordinance" on you now?

Let me lay it on the table for you, Cruisin', if anyone is dropping ground ordnance, it's probably Thomas Jefferson, who is eighty-five times the man Charlie Sheen will ever be, except with regards to his stance on slavery.

Being sober is the work of sissies.

Just when I thought you had conquered your heroin (Sarah Palin) addiction by replacing it with methadone (Justin Bieber), you wrote another Sarah Palin column. Have you considered trying methamphetamine (Charlie Sheen)?

Do you know what it's like when a bear the size of the Empire State Building tries to battle a normal-sized wampa? That's how it feels to be in Sarah Palin withdrawal, and also probably a metaphor for Charlie Sheen's struggle with methamphetamine.

Alex: I was more interested in the venue Sheen chose than what he said. By airing his disturbed grievances on the Alex Jones radio show, he has now tied himself to one of America's major whackadoos. (Look at Jones' home page today. He accuses the media of "demonizing" Qaddafi. I think a guy who hires mercenaries to butcher his fellow Libyans has pretty much run the table on demonization.) But by looking at Jones' home page, I also learned that Sheen, in addition to being an alcoholic, whoremongering cokehead, is also a 9/11 "truther." Next stops for Charlie are reality TV followed by Forest Lawn.

News flash: Charlie Sheen is special and he will never be one of you.

Charlie Sheen is literally crouched on a metaphorical lawn right now gathering lightning in his fists. He is probably about to insult Ben Franklin as well.

Charlie Sheen is the only person to whom 9/11 truthiness makes sense, because Charlie Sheen has ingested things that you and I don't know exist.

I love the fact that allegations of domestic violence didn't bother his producers; holding a hooker hostage across the hall from his kids only rated a suspension; but when he insults THEM, they drop the hammer. Nice set of priorities.

They're a bootleg cult with a 3% success rate, and I think we all understand why.

I also think it's a miscalculation on their part -- given how entertaining this rant was, if they weren't going to fire him for the other things you mentioned, just allowing him on television in his present state would have been absolutely appointment viewing.

How do I not get rabies? If I already got rabies, am I immune to getting rabies or other rabies-like diseases again? Sorry. WebMD won't load on my computer.

Charlie Sheen can cure your rabies with his mind. But other than that, you're out of luck.

What would Charlie Sheen say about Justin Bieber's new haircut?

No panic, no judgment.

It's just the work of sissies.

At least Sheen's rant takes the pressure of Oregon Rep. David Wu and his photo shoot in a tiger suit. I did wonder if it was a really fierce macho tiger or more a Winnie the Pooh Tigger costume?

Definitely more of a Tigger costume. But he's fine now!

If there's one thing I've learned from being Charlie Sheen for the past thirty minutes, it's that you can cure yourself of anything by using your mind.

Since I found out that cell phones can stimulate brain activity, I taped my iPhone to my forehead hoping to make myself smarter. But I'm still dumber than a Merovingian. Any suggestions for how I can understand your columns?

I'd have some of what Charlie's having and see if that helps.

Actually, don't do that. Do the opposite of that.

OK, how about this idea for a TV series spin off: "One and a Half Men"?

I'm with Sarah Silverman on this: that half man is officially a man now and the title needs to be adjusted. Maybe Charlie can become the half. Or you can split it halfway and his half can be called "2 and a Half Vatican Assassins and Goddesses."

Doesn't Charlie Sheen's rant just prove your point that you have to be rude to become rich and famous? Yet you still criticize him. Why don't you go f-word yourself?

Congrats, you're famous now!

How many Charlie Sheens does it take to burn out a lightbulb?

If I bring up these turds, these... losers, there's no reason to then bring them back into the fold because I have real fame -- they have nothing. They have zero. They have that night. And I will forget about them as the last image of them exits my beautiful home.

I hope that answered your question.

It seems like the chats are always so much more civil than the commenters after your article. What would you do to help increase an actual dialogue for newspaper articles or posts?

Maybe put a picture of me looking sad and despondent next to your comment as you post it, so that you can see the human impact your words are going to have as you drop them into the echoing void of the Internet?

Anyone else have ideas? Maybe some sort of Schrodinger's Cat setup with a kitten in a box who will be adversely affected by uncivil comments?

Why not bring in one of Charlie's brothers, Emilio and Ramon Estevez, or sister Renee (who's actually acted on a TV series, "The West Wing," so has DC cred)?

But will they be able to effortlessly and magically convert your tin cans into pure gold?

If he can teach people how to do that, he really will be a god.

This has a lot of resemblances to the classic hero narrative outlined in Joseph Cambell's seminal "The Hero With A Thousand Faces." Charlie Sheen has gone forth from the community, found a boon, and returned bearing knowledge that is going to transform our community forever.

Do you have a photograph of yourself in a tiger outfit and, if not, would you please get one for us?

That's what the Compost has been missing! Nothing says "occasionally thoughtful, topical humorous commentary and opinions" like "the person responsible is wearing a tiger suit."

Only problem is, I don't own a tiger suit. Would a Jabba the Hutt outfit cut it? I own two of those...

No, but Tom Cruise can convert them into Scientologists. Or at least into e-meters (ba-dum!).


I once converted to metric -- if not e-metric.

So, has Charlie Sheen's ability to run for public office been diminished by all this?

I hope he does! What Barack Obama did for people who admit to having tried cocaine, even once, Charlie Sheen will do for people who admit that "I can't use the word 'sober' because that's a term from those people, and I have cleansed myself."

You pointed out that Presidents Day has become mattress sale day. What do you think we will end up doing on the future "Charlie Sheen Day."


I mean, uh, convincing line-readings.

Who does the requisite take-off on the Sheen rant this weekend? Or is it so over the top that they will be unable to parody it and will be forced to run it verbatim on Weekend Update?

They should pull a bait and switch and make someone with a lot of excess dignity read it, similar to when William Shatner reads Palin speeches as tonal poems on Conan.

Ahhh, for those worried about tiger suits, why would someone own a Jabba the Hutt outfit?

Just as one should own a cocktail dress and suit for fancy occasions, one owns a Jabba the Hutt outfit to be within the dress code at Star Wars conventions...

Tracee Hamilton revealed on her farewell "First Things First" daily chat this morning that she'd once been a Baby Jay mascot at Kansas University. Which college mascot would YOU like to be? And which one do you think Milbank should've been?

Ole Miss Admiral Ackbar, except that that didn't wind up winning the vote to replace Colonel Reb, or whatever his name was.

Star Wars costumes seem to be an emerging theme...

...c'mon over to Lizard Island (a/k/a Celebritology) for some more Charlie Sheen snarking.

Which reminds me, I must skedaddle. Have a fantastic week! Enjoy the chat at the Lizard Island! And keep reading the Compost!

In This Chat
Alexandra Petri
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week,,, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)
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