The publicity concerning actor Charlie Sheen and his bizarre behavior makes a statement about contemporary American culture. Too often we mistake fame for respect. Sheen believes he is basking in the glory of devoted fans as he takes his act on tour. It’s an exercise in self-delusion. Sheen’s “popularity” is akin to the crowds that quickly gather at a car accident or pay to see a freak show at the circus. He may be getting their money, but he certainly isn’t getting their respect. While people find the “bad boy” of interest, no one wants to make friends. What’s really troubling is the effect this will have on his small children, who are being raised in this circus. They deserve better. As for Sheen, it’s amazing how old an act can get once you’ve been to the circus.