Point of view: 2011 is the year of the drunk

By Bonnie Berger

It is no surprise that the American public takes guilty pleasure in celebrity happenings, from their plush lifestyles to their frequent tangles with the law, alcohol, drugs and extramarital affairs. Tabloids and gossip blogs are not bereft of juicy material with big names like Christina Aguilera, Charlie Sheen and the infamous Lindsey Lohan stumbling down the streets of Hollywood this year.

Aguilera’s blunders are considerably more publicized than those of Sheen and Lohan, with the star bumbling through the national anthem at Super Bowl XLV and literally falling on her face following her performance at last week’s Grammy awards.

Pals close to Aguilera voiced their concerns for her heavy partying and “erratic behavior,” which may stem from a recent divorce from Jordan Bratman. “It’s got her acting too crazy,” said one concerned comrade.

After an intervention following a night of excessive partying and doing drugs, Viacom intervened with “Two and a Half Men” star Sheen, encouraging him to seek help for his addictions. The star then retired to his home for weeks of rehabilitation.

On two separate interviews on Direct TV’s “The Dan Patrick Show,” Sheen shared indirect advice for Lohan, the “Mean Girls” star far from grace. “Impulse control” ranked highly among his wise words to the actress most recently charged with jewelry theft.

This may be an iconic example of the pot calling the kettle back, or simply one individual who struggled with addiction attempting to save another traveling a remarkably similar path.

The lives of the talented glitterati we so adore are characteristically ridden with mistakes, drawing our attention to the sensationalistic lifestyles and choices we love to judge.

Sadly, we have grown accustomed to famous actors and performers falling into dangerous patterns. I find myself less than phased with the shocking headlines we can expect from the rich and famous. The desensitization that pairs with being overly exposed to choices from the likes of Sheen, Lohan and Aguilera, has become a plague of sorts.

We see it everywhere, from Los Angeles to our hometowns. Addictions afflict those around us, as well as the singers we listen to or the TV personalities we love.

Although it isn’t practical to attempt an intervention on Lohan’s behalf, we do have the power to impact those we encounter on a daily basis. Friends who are struggling need someone to step in and voice concern. Youngsters who look up to Miley Cyrus need someone to remind them what a viable role model looks like.

Despite the entertainment factor springing from wacky celebrity actions, we should remind ourselves that this is not normal, healthy behavior that we should expect from anyone. Challenge yourself and those around you to seek a better way of life through caring for their bodies.

I don’t know any of these struggling celebrities myself, so I can only hypothesize why they engage in such behaviors. I believe that when you care for your mental, physical and emotional health, you may be less prone to addictions and other self-destructive choices.

Bonnie Berger is a junior journalism major from Austin and a reporter for the Lariat.