I would like to hereby congratulate Charlie Sheen, winner of this year’s coveted Macaca Meltdown award. Sheen joins the list of distinguished past awardees, Sarah Palin and Eliot Spitzer (tie) (2008), Mark Sanford and John Edwards (tie) (2009) and Michael Steele and Lindsay Lohan (tie) (2010). All follow in the fine tradition set by Virginia’s former Senator George Allen, for whom this award is named, and in whose likeness this trophy has been carved.
Allen set the standard for the public meltdown, back in August 2006, when the senator was at the top of his game, his re-election a sure thing, and his name being bandied about as a major contender for president. It was then that Mr. Allen decided would be a good time to pick on a young Indian fellow (S.R. Sidarth) who was videotaping him, including using a little-known racist slur against Sidarth, “macaca.”
In the words of the Macaca Meltdown Maestro:
This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent. He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great […] Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.
Of course, a great meltdown lasts more than a day, but gets progressively worse as the protagonist digs himself or herself in deeper and deeper. And so, Allen and his handlers proceeded to come up with lines like “if I had known that that made-up word would be connoted as a racial insult I would not have said it” and that the word had something to do with Sidarth’s haircut, which Allen somehow compared to a mohawk. He also claimed that his “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia” comment actually meant “Get outside the Beltway and get to the real world.”. Allen proceeded to make further bizarre blunders like getting angry about the revelation that he had Jewish blood and kidding that it wouldn’t stop him from eating ham sandwiches.
For suffering the biggest meltdown since Chernobyl, Allen began the honor that today is being visited upon Mr. Sheen. Sheen handily beat out first runner up, Congressman Chris Lee, who competed for the award by showing some Republican muscle.
As George Allen seeks to re-enter the public spotlight, it’s important that we remember him for who he really is, and for his special Macaca Moment that made so many of us pause, laugh, cry, think – and vote his sorry arse out of office.
So thank you, George Allen. And congrats, Charlie Sheen – go get high or something!