Okay, I give up. I’ll do it. I’ll drink the same Kool-Aid that the rest of the media seems to have swallowed and write about Charlie Sheen. I’ll pretend for a minute that the actor’s self-sparked saga is more important than anything else going on right now and drink. Actually, forget the over-used Jonestown cliche. I’m not going to drink anything. Instead I’m going to do some Sheening.

That’s right, the name Charlie Sheen has now come to signify a new drug. A drug that makes you   a   “winner” on all counts, regardless of what’s actually going on. Known side-effects include the loss of your sort-of-funny sitcom.

Not sure what the chemical composition of this drug is, but by all accounts, it probably includes too much blow for your average human, a bunch of booze, a few hookers and a sense of superiority. I already have Facebook friends joking that they’re going to go Sheening this weekend.

Everyone in the media and online seem so enthralled with this story that you’d get the impression that there’s noting else important going on in the world. At least the Libyan revolution is getting some press, but then again that Gaddafi guy is one crazy Sheener.

With that in mind, let’s all do some Charlie Sheen (metaphorically, of course) and look at five news stories that have gone largely overlooked in the wake of all the attention being paid to good ole’ Charlie:

Re-branding the Canadian Government: Public servants from four different sectors told the Canadian Press that they received orders “from the center” to replace “Canadian Government” with “Harper Government” in all official communications. Is this the next step in the Harpercrats to turn Canada into their own private fiefdom? After the G20 police state and recent election commercials, er, Canada’s Action Plan ads paid for by Canadian taxpayers, it looks like that might be the case. No matter what this means for our democracy, one thing is perfectly clear: Harper and co. have been doing some major Sheening as of late.

Murdoch to acquire half of the British media: Rupert Murdoch has been Sheening for years. Unfortunately, his winning has always been to the detriment of others. From his causing the election of George W. Bush to his promotion of the Iraq war, Murdoch has used his vast media empire for evil instead of good (does it ever go the other way, really). Now with his bid for BSkyB to be approved by the very government he helped install, he runs the risk of owning nearly half of the media in England and holding a huge influence on media in Europe in general. If you want to stop this, you’re running out of time, better sign the petition at Avaaz quick, before going out to hit the town.

Wisconsin: Yes, the protests in Madison have received a fair amount of coverage, from The Daily Show to FTB’s own coverage of the union-busting and the reaction, but the enormous importance of what transpires in Madison and the ramifications it could have for labour relations and the power of the people versus that of the corporations for years to come hasn’t been represented in the amount of spotlight it has received. People have been and will be Sheening for years to come, but this struggle is only happening now.

Boustan closing?: A little closer to home, Sheeners on Crescent Street might miss out on the joy of eating at one of the most famous Lebanese restaurants in the city. Boustan may shut its doors for good. Yeah, there’s still Madhatters and the occasional really cool Montreal comedy show, but beyond that, this restaurant was pretty much the only thing that could bring a plat rat like me down to the 24/7 grease fest that is Crescent.

Justin Bieber’s Birthday: One milestone that got missed by many in the Sheen-fest that was the media this past few days occurred on March 1st. Renowned tweeter and something else (I think he’s a singer or an actor or something) Justin Bieber turned 17. I’m not a religious man, but for knocking the Biebs out of the top spot in the mediasphere and webosphere, God bless you, Charlie Sheen! Cheers!

Photo: hungrycanuck.blogspot.com