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In the latest interview of Charlie Sheen in the NBC’s ‘The Good Morning America,’ Sheen said that he was tired of pretending he’s not a total bitchin rock star from Mars.

Although I guess he is saying he is special, I can’t process this line with my brain as he says. Is ‘Tired of pretending like not --’ grammatically right? Can somebody parse this line for me?

By the way, can I use the word, ‘bitchin’, quite casually in day-to-day conversation, and also in writing, if it’s not formal?

The part in question in the interview reads:

Clearly, Sheen thinks quite highly of himself. ‘Come on, bro, I won Best Picture at 20. Wasn't even trying. Wasn't even warm,’ he bragged to NBC. He also said, ‘I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending like I'm not a total bitchin' rock star from Mars. ... You can't process me with a normal brain.’

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NB You have the word "I'm" missing from some of your quotes (including the title) - this might make it easier to parse :) –  psmears Mar 4 '11 at 10:35
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@Yoichi I see you're still on your secret mission to promote English SE by Google bombing Charlie Sheen's antics on the site. Go'on with ya bad self! –  Uticensis Mar 5 '11 at 7:27
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Like the man says, you can't process him with a normal brain. Don't even bother. –  intuited Mar 13 '11 at 3:37
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Not that it matters, but what he actually said was "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitchin', a total friggin' rockstar from Mars." He says the line at 1:27: youtube.com/watch?v=wA4bo6_hS4g&t=1m27s –  John Apr 16 '11 at 13:04
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As someone in the media implied, his use of vocabulary like 'bitchin' and 'gnarly' dates him to the 80's. Kind of valley girl/surfer dude talk. –  Mitch Apr 16 '11 at 15:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted
  • “he's tired of pretending he's not” = “he now wants to claim he is”
  • “bitchin” = “excellent” (informal; you can use it in day-to-day talk with friends)
  • “a total bitchin rock star” = “an utterly extraordinary performer of rock 'n' roll”
  • “from Mars” = “so good he surely is from another planet”

So, the man he apparently proud of his astounding accomplishments and would like (at long last) some recognition of it. All in all, I see it as a cry for empathy.

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“he's tired of pretending he's not” = “he now wants to claim he is” is not semantically accurate, but rather an interpretation of a possible implication. While it is true that his statement semantically entails a proposition that he has a certain status, and that he has pretended not to have this status until now, it is not necessarily true that he did not feel entitled to that status in the past. Rather, his statement merely indicates that he no longer feels that he should be obligated to hide or mask his special status (whether or not it exists). –  Observer Mar 4 '11 at 9:45

It's a reference to David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" persona, made famous by the 1970's album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."

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Total bitchin' means really fantastically amazing
rockstar in this case would mean he feels like he deserves to be treated like a rockstar From Mars is even more fantastic, and probably means that he is difficult to understand too

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Note that the word "bitchin'" can only be used in very informal contexts - and be very careful, because some people can take offence due to the relation to the word "bitch" (an offensive term for a woman). –  psmears Mar 4 '11 at 11:43
    
I agree that it's very informal - coming as it does from surfer/skater/valley girl slang - but there is no actual relation to the noun. (Which doesn't mean some people might not take offense, I suppose.) –  Jeanne Pindar Mar 4 '11 at 13:29
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I would only use Bitchin' with people I call "Dude" and "Dudette" - which means never ;) –  mplungjan Mar 4 '11 at 13:50
    
@Jeanne Pindar: That's exactly my point - those not familiar with the word or its origins (and I suspect there are many :) may well take offence, even though the "correct" meaning of the word is not in itself offensive. –  psmears Mar 4 '11 at 16:22

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