So Ike Turner 2: Ike Turner Harder had another freakout.
Brown, sporting his “cover myself in ink to hide my lack of physique” look.
A pre-emptive “suck my white nuts” to the “He made a mistake, let him be!” people. I’m all for doling out human sympathy on an individual level. Chris Brown is, after all, a human being(so is Rihanna but screw that technicalitylol…). Those of you adopting such a posture are probably in the poor circumstance/intellectual headspace of believing this man to be a good artist. You don’t really care about base humanity. The man sings over some beats that get you and your similarly low-standard-embracing friends to dance to while you wait to swill your Jager Bomb or similarly infantile drink that no one over the age of
21 18 has any business ordering. That’s ample reason for you to defend him. Logical within that paradigm but certainly not valid outside of it. If you’re not a fan of his music and you’re defending him, I don’t know what to say to you. You’re an anomaly that I haven’t accounted for. You make me uncomfortable.
FUN FACT: According to Wikipedia, Chris Brown began his career with delusions of a rap-career. He switched to singing when he realized that it would have been a linguistic task of Proustian proportions to convincingly namedrop his hometown– Tappahannock, Virginia– while rhyming. Also, he’s a punk bitch. So there’s that.
Anywho…I’ve been making a concerted effort as of late to broaden my thinking, refrain from static binaries, and to try to see the world in all of its relativistic ambiguity. And this asshole is making that very, very hard. Let’s take a look:
There’s the cover for Chris Brown’s ambitiously-titled debut album Chris Brown. You’re probably thinking “Wow, that is a completely bland and safe album cover, even for the usually-crappy-when-it-comes-to-cover-art pop R&B genre!”. And you’d be right. The reason I’ve chosen to display it is because it’s emblematic of how utterly bland and replaceable of an artist Chris Brown is. He’s got an okay voice, the boy can dance, and he managed to generate enough luck and steam to begin attracting some relatively respected producers. Now that probably seems like enough for a pop-star to get by on in the age of American Idol. His success has shown that to be the case. For a while, Chris Brown sort of barely existed in the pop ether. He was competent enough for fans of …whatever you call it… to enjoy and unassuming enough for everyone with taste to easily ignore. And somewhere in all of this, he began dating Rihanna.
We shouldn’t dwell on what became of that. Past is past. I mean, are we going to vilify this poor guy forever because he lost control of his emotions and hit his girlfriend, repeatedly, in the face, with closed fists?(Here’s the LAPD report of the beating. And they know a thing or two about beatings). Bygones be bygones and all of that. I’ll just say that he gave her the beating of her life. It was bad. I mean, he really fucked up her face. She couldn’t have gotten a better beating if she were dating Chris Brown. Wait…fuck…that metaphor doesn’t work here. Hold on. Let me try that again….Okay. She couldn’t have gotten a better beating if she were a pubescent penis. There we go. I mean, look at that fucking picture. A grown “man” did this because, I don’t know, she said “I respectfully disagree with you but I love you anyway” or something. Whatever the case, we all need to get over the fact that Chris Brown, in a fit of impotent, small-dicked fury, used Rihanna(5’7, 110ish pounds)’s face the way Rocky used slabs of cold meat. He did “apologize”, after all.
And so then, he shows up on Good Morning America looking like something Dennis Rodman hate-fucked into a transvestite stripper in 1996. Robin Roberts, predictably, asks him about Rihanna. Brown gets visibly irritated – fine. But then has a complete meltdown off-camera:
“He went ballistic, absolutely ballistic,”
The source says Brown marched right off the set, tore off his vest and shirt and stormed towards his dressing room, where he could be heard cursing and screaming, while hair and makeup staff gathered outside.
“He smashed a chair into a window and that glass is so thick, people heard shattering and security was called,” said the source. “It was to the point where people were scared. The question is now how ABC will report it.”
Chris doesn’t seem to understand how this “mea culpa” thing works. That’s not surprising considering his public “apology” for the Rihanna beating came across like a canned-speech probably written by someone else. Maybe it was onscreen jitters. Maybe he’s bad with public speaking. Still, the entire thing contains not an inkling of anything that I can point to and comprehend as sincerity. Or maybe I’m projecting today’s drama on it all. If he’s somehow assuming the role of a victim, flying off the handle like a petulant child when he’s not asked the questions he wants to be asked, how are we to interpret his “regret” as anything but insincere? Someone who’s seriously struggling with the emotional repercussions of fucking up a woman’s face, I’d think, would have such an acute awareness of his own barbaric potential –along with the requisite self-loathing to go along with that awareness– that limp attempts at self-victimization would be inconceivable.
Did he act impulsively, without thinking? Is he in need of anger counseling? Yes and yes. But deeper than that, this all implies that he hasn’t really internalized and acknowledged the severity of his actions. He hoped that the American media would eventually get bored with the Rihanna thing and move passed it. I mean, Charlie Sheen – a guy who held a knife to his then wife’s throat/shot a different ex-fiancee—is now being celebrated as this cooky but harmless coked-out folk hero. News cycles change and Americans forget. Well, for Brown, they haven’t. At least Robin Roberts, a black female journalist, hasn’t.
Moving passed his anger issues, Chris Brown needs to truly reflect on himself. I don’t mean in the bullshit “spiritual advisor” way that every celebrity who gets arrested “reflects” on him/herself. He needs to dismantle his entire belief system and re-evaluate how he metaphysically fits as a human being on Planet Earth. He’s not a poet, nor a scholar, nor a scientist. He’s not a doctor saving, nor a soldier protecting . Calling him an artist debases the word. I could maybe begin to wrap my heard around a true, savant-like genius being shocked and embittered that people would rather talk about him hitting girls than his latest work. Chris Brown is not a genius. Chris Brown makes disposable pop music and he requires between 3 and 7 writers to even manage that. Perhaps once he realizes how utterly unremarkable he is in his current public role, he can go about the more important business of thinking about himself as a human being who needs to exist in the presence of other human beings.