I’m having a hard time understanding the general consensus with Chris Brown these days. I mean he beat the shit out of the highest selling woman in the music industry at the time and now hardly two years later, he’s getting a standing ovation at the most prestigious award ceremony our culture has for musicians: the Grammy’s.
First of all, I’d like to clarify that I’m normally not one to feel strongly about celebrity “scandals”, because for all I know they could all be lies. I can’t blame tabloids like TMZ for looking for every and any dirt on these people because the fact is that there are millions of morons waiting to hear the latest gossip they’re ready to deliver. These are your everyday citizens who have bought into this idea of the “American Dream”, which falsely promotes that everyone and anyone can live a life of material richness in a country so free as the United States of America. This has been inherently untrue since its inception, for many socio-economic reasons that are pushed aside in the minds of your average citizen (because who really wants to face the fact that they’re doomed to a life of mediocrity?). In a perfect world, your average citizen would come to this realization and strive to achieve a spiritual richness and self-fulfilling happiness in this lifetime, but that’s an entirely different topic all together. The bottom line is these people are never going to fulfill this material void left in their lives so they are looking to live vicariously though those that seemed to possess this richness. Eventually a sort of envy is formed for these pop icons and there is nothing better to a subordinate than to see how hard the mighty can fall. I feel this is the business of tabloid reporting and if the increased social media trend continues, this industry will only expand.
Now this eventually brings me back to Chris Brown. This kid - like so many other weak human beings that have existed before him - beat the fuck out of his girlfriend. This isn’t an issue of “he said, she said” or speculation either. This is a situation in which there is video documented evidence of him forcefully striking his girlfriend in the face. In this case there is no reporting grey area, the kid was caught red-handed.
I understand that people can act out of character sometimes and that everyone deserves forgiveness when sought out, but this is a special case. I feel like after this incident blew up not once did this kid seem genuinely apologetic for his actions, he seemed more sorry for himself at the outburst. Instead of asking for forgiveness and hoping that his girlfriend and the media would accept him to be a changed man, Chris Brown seemed more like this was a minor inconvenience on his bumpy road back to stardom. So for him to be accepted back into popular culture, by performing on the biggest stage our generation has for musicians, just proves his PR team correct in assuming the short memories of the general population and that even a crime as serious as the one he committed will eventually blow over.
I believe this is wrong and worries me about the direction our society is headed.
***For the record, I have noticed the irony of me writing about the unreliability of tabloid reporting, only to partially base my judgement of this man on some of the very same reporting. My response to this is that I feel as if his personally controlled social media (twitter) and his prepared public statements, are enough to judge the intent of this man in avoiding his past mistakes rather than owning up to them. No matter how you twist a story, I don’t think any tabloids could force a man to rip his shirt off and storm out of an interview when being asked about his regrettable past.