The Chris Brown Problem

I had a title for this post in my head which I thought was pretty good it was “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown, but your cousin Chris? He’s a dick” which I thought was kind of funny, however, rereading what I’ve written it just seems a bit flippant so I opted for the one above, however, I wanted to share it because I was damn proud of it.

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I really wanted Chris Brown to get his s**t together.

Chris Brown at the Grammy's last week

By now I’m sure we all know the story, but for those that don’t here’s a quick recap:

2009- Chris Brown is a rising popstar, with a couple of hit singles under his belt. He’s dating fellow popstar Rihanna. Life is good.

But following an argument Brown viciously assaults Rihanna (the police report is here and makes for disturbing, unpleasant reading). The event shocks and appals the publis, especially when pictures of a bruised and battered Rihanna appear.

Understandably, Brown’s career stalls. He follows the traditional model for a celeb after wrong-doing- public apology, community service, counselling and an in depth interview in which he expresses regret and discusses his childhood growing up in an environment of violence.

Brown on community service, the traditional photo op for the celeb paying for his wrongdoings

For many, it was game over time. But like I said at the top, I genuinely hoped that Brown would sort himself out.

I’m a firm believer in second chances, redemption, rehabilitation and making amends. This isn’t a religious thing or anything, its probably a humanist idea, but I like to think that everybody is capable of good or of turning things around.

It may not seem that way as you read the papers, but its a belief I still cling to. I have to, otherwise I’d find it hard to give a damn about anything.

I’m not saying everyone will save themselves, or that everybody even tries, but somewhere within they have the potential to do good.

Nobody is a completely evil bastard from birth. It’d be easier if they did, then you’d know where you stood with everyone. Life would be easier if we lived in a black-and-white world, but we don’t we live in the greys.

Incidentally its why I’m against capital punishment, it just feels like giving up and saying rehabilitation doesn’t work. And if that’s the case then if you were to pursue it logically, then you may as well kill first time offenders, regardless of the crime because you feel they won’t be able to change.

That may be fun in the darkly comic world of Judge Dredd, but think of 10 of your friends. Now, think of any law they’ve broken, no matter how minor- I’m talking drunk and disorderly, peeing in public, parking illegally, littering, whatever- now those of your friends who are guilty of minor crimes would be dead under this new rule. How many friends do you have left? Are you left?

But I’m not here to get into that stuff, I’m discussing Chris Brown.

See, I don’t feel that Brown should’ve been condemned completely or that what he did was unforgivable. I’m not defending him in any way, what he did was truly horrible and disgraceful, and there have to be consequences, however, it just feels wrong to completely write off somebody at the age of 20.

I’d hoped Brown would recieve the counselling, explore his past and the reasons for his anger issues and hopefully overcome them.

This doesn’t seem to have happened.

And I think the major problem, at least from what I’ve seen in the press and in Brown’s tweets is that he doesn’t seem that remorseful.

To make a change you have to accept there’s a problem. That’s pretty simple.

And while I can’t believe that Brown doesn’t feel any guilt over the event, I don’t think he fully understands how wrong it was, or why many are still displeased with him.

In 2011, following an interview in which the subject was raised, Brown reportedly flew into a rage, smashed up a dressing room and stormed out of the TV studios.

Now, nobody likes having their past mistakes and sins brought up time and again, but Brown must have known that this was going to come up. How could you interview him as he made his comeback and not mention the reason for his absence?

And did he really expect people to forget? It was shocking, as galling as it is to have your misdeeds recalled for me when it happens the worst part is that it reignites the guilt and shame I feel for those actions once more. I dislike having to face up to my mistakes again, after I feel I have atoned for them. If I haven’t made amends then its fair game, I suppose, and I do seek to try and apologise and make up for them.

I’ve never done anything this serious, however, and hope I’m the kind of person who never will. And regardless of whether I felt that my punishment meant I had paid for my crime, I would still harbour remorse for it. I would constantly be apologetic and do my damndest to try and cancel out the bad and earn people’s forgiveness and regain some respect.

Had Brown shown genuine remorse I’d have had no problem with him performing at the Grammy’s, although according to some it was treated as a triumphant comeback, and I think if this was the case then it was horribly mishandled.

If anything, it could have been shown as a second chance, something which, given the recent demise of Whitney Houston should be encouraged in a music industry that leaves many of its stars discarded and broken in its wake.

But Brown apparently was recieved with much fanfare and again that anger raised its head again, along with a bizarre feeling that Brown still doesn’t get why people are angry with him.

I suppose being a star from a fairly young age Brown has grown up inside that weird fame bubble. A place where you’re told you’re amazing and noone really criticises you or tells you you’re wrong. Michael Jackson had a similar kind of vibe and according to a story Kevin Smith tells Prince has been living in “Prince world” for quite some time. Or look at Jordan, who we’re regularly told is a smart cookie at playing the fame game, but who seemed genuinely surprised that the public largely signed up to Team Andre.

You routinely get celebrities complaining about “haters”, usually in relation to people criticisng their music or generally being nasty to them. However, in Brown’s case it just feels wrong, as if he feels that noone has the right to judge him for his mistakes.

Haters are usually just saying that people are rubbish, or ugly, or a poor man’s Usher (okay, that’s not entirely fair, I actually quite like some of Brown’s music) and in this case its fair enough to say a bit of a “screw the haters” thing, people do it all the time and its a sign of, you can slag me off

But tweeting the following when people have a problem with you because you savagely attacked your then girlfriend? That’s not cool.

Just comes across as out of touch and ignorant as to why people are displeased with him

Somebody needs to sit him down and explain to him what he did wrong, and why people are finding it hard to forgive, mainly as he doesn’t seem to feel that guilty about it.

I don’t know Brown, so maybe I’m judging him to harshly, like I said I’m getting most of this from the media, but his own tweets seem to show he doesn’t get it. Maybe I’m wrong, and he feels guilty about it all the time and the tweets are merely some kind of poorly thought out posturing, but I doubt that.

If he is still tormented by guilt he’d be better off admitting to it, at least then people would see that he hasn’t just forgotten what happened and continued with his life like nothing ever did. Because at the moment he’s just coming off like one hell of douche.

At the very least he should have come out and commented on the disturbing trend that saw numerous posts along this line:

Just wrong.

A statement about how its wrong to joke about domestic violence, along with an epression of guilt and maybe even a comment about his stepfather’s violence would have been a massive PR coup and probably resulted in him going up in people’s estimation.

I know that sounds cynical, but its true.

But more than just the PR battle I still hope that Brown can pull himself together and become a better person. For himself if anything. See, I still haven’t fully given up on the dude.

I’ve been wanting to write something about the whole Brown thing for a week or so, and even started a few posts only to abandon them. This is by no means my definitive comment on the whole situation and the guy, but I feel its the best I can do at the moment.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. TTFN


One Comment on “The Chris Brown Problem”

  1. themadgayman says:

    Having grown up in situations where men beat their women, I can’t forgive men. I don’t care why they got mad, I don’t care if they’re genuinely remorseful, etc… You don’t hit anyone out of anger, plain and simple. I’ve slapped someone and I feel bad for it. I apologize everyday for letting my anger get to me this way. Chris Brown is a dick, plain and simple. I don’t like him. I thought T.I. was a better performer and singer (also Chris’ rival at the time), and his assault on Rihanna further proves how much of a horrible person he actually is. The continued ridiculousness he goes into with his tweets shows he doesn’t care, he doesn’t regret it, and he would rather have haters than supporters.

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