I’ve had a sneaking suspicion for a while now that Chris Brown is the worst person. Now obviously, he doesn’t quite beat Hitler/Stalin and co in the baddie dictator rankings, but when it comes to displaying a flagrant lack of morality, self-awareness or even normal social behaviour, he’s coming top every time.
The Chris Brown story goes something like this: American teenager releases a bunch of generic “R&B” (we all know it’s pop) tracks, gets super famous, starts sleeping with Rihanna, punches her in the face, feels mild public wrath for a while and then everyone quickly forgets about it and buys millions of his records. And then, THEN, as if him shitting all over every domestic violence case in history wasn’t enough, he went and got a tattoo of a beaten woman’s face on his neck. I mean, really, Chris? Was there not one tiny little moment where you thought that might not be a good idea? Neck tattoos are questionable at best, but one seemingly depicting the girlfriend you battered wouldn’t be my first choice for body art.
Part of me hopes that all of the pictures are fakes, and that those haughty keyboard warriors have been at it with the Photoshop again in the absence of socialising with real humans. But unless this is all a massive publicity stunt, the ink really is what it appears, making Brown guilty of unparalleled idiocy. If someone killed a person, and claimed that it was all a big mistake and they’re a good boy really, tattooing a picture of a bloodied corpse on a visible part of the body might be deemed pretty fucking stupid. But lo and behold, Chris has got an answer for those people, because it’s not actually meant to look like Rihanna. Which makes it completely fine – normal, even. Apparently.
The biggest part of the Chris Brown problem is not his vile neck ink but the fact someone guilty of an offence as serious as domestic violence, pictures of which circulated worldwide, is allowed to nestle right back in the bosom of the celebrity sphere. In a judicial system where a student is arrested and imprisoned for drunken racist tweets, the fact the singer not only escaped a custodial sentence but is being marketed as some kind of role model for young people is pretty darn sickening. I’m not saying that people who make mistakes don’t deserve a second chance, but there is something about Brown’s smug remorselessness and incessant throwing of fuel onto the fire that makes him an unworthy candidate for public affection.
We know that Rihanna’s forgiven him blah blah blah, which is all very well and good, but makes this whole shebang seem like a giant and unending publicity stunt. The fact she released the pictures to a gossip website in the first place seems odd in itself, and then came the crying interview with Oprah followed by the apparent reconciliation between the pair, making it all look a little staged. I also thought her decision to release a song with lyrics stating ‘chains and whips excite me’ after being violently abused was a little off key – sure, we all know that isn’t pertaining to the daily chores – but she does have a certain responsibility to her millions of young fans hanging on her every word and action. The way she’s handled it appears a little irresponsible to me at least, but I guess if Brown hadn’t punched her in the first place, she wouldn’t have to handle this at all.
Brown certainly isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, person with a criminal record to make it as a multi-millionaire celebrity. In fact, I have always found it a little perturbing that actor Mark Wahlberg has become such a US national treasure given the fact he was a racist thug in his teens and actually blinded someone. That person must be pretty hacked off whenever Wahlberg’s films are on TV. Except HE CAN’T SEE THEM. Because he’s blind. Because Mark Wahlberg blinded him.
Anyway, I digress. What I’m saying is that I understand people make mistakes, but I take umbrage at society’s apparent ability to forgive and forget celebrity misdemeanours so easily when they are so quick to proffer vigilante justice in the cases of mere mortals. Celebrities are just people, and if anything, they should monitor their behaviour even more rigorously than the rest of us given their outrageous pay packets and their status as role models of this sleb obsessed generation.