the grammys and chris brown

i know i haven’t published in a while, but let’s just pretend there’s been no absence and just start again, okay? okay.

i don’t generally watch awards shows–i find them self-indulgent and a bit obnoxious. but i love music and a few favorites were up for awards (so excited for bon iver!), so i thought i’d watch the grammys this year. it was an interesting experience, to say the least. from nicki minaj’s first outfit and that incredibly offensive and bizarre performance (artists: the making-fun-of-catholicism schtick is played out. find something else) to the temper tantrums some artists had for not winning, to that amazing chipotle commercial (i promptly purchased willie nelson’s cover of the scientist and had chipotle for dinner last night–effective advertising!), to all the crazy and gorgeous and heinous outfits, it was definitely a captivating evening.

one thing that particularly caught my attention was the hubbub around chris brown–people were furious that he was invited to perform and that he won R&B album of the year. his heinous behavior toward rihanna is explicitly detailed in the police report and that leaked photo of rihanna is terrifying.

there seem to be two CB camps: the people who are rabidly in love with him and attempt to defend his honor left and right, and the people who refuse to forgive him. camp A: buzzfeed captured screenshots of a bunch of girls saying they’d let chris brown beat them up. camp B: read his twitter mentions.

imagine my surprise (horror?) last night when i’m sitting there with my delicious chipotle and twitter and find myself agreeing with a westboro baptist church phelps. background: i follow a very opinionated NYC lawyer who rants a lot. she went off on CB saying all the usual he’s such a terrible person stuff. megan  phelps-roper, fred phelps’s granddaughter, went after her for it, saying that attacking him is hypocritical, merciless, and self-righteous. now, i don’t agree with her on all of it–i don’t think it’s hypocritical to attack him for it unless you’ve beaten a woman like that. but these grudges are just ridiculous. don’t get me wrong, i think he’s a terrible person, but reminding him of what he did 3 years ago every moment he says or does anything isn’t right. i don’t like his music, i don’t think he’s a good person, i wouldn’t date him, but i don’t get why people can’t let it go, especially when rihanna has. and what about everyone else? TI has served time for weapons and drugs, and people still like his music. eminem has problems all over the place, and he’s a popular grammy winner.

i guess my bottom line is that there are so many weightier issues in the world to focus on that i just don’t understand the need to dwell on something that happened three years ago.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “the grammys and chris brown

  1. Shannon

    I am going to comment on this, and it’s not to start a fight, but to reply as to why I will not let it go. Yes, it was 3 year ago. Yes, lots of people do terrible things and should be forgiven. I get that. I do.

    I think that our society has a bizarre relationship when it comes to violence against women. We don’t want to talk about it, we don’t want to acknowledge it, and while it has gotten more attention and people will say the right things in public, they still whisper “she must have done something to deserve it.” Combine this with the fact that he really doesn’t seem to be sorry or think he did something wrong…well, let’s just say that I am a little bit sensitive about that. I’ve been on the other end of a man who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with physically assaulting woman. Who doesn’t say he is sorry because he doesn’t think he was wrong. It is actually more upsetting to have someone not thing what they did was wrong than the fact that they did it in the first place.

    So here is my point: Just once, I would like someone to step up and say that it’s wrong that he did that, and no we don’t support him anyway just because he is an amazing artist. That is why I am so disappointed in the Grammy’s for Inviting him to perform. He is still on probabation, couldn’t they have at least waited until that was done before inviting him back to their stage? Lots of people have made the musician v. the person argument. That argument does not hold with me. Because WE SHOULD CARE. It should matter. It does to me.

    • i very much appreciate your thoughtful comment. that’s an interesting viewpoint which i had not yet heard. the “she must have deserved it” comments really boil my blood–it’s an intentional crime. he made the choice to beat the crap out of her, it doesn’t matter what she said or did, it’s 100% his fault. that said, i don’t follow CB, so i can’t see whether he’s remorseful about it.

      thanks for your input, shann. that definitely puts a different spin on it for me.

  2. I agree with Shannon. My problem isn’t so much that he did it (that was really bad. there is no excuse for it. but a moment shouldn’t define a person.) as that he has never once seemed sorry. He has never acknowledged that he was wrong to beat the crap out of someone he claimed to love. I read once that the essential elements to any apology have to be 1) I was wrong 2) I’m sorry 3) What can I do to make it better. Or something like that. He hasn’t gotten a single one of those out. I don’t blame Rihanna for not stepping up and being a Strong Special Role Model For All The Abused People In The World, as some do. That isn’t a role that can be foisted upon a person – they have to be ready to take it on, and she clearly was/isn’t.

    But HE can and should have the role of telling people, loudly and repeatedly, that it is not okay to hit anyone. Not just women, not just people you love, not just girlfriends, it is never okay to hit anyone and certainly not to the point of hospitalization. He has to say that it was wrong for him to do it, and then show how he’s learning from it and how he’s working to make sure that he never ever does something similar again and how he’s working to help prevent similar things from happening to other people. Because right now? I don’t think he learned a damn thing. I don’t think he will be in a position in the future when he has a fight with someone to stop himself from hitting that person. I saw the footage of him on that morning show – when asked about that day, he flipped out, ran out of the room, and then started trying to break a window with a chair. Dude CLEARLY has anger management problems, and not only hasn’t done anything to change them or show that they’re wrong, but hasn’t even acknowledged their existence. Being talented is not an excuse to treat people horribly.

    I’m especially offended that some spokesdude for the Grammys explained that 3 years ago, the true victim was the Grammys because they had to fill two performance slots at the last minute because Chris Brown beat the shit out of Rihanna and was on the run from the police while she was in the hospital with the shit beaten out of her. The Grammys are WRONG. In every way, shape, and form. And they’re getting away with making that comment. They had their second-highest telecast ever. They won by putting him back on that stage, by claiming that THEY were the victim, and by implicitly saying that there is nothing wrong with beating the shit out of somebody.

    I didn’t watch the Grammys. I like music, but I couldn’t condone them putting CB on their show. I can youtube Adele and JHud and Macca. No biggie. Their numbers didn’t need me anyway, it appears.

    I’d love to forgive Chris Brown. But I don’t just throw forgiveness out into the universe to people who have no concept that they did anything worth forgiving. Until and unless he figures that out, I will not forgive him.

    (aaack longest comment ever sorry)

    • again with the incredibly thoughtful response on topics which i hadn’t considered! i don’t follow CB/rihanna, i don’t know how either of them have handled it apart from the stray article i discover. his behavior is supremely unacceptable. not from a musician’s standpoint, but from a human’s. and that is an incredibly shitty thing for the grammy spokesman to say. wtf.

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