Tales From the Hilltop
An intelligent, yet Devil's Advocate view of the world

Episode Thirty-Eight: When Ticked-Off Chairs Meet Hypocritical Windows

In life, everyone has a past, present, and future. We are all told that was we do in the past can seriously alter the present and either enhance or destroy our futures. More often than not, one event in a person past can stay with them for the rest of their lives, and sometimes, no matter what else they do, or had bad they want to escape this stigma, they’ll be forever linked to this incident.

For example, baseball fan, Steve Bartman. We’ll all remember him as “the guy who stopped the Cubs from reaching the World Series.” All he wanted to do was catch a simple foul ball at a playoff game. What we did was stop Moises Alou from making an 8th-inning out, when they were seemingly four outs away from winning the pennant, and going to the World Series. From there, the Cubs collapsed and lost National League Pennant. Now, was that one catch the reason why the Cubbies lost? Of course, not. Bartman was branded with this ‘jinx’, nonetheless, and all-but-ran out of Chicago because of it, forever going down in baseball infamy.

Today’s episode pops up in the wake of one Chris Brown, a young singer/entertainer, who for the last two years, has been battling his past and seemingly losing. As most of you know, back in 2009, Brown was arrested on domestic charges of brutally assaulting his then-girlfriend, R&B sensation, Rhianna. Images of the beating were released, court bargains were made, fans disowned him, the public blasted Brown for being a woman-beater, and rightfully so. Over the next two years, Brown went through various degrees of trying to rehabilitate his image: anger management training, counseling, and court-ordered community service.

Let’s fast forward Brown’s life to yesterday on ABC’s Good Morning America, a nationally syndicated daytime show. Brown was scheduled to go on to help promote the release of his new album, F.A.M.E, an album that he hoped would get his career back to his meteoric rise before the incident derailed it. As Brown went on the interview with the show’s anchor, Robin Roberts, he was asked several questions of how his life has been since the domestic incident. He simply shrugged them off; stating that he was looking more towards the release of the album and hoping his fans would appreciate the music that would be featured on it. Instead of the interview shifting to what would be expected on the album, instead he got another question from Ms. Roberts about the restraining order originally imposed on him as a result of the incident. Brown, slightly frustrated, shook of the question and stated that he was hoping the fans would love the album. Another Rhianna-related question was asked, and another answer was given that he was done with that chapter of his life and looking foward to moving on and embracing his future.

After the show apparently, Brown was so angry that Rhianna-related questions was asked at all instead of focusing his interview on the release of his new album, he went on a all-out tirade backstage, cursing in the dressing room, screaming at people, and cultivating it all with throwing a chair through the dressing room window on the 2nd floor. It seems as though the two years he had spent trying to escape this incident was still there, haunting him and in still very much in his reality.

If that’s not bad enough; for this meltdown, he may face prison time as a violation of his probation.

Now, here’s what I have to ask; at what point does a person’s history is allowed to keep holding them in their past, especially if it was altered criminally, that sentence has been served and in the eyes of the law, their debt to society is paid?

I’m not naïve enough to know that with being a celebrity, there comes a higher degree of scrutiny for any wrongdoing. Certainly, this young man wasn’t naïve either. During those two years, he sat down on numerous shows and talked about how horrible that act was he committed against that young girl, and how truly sorry he was, while admitting some very personal things in his life which may have played a role in his anger getting the better of him.  However, even he believed that in admitting these things, and expressing remorse for this, there would be some sort of way he could redeem himself in the public eye….while putting this whole ordeal in his past. This interview, if nothing else, proved that he was wrong.…really wrong.

OK, I will state this for the record: I am not, nor have even been a Chris Brown fan. In the 10.5 gigabytes of music that is stored on my iPod, not one song exclusively features him, so I didn’t choose to make him the target of this episode to be perceived as a “fan boy”, or some biased malarkey like that. I also don’t give the guy a pass for wailing on a woman. That was a sucker move, and every bit of hell he caught cause of it was deservedly justified.

However, in playing the #1 Devil’s Advocate as I so like to do, I’m just trying to call a spade a spade here.

Most people talk about the guy flipping out as “he’s still hasn’t accepted humility in his situation.” For that I have to ask how much humility does the guy need to “accept” for the public to, if not forgive the guy, then to at least go on with his life and career? The heavy scrutiny, the title of being a woman-beater, being banned by other countries (Yes, the UK banned him from putting on shows there)…when does it stop? When would it stop? I don’t see any of this going forward as “accepting humility” at all. Seems to me people still want to see the guy suffer, and disguise it as “humility”. That’s not humility; that’s further punishment. Going on talk shows and still having to talk about this when he’s said all he needed to, apologized all he could, and expressed remorse all he should’ve is punishment. There’s nothing humble in this situation.

However, I also blame the handlers around Brown. If they had any inkling at all that he would be subjected to these questions previously, they should’ve never let him go on Good Morning America. Take Michael Vick, who had the chance of sitting down with Oprah, but declined it. I think he and his people knew that by going on that show, this could end up become a reoccurring nightmare, and Oprah would’ve probably made 95% of that show about his dog fighting case that landed him in prison, rather than the strives he made as a person, spokesman for PETA and, his resurgence as one of the NFL’s best talents. And yet, if Vick would’ve went on Oprah, hoping for a public relations boost to those that still feel he should be locked in prison, permanently banned from the NFL, or even executed for his crimes, would sitting on Oprah’s couch, allowing himself to be grilled worse than a Triple Whopper at BK, and opening up to the general public – again – change their opinions that much about the guy….honestly?

Yeah. I thought so, too.

Yes, like you, I agree; young Chris Brown should’ve kept his emotions in check yesterday. Throwing chairs through windows – no matter how upset you are – is no way to convey anger, even if he was blindsided in an interview by either an overzealous reporter or the producer who got Ms. Roberts to ask those questions repeatedly, ignoring any signs of changing subjects. Yes, I agree; Dude needs a lot more help to manage his anger, or this trait he has will get worse and worse in the upcoming years. I don’t condone what he did in the least, but I understand why.

The thing of it is, especially if you are a celebrity, you are still human. Still flesh and bone, still wired with emotions that range from eternal joy to never-ending rage.  And Chris, like every human, wanted to be left alone about a part of his life that caused him great shame. It’s outright hypocritical to assume that he can’t have this wish respected due to his status as being an entertainer. It’s not “the nature of the beast” or “something that goes along with the territory”, or even “it is what it is.” It’s hypocritical, no matter how you sort it out.

Also, this is pretty laughable when people complain about how they should feel “entitled” to ask questions about private lives just because someone has reached a plateau in social standing or economic stature that hasn’t been attained by the general populous, more so when other people on higher statuses are doing worse things behind closed doors and are being revered and seemingly praised (or at least, not lambasted enough) for their actions, like the suddenly uber-popular Charlie Sheen, or movie star sensation/Jewish crazy man, Mel Gibson.

Look, in the eyes of the law, once a person has served their sentence, then they – by all rights – are redeemed and allowed to rejoin society. This is the furthest from the truth when it comes to the court of public opinion. However, if people ever truly wish folks to move on with their lives in the event an ugly incident finds them in the middle of one, then regardless of what status they hold on this planet, this will never happen as long as people can’t allow folk to move on themselves. Chris deserves, if nothing else, that. No one questions Rhianna anymore about what happened two years ago. She’s moved on, put out an album (and half-nude pics), and dated about three people by now. Perhaps his questions need to end, too.

3/24/11

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