and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
Posts tagged chris brown.
Later in February, a photo of Brown riding a jet ski in Miami hit the Internet, and singer Usher was caught on video commenting on it: “I’m a little disappointed in this photo,” Usher says in the video. “After the other photo [of Rihanna’s bruised face]? C’mon, Chris. Have a little bit of remorse, man. The man’s on jet skis? Like, just relaxing in Miami?”
The backlash was so severe that Usher was later forced to publicly apologize.
“I apologize on behalf of myself and my friends if anyone was offended,” he said. “The intentions were not to pass judgment and we meant no harm. I respect and wish the best for all parties involved.”
Yeah, go read this link immediately.
There’s a weird thing going on here. It’s something we do in our culture that I have observed mostly in regard to football, but it’s the exact same principle at work here: We are so hungry for redemption stories, and so primed to find reasons within the narrative to offer redemption, that we equate “success” with “atonement.”
In football, this plays out with the idea that a guy like Ben Roethlisberger could have “redeemed” himself after a pair of credible rape accusations by winning the Super Bowl last year; the way that Mike Vick became endorsement-friendly because he had a great 2010 season. Because in the movie version of these events, the injustice that these people who we are not ready to forgive could go on to win — that good things could happen to bad people — is unfathomable. And because we want the narratives in real life to follow those we require from our stories, we have to assume that Roethlisberger winning the Super Bowl would prove that he’d done something, found some inner peace and transformed his life, to succeed.
Or, to bring it back to Chris Brown: The fact that his music is hot means that he can’t be that bad, right? The idea that this dude would beat up his girlfriend, be totally unrepentant about it, act like he’s the victim for people being mad at him, make the best record of his career, and be embraced by the mainstream once again — that has to mean that he’s redeemed himself. Because if not, then we’re all kind of shitty for playing “Look At Me Now” on repeat; and where does the magic to do great things come from, if not some inner reserves of strength that we find because we’ve learned from our mistakes?
So Chris Brown has earned forgiveness because he sold a shitload of records and got Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne to drop some of the best verses in their storied careers on a hot single. “Success” — at the ballot box, in the ratings, on the charts, on the court or the gridiron, wherever — is valued so highly that it carries “redemption” as a freebie.
What does our society think about men who blatantly and violently disregard the bodily autonomy and bodily integrity of their partners? Watch the Grammys tonight to find out.