As a reader of music blogs, you have by no doubt by now heard that violent idiot Chris Brown has done (another) stupid thing by getting a tattoo on his neck that looks suspiciously like a battered woman. Like, you know, the woman he battered in 2009. He claims it's actually a sugar skull -- an icon of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos. Let's not get bogged down here: Either he knew what it vaguely looked like and he is a sinister sociopath or he honestly wasn't thinking about it and he is a colossally tone-deaf idiot who beats women. Take your pick.
So what are we doing here? Well, fair reader, this whole thing has left us sad and upset -- the vindication of Brown in general pop culture is depressing. We enjoy the music of more than a few felons around these parts, so we struggle with using this as an excuse to dismiss the man's music (there are plenty of other reasons to do that). But Chris Brown has actually managed to act victimized again and again in the last few years, and that is thoroughly perverted. In the service of exposing this hypocrisy:
March 2009: Chris Brown is charged with felony assault and making criminal threats. He pleads not guilty and accepts a plea that involves no jail time.
July 2009: He releases a video on his YouTube channel apologizing to fans and Rihanna -- the only time he does so directly. We have no comment at this point, really.
September 2009: In his first public appearance since the charges, he appears with his lawyer and mother (oh, come on) on Larry King Live to talk about the abuse he witnessed as a child. Mommy says he isn't a violent person. The photo evidence published by TMZ of Rihanna's mangled face very much suggests otherwise. In perhaps his most appalling failure to accept responsibility, he blames the media for driving the two of them apart and says he doesn't remember the assault. Yes, he was clearly possessed by The Media.
June 2010: At the BET Awards, Brown tearfully performs "Man in the Mirror" and later in the ceremony says, "I let y'all down before, but I won't do it again...I promise." Contrition: Good, obviously. But it's hard to see the whole thing as anything other than performative. The general defense of his continued career takes the approach that his personal life and professional ones are separate things, but here he is plying his personal "struggle" for sympathies he (or his handlers) must have known would be professional boons.