Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chris Brown: Work or Shoot?

A note before going on: After a well-deserved facepalm, I should probably apologize. About a week ago, I set the ‘ground rules’ for this blog. After seeing the last few (non-Examiner-related) posts, a statement I made jumps out at me:

Oh, and I’m not the type to post a lot of pictures for the attention-span deficient. Sorry, but you’re going to actually have to read.

So, what do I go and do? I put up several posts that are
almost all pictures. Good job, genius.

I can excuse two of them. In fact, I’ve gone back and renamed them to do just that. I figured out how to update this thing directly from my phone. And yes, I’ll be using that quite a bit. The other was more of a gag than an actual post for the wrestling-savvy among you.

But still, I went back on something I said and I don’t like that. And an apology is in order for such, so I apologize. When I’m writing, I try to refrain from dumbing it down, and, to me, that’s what a gaggle of pictures do. I don’t like feeling I’m catering to the ADHD, blink-and-you-miss-it-because-it’s-so-much-easier-than-thinking crowd, but sometimes a picture says a lot. So, I should rephrase that to read:

If you’re lucky, I’ll throw in some pretty pitchers once in a while, but for the most part, you’re going to have to read.

There, now I feel better. Now, with that off my chest, it’s time to dig in to a perfect example of where this Blog got its name...

I was all set to look at the Chris Brown Incident objectively. In fact, I even kept the original title to this post based upon simply seeing the video of--

Aw, son of a...Viacom already got to it. Great, now I have to use the *official* video for--

Whoa. It’s not even on BET’s site? Something strange is going on here...

...and now that I’ve had a chance to look in to this a bit, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. See, when this all blew up, reaction was split 50/50 between, “You know, Chris has been through a lot, he’s paying tribute to his idol, it all just got to him, he’s human just like everyone else, maybe it’s time to forgive and forget,” and “Are you bloody kidding me? This has ‘PR masterstroke written all over it, this isn’t even genuine, he’s only trying to save his career.”

Looking at most places online - even among ”reputable sources” - everyone is split as to whether this was a Work or Shoot. One thing was for sure, over a returning Kanye West (who did a LOT less and still hasn’t been forgiven), Prince being handed a (LONG overdue) Lifetime Achievement Award, and the return of (wait for it...) El Debarge (and the idiot that called him a legend has a little something coming his way in a day or 2), what everyone was talking about is Chris Brown. And, for once, his name isn’t proceeded by, “the clown that made his MMA debut against his girlfriend in a moving Porsche.”

Whether this was real or staged, the performance had already done its job. Chris Brown is back on everyone’s lips, and this time it’s in a positive light. And, of course, many are either too willing to see a happy ending to think they’ve seen a miracle or dumb enough to believe that they’re not being played to play right in to what they’ve been fed.

Me, I almost bought it for a second. Without being able to see the video very clearly, I couldn’t tell one way or the other. I was honestly torn on whether we had witnessed a sincere music moment or not--

--until I saw this. “This night saved my life, and my career”? Does that not sound a tetch too calculated?

If you’re the type that think Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag (Lord and Lady Douche) are actually splitting up and that Lindsay Lohan has any desire to go clean, then it probably doesn’t. A lot of the reason the pop culture now kowtows to the lowest common denominator is, simply, because it can. Why try to reach out to and enlighten an audience when you don’t have to? Hell, why not completely hoodwink them with a “performance” that features a singer “spontaneously” breaking down, snotting and bawling so badly that he can’t even finish the performance while the camera knows exactly where he will be and when so it can follow his every “emotional” move?

Sorry, I’m a little smarter than that. I’ve seen from the inside the miracles that PR people can construct and calculate. And America just fell for another one. It never gets old, especially if your prey is still so gullible.

Chris, I’m not falling for this one. What you did to Rihanna aside, I can’t stand some fool putting on an obvious show and trying to tell me his emotion was real when it’s not. The first thing on your mind is saving your career - and the pathetic thing is, you probably succeeded because the fans you wanted to like you again have a reason to. And they’re too stupid to see that you played them like so many of the girls you sing about.

So, to quote the late Ric Flair--wait, he's still alive? Oh, hold on, quote "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, "Tell your story walkin'."

Oh, yeah - if I have to spell it out for you, the answer is “Work.” Totally. I just hope that enough people think the same thing to give this jackass a one-way ticket to Celebrity Rehab in about 5-7 years.

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