Jump to content


Episode 68 — Chris Brown


15 replies to this topic

#1 Earwolf Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 1,202 posts

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

Friday gets real as Andrew Ti and this week’s guest Christian Lander get into a legit discussion about whether the fixation on Chris Brown’s crimes have anything to do with his race. Chris Brown is a garbage human being y’all! Leave us a message and ask us if something is racist at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 Kevin Irmiter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:11 AM

You know, people fixating on Chris Brown MAY have something to do with his being black, but he still deserves it as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, fine, there may be other white assholes who don't get as much hatred as they deserve, but that doesn't make Chris Brown a better person in any way. So fuck Chris Brown.

The only thing that makes me hesitate is that he does seem to enjoy being hated. He certainly is profiting off of it--all the media attention just keeps him in the public eye, which leads to more records being sold.

#3 Cabbage

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:19 AM

I don't have trouble seeing race as one of competing forces at work, but it ties in with Chris Brown being, on the whole, a very profitable economic asset for the recording industry, and if they want him to keep making money for them they'll pay their public relations apparatus to make sure that's still a viable option. On top of that, Chris Brown probably has his own people making sure his image doesn't suffer too much.

#4 Shariq Torres

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 18 January 2013 - 12:11 AM, said:

Yeah, fine, there may be other white assholes who don't get as much hatred as they deserve, but that doesn't make Chris Brown a better person in any way. So fuck Chris Brown.



But it also doesn't absolve those white assholes from what they did, but effectively all the coverage on Chris Brown does that for them. If you go on Gawker, they have atleast one story about Chris Brown each week. There are no more follow up stories on Mel Gibson and what he is doing. That is not because Mel Gibson is just sitting in his house crying. No, the coverage of Chris Brown is an EDITORIAL CHOICE.

#5 Kevin Irmiter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

View PostShariq Torres, on 18 January 2013 - 08:05 AM, said:

But it also doesn't absolve those white assholes from what they did, but effectively all the coverage on Chris Brown does that for them. If you go on Gawker, they have atleast one story about Chris Brown each week. There are no more follow up stories on Mel Gibson and what he is doing. That is not because Mel Gibson is just sitting in his house crying. No, the coverage of Chris Brown is an EDITORIAL CHOICE.


No, I'm going to say that this is totally different. Chris Brown has repeatedly continued to do all sorts of terrible shit, in public. Throwing a temper tantrum and breaking windows, getting in bar fights, getting that creepy neck tattoo... the list goes on and on. On top of that, he has stayed in the public eye, continuing to make records that sell millions of copies. Gibson, on the other hand, has tried to keep a low profile since his last incident. And his career has pretty much been in the toilet. I am positive that if Gibson did something again that was batshit insane the media would be all over him. But the story on Gibson now is just depressing, and in a boring way.

#6 pokey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts

Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

This has been my favorite week of this podcast. Christian was a great guest!

#7 Kickpuncher

    Sentient Meat

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,869 posts
  • LocationIthaca, NY

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:29 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 18 January 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:


No, I'm going to say that this is totally different. Chris Brown has repeatedly continued to do all sorts of terrible shit, in public. Throwing a temper tantrum and breaking windows, getting in bar fights, getting that creepy neck tattoo... the list goes on and on. On top of that, he has stayed in the public eye, continuing to make records that sell millions of copies. Gibson, on the other hand, has tried to keep a low profile since his last incident. And his career has pretty much been in the toilet. I am positive that if Gibson did something again that was batshit insane the media would be all over him. But the story on Gibson now is just depressing, and in a boring way.


Not to mention that when Gibson actually has been in the public eye, he has absolutely taken shit from the public, comedians, bloggers, etc. to the degree he deserves. His recent movies have performed poorly and his appearance at the Golden Globes was met with quite a bit of venom.

#8 Shariq Torres

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 18 January 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:


No, I'm going to say that this is totally different. Chris Brown has repeatedly continued to do all sorts of terrible shit, in public. Throwing a temper tantrum and breaking windows, getting in bar fights, getting that creepy neck tattoo... the list goes on and on. On top of that, he has stayed in the public eye, continuing to make records that sell millions of copies. Gibson, on the other hand, has tried to keep a low profile since his last incident. And his career has pretty much been in the toilet. I am positive that if Gibson did something again that was batshit insane the media would be all over him. But the story on Gibson now is just depressing, and in a boring way.



Everything you say can be applied to Charlie Sheen and he is nowhere even a quarter vilified like Chris Brown. Even John Galliano, who is on video screaming anti-Semitic slurs and threatening to kill Jewish children, is not as vilified as Chris Brown.

#9 Shariq Torres

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

View PostKickpuncher, on 20 January 2013 - 09:29 AM, said:


Not to mention that when Gibson actually has been in the public eye, he has absolutely taken shit from the public, comedians, bloggers, etc. to the degree he deserves. His recent movies have performed poorly and his appearance at the Golden Globes was met with quite a bit of venom.


Actually that is not true. Where was the equivalent of Jenny 5 harassing Mel Gibson? There wasn't because there is not the same level of hatred, not by a mile.

#10 Kickpuncher

    Sentient Meat

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,869 posts
  • LocationIthaca, NY

Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

I guess it's just more extreme on both ends for Brown. Gibson may not get the same level of hate (hate vs. apathy makes no difference in terms of lack of success for movies), but he doesn't have anywhere near the support that Brown has. But for the record, I'm pretty sure that Gibson would get the Johnson-like critics if he was on Twitter and had legions of vocal young fans on Twitter.

#11 pokey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:57 AM

Chris Brown is an abuser. He's demonstrated misogyny, control, and even violence on multiple occasions, and consistently on Twitter/YouTube. He didn't "make a mistake," he just got caught at the same game all domestic abusers play, because the woman he battered happened to be one of the most famous women in the world, which is why he got such a hefty sentence of probation. Probation seems hefty, because most abusers face no consequences at all. Whatever hatred Chris Brown has received has rallied his fans and doesn't seem to have hurt his career very much. Put in a global perspective, Chris Brown is one of the most privileged people alive.

To ask whether an equally popular, young, white male celebrity would receive the same animosity or even publicity after beating a female celebrity as popular as Rihanna...well, it gives us something to think about, I guess. But it also distracts from what actually happened, and how routinely it happens to women of every race, background, socio-economic class, etc. And, most of the time, it comes pretty damn close to an apology for intimate-partner abuse and systemic misogyny.

It seems like anyone interested in promoting social justice could use this story to educate people about abuse. Abuse is endemic to our society, but most people remain ignorant about it. Racism is endemic, too, of course, but there is at least some awareness and some progress, at least enough that it doesn't make sense to ignore, excuse, or downplay such an egregious example of abuse (threatening and battering a woman, leaving her for dead, making misogynistic comments, and playing the victim in the aftermath) for the sake of drawing attention to a possibility of subtle expressions of racism (Gawker coverage, Twitter animus, etc.).

#12 Shariq Torres

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

View Postpokey, on 21 January 2013 - 01:57 AM, said:

Chris Brown is an abuser. He's demonstrated misogyny, control, and even violence on multiple occasions, and consistently on Twitter/YouTube. He didn't "make a mistake," he just got caught at the same game all domestic abusers play, because the woman he battered happened to be one of the most famous women in the world, which is why he got such a hefty sentence of probation. Probation seems hefty, because most abusers face no consequences at all. Whatever hatred Chris Brown has received has rallied his fans and doesn't seem to have hurt his career very much. Put in a global perspective, Chris Brown is one of the most privileged people alive.

To ask whether an equally popular, young, white male celebrity would receive the same animosity or even publicity after beating a female celebrity as popular as Rihanna...well, it gives us something to think about, I guess. But it also distracts from what actually happened, and how routinely it happens to women of every race, background, socio-economic class, etc. And, most of the time, it comes pretty damn close to an apology for intimate-partner abuse and systemic misogyny.

It seems like anyone interested in promoting social justice could use this story to educate people about abuse. Abuse is endemic to our society, but most people remain ignorant about it. Racism is endemic, too, of course, but there is at least some awareness and some progress, at least enough that it doesn't make sense to ignore, excuse, or downplay such an egregious example of abuse (threatening and battering a woman, leaving her for dead, making misogynistic comments, and playing the victim in the aftermath) for the sake of drawing attention to a possibility of subtle expressions of racism (Gawker coverage, Twitter animus, etc.).


The expressions of racism against Chris Brown are not all that subtle. Domestic abuse, partner abuse and all of it is very important and there is a discussion to be had on that level. Why does Chris Brown still have a substantial female fanbase? Why are domestic abuse cases handled they way they are, and can something be done to change that? But if you want to have those discussions, they also dovetail into discussions about how THIS particular case has been handled by the media. Andrew was right when he said we live in a world where the crime scene photos from a white perp would not be shown. Once again, I go to Charlie Sheen, a man who has spent his adult life abusing drugs and women, only to land one a popular TV show where he basically played himself, in all of its misogynistic glory. Chris Brown is one of the most hated men in the U.S., right there with Mike Vick. I think if you were interested in promoting social justice, you wouldn't just sweep aside the obvious implications that race has to do with the public treatment of Chris Brown.

#13 Kevin Irmiter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

View PostShariq Torres, on 20 January 2013 - 11:24 AM, said:

Everything you say can be applied to Charlie Sheen and he is nowhere even a quarter vilified like Chris Brown. Even John Galliano, who is on video screaming anti-Semitic slurs and threatening to kill Jewish children, is not as vilified as Chris Brown.


Galliano is even more irrelevant than Gibson. Yes, he said horrible things, but at the end of the day it's still talk. As far as I know it was a single episode of him acting more out of shock value more than anything, as nothing in his actions before or since has suggested genuine anti-semitic beliefs (unless he has been donating to antisemitic groups or something that I'm not aware of). Let me say that I'm not denying what he did was wrong, but it's not in the same league as domestic violence. I would be much more willing to forgive him and give him a second chance than I would with Brown( or Gibson or Sheen for that matter).

Now Charlie Sheen I'll give you, and a case could be made that the media has gone too easy on him. But that certainly doesn't make me feel ANY sympathy for Chris Brown. I think we are fundamentally talking about different things here. You're saying that Brown's behavior doesn't excuse other assholes, and I'm not saying it does. What I'm saying is, Chris Brown is a piece of shit who deserves all the hate he gets and more. The fact that other assholes are getting less hate than him doesn't make Chris Brown any less of an asshole. Maybe there are other white people like Charlie Sheen that we should be harder on, fine. I'm not going to deny that. But going easier on Chris Brown isn't helping anything. We should be giving more shit to Charlie Sheen AND Chris Brown as far as I'm concerned.

#14 pokey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:08 AM

Don't get me wrong. It burns me up that Charlie Sheen is working. It's worse that he's got a show that's basically a joke about how horrible he is. I hate that his "punishment" was rehab. One of the most persistent myths about abuse is that it's caused by drugs or alcohol, and this so-called punishment only serves to perpetuate that myth.

Abusers are essentially con-men. They only "lose control" to the extent that they allow themselves. They are image obsessed, and their images are carefully cultivated. That goes for Charlie Sheen and Chris Brown. We watched Charlie Sheen and decided that he was crazy. We mockingly adopted his catchphrase, "Winning," and somehow bought into the narrative that he's crazy, delusional, unpredictable, but, ultimately, harmless. He created an image, he manipulated us, and it worked.

Chris Brown did, too, and his image is far more sophisticated. He's not simply, as you put it, "one of the most hated men in America." He is, by his own design, the man we love to hate. But, he's also the passionate lover/bad-boy: he's passionate, he's a little bit dangerous, but maybe the love of a good woman could put him on the right track. He tells us that he has so much love in his heart that he might need two women in his life. The two sides of this image--the man you love to hate and the lover/bad-boy--work in concert, inflaming his "enemies" and rallying his fans.


It sucks that Charlie Sheen is still working, making money and getting famous even as he exploits his abuse, but don't lose sight of the fact that Chris Brown is doing the very same thing! Attitudes toward them are different, in part because of race, but in large part because of what they have in common, which is that they've crafted images for themselves that manipulate public opinion. Neither man has faced real consequences. Abusive men rarely do, especially wealthy abusive men.

What bothers me the most about every argument I've heard about the racial implications of this story is that it always portrays the perpetrator of violence as a victim. There was another black person involved. If it's a certainty that race affects attitudes toward Chris Brown, isn't the same true for Rihanna? Would America be more outraged if we saw similar photos of Taylor Swift? Would we be as willing to forgive Katy Perry's batterer? Would our expectations of Rihanna be different if she were white? Would we be as derisive of her choices in the aftermath? Maybe the photos wouldn't have leaked if the perpetrator had been white, but what about the confidentiality of the victim?

About Michael Vick...oh, lord. You're right that he became one of the most hated men in America. You're right that race factors into that a great deal (more so, I'd argue, than for Chris Brown). What you're missing, though, is the fact that America is quicker and more willing to forgive a man for violence towards women than for violence towards dogs.

And I do think the expressions of racism against Chris Brown are subtle. It's subtle because the issue is one of attitudes and motivations, as opposed to more overt expressions of racism that are all too common, and compared to the plain and violent misogyny on display in the very story. For example, whatever you make of Jenny Johnson's tweets to Chris Brown, they were not overtly, explicitly racist. You can speculate, if you're so inclined, on the attitudes that motivated Jenny Johnson to write those tweets. You don't need to work so hard to interpret Chris Brown's replies, which were sexually violent threats.

There's an important distinction to be made, because the argument coming across, Shariq (and Andrew), is that Chris Brown has gotten a raw deal because he's black. There is some truth that Charlie Sheen has gotten it easy because he's white, and that's the start of a productive conversation, in my opinion. Even that, though, ignores the privilege both offenders enjoy because of their gender, wealth, and fame.

#15 Max_Powers

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

John Lennon - beat both of his wives up and wildly adore by almost everyone.

#16 Anonymous37

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:11 AM

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Jason Gann, the guy who plays the dog on Wilfred. That was a show I used to watch, until I found out that Jason Gann got drunk, refused to stop acting like an ass on a public bus, then when the driver tried to get him to behave, beat him so severely that he's now severely mentally ill.

I think that part of the (well-deserved) hatred aimed at Chris Brown is from people who didn't have anything invested in him in the first place: they were never going to listen to, let alone buy, his music. But Wilfred, despite having much fewer watchers than Chris Brown has fans, appeals to people who aren't just going to wave away the abuse Rihanna suffered at the hands of Chris Brown.

Frankly, as much as Rihanna suffered, she didn't and doesn't have it as bad as Joseph Hosny. But at least in some cases, people -- people who make a point of bashing Chris Brown, with a kinda sorta ironic winky -- will rationalize it by saying that Hosny should just get over it and refusing to learn anything more about the incident.

I'm still working my way through the podcast episodes, and I haven't got to this one yet. But when Hollywood decides to have a real housecleaning and sit the Jason Ganns and Charlie Sheens in the penalty box for a few years, I won't attribute at least some of the venom Chris Brown gets to racism.