My friend Monty, AKA The CEO, raised an interesting question in the comments yesterday on the post I wrote about singer/dancer Chris Brown allegedly beating up girlfriend and fellow singer Rihanna.
He wanted to know if Brown was redeemable, if he could be rehabbed.
Now, I teased Monty yesterday that I thought his was a trick question, because I suspect he asked it since I'm always writing that criminal behavior in young adults can be negated if they're given proper guidance as children.
So the fair assumption is Brown didn't have the greatest guidance during at least part of his childhood. No mystery there. He's admitted as much in past interviews.
But beyond that I'm fascinated that whenever a celeb screws up - from running a stop sign to committing a violent crime - almost immediately we speculate about their standing and their place on that great pedestal in
the sky Hollywood.
I just watched Wolf Blitzer speculate about whether Brown's career is over.
And I think we do them and us a disservice when we make that speculation right after a bad-celebrity incident. Some acts are just so bad that they don't warrant any speculation other than how much of a prison sentence the actor should get.
I'm at major fault here. By immediately talking about how or whether they can hang onto their place on top of the world, we sort of glaze over the bad act and without the celeb making any amends.
Too soon to be asking if Chris Brown will ever be famous again. Damn his career right now. For the time being, he's roundly panned as a giant A-Hole, something he deserves if the allegations are true.
Instead, we should be speculating on whether or not he's going to face up to what he (allegedly) did wrong, and take responsibilty for it, take punishment for it, and get help for it.
What Chris Brown should be focusing on is making his actions right.
Whether he gets another shot at fame should come later in the court of public opinion, after he's done with the court of law.
But let's get off the soap box for a moment and be bluntly real:
Chris Brown is in L.A. He's rich, and he's famous (to teenage girls). He would've had to bite the head off a live kitten - a real kitten, not a sea kitten, steal candy from a baby and replace the candy with a crack pipe, and pushed an elderly woman in front of a moving bus, to get a long jail sentence.
When the dust settles, Chris Brown's attorneys will somehow have pled him down to something like Misdemeanor tripping-and-falling-into-girlfriend-and-bracing-self-for-fall-by-sticking-out-fists.
Brown will serve no time behind bars. He'll receive a few hundred hours community service, during which he will give poor children in the 'hood dance lessons for a few months and pick up trash from the parking lot at their neighborhood community center. Afterward, he'll ride into the sunset in a limo, likely never to return. He'll then drop from public view for about 90 days, as per the instructions of the PR team he will have hired by then. Then, when he resurfaces, he will shun Hollywood (temporarily), go on a low-key church speaking/singing tour for a few months, during which he will exhort congregations to be kind to one another and sing gospel tunes. Then he will cut a quiet deal with a new record label to reintroduce him to secular audiences - a move that will go hand in hand with more mea culpas, the second round of which will air on MTV and culminate with a Barbara Walters Special.