It's been hard to like Chris Brown for the good part of this year, and his appearance on Larry King Live made nothing easier. Between vague statements of remorse tied to refusals to serve the purpose of the interview -- to talk about what happened the night he beat Rihanna's face into a scourge on his career -- he threw some inarticulate barbs at his sentence ("With what I'm capable of doing, as far as influencing people, as far as influencing kids, the youth, I can do more to help the community other than picking up trash") and "immature media." He said the latter with no seeming awareness that he's using immaturity as a defense in this informal trial. "We’re young. Nobody taught us how to love one another," he whined at one point. Well, here's some immaturity to add to the pile: this kid is an entitled prick.
Chris Brown talks about his "natural fans," as though enjoying him is written into people's DNA. On that transparent apology that made the Internet rounds in July, he said, "I got a little help because of the wording, but it was all from my heart." I'm sure the same could be said of "You're like Jordans on a Saturday / I gotta have you and I cannot wait" (from "With You") -- he's speaking like a true pop star. Most offensive was his unwillingness to talk about the fateful night in question. Not only did he waste everyone's time by not sharing his perspective (we read the police report, we know you're a bastard), he also repeatedly blamed his unwillingness to spill on his "respect" for Rihanna (in a particularly garbled moment, he said we wouldn't, "because of her personal, and my personal," giving it the same ring of taboo the same way old people do to menstruation). As if by him opening up, Rihanna has anything to lose! The most assholish scenario (and don't count it out) is that he's implying that something he would reveal would turn the public against Rihanna. Unless she beat him with a puppy that then died, I doubt it. It felt like a weird, twisted way of blaming the victim -- "I owe it to her," he said, with no reference to owing it career, which is what this damage-control dud was all about.
You cannot plead the Fifth in front of the court of public opinion. We'll fill in the holes and scorn you just the same. You can't even plead guilty and leave it at that. If Chris Brown thinks this trifle of an interview, in which he was flanked by two defenders (his mother and his lawyer), is going to make this go away, he's in for a rude awakening. He recently told People that his sentence (which doesn't include a second of jail time!) was "a little harsh." It's so ironic that someone capable of such brutality has no idea what harsh means. Here's to education.