Chris Brown

On Tuesday, The Onion published a piece jarringly titled, “Heartbroken Chris Brown Always Thought Rihanna Was Woman He’d Beat To Death.” It’s a riff on "the one that got away" truism—only instead of wistfully saying that he always thought he’d have kids with her, an imagined Chris Brown laments all the abuse he never got to visit upon his ex: “Despite all the ups and downs, I was so sure Rihanna was the one I’d take by the throat one day and fatally

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What we learn about the pop star from her new album.

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Why Oprah’s interview with Rihanna was a surprisingly nuanced look at domestic abuse.

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One of the most prurient aspects of reading the personal emails written to and by Bashar al Assad that were obtained by The Guardian has been the chance to observe the dictator’s strange shopping habits on iTunes. Apparently, the Syrian dictator is a big fan of contemporary party music. But Bashar is far from the first dictator to have a strange relationship with pop culture.

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The pop charts have gotten awfully crowded. There are still only ten songs in the Top Ten, although some could count as multiple songs for the way they combine elements grafted from other pieces of music. There’s nothing new or scandalous in that method, by which Lupe Fiasco employed parts of a Modest Mouse recording to make “The Show Goes On,” the number-nine hit on the Billboard singles chart this week. What’s extraordinary—in fact, unprecedented in the history of pop music—is the high number of ad hoc teams of collaborators named as artists.

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I was just listening to a segment on NPR about girlfriend-beater Chris Brown. One of the guests was talking about how he has no interest in listening to Brown's new album because he doesn't think Brown has sufficiently owned up to his personal sins, noting that the singer typically uses weasel words like "what I did" or "what went down" instead of more specific words like "domestic violence."  Please. "Domestic violence" itself has always been a wishy-washy way of describing the crime of beating the hell out of someone you supposedly care about.

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I'm sorry, but there's something creepy about Chris Brown's launching a "fan appreciation tour" to thank the masses for sticking by him during the poor, poor man's ordeal of standing trial for brutally beating the shit out of his girlfriend. Not that Brown shouldn't be boot-licking grateful he's not cooling his heels in prison, much less preparing to rake in megabucks on a nationwide tour that is, sad to say, likely to get a boost from all his recent publicity. But from the fans' point of view, who really wants this kind of recognition? Whoo-hoo!

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Celebrity worship is tiresome if largely benign. Celebrity justice, by contrast, is corrosive on any number of levels. Sadly, the case of R&B singer/woman beater Chris Brown increasingly looks like a nasty example of the latter. Sure, Brown got a few years probation and six months community service.

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