Chris Brown is a ridiculously easy target because he is a public figure who clearly has deep emotional damage and impulse control issues. It is probably those same misfiring synapses that helped propel him into stardom in the first place. Until he sits down with a competent psychiatrist, who knows? Do I think he deserves everything bad that happens to him? Mostly, yeah. The guy seems immature as fuck (I love labelling other people as “immature” through casual swearing) and one drunken evening away from killing some innocent bystander. So Brown is ripe for parody, and Jenny Johnson seems handily up to the task. But at what point does she stop being the victim and start being the person who poked the bear?
Society has gone to a weird place where we abhor and shun our violent members (unless we think we can make a buck off them), and yet, in this intelligent age, we celebrate those of us who can verbally assail others via quasi-witty rejoinders. I know this, because I have enjoyed this sort of celebration on a few occasions. But why should clever people (and quasi-clever people) get to do all the damage?
Why should Jenny Johnson get to shit-talk Chris Brown and then be outraged when Chris Brown responds with comments and his bevy of seemingly moronic supporters threaten her life? Perhaps this is a bit too Old West prospector/lunatic, but I’m tired of intelligence making all the rules; sometimes a little muscle needs to be thrown in as well. Now that I’ve said that, I’ve got to pump the brakes on the 10-speed because I’m sure some fussy-ass is going to fly off the handle and say, “Jeff Klima thinks Chris Brown should be allowed to beat up Jenny Johnson.” Or more likely “Some no-name Internet asshole thinks Chris Brown should be allowed to beat up some semi-known Internet asshole woman.” Not entirely the case.
My argument is hinged more on the supposition that you shouldn’t just freely be allowed to talk shit on others and expect there to not be consequences. Death threats are on the harsh side of the spectrum, but telling someone you’re going to poop in their eye seems, to me at least, to be on the light side of things. Johnson once posted that she was so excited about going to a football game, she punched her stepdaughter in the neck. She’s joking, but it isn’t her only nasty little snipe. Johnson has built up quite a following out of a debased mocking of celebrities (disclosure: good work if you can get it), and Chris Brown seems to be one of her more frequent topics. The dailies all think that Chris Brown has furthered his demon status by making foolish retorts to a more internet-savvy person. I think he was right to delete his Twitter account; clearly he can’t compete on that level. But I don’t think it is fair game for Jenny Johnson to relentlessly attack Chris Brown with her weapon and for him to have no fair means of retribution. In the arena, the sniper should not be pitted against the gladiator.
The pundits and wags (who are frequently one and the same) out there will say, “Chris Brown has his music. He can respond all he wants through that medium.” But anyone who has heard a Chris Brown song can justly argue that music isn’t a strength either, at least, not lyrically. In the end, it seems all Chris Brown has is his violence. Maybe Chris Brown can just tap Jenny Johnson’s husband around a bit (or Jenny Johnson’s husband can knock Chris Brown around — that would be even sweeter). Somehow, someway, I think good old-fashioned assbeatings need to come back into vogue. Hell, I’m sure that after this article I’m due for one.