I can think of two events in the last 24 hours that have let me know that this internet thing is far-reaching and opinions aren’t as shocking or as valued as they once were.
Number one is Chris Brown’s raging tantrum that ended with a broken glass window at the Good Morning America studios and number two is the news of Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor passing away at the age of 79. While both shared similar sentiments of shock and awe (although with varying degrees), thoughts, emotions, sentiments and opinions on the topics got out rather fast due to the wonder of the internet, specifically our good friend Twitter.
Now mind you, I am an admitted Twitter head (shameless self promotion, follow me at twitter.com/CJStarchild) and since joining the site a little less than two years ago, I’ve been able to plug this blog (and the radio show, which is coming along great), exchange ideas and information with professionals in my industry and make a friend or two. For those things, Twitter is great and that’s what its purpose should be.
As with anything, however, there will always be debates, some points tangible, some points though-provoking and others leave you wondering what the hell that person on the other side of the internet connection is talking about.
I don’t think it’s a good or a bad thing when someone has a different opinion on a subject – variety is indeed the spice of life. However, when someone is trying to be contrary just to be contrary (you say the sky is blue, someone else says “Well I see periwinkle and you’re wrong for always seeing blue”), that’s when it comes silly, petty and just plain annoying.
The Chris Brown situation is always going to be one that brings up different feelings, especially in the ongoing Cold War between men and women of all walks of life. CB flipped out after Robin Roberts (who I have the highest regard for as a journalist and as a person, so I’m hella biased) asked him about the situation with Rihanna. Granted, it’s been two years, but the violent and brutal nature of the attack as well as the shocking images of Rihanna immediately after the incident will never leave most people’s minds, especially survivors of domestic violence. People will always ask questions. Brown couldn’t handle it and true to his well-documented temper, went off.
I don’t excuse Chris Brown for anything he has done in the last two years and I say 95 percent of the misfortune that has befallen him in that time is mainly his own doing. The other five percent? People who enable him. dream hampton wrote a phenomenal piece on why Brown continues to struggle in the aftermath of the incident and point for point, it’s on the money.
Still, it’s interesting to watch strangers on the internet judge a young man, whom by all accounts, is just caught up in the cycle of violence that plagued him and his family as a child. Does that excuse him? No. Does his temper and lack of PR savvy get him in trouble? Absolutely. Does it make anybody with a Twitter account an expert? HELL no. Chris Brown should’ve stayed off Twitter the first time instead of coming back and giving randoms the fuel necessary to push him even further off the deep end.
Meanwhile, with Ms. Taylor we find that, much like when the King of the Hip-Hop Hook Nate Dogg passed away a week prior, by and large we forget about people who paved ways, blazed trails and shined as stars in a era well before the 24/7 news consumption crazy that governs us now. You can run a search for Elizabeth Taylor on Twitter and see how many people are paying homage (and rightfully so).
I don’t want to question anyone’s feelings, especially on the web where emotions aren’t detectable in the least, so I won’t. To me, that’s the worst thing someone can do is appropriate someone else’s grief. Saw it when Teena Marie died and pissed me off greatly.
However, I always remember a saying from my youth that I heard many an elder say and it’s so true in today’s world – “Bring me my flowers when I can see them.” Never forget to tell anyone you love them, they have an impact on your life because if you wait until they’re gone…they can’t hear you.
So while it’s cool to have fun on the internet and there are real people on the other sides of computer screens and smartphones, just remember your opinion is yours alone. And remember the saying about opinions and assholes – that hasn’t changed even though technology has.