I realize that it's Tom O'Neil's job to keep track of the various awards shows in Hollywood, but there's just something a bit off about his analysis of both Rihanna's and Chris Brown's career prospects.
O'Neil trips right away, referring to Brown's attack on Rihanna as "their alleged smackdown," instead of, you know, "Brown's assault on Rihanna that left her visibly bloodied and bruised." He then attempts to discuss the ramifications the incident will have on both careers, noting that Rihanna "should be able to rebuild her career and even rise to new heights if she handles everything properly ahead." As the reader who tipped us to this piece notes, "What struck me about this article was the implication that both Rihanna and Chris Brown needed to save their careers, which I thought was f'ing absurd (in the case of Rihanna) because since when has being a victim of domestic violence qualified as being career suicide?"
The issue I take with the piece is O'Neil's notion that winning a Grammy will be the sign that Rihanna is back on track; he pays no attention to her personal struggles, the cycle of domestic violence, or how the incident will shape the rest of her career, except to put out the generic comparison to Tina Turner, who, in O'Neil's eyes, escaped the shadow of Ike Turner by...winning some Grammys. "Now, if she dumps Chris Brown and asserts herself like Tina Turner did," O'Neil asks, "can she bag the top Grammy win too?" The award, apparently, will wash away the difficulties Rihanna will face in her personal life. But only if she asserts herself! Otherwise, she's just a victim who deserves career failure, right? Blargh.
Brown will have a tougher time saving his career, O'Neil writes, noting that "Thuggish music artists such as Snoop Dog, 50 Cent and Notorious B.I.G. haven't won a Grammy," (because they're so thuggish?) "so Chris Brown needs to clean up his act in order to prevail. But even if he pulls off the cleanup, he's already given his career a bruiser that will probably never heal." And I've just given myself a headdesk bruiser that might not heal for a while, either. But perhaps if I win a Grammy, everything will be a-ok!