Want to get more than a few people a little angry or contemptuous? Start comparing yourself to Jesus Christ. Never a good move in the entertainment industry, but it seems to be the move made by R&B singer and chronic fisticuffs engager Chris Brown.
Brown took to Instagram, Huffington Post reported Tuesday (Jan. 29), and posted a painting of three men hanging on crosses, the iconic three crosses of Calgary where the Christian messiah, Jesus Christ, was crucified. For a caption, he wrote: "Painting the way I feel today. Focus on what matters!"
The painting was undoubtedly the response of Brown to all the flak he's been receiving since the assault allegations arose from a Sunday night altercation with singer Frank Ocean, a fight first reported on by TMZ, outside an L. A. recording studio. The two men and their entourages reportedly had words over a parking space, words that degenerated into some form of scuffle. The New York Post reported that Ocean is contemplating pressing charges against Brown for assault.
Almost immediately, Brown became the recipient of condemnation, from music fans and from Internet in general. His history of violence -- and Ocean's lack thereof -- was the focus of most.
But here's the problem: No matter how beleaguered you might be, comparing yourself to one of history's more passive leaders is not the way to go. Attempting to invoke the idea of persecution and/or being crucified for your actions, especially when you are not an innocent bystander in the acts, also borders on the foolhardy.
Again: Want derision heaped upon you? Want to be ridiculed? Compare yourself to Jesus Christ and his life (and death) and see how much patience people have with you.
For the record, Jesus was seen as a man of peace, a teacher, a prophet, and one who espoused care for one's fellow man, humility, and turning away from violence. To the point: where is it written that Jesus ever engaged a man -- or woman -- with his fists. As Chris Brown's record shows, the singer certainly has a problem turning the other cheek, be that to man, woman, or inanimate object.
For instance, in February 2009, Brown beat then girlfriend Rihanna so severely as to make her unrecognizable. He would later admit to the assault and was sentenced to five years probation. In early 2011, he became so angry at Robin Roberts during an innocuous interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he hurled a chair into a window backstage, sending glass fragments falling to the city street below. Also in 2011, he was involved in a much-publicized throwdown with rapper Drake in a New York nightclub, although later reports noted that Brown and Drake weren't involved in the melee at all except as possible instigators.
But Brown feeling a little like Jesus reeks more of self-pity than anything else. What he's seeing as persecution appears to be a public simply fed up with his childish antics. Still on probation for the 2009 Rihanna assault, Brown could be facing a little jail time. And if it should come to that, Brown has only himself to blame.
Why? According to eyewitnesses, Brown punched Ocean after the singer refused to shake his hand. It is unlikely that a judge would find such a refusal justification for Ocean getting assaulted.
In the meantime, Brown should take some notes from the life of Jesus, try to be a little more humble, a lot less violent. And if we're all lucky, perhaps he'll do something else Jesus did -- disappear for a couple of decades. He's already deleted his Instagram account after posting the Jesus painting. That's a good start...