February 21, 2012


"So maybe these collaborations were an inevitable outcome, though they suggest two kids playing around without adult supervision more than they suggest a calculated grab for public redemption or approval. It displays an advanced understanding of marketing and an understanding of moral obligations and ethics thatís not much more than rudimentary. It is a woman publicly accepting her abuser ó nothing more, nothing less."

Jon Caramanica on Rihanna and Chris Brown's unfortunate collaborations.

You wanna think Rihanna would know better, or display better, or make a bigger show of self-respect just for oh, THE SAKE OF IT. You want her to be more better at all of this. Because she is awesome.
And then I remember, when I was exactly Rihanna's age I was habitually returning to a boyfriend of such enduring awfulness that my dear roommate Al Burian told me it was like watching someone stick a fork in a light socket, over and over again. I had friends that stopped being friends with me out of protest, out of disgust, out of concern, and also because they were tired of hearing about my drama and why this time was different. When the honest truth was I was continually committing myself to a boyfriend I was scared of, who cheated on me with my best friend (I knew it, and yet!)...but I kept being with even after he told me he was ashamed for people to know we were together--his friends just thought I was stalky, they had no idea he slept at my house every night. Meanwhile, you know, I am otherwise a fully functioning successful woman running my own business, publishing a zine, writing for magazines, playing music, dreaming big. Except for this one thing. Which was a sad obsessive terrible relationship that was obviously destructive. That I clung to. That I filled years of journals over, and pretty much every page was a variation on the same theme. A pretty fucking depressing way to spend the better part of your twenties... filling notebooks about your asshole boyfriend that you cannot manage to leave.

I was watching the Clinton Presidency documentary on PBS tonight and when Clinton apologizes, in the Rose Garden, and say "I gave into my shame," and I was like "I know how it is, Big Dog." Maybe Rihanna is giving into her shame, maybe she just doesn't know what to do with it. Maybe she is just in that spot where the fear is really tangling her up. I can't pretend like a part of me doesn't fully understand the compulsion to return to someone you know is an asshole. Again and again.

Or maybe she is just irresponsible and stupid?

Posted by jessica hopper at February 21, 2012 11:28 PM | TrackBack