This past weekend, I found myself at a Grand Junction Borders book store, which was selling off its remaining stock of 2009 calendars for $1 apiece. And smack in the middle of the stacks was an item that seemed time-capsule ready -- a sixteen-month calendar featuring pop sensation turned tabloid villain Chris Brown.
Earlier this month, Brown's teen-friendly reputation took what could be a lethal blow when he was booked by Los Angeles police on the eve of the Grammy Awards for allegedly abusing his girlfriend, fellow performer Rihanna. Brown, a 2006 Westword profile subject, has since issued an apologized and is in full-blown damage-repair mode -- but he's fighting an uphill battle that's made more challenging by his own team's recent marketing approach. As the following images from the calendar demonstrate, Brown's handlers were trying to harden his image via photos that accentuate toughness -- an approach that can feel creepy in light of subsequent events. Judge for yourself by examining a slideshow devoted to what has now become the weirdest type of pop-cultural collector's item.
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