Apparently, calling an M.I.A. video “controversial” is like calling the Pope “Catholic.” No duh! M.I.A. (nee: Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) is a British songwriter, record producer, singer, rapper, fashion designer, visual artist, political activist, and artist of Sri Lankan origin. He’s also an aficionado of the Tamil Tigers, as well as their separatists efforts to create a Free Tamil. She made it onto the list of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, for her “global influence across many genres”. Funny I’ve never heard of her before now.
Anywho, the other day, M.I.A. was likely sitting around wondering what she could do to get on the radar of most of the free world, when she came up with this brilliant idea: create a music video with graphically violent images. Images so graphic, in fact, that YouTube would be forced to ban the video outright.
Then, she must have figured, it would give her an opportunity to rail against the Man, claim she was a victim of artistic censorship and political persecution (read: “create controversy by behaving badly to pump up the P.R. and sell a lot of music to people who Want To Look Like They Care About The World).
Looks like it worked, too. The lamestream media is all abuzz about M.i.A. and her contraband video. (“ContraBand” – now there’s a name for a left-wing music group, no?) Of course, the controversy might die down if you can’t actually see the video for yourself. So now somebody else is hosting it for her. You can see it here: http://www.miauk.com/
Frankly, i’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, I think if it’s news and involves guns, TTAG has gotta cover it. On the other hand, this is, to me anyway, a transparent attempt to curry publicity, ignite controversy, and shamelessly self-promote what appears to be a talentless hack sell her wares to people that don’t know the difference between a genuine artistic statement and shameless self-aggrandizement.
You be the judge.