It’s been brought to my attention by Collapse Board’s Wallace Wylie that Pitchfork have dedicated an entire page to calling MIA an asshole because she apparently told the American public to fuck off during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance last night. In case you hadn’t heard, MIA did indeed raise her middle finger during Madonna’s overblown performance of “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” on which the rapper makes a guest appearance. To see the incident, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Here’s an extract from the offending Pitchfork article:
What’s extra annoying about last night’s event is that M.I.A. doesn’t need these cheap ploys to up her visibility, even when the stage design and costuming is best described as “GoldenPalace.com.” After all, she released her first great single in years just last Thursday, and its music video had already racked up more than 3 million YouTube views even before the Super Bowl send-up. Following the rep-shattering press surrounding 2010’s /\/\/\Y/\, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to draw as much focus as possible back to her music. [So why run this story?]
Instead, in the few bars Madonna was kind enough to grant her during the biggest television event of the year, M.I.A.‘s message to America was simply, “Fuck you.” Well, in M.I.A.‘s own words, the little people will never win, but they can fuck shit up. Success might be the best revenge, but apparently, being an asshole is forever.
Seriously Pitchfork, GET A FUCKING GRIP.
As I stated in my last post about her, I am an MIA skeptic. I have found her performances and music to be underwhelming in the past, though I have really warmed to her latest video “Bad Girls.” The same goes for last night’s performance at the Super Bowl - it ain’t no great shakes, though she does look great. But if you take this much offense at last night’s throw-away hand gesture—which I honestly might not have noticed if it hadn’t been pointed out to me—then you seriously need your head examined. Yes, seriously. Just look at the clip below, and then tell us how offended you are on a scale of one to ten.
What I find truly bizarre about this reactionary Pitchfork piece is the level of personal affront the writer has taken at MIA’s (actually rather tame) gesture. According to this article MIA is not just flipping the bird at a camera or a camera person, she is not just flipping the bird as a routine hand gesture that countless MC regularly use, she’s not flipping the bird to accentuate her line about “not giving a shit” - no, MIA is flipping the bird to show her disgust at every single person in the United States of America. AMERICA, MIA HATES YOU!!! And especially those who may have tuned in to the Super Bowl to see her!! Yes, this makes perfect sense.
With that in mind I’m really, REALLY looking forward to seeing Pitchfork calling out Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Fred Durst, Jonathan Davis and countless other rappers and rockers who have raised their middle finger on national television at some point in the past and will do so again in the future. Because THEY must hate America and everyone watching them at that moment TOO, right?
Unfortunately, this will never happen. As other writers have pointed out in the past, Pitchfork has a legacy of sexism to its tarnished name, which explains the hyperbolic over-reaction to a common hand gesture in this news piece. Had this been done by a man it would surely be lauded as “punk,” yet when MIA flips the bird during a televised game where grown men BEAT THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER, she’s an asshole who hates every single person watching her at that very moment. Living and dead. I mean seriously, how is anyone watching American Football going to cope with the mental scars that seeing a raised middle finger can bring?!?
That’s leaving aside the fact that MIA is a brown woman, and not even from America itself. Unlike Madonna of course, who can remain completely blameless during this entire farrago, and who was “kind enough” to grant MIA exposure on her tune. As opposed to hiring MIA in the hope that some of her credibility will rub off on a very lukewarm track. Or even—get this—simply being a female performer who wants to work with another female performer.
What is also “extra annoying” is that Pitchfork has, in the past, given critical support to acts who condone the most brutal of violence against women and who have been deemed somehow edgy and confrontational because of it. Presumably because rape, sexism and homophobia is “punk” as opposed to “a cheap ploy to gain visibility.” I await with glee the moment when Pitchfork tells Tyler the Creator/Eminem/Lil Wayne to drop their bird-flipping schtick and draw our focus solely back to the music.
Again though, I doubt this will ever happen.
Pitchfork, with this news piece you have placed yourselves firmly (and finally) on the side of the fucking establishment.
Rock on, bros.
MIA HATES AMERICA!!! AND HERE IS THE PROOF: