MIA fights the truth with tweets
Odd, that a pop star would appear vapid under the microscope. Lynn Hirschberg, longtime writer for The Grey Lady, may be best known for her super smackdown of Courtney Love, pointing out Courtney's drug abuse while pregnant (and which ended with an attempted bludgeoning by an Academy Award). Hirschberg's honesty has made her another enemy, this time as a result of her story on MIA in the most recent New York Times Magazine. Maya Arulpragasam's (in my opinion, transparently facile) image of rabble-rousing revolutionary is severely upended in the piece, MIA coming across as a trendy moth, flitting from one bright light of controversy to another, regardless of context or content. It's harsh, and fascinating, and more than likely true. It's so harsh, fascinating, and likely true that earlier today an incensed MIA sent out a tweet with Hirschberg's cell phone number and a winking pair of punctuations:
917.834.3158 CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)
And it doesn't end there, either.
to MIA's response with the following:
"I find it kind of interesting that she would cast the spotlight on the story in any way, shape or form," said Ms. Hirschberg. "I can't say what she thinks of it. But it seems you would want it to go away."
"It's a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don't think it's surprising," she continued. "She's a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative."
She also said that she found it "infuriating and not surprising."
Ms. Hirschberg said she wouldn't change her phone number.
But wait! There's more! Another tweet from MIA threatens to blow the lid off this whole thing!
NEWS IS AN OPINION! UNEDITED VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW WILL BE ON neetrecordings THIS MEMORIAL WEEKEND!!! >>>>
To which Hirschberg responded: "I have no idea what she's talking about."
You can read the profile here. Or, if you're a glutton for schadenfreude, below we've lifted some of the most embarrassing portions of the article (please keep in mind they're completely out of context, and the article is amazing enough to warrant a read anyways).
Maya and Bronfman moved to Los Angeles from New York, buying a house in very white, very wealthy Brentwood, an isolated and bucolic section of the city with a minimal history of trauma and violent uprisings. "L.A. is a lovely place to have a baby," Maya said.
"...Maya took a very simplistic explanation of the problems between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese government and the Tamils. It's very unfair when you condemn one side of this conflict. The Tigers were killing people, and the government was killing people. It was a brutal war, and M.I.A. had a role in putting the Tigers on the map. She doesn't seem to know the complexity of what these groups do."
"I kind of want to be an outsider," she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry. "I don't want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I'm a terrorist."
"...she only made the situation worse. What happened in Sri Lanka was not a genocide. To not be honest about that or the Tigers does more damage than good. When Maya does a polarizing interview, it doesn't help the cause of justice."
"I'll fight the fight for Madonna. I think she should send me some chocolates or something to thank me."
"I'm thinking of naming the record Nano, because nano bombs are the hip thing."
"...she can't really make music or art that well, but she's better than anyone at putting crazy ideas into motion. She knows how to manipulate, how to withhold, how to get what she wants."
Like a trained politician, she stays on message. It's hard to know if she believes everything she says or if she knows that a loud noise will always attract a crowd.
Whatever the truth is, Maya has gone from trumpeting her father's revolutionary past in order to claim that lineage to playing down his politics to support a separate narrative. "He was with the Sri Lankan government," she now maintained, when I saw her in Los Angeles. "He's been with them for 20 years. They just made up the fact that he is a Tiger so they can talk crap about me."
As the photographer and his wife ushered us into the living room at the rear of the house, they wished Maya a happy Sri Lankan New Year. "I had no idea it was today," she said, as she settled into a sofa and clicked open her laptop.
"There's this show in England about kids who want to be terrorists. It's brilliant! The kids are buying Ajax to make bombs and trying to think of new ways to do suicide bombings. It's really, really cool."
"The best sportswear is on Blackwater operatives," Maya [said], referring to the agents who were clandestine guns for hire in Iraq. The designers nodded, but they clearly had no idea what she was talking about. "I want to have a uniform like theirs."
As a meditation on prejudice and senseless persecution, the video [for "Born Free"] is, at best, politically naïve.
"With our video, we were really copying 'Telephone,' " Maya says now, referring to Gaga's recent video with Beyoncé. "Both our videos are road movies. We kill people, and they kill people. They start out in a prison, and we start out in a squat, hunting people down."
Maya feels that Gaga is not original...
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