M.I.A. Rocks Caps-Lock to Show Us How Angry She is at The Times

01/12/2010 1:25 PM |

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After the New York Times named M.I.A.’s native Sri Lanka one of “31 Places to Go in 2010,” the performer took to her Twitter to protest the paper’s decision to support the tourism industry of a national government that killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 of its own people in a civil war that lasted nearly 30 years. In one tweet, she wrote “HERE IS THE LUSH COASTLINE THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT,” linking to a gruesome photo of a recently murdered family. In another, she said “FUCK NEW YORK TIMES! DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO GO HERE ON VACATION?” with another photo of dead bodies.

I will likely get some shit for this, but if M.I.A. is even halfway justified in her outrage—as I suspect she is—then I recognize that it shouldn’t necessarily be solely her responsibility to voice it. But if she’s going to continue fighting this fight—and I hope she does—then I really, really wish she would ditch the all-caps thing, and, in situations like this one, perhaps the Twitter thing altogether, in favor of a forum where she can share complete, properly punctuated thoughts, lest she come off like a petulant teenager protesting her curfew.

7 Comment

  • Mike, I think you’re crazy for this one–like you say, how is it her problem to be the responsible voice here? Why does she need to be the one expressing reasoned dissent to what was a pretty intensely irresponsible look by the Times? Your job and my job, not hers. (For instance, one might say Zach Baron really wishes Mike Conklin would ditch the “as I suspect she is” equivocation and figure out if M.I.A. is right or not, given his role as normally astute media pundit, etc.)

  • Hey Zach, I acknowledge that I dropped the ball in terms of not supporting her more firmly there. And you’re right that it’s not her job to remain levelheaded about topics like this, but given how apparent it is that she wants to be the type of person who can affect change through means other than her music, I guess I just see the constant all-caps screaming as potentially counter-productive.

  • You are completely wrong in this article. The government did not kill 100,000 both sides, including the Tamil Tigers, which MIA’s father workers as an explosives expert for, was also responsible for the deaths of 100,000 odd people since 1976. A correction is required. Do some research.

    MIA is a Tamil extremist who is pissed off at that the Sri Lankan government crushed her terrorist movement. I’m shocked you would even voice her propaganda on this website.

  • MIA’s father was a Tamil Tiger terrorist. The FBI has designated the Tigers as more dangerous than the Al Qaeda. Do a search on google for ‘FBI Tail Tigers’.

    The Tamil Tigers were the founders of suicide bombs. MIA never voiced a single word against the Tigers who killed thousands and abducted Tamil kids as child soldiers. She is now pissed that peace has finally dawned on Sri Lanka. Some of you are so naive that you don’t see what’s really going on.

  • Sri Lanka carries out “ethnic cleansing” in the guise of fighting “war on terror”.

    20,000 Tamils civilains and todaya 60 year old woman was killed alll for pwer by the Sinhala barbarianism culture.

  • Sri Lanka never carried out ethnic cleansing. About 30% of Colombo is Tamil.

    THe LTTE did though. They kicked out all the Muslims from the North 1990– about 100,000 or so. They’ve been excluded for 19 years now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_of_… And of course the Sinhalese are not even allowed near the North.

    mia is not smart and doesn’t have the ability to engage in valid debate. That’s why she uses all caps and twitter. I’m surprised by media picking up her crap.

  • Sri Lanka is a rich cultural melting pot, MIA has never mentioned in her interviews anything about the positive side of Sri Lanka’s diverse past…due to colonialism the Portuguese,Dutch,English and other European countries all been to Sri Lanka…sinhalese and tamils are so diverse..it was was the english who in th first place brought the small tamil population from the southern part of India “Tamil Nadu”..years on it is the Tamil Tigers(LTTE terroist group) who want to divide Sri Lanka all that ignorant people such as MIA do is stirr up more political problems for Sri Lankans all over the world…if MIA actually talked about something positive, for example the fact that Sri lankans are united, even through civil war, in Sri Lanka (sinhalese/tamils/buddhists/catholics/christians/muslims all live & work together on that tiny island together) sri lanka has so much beauty in its rich artistic history due to all the different ethnicities which have been there…every country has political struggles, the middle east is far worse off than Sri Lanka…or in Australia, the indigenous aboriginal tribal communities have been ruined due to Europeans interference…right now if u read the current sri lakan news the country has worked hard to finally reach peace, but off course this is not good enough for MIA ,she just a one-sided, narrow minded brat who just makes noise always about the bad, plus if she really wants to help Sri lankans instead of complianing so much she needs to actually go to Sri lanka and help the people, there is no good in her jus shouting about some comments in a newspaper..she is a classic attention seeker making noise to get more popular..she is bad representation for the Sri Lankan people..it is mostly westerners who support her because they know little abt the true struggles of the sri lankan people/history…In regards to her music, she always samples and rips off other artists, for example tht song paper planes is only a catchy tune because she took the music from the song “Straight to Hell” by the Clash..i have no respect for wannabe artists tht get credit from other artist’s genuine talents…originality in the arts is soo rare these day its very diappointing :(