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.