Posts Tagged: M.I.A.

Personal, Political, and Poetic: A Conversation with Susan Briante

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Susan Briante discusses The Market Wonders, her newest collection of poetry in which she draws on market indicators like the Dow Jones Industrial Average to construct a criticism of contemporary culture. ...more

“Borders” and Brand Controversy

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MIA’s video for “Borders” is controversial in many ways: it’s full of refugee imagery, MIA rapping in the middle of boats packed with bodies. But its biggest backlash comes from what seems like its least controversial gesture—in some shots, MIA is wearing a shirt with a doctored logo, changing “Fly Emirates” to read “Fly Pirates.” One would think that critiquing big money and corporations through clever logo manipulation is old news, but MIA has received letters threatening legal action and describing the event as if the logo were a sensitive teenager with hurt feelings.

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Song of the Day: “Straight To Hell”

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The Clash are famous for their album London Calling and their ubiquitous single, “Rock the Casbah,” which is notable perhaps for its incendiary political message—a denunciation of the Iranian ban on Western music following the 1979 revolution. But it’s “Straight to Hell,” a commemoration of immigrant struggles in the UK and abroad, that best blends political panache with a strong melody.

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When I Was Young

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“And he came to interview me and suddenly I felt like he was trying to corner me. ‘Oh, what’s it like being a terrorist,’ and ‘You’re just doing it for shock value so people will buy your records.’

“And then he said, ‘When I was young…’ and I was like, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘Oh, when I was young, before I formed my political opinion, I used to think John Lennon was cool.’

“And I was like, ‘So that means after you formed your political opinion, you didn’t think he was cool, because you thought they were all, like, wanky left-wing liberals.

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