Okay, so singer M.I.A. is a terrorist?
Last week, Sri Lankan rapper DeLon released a YouTube video of him rhyming over M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” cut together with violent footage of suicide bombings and devastation wrought by the LTTE, aka the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan secessionist organization recognized as a terrorist group by many countries, including the U.S. M.I.A.’s father, Arular (after whom her first album is named), is a Tamil militant and, apparently, she makes references to the Tamil Tigers’ struggle in some of her songs–a fact I’ve never noticed because I was too busy rockin’ to her beats.
I have to admit that I know virtually nothing about Sri Lankan history, and it seems like M.I.A.’s references–in her lyrics and the imagery she uses on stage–are more hipster pastiche than political. That said, I generally think it’s wack how the images of revolutionaries get co-opted by Western cool kids who fancy themselves “edgy” but could give two shits about what those revolutionaries actually did. And, every time I see a picture of Mao on a throw pillow or a shrunken T-shirt, I do want to beat the person who bought that crap with a stick.
And what should we make of these adorable old people, acting out “Paper Planes” with their grandchillun? Are they supporters of terrorism, too?
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