M.I.A. Incapable of Balancing Fame With Her Pseudo-Outrage
Celebrity hissy-fits are nothing new. When you live a pampered, spoiled and entitled existence, a little adversity or irrelevance can throw your world into a tailspin.
M.I.A.'s recent temper tantrums exemplify what happens when your artistic importance and inherent self-worth are predicated on your popularity. What's even more troubling about this spiral of late, is M.I.A. has tried to build a reputation for being outside the mainstream — the antithesis of famewhoring — yet somehow comes across as being the worst kind of celebrity.
The first sign of trouble began in May, when M.I.A. became outraged by a NYT piece. M.I.A responded by tweeting the writer, Lynn Hirschberg's, phone number, encouraging her followers to call by tricking them into thinking it was the singer's number they were calling. Hey M.I.A, 7th grade called, they'd like their pranks back.
Then she wrote a song about Lynn in a continued offensive/defensive response to what was a fairly benign piece on the Sri Lankan hip-hopesque artist. Of course there was the requisite blog post meant to set the record straight. Let's face it, this is all a case of 'thou protesteth too much.' The essence of the NYT piece suggested that M.I.A (Maya Arulpragasam) wants to have her cake and eat it too. Apparently, it struck a little too close to home.
Using political outrage (read the NYT piece if you want more insight into her political leanings) as a creative tool, M.I.A. positions herself as being outside the popular culture, a gadfly stirring the pot, an urban terrorist who lobs verbal grenades to draw attention to the plight of those less fortunate. However noble her cause, she's done herself a disservice as of late by lashing out at the world for pointing out the obvious - she's a rich celebrity (married to an heir to billions) who lives a life of lavish excess few of us can afford. But really, SO WHAT? Isn't that the whole point of pursuing artistic adoration from the masses?
Spitting at photographers (her latest stunt), blaming everyone but herself for a bad set, picking on Oprah, Lady Gaga or even a gutter dweller like Paris Hilton (she didn't, but hell she should), doesn't mean you don't belong to the same fame club; it simply means you are insecure in your own (wealthy) skin. Also, didn't your mother teach you that spitting is a dirty habit? That's not rock 'n' roll, that's just bad manners.
Grow up Maya and just do your thing - because you can't let detractors... well...detract you.