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Madonna, M.I.A and the middle finger malfunction!

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Superbowl XLVI is over and the National Football League champions for 2011 are the New York Giants who beat New England Patriots 21 -17. The game played on Sunday February 5th 2012 at Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis,Indiana was televised live by NBC.I was one of the estimated 110 million who watched it on TV.

Singer Madonna was expected to hog the limelight during the much looked forward to Superbowl half-time show.She did make a grand entrance being carried on a palanquin by gladiator –like bearer slaves. It was like a scene out of “Cleopatra” where Elizabeth Taylor playing the majestic Egyptian Queen entered Rome in similar fashion. With other singers also playing “subservient” cheerleader roles Madonna was projected as the Empress among songstresses.

Quite a bit of he thunder however was stolen from Madonna by the middle finger of M.I.A or Mathangi”Maya”Arulpragasam the British singer of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, if reactions in the western media are a measuring device to gauge its impact.All “MIA” (Missing In Action)did was to raise her middle finger in a seemingly spontaneous manner with lips mouthing an alleged expletive during Madonna’s performance of “give me all your luving”.A wag on twitter called it a middle finger malfunction!

”Flip the bird” is what they call the act of raising the middle finger as a rude,obscene gesture.Maya’s middle finger “uplift” and the ensuing blaze of negative publicity seems to have blacked out Madonna and um..um.., the superbowl!Talk about looking at the finger when someone points to the moon.But then it may be quite costly too cos she may be fined 542,000 dollars. But then the Bronfmans can afford it ,right?


MIA or Mathangi Arulpragasam known as “Maya” is a Rapper, vocalist, singer-songwriter, record producer, visual artist, activist, photographer, fashion designer, model. Her musical compositions are classified as being a combination of different elements from genres like alternative dance, electronic,world,hip hop,alternative rock etc.

She was born in Hounslow,London on July 18th 1975. Her father is Arulpragasam an engineer who was a founder member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students(EROS) which later evolved into the Eelam Revolutionary organization (EROS) He is called Arular and wrote the Tamil novel”Lanka Rani” based on the 1977 anti-Tamil violence. Her mother is Kala a housewife who became a seamstress.

Maya’s mother went back to Sri Lanka a few years after she was born while her father continued pursuing his political objectives. Mathangi experienced the escalation of the ethnic conflict as a child growing up in Jaffna.The bombing and shelling by the armed forces made a huge impression on her. In 1986 the mother returned to UK. Experiencing the reality and horror of war in the impressionable phase of childhood has shaped and formed MIA’s worldview to a great extent.

MIA has made three albums “Arular” (after her Father)”Kala” (after her mother) and “Maya” (herself). She’s also made a number of singles. Maya also filmed a short video”Born Free” that focuses on genocide. Her songs are politicized to a very great extent.


Maya blends her music with her politics – based on her experiences – very effectively. This naturally evokes controversy much of it hostile.

But as she told Carolyn E. Davis of MTV in April 2005, Maya feels that not talking about her experiences would disqualify her as an artist. On her experiencing the Sri Lankan reality she says “The other point I was making referencing the violence I had seen in Sri Lanka is, if we’re going to invest so much money in creating wars around the world, that’s quite a given thing. If you’ve seen somebody get shot and if you’ve seen a bomb go off, then you’ve given me total access to talk about it — because you’ve made that a part of my life. I didn’t ask for nobody to bomb my school, but if they did, I would have the right to talk about it. And if people are uncomfortable, then they should think twice before they go off and hit random buildings”.

I’ve been Maya’s fan for many years now not only for her music and song but also for her courageous politics in standing up for the underdog,her commitment and dedication to her people and their just cause and also for the nonchalant manner in which she defies convention and norms of the establishment.

I regard her album “Kala” as the best compilation of her work. I particularly like the percussion in the album and her use of the Tamil traditional “Urumi Melam” (a double –headed drum shaped like an hourglass) in that.


“Paper Planes”is my favourite song by MIA. There are sounds like the crackle of gunfire and tinkle of cash registers in the song’s chorus. This too incurred a lot of criticism but she explained it thus to “The Daily Beast” – “If you’re an immigrant you left somewhere and most of the time you fled a war. Gun sounds are a part of our culture as an everyday thing. If you’ve been exposed to gunfights and violence and bombs and war then I can use those sounds backing my thoughts, ya know? Look, I’ve been shot at so I’m quite comfortable with gunshot sounds. If you have a problem with it, go and talk to the people who were shooting at me.”

Asked about its relation to paper planes and the lyric she stated – “I fly like paper, get high like planes/ if you catch me at the border I got visas in my name/ if you come around here I make ‘em all day” — “We make our own visas. A paper plane is the visa itself.”

Maya told “Entertainment Weekly” that she felt that listeners could interpret the gunshots and cash register ringing in the song’s chorus in this way – “You can either apply it on a street level and go, oh, you’re talking about somebody robbing you and saying I’m going to take your money. But, really, it could be a much bigger idea: someone’s selling you guns and making money. Selling weapons and the companies that manufacture guns — that’s probably the biggest moneymaker in the world.


As I mentioned before I am MIA’s fan and I could go on and on about her but this piece is on her flipping the bird at the Superbowl in typical form. The act has generated a lot of media buzz.

pic via: twitter.com/MIAUniverse

I give you two samples or examples of this buzz.

Apologies from NFL, NBC after M.I.A. flips bird


British hip-hop artist M.I.A.’s obscene gesture in the Super Bowl halftime show is prompting apologies from NBC and the NFL. But it isn’t immediately registering as a moment that viewers latched on to.

The digital video recorder maker Tivo said Monday that there wasn’t an appreciable bump in viewers who played back the moment where M.I.A. extended her middle finger during Madonna’s performance of “Give Me All Your Luvin'” on Sunday night’s show.

Tara Maitra of Tivo said the company would check to see if more people play back the moment on Monday after there was publicity about it. Tivo has 2 million customers in the U.S.

The NFL blamed NBC for being not quick enough to censor the gesture, while NBC noted that the NFL is responsible for the content of the halftime show.

There was no wardrobe malfunction, nothing like that glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple eight years ago that caused an uproar and government scrutiny. Instead, in front of some 110 million viewers on NBC and uncounted others online, she flipped the bird and appeared to sing, “I don’t give a (expletive)” at one point, though it was hard to hear her clearly.

“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” said Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, which produced Madonna’s halftime show. He said that M.I.A. had not done anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would pull something like that during the actual show.


The risque moment came during the biggest TV event of the year. The screen briefly went blurred after M.I.A.’s gesture in what was a late attempt — by less than a second — to cut out the camera shot.

“The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”

Back in M.I.A.’s native Britain, the London Times noted Monday that while all eyes may have been on Madonna at halftime, “it was the extended middle finger of the British hip-hop star M.I.A. that caused the most controversy.” The Guardian wondered whether anyone would really be outraged.

“You’d be forgiven for not having a coronary over the fact M.I.A. gave Super Bowl viewers the finger during her halftime guest spot with Madonna,” the newspaper wrote in its music blog. “For most fans, it was probably more shocking to see M.I.A. performing a rehearsed dance routine than flipping the bird.”

On Monday morning, host Gretchen Carlson on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” urged M.I.A. to “get a life.” Culture vulture Perez Hilton tweeted: “Think she’ll ever be invited on live TV again?”

Jackson’s infamous oops during the 2004 halftime show raised a storm of controversy and put CBS in hot water with the Federal Communications Commission amid questions about the responsibility of TV networks to police their airwaves.

Justin Timberlake ripped off Jackson’s bustier, exposing her breast for nine-sixteenths of a second, a moment for which CBS was fined $550,000 by the FCC. The network challenged the fine and last fall, a federal appeals court ruled against the FCC despite an order from the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The three-judge panel reviewed three decades of FCC rulings and concluded the agency was changing its policy, without warning, by fining CBS for fleeting nudity.

This year’s game, in which the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17, is expected to challenge last year’s record of being the most-watched U.S. TV event ever.

M.I.A. is best known for her 2007 hit “Paper Planes,” a Grammy nominee for record of the year that memorably features a sample of the Clash song, “Straight to Hell.” It was featured on the soundtrack to the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”


Madonna had admittedly been nervous about her performance, hoping to position herself as the queen of a new generation of pop stars with an opulent show and a sharp performance that mixed her new release with more familiar songs. She seemed like Roman royalty when muscle-bound men carried her extravagant throne across the football field to the stage for her opening song, “Vogue.”

Guests Cee Lo, Nicki Minaj and dance rockers LMFAO also appeared with Madonna. The singing and dancing on “Vogue” was smartly choreographed, as Madonna moved more deliberately — she is 53 — but still adroitly. She briefly appeared to stumble at one point while trying to make a step on the stage set, but recovered in time.

She let a tightrope walker make the more acrobatic moves during a performance of “Music.”

Madonna carried gold pompons for a performance of her frothy new single. Twitter was alight with questions about the vocals being lip synched or augmented by tapes, particularly during this song.

The best guest was clearly Cee Lo, who joined Madonna for the final song, “Like a Prayer.” They were joined by a robed chorus in the show’s most soaring performance. With a puff of white smoke, Madonna disappeared down a trapdoor in the stage, and lights on the field spelled out “World Peace.”

The performance was also carried live on SiriusXM Radio, giving Madonna the biggest single audience of her career. For all the elaborate choreography and flashy effects, the finger incident is the more likely headline from the event.

Earlier, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert offered some pregame patriotism. Shelton and Lambert did a twangy duet on “America the Beautiful” and Clarkson, in a simple black dress, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” without a hitch after last year’s performer, Christina Aguilera, flubbed a line.

And here is another from “stop the Presses”in omg! from Yahoo –

M.I.A.’s Raised Middle Finger Raises Question: Why The Provocation?

By Chris Willman

So , who used whom in the Madonna/M.I.A. Super Bowl halftime controversy–per that already famous middle finger that M.I.A. offered tens of millions of viewers before the censors could get to it? Did Madonna encourage this insurrection from her guest rapper, so that she’d have some provocation in her otherwise family-friendly set without having to take the rap herself? Or was M.I.A. using Madonna and the Super Bowl to get attention for her own new video and forthcoming album? Or maybe just driven to atone, in her own outrageous way, for having sold out in agreeing to be Madonna’s celebrity cheerleader?


Whatever the motives, this is hardly the first time M.I.A. has gotten the public’s hackles up. Her status as a lightning rod for controversy was satirized just a couple of months ago on “Saturday Night Live,” when an actress parodying M.I.A. interrupted a spoof Christmas duet with Michael Buble by repeatedly firing a pistol in the air, mid-carol.

MIA almost seemed to be satirizing her trigger-happy in her appearance in Madonna’s new video, “Give Me All Your Lovin’,” when she ended her guest rap by emulating a gun-firing movement with her hand, as the sound of a shot was heard in place of a censored S-word in her lyrics.

No doubt the NBC censors were expecting her to do the same miming during the live telecast, as she surely would have in rehearsals–only to have her replace the trigger finger with an emphatic upraised middle finger.

The motivations behind M.I.A.’s other controversial moments have usually (but not always) been clearer, given her political activism and outspokenness, often related to Sri Lankan concerns little understood in the United States.

Her videos for “Born Free” and “Sunshadows” have been blocked or censored at various points by MTV and YouTube, due to violent imagery that detractors dismiss as radical chic but fans take as pungent social commentary. She’s been praised and ridiculed for supporting the Tamii Tigers, a separatist movement that stands in violent opposition to the government of Sri Lanka, which M.I.A. believes to be guilty of attempted genocide.

Because of her support for groups considered by some to be terrorists, M.I.A. once found herself on a Homeland Security risk list, and she was temporarily denied a visa by the U.S., complicating her attempts to record and do live shows circa 2006.


Yet she’s hardly the poster girl for anti-Americanism when she’s married to a prominent New York scion, Ben Bronfman, son of Seagrams heir and music mogul Edgar Bronfman. A New York Times Magazine article in 2010 made hay out of the supposed discrepancies between M.I.A.’s political radicalism and apparent embracing of a comfortable lifestyle in capitalist America.

M.I.A. didn’t much care for the profile, and tweeted the journalist’s phone number to fans, as well as releasing her own transcripts of portions of the interview and a song excoriating the reporter. Those who follow M.I.A. on social media have also been the recipients of graphic photos of Sri Lanka’s alleged genocide, on top of the accounts of her allegedly being baited into ordering fancy food by the New York Times.

If nothing else, it’s been evident that M.I.A. takes her musical mission very seriously–which made the seemingly depthless move of appearing with pom-poms in the Madonna music video, and again at the Super Bowl, a deep, deep mystery.

With the middle finger, at least some of that puzzle may have been solved: M.I.A. is using the notoriety of her Madonna moment as a platform. Whether the statement she intends to make on her newly elevated stage is any more complex than the one implicit in a middle finger remains to be seen”


“Popwatch” on Entertainment weekly web is having an opinion poll. It says –“ We may never know why pharaoh bitch goddess M.I.A. gave us the middle finger while performing Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” during the Super Bowl half-time show. It’s probably Gisele Bundchen’s fault. But we’ve got to get to the bottom of this. If you don’t agree with our educated guesses, tell us your own theories in the comments”.

When I voted on 6th afternoon the tally for the four options was this –

Got high like planes- 23.22%

‘Cause bad girls do it hard – 40.87%

Sri Lankan politics – 15.11%

She’s on Team Bridget Moynihan – 20.81%

“Pop and Hiss” the Los Angeles Times music blog had a post indicating that MIA had a rush of adrenaline and was contrite about what happened. This is what the LA Times said:

M.I.A.’s halftime gesture said to be ‘a case of adrenaline’

“In early 1989 Madonna was the center of controversy over the religious imagery in the video for her “Like A Prayer.” Twenty-two years later the song brought her Super Bowl halftime performance to an end with the all-together unifying message of “world peace,” and it was her collaborator M.I.A. who was suddenly finding herself in the center of a media fracas.

The politically inclined pop star, whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam, flashed the middle finger when cameras briefly focused on her during Madonna’s halftime show, inspiring apologetic statements from NBC and the NFL. “There was a failure in NBC’s delay system,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy in the league’s official statement. “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.”

M.I.A.’s publicists at Interscope could not be reached for comment. However, a member of M.I.A.’s camp, speaking Sunday night from the Super Bowl host city of Indianapolis, said M.I.A. was struck with “a case of adrenaline.”

“She wasn’t thinking,” said the source, who requested anonymity but was with the artist at Lucas Oil Stadium. “It wasn’t any kind of statement. She was caught in the moment and she’s incredibly sorry”


Madonna’s longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson for NBC said, “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”

The “gesture” in question came during the performance of Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” in which M.I.A. and rapper Nicki Minaj donned cheerleader outfits and became members of Madonna’s dance team. Minaj and M.I.A. also appear in the official video for the song, with M.I.A. miming the firing of a gun — a self-referential nod to her Grammy-nominated, Clash-sampling, anti-consumerism hit “Paper Planes.”

The Super Bowl halftime show has been controversy-free since the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction of 2004. That moment instigated a seven-year back-and-forth between the FCC and CBS, with the network winning a November appellate-court ruling that declared the $500,000 FCC fine against the network invalid. “This case reflected a policy change and improperly imposed a penalty on CBS for violating a previously unannounced policy,” the court said.

Madonna and M.I.A. each have new works to promote and are new label-mates. Madonna’s “MDNA” will be first issued via Interscope when it’s released in late March. M.I.A., meanwhile, just released a war-referencing video for her new single “Bad Girls.” A release date for her forthcoming album has not yet been announced”.

MIA (oil on canvas 40″X30″), painted by Shan Sundaram

The story in LA Times inferring that MIA had apologised had a powerful response from Sasha Frere-Jones in “The New Yorker”. Sasha who had written an interview feature about MIA in “The New Yorker” seven years was sorry that Maya had apologised. Here is what she said:

M.I.A. Shouldn’t Have Apologized

Posted by Sasha Frere-Jones

The most important artist of the aughts played the Super Bowl last night. Maybe you saw it. In the middle of Madonna’s set, Maya Arulpragasam—professionally known as M.I.A.—performed her part in the new Madonna song, “Give Me All You Luvin’.” In the original video, she ends her kind of meh verse by saying “I’ma say this once—yeah, I don’t give a shit.” Also in the video, she makes the “finger gun” hand signal, synced to a gunshot that references her biggest hit, “Paper Planes.” Last night, she flipped America the bird, rather than a gun. Cue apologies and hand wringing.


As reported by Todd Martens and Patrick Kevin Day on the Los Angeles Times Web site, the NFL, NBC, and M.I.A. have all apologized. Tim Winter of the Parents Television Council, whose job is to get mad, got mad about this “offensive material.” So we have two subjects: the incident and the artist.

The outrage is tiresome and deeply hypocritical, in all the tiresome ways you’ve been tired out by before. M.I.A. was illustrating her line, acting out the attitude of the words: performing. Fine, it may not be legal to flip the bird on television, but that’s simply a remnant of the fifties we haven’t shaken. Unless somebody was handing out Xanax with the foam fingers, Lucas Oil Stadium was ringing with the music of profanities last night.

More to the point, television viewers were submitted to ad after ad that likened women—negatively—to sofas, cars, and candy. Mr. Winter didn’t have anything to say about that, so I’d like to raise both of my middle fingers to him and anyone who thinks profanity is somehow more harmful to our children than images of violence and misogyny. (My two sons, fourteen and eleven, thought the Fiat ad was corny, so I guess they will be safe without Mr. Winter’s intervention.) I say we get out of The Pretending To Be Moral game altogether and use the Internet for important things like posting pictures of cats looking at croissants and PDFs of sensitive government documents.

The artist, of course, is M.I.A. About seven years ago, I praised her for several things, including turning the noxious generalization of “world music” into an idea that represents life as it is lived, and affords huge aesthetic possibilities. She made two albums that received all the praise they deserved, and then a third album called “/\/\/\Y/\,” which received a deeply weird and negative review in Pitchfork (unless you think M.I.A. is here only to provide “bangers” and hasn’t already vaulted way past her “potential as a pop artist” many times) and, most damagingly, the worst profile ever written about a musician, in the New York Times Magazine. (The trend of letting people who know nothing about music profile musicians is as outdated as fretting about cursing. Quite rightly, nobody would ever let me profile an Al Qaeda member; somehow, though, pop music is such a culturally light topic that no background is needed to cover it)


Maya provokes, over and over, and if some of the provocations don’t entirely work, that hardly invalidates the ones that do. Her new single, “Bad Girls,” isn’t up to much, but director Roman Gavras makes it an uncanny combination of club swagger and rebel time-wasting in this video, a bit like a Syrian version of “Two-Lane Blacktop.” On the other side of the scale, Gavras and M.I.A. teamed up for the “Born Free” video, which was banned by YouTube (your go-to source for family-friendly material). Unless you’re living somewhere very unusual, the sight of white people being rounded up and shot is genuinely unsettling and not trivial, not when the U.S. is expanding its ability to detain people indefinitely and innocent people have been detained and tortured at Guantánamo Bay. Remind me why we’re talking about a middle finger again? I’m just sorry Maya apologized

So it looks like the Super Bowl half-time controversy featuring Maya Arulpragasam will continue for quite a while. As for now let me end this saga of MIA’s middle finger “malfunction” or else face perhaps a thousand raised middlefingers plus profanity uttering tongues ! – DBSJ

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  1. I get the feeling that Madonna and Maya have staged this act as a joint venture.After all Madonna is the original drama queen notorious for stunts like this

  2. I like her songs and her politics but will prefer if she stops supporting the LTTE elements and supports Tamil people to get equal rights

  3. She is an insult to all peace loving Tamils in the world. May be she was given a chance due to her Jewish husband and this is what she does to insult her parents and everyone else where. she should be ashamed of herself.

  4. Many of the Tamil Diaspora does not have the guts to openly support the Tamil national cause.Maya has been vociforously supporting the cause through her music.Controversy is another form of advertising , and the majority of the audience like her music, and therefore needs no apology at all.as stated by some one on this blog, this could be a pre planned joint venture advertising stunt by both Madonna and MIA.Believe me -MIA is going to be there for quite a long time.

  5. Isn’t MIA’s ‘middle finger malfunction’ emblematic of the middle finger that Prabhakaran gave every peace process including that mediated by India, every Tamil ultrantionalist gave the 13th amendment, CBK’s proposals of ’95, ’97 and 2000, and every ‘Tamil Genocide’ type gives the LLRC report?

    Doesn’t MIA’s gesture and conduct represent a state of mind….a separate state of mind?

    Oh Dayan,now you’ve gone and flipped the bird…………DBSJ

  6. We are (110 million) still talking about this from Feb 5th. If not for the Middle Finger malfunction of MIA this wouldn’t have had any effect on anyone. This is indeed a preplanned joint venture. Well done MIA…keep it up…we are vey much used to this Middle Finger Malfunction on highways almost everyday. We are not offended…keep going bab…we love it!

  7. Love MIA for her music.

    Sadly, because she also spoke for Tamils’ and highlighted their plight, some Sri Lankans hate her.

    These Sri Lankans who are silent on all grounds of cultural genocide of minorities by their Chinese masters, will continue doing the talk that they are best at, that they have some ethics of culture.

  8. http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/story/2012-02-06/super-bowl-mia-repercussions/52993232/1

    The rapper — who was one of Google’s most-searched subjects Monday — isn’t commenting on the incident, but such rude moments aren’t out of the norm for the music industry.

    A shot of Johnny Cash giving the middle finger to photographer Jim Marshall during a 1969 performance at San Quentin Prison added to the Man in Black’s mystique. But when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift as she accepted a trophy during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, his image wasn’t helped at all. “That made him look like a twit,” DeCurtis (Rolling Stone contributing editor) says.

    Usually in the world of hip-hop, foul language and gestures can be a boon for artists .
    “She’s supposed to be controversial,” DeCurtis says. “M.I.A. is certainly not on the scale of Madonna or Nicki Minaj, and it might help (her career) now that people know who she is.”

  9. MIA’s provocativeness are all calculated. So was Madonna in the 80s but today considered the queen of pop. Some will scorn them others will hero-worship them. But is no doubt MIA has set her sights on Greatness.

  10. MIA’s provocativeness are all calculated. So was Madonna in the 80s but today considered the queen of pop. Some will scorn them others will hero-worship them. But its no doubt MIA has set her sights on Greatness.

  11. Presdeint Rajapaksa and their supporters though that their guise of onslaught on Tamils will prevail, and the diaspora will be silent or as time goes by it will be forgotten.

    Now they envy on MIA’s success and and anyone and everyone who speaks for Tamils will be ill spoken of.



    Wherever minorities are being persecuted we must raise our voices to protest. According to reliable sources, the Tamil people are being disenfranchised and victimized by the Sri Lanka authorities. This injustice must stop. The Tamil people must be allowed to live in peace and flourish in their homeland.

    – Elie Wiesel, June 30th 2009

  12. MIA is a Goddess. I am her devoted fan. I am so thrilled by each and every thing she does.I will worship her if I get a chance

  13. much ado about nothing. Hardly a Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen moment. Flipped a finger – so edgy and dangerous… yawn.

    Rather daft on her part. Absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose. Looks like she did not engage brain, before putting ‘finger’ in to gear – bit like when she commented on the LTTE etc.

    May not like her politics, but no denying her talent. Hope it does not have any long term negative consequences on her career. Upstaging the Queen of Pop on the biggest night of her career…wince.. Hell hath no fury as the Mad Nona scorned…

  14. 109 million watched it. One third of them are kids. She should take her middle finger and stick-it in her butt and go back to England. P.S. She can’t sing either.

  15. Just like DBS Anna I also love her music and admire her for her politics of standing up for underdog,defying establishment and voicing on behalf of oppressed Tamil people

  16. I love Maya’s songs and her work. People who are making all this noise attacking her are bunch of hypocrites. Keep up your good work Maya.

  17. The technological system to sensor “unexpected incidents” didn’t work out properly. It was a technical problem rather than MIA or any rapper’s normal dance routine!

    Actually MIA helped tech guys to come up with better ideas to improve the quality and processing time of live videos!

    Isn’t it cool a girl from Srilanka did a small part to improve the limits of current live video technology? 😉

  18. I am definetely a Jim Reeves fan. I like ‘Kalaveri D’ and ‘Chinna Chinna asai’.
    Yea , I am definetely a Jim Reeves fan.

  19. Middle finger malfunction – in front of kids and grannies watching the football: my eyes shine with pride. Pure class. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Tiger supporter like her. Anyway – rappers court controversy simply for the publicity. Shouldn’t encourage them.

  20. I am a big fan of this young talent, and have enormous respect for her. As for her action on XLVI, only she can answer for that. As for many criticisms, she already answered “I don’t give a shit” so get over it guys. She run things hard and many have accepted her for who she is (including myself). To me MIA is not just another singer, she stands much elevated than majority singers. I agree with the prof R – MIA is going to be there for a quite a long time.

  21. These pictures are fabulous DBS.I never realised she was such a beauty till now. Even in the looks dept she’s upstaged Madonna

  22. MIA whatever you do you are great. All the Tamils all over the world are thankful to you for your actions against the War Criminals of Sri Lanka. you will long live famously.

  23. She is not married to Ben Bronfman. She is his ‘baby mother’. Dated for a long time,engaged and then split. Just like wild ones do.

  24. I can see why you admire her work and her politics DBS. You both are kindred souls in speaking out for underdogs and for loving your people

  25. Amb.Jayatilleka, MIA may have said several things incorrectly but there is no rationale to what you mention about the talks by GoSL and LTTE etc.

    No other outside of Sri Lankan / Tamil realm is thinking like the way you think about MIA at Superbowl.

    In fact there is a comment here from Rolling Stone Editor DeCurtis on why she did this. After all this is all showbiz, and perhaps its not the perfect way to shine, showbiz or not.

    If you want to make a comparision, with another youngster, why not take Sri Lanka’s First Son Namal Rajapaksa, MP as how he wants to shine in his Law Degree:


    DM Thushara Jayaratne, the whistleblower of alleged exam malpractices by Namal Rajapaksa, MP, says he was assaulted by a group of assailants on Thursday at a safe house

  26. Even ads during Super Bowl 46 are controversial…

    Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad too political? What about the Skechers bulldog or Audi vampires?

    The Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood has been obsessively parsed for political meaning by pundits for two days running, despite the star’s and the company’s denials of a hidden intent — or any “Dark Knight Rises” spoilers.

    How naïve of them to say that. You think Super Bowl ads are just about cars, running shoes, snack foods and beer? They usually have a secret partisan message designed to influence voters, especially during presidential election years.


  27. Mia must be recognized for what she has achieved as a vocalist. Hailing from an ordinary family in Sri Lanka, exposed to the tragedy of civil war as a child, uprooted from her own country before finding a new home in UK and then earning a name for herself as a singer in the western world is no small accomplishment.

    Middle finger malfunction is not uncommon in the roads where drivers routinely flip the bird to express displeasure. Though the gesture is considered rude, nobody takes this seriously. Artists, in practice, are entitled to certain privileges with regard to antics especially on stage. It is, in fact, a license given to talented artists by the adoring fans. MIA is no exception to the exceptional rule.

    Middle finger malfunction is nothing compared to the wild gyrations of the hip common in most Asian commercial films.

  28. Amb. Jayatillaka must be busy flipping a lot of birds in Paris, good for him. MR is getting the run for his money.

  29. The fear is that some people will take advantage of these types of high profile bad behavior and stereotype the sub-continent community with prejudice/bigotory especially in the professional world, particularly when considering for highly responsible and trustworthy positions for which character is paramount. These so called “pseudo celebrities” are supposed to be role models for the kids. How are the parents supposed to explain to the young kids? One should avoid seeking publicity by notorious ways. One should think twice before embarking on these types of demeaning activities that would potentially allow stereotyping of the entire segment of the community.

  30. MIA overshadowed Madonna. What a commanding presence. I am ready to serve her as a humble devoted slave if she so desired

  31. Haha, we’ve all fallen right into MIA’s trap.
    She was purely one of two Madonna’s side-kicks and the only way to gain attention was to do something outrageous! She did and now we are all talking about it. Way to go MIA, you queen of publicity!

  32. Is Mahinda and Gota watched superbowl on TV they would have winced when MIA raised her middlefinger.They both will realise that MIA was fliiping the bird at them

  33. I like MIA and, her courage and that she’s willing to speak out, but I detest her calling the end of the war “genocide”. This puts her at the same level as the Tiger flag waving extremists in my book. It is an absolute insult to the real genocides in the world such as the Holocaust, Rawanda etc.

    Plus she hasn’t been to Sri Lanka since she was 11 so her comments on the current ground situation there have little weight. She’s living the Hollywood millionaire luxury life and hasn’t set foot in Sri Lanka in over 15 years….what does she know except to regurgitate what others say.

  34. Well done MIA.

    No apologies required. at the same time those who say what the fuss is all about are also wrong.

    It is the need of the genere. It is the act. MIA had to do that. And all those who are claiming to be upset about it had to do that too.

    Well done MIA used your window very well. You have helped madonna too.

    I would be proud if you are my sister. Keep it up

  35. I heard Palitha kohona and Shaventhira de Silva were in the audience. MIA saw them and spontaneously put up her finger at them.They got the message and slunk away with heads down. They vanished after half -time.

  36. At least Madonna adopted African children. What the hell this MIA did to the Tamils of Sri lanka? She uses the SL conflict to make some more money from Tamil diaspora idiots! Sofar she did not give a single dollar to the suffering Tamils in Sri lanka. She is an unconnected person with Sri Lanka but she uses her father Arular to Sri lanka.

    For Sri Lankan Tamils MIA is a useless case!

  37. Before the Super Bowl half time show commenced, I said aloud to my better half, “I wonder what Maddona will do to get in the news tonight?”

    Well now, she was upstaged by MIA with nothing other than a raised middle finger! Why? Just maybe she saw someone she did not like in the crowd. Surely she did not gesture to 14 million viewers. I think not.

    Hello all, let the girl have her day of fun in the limelight. Let not make an issue over nothing, and turn it into something. She sings well. She is talented. I agree with her expressing that she has the right to air her views, especially when she has experienced strife.

    She may only have seen her side, but we all know that it was s strife where both parties had their brutal, gruesome side exposed over 3 decades and that must never ever be seen again. Hopefully,she will over time give peace a chance.

  38. Show her “Boyz” couple years ago on you tube, “thannana nana nanana” stuck in my head for a week or so… I thought it was weird of me but then recently, even Big B made a similar comment on “Kolaveri” song… Her “Paper Plan” was catchy too. I think music is very specials; some stand for lyrics, some stand for rhythm, some stand for the vocal….

    The genre MIA in is not suitable for kids; for sure NBC knows this… MIA should have avoided in a show that viewed by more than 100M+; but hey she is a rapper and in music business industry! MIA’s “middle finger malfunction” is little better than Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” eight years ago, but still both should have avoided in big shows.

    David Bauder in the associated press putting it this way “For all the pomp and excess of Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime extravaganza a single extended middle finger by guest singer M.I.A. is likely to be the most remembered piece of the show.”

    All the best MIA!


  40. Pingback: Madonna, M.I.A and the middle finger malfunction! « UKTamilNews.com

  41. MIA is probably the most successfull South Asian working in the music industry in the west today. Hats off you sister….Other successful musicains of Soth ASian origin include the late Freddie Mercury( Indian Parsee0 and Nelly Frutado( mixed Goan origin)
    Mercury award winning Susheela Raman is another..
    It is interesting MIA and Susheela Raman are the only two who also sing in a South Asian language( Tamil in this instance)
    along with English.


    Western communities urge assimilation
    Yet cannot acknowledge their culture
    When the MIDDLE FINGER stands up
    Complemented by the other four folded back
    As roots remaining down in the first earth.

  43. VK, I believe all the Sinhalese are Sinhalized Tamils. So you are part of “Distinct” people. Do not whine. be happy my friend!!!

  44. 02-07-2011 M.I.A. is giving away money at Roskilde Festival:


    M.I.A., playing this year’s Roskilde Festival, has chosen the Tamil people as the recipients of a donation of 250,000 US dollars from The Roskilde Festival Charity Society.

    Last night M.I.A. stepped onto Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival. But the revolutionary pop icon’s involvement in Roskilde Festival does not end there. M.I.A. has agreed to hand-pick a project to which The Roskilde Festival Charity Society will donate 250,000 US dollars.
    Mathangi ”Maya” Arulpragasam, her civilian name, is the daughter of a political activist from Sri Lanka. She has therefore chosen to give the donation to the Tamil people who have suffered immensely during the 25-year-long civil war in the homeland.
    M.I.A. is happy that she can help the poor and tormented people from the island kingdom.

    “I want to thank Roskilde Festival Copenhagen for the brave gesture of donating $250, 000 to bringing help and justice to the Tamil people. Apart from the money, the acknowledgment of the injustice suffered by the Tamil people itself is impressive and huge for me.
    I want to donate the money to Tamil victims and witnesses of war crimes and a systematic genocide it must be for their legal rights and justice. Many of the recent refugees will be important witnesses to what happened. We need to be able to use the money also for advocacy for the rights of these people.”

    About The Roskilde Festival Charity Society
    The Roskilde Festival Charity Society is the organiser of Roskilde Festival. All profits from Roskilde Festival are donated to charity work. The society’s work is politically independent and has no geographical boarders.

  45. I realise she’s a pretty woman but the pix you’ve posted here make her look absolutely beautiful.Great pix!

  46. When I read about why you are her fan and like her I understood your thoughts and politics well DBS

    My respect and regard for you went up a 100 times after reading that

    Way to go DBS

  47. Her video’s hot, her love life’s not


    M.I.A. has yet to explain her middle finger gesture at the Super Bowl halftime, so speculation is filling in the blanks.

    The latest buzz: The London-born rapper — real name Mathangi Arulpragasam — has split with Benjamin Bronfman, her longtime fiancé and the father of her son, and maybe she was aiming her middle finger at him.

    The Daily News reports that M.I.A., 36, has been spending most of her time in London, while Bronfman, 29, and their child, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, who turns 3 on Saturday, are living in New York. Ben’s mother, philanthropist Sherry Bronfman, is said to be helping to take care of his son. Bronfman, former guitarist for the punk reggae band The Exit, is also the son of Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr.

    The News reports that M.I.A. apparently got a visa to appear in Madonna ‘s Super Bowl halftime show, but previously had trouble entering the USA because of controversial remarks she has made about conflict in her parents’ native Sri Lanka and her father’s alleged links to the terrorist group Tamil Tigers.

    Meanwhile, in M.I.A.’s new video, Bad Girls, which was released a few days before the Super Bowl, she oversees a street race in the desert featuring burka-clad women driving while men watch from the sidelines. It has been viewed more than 6 million times on YouTube since Feb. 2.

  48. M.Sivananthan says:
    February 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm
    At least Madonna adopted African children. What the hell this MIA did to the Tamils of Sri lanka? She uses the SL conflict to make some more money from Tamil diaspora idiots! Sofar she did not give a single dollar to the suffering Tamils in Sri lanka. She is an unconnected person with Sri Lanka but she uses her father Arular to Sri lanka.

    For Sri Lankan Tamils MIA is a useless case!


    M.I.A. supports a number of charities, both publicly and privately. She funded Youth Action International to help youth break out of cycles of violence and poverty in war torn African communities and set up school-building projects in Liberia in 2006.[204] She supports the Unstoppable Foundation, cofunding the establishment of the Becky Primary School in Liberia.[205] During her visit to Liberia she met the then President of Liberia, rehabilitated ex-child soldiers and appeared as part of a humanitarian mission there, hosting a “4Real” TV-Series documentary on the post war situation in the country with activist Kimmie Weeks.[119][204][206] Following her performance at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards afterparty, she donated her $100,000 performance fee to building more schools in the country, telling the crowd, “It costs $52,000 to build a school for 1,000.”[207][208][209] Winning the 2008 Official Soundclash Championships (iPod Battle) with her “M.I.A. and Friends” team, 20% of the following year’s championship ticket sales were donated to her Liberian school building projects.[210] In 2009, she supported the “Mercy Mission to Vanni” aid ship, destined to send civilian aid from Britain to Vanni and controversially blocked from reaching its destination.[181] The country’s navy announced that it would fire on any ship that entered its waters, and M.I.A. was singled out on the Sri Lankan army’s official website after the singer announced her support for the campaign.[211] In 2011, following her performance at the Roskilde Festival, she donated $250,000 from the Roskilde Festival Charity Society to help bring justice to Tamil victims of war crimes and genocide and to aid advocacy and ensure legal rights for refugees and witnesses.[212]

  49. Sofar posts proves MIA helps “terrorists” of Sri Lanka and not the charities work in Tamil areas of Sri lanka!

    No charities in Sri Lanka get any money from the so called EELAM supporters including MIA!

    Anyway MIA is a useless case for any Tamil in Sri Lanka!

  50. M.I.A has achieved heights in the music industry where no Indian origin ever done before, playing at Grammys and now Super bowl!

    It obviously make lot of lankans and fox news follower faithfuls very jealous and they are disturbed by it. : -)


    No Indian origin? MIA is Sri Lankan Tamil not Indian. Also what about AR Rahman’s twin oscars?

  51. dbs,I personally know that one of the ‘pithaa magars’ (Pioneers)of Puthu Kavithai (Free verse) in Thamil, Trincomalee’s Tharmu Sivaram (Piramil), wrote a famous novel,under the title ‘Lanka Rani’. You may be correct that Arular too wrote one under the same title. Often the Indian press,even the Thamil media in Thamil Naadu seldom mention about MIA being one of the co-nominee for an oscar award along with A R Rahman for one of its song in ‘Slum Dog Millioniare’.Even when a complete list of MIA’s donations to charities has been given, including her last one of USD250,000 to help bring justice to Thamil victims of war crimes and genocide and to aid advocacy Dayan, he should be told what a Sri Lankan political commentator (nota Tamil) recently said, @I can not understand why Mahinda Rajapakse is not implementing(He and his predecessors in office should be first brought before justice not implementing 13A which is not already in the Constitutuion from 1987)13A because there is nothing in it, and as to why TNA or others are asking for it because there is nothing in it. ‘Political Scientist’ Dayan should really know that 13th Amendment is nothing but Rule by the President through his Representattive the Provincial Governor. In Ceylon not only the Governors of the North and East but even the GA Trincomalee are all Ex Armed Forces men.You could put in the money collectedby PCs like the tax into PC’s account but even to withdraw a cent you need Governor’s approval.So it is absolutely correct if MIA does it again for the 13A.

  52. Madonna speaks out about MIA giving the finger and cursing during the performance:

    “I was really surprised. I didn’t know anything about it. I mean I wasn’t happy about it. I understand it’s punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity it just seemed negative. It’s one of those things, it’s such a teenager…irrelevant thing to do…there was such a feeling of love and unity there what was the point? It was just out of place.”


  53. M.I.A.’s Boyfriend Fires Back At Critics

    ‘All this stuff about Maya being a bad mom is completely out of bounds,’ Benjamin Bronfman tweets.


    benbronfman on Twitter:

    BZB @benbronfman
    @MIAuniverse – Can’t say it enough – Don’t let them flip the script – you’re a great mom and ikhyd loves you. INFINITY!

    BZB @benbronfman
    @_M_I_A_ – Don’t worry about all this – don’t let them call you a bad mom – you’re a great mom!

    BZB @benbronfman
    new song, great. new video, great. superbowl performance, great. MIA as a mom, great.

    BZB @benbronfman
    media needs to rethink it’s code of ethics. to consistently try to tear down a working mother is beyond me

    BZB @benbronfman
    its sad to see our media in such a state of unfounded gossipy nonsense when there are real problems in the world

    BZB @benbronfman
    BTW – all this stuff about Maya being a bad mom is completely out of bounds. She’s a really great mom.

    BZB @benbronfman
    new song, great. new video, great. superbowl performance, great. MIA as a mom, great.

    BZB @benbronfman
    media needs to rethink it’s code of ethics. to consistently try to tear down a working mother is just beyond me

    BZB @benbronfman
    its sad to see our media in such a state unfounded gossipy nonsense when there are real problems in the world

    BZB @benbronfman
    Haven’t been on twitter in quite some time- all this stuff about Maya being a bad mom is completely out of bounds. She’s a really great mom

  54. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, Tamils and MIA learned this middle finger mind set from Sinhala leaders Like SWARD,DS,Duddly,and JR.

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