Posts Tagged ‘world’
As well as their 75 Books thing, Esquire did a feature on the”The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century“.
Now, DAME Magazine pointed out, only 8.5 entries on the list were women, but aside from that lameness, I have a bone to pick with contributor David Chang (or the relevant editor) about a couple of things mentioned in the entry for M.I.A. —
The first and only major artist in world music, 33. Everywhere
Earlier this year, Sri Lankan-British rapper M.I.A. announced she was giving up music for clothing design. Maybe it was the exhaustion talking, but get to know her story and the first thing that becomes apparent is that she’s not one for staying in one place for very long. Here, a country-by-country guide to her transnational life, which directly informs her unclassifiable and revolutionary music.
ENGLAND: Born in London.
SRI LANKA: Her father, Arul, a Tamil revolutionary, cofounded a militant Tamil group. Her debut album is named Arular after him. Album art features images of tanks, bombs, and tigers.
INDIA: Childhood residence, age six to nine. The song “Jimmy” is based on an early-’80s Bollywood disco hit. “Bamboo Banga” samples Indian Tamil film composer Ilaiyaraaja. “Birdflu” features Indian dhol drums.
AUSTRALIA: Recording location for the album Kala. Features a didgeridoo and the Wilcannia Mob, a gang of aboriginal child beat-boxers, in “Mango Pickle Down River.”
LIBERIA:Kala location. “Do you know the cost of AK’s up in Africa / $20 ain’t shit to you but that’s how much they are” (“20 Dollar”).
JAMAICA:Kala location. Dance-hall rhythms, steel drums. “Boyz” video features Kingston “rudies.”
NEW YORK: Resident since 2005. In the video for “Paper Planes,” she sings from inside a New York lunch truck. Modeled for a Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2008 campaign. Announced that she will launch a clothing line.
I agree her work makes her pretty influential. (From what I can gather, the hipsters these days totes heart her.) I have no qualms about most of the things about her in that piece. But that one particular section about her time in Sri Lanka, and, more specifically, her father?
I could just say it was a Choice of Words FAIL, but, you know, I am not known for brevity, and as much as I may try, I need to say a bit more.
My letter to the Editors of Esquire was as follows:
I write to express some concern about David Chang’s choice of words in his piece on M.I.A. in the “The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” feature.
I question the description of M.I.A’s father as “Tamil revolutionary, [who] cofounded a militant Tamil group”.
That Tamil group is not just a militant group, but has been listed as a banned terrorist organisation under your country’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002.
That group pioneered the use of suicide bombing, has assassinated two heads of state, and has been linked to providing training and funding to Al Queda.
This information bulletin from the FBI provides even more details: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/tamil_tigers011008.html
M.I.A.’s father, the name sake of both her albums, is not a “revolutionary”, but a terrorist, and a lot of her lyrics have been suggested to support the work of the terrorist organisation he belongs to.
The cover-art for “Arular”, which, as noted in your publication, “features images of tanks, bombs, and tigers” links directly to that terrorist organisation.
I would suggest doing some research so as to make sure you call a spade a spade when writing about these people you describe as “influential”.
There are reports that a suicide bomber from the Tamil Tigers killed 22 people today.
When the FBI describes a group as “needless to say … among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world”, there is little room for the terrorist/freedom fighter debate.
By the way. M.I.A. has intrigued me for some time, and I have been planning to do a bit of research (you know, more than googling) to write a proper piece about her for a little while. So watch this space.
(Pic via her MySpace page. Which makes my eyes bleed. Consider that a pre-click warning.)
Sure, this isn’t quite Anne Frank, but it is rather interesting:
http://georgiamfa.blogspot.com/ just contains press-releases from the government spokesministry, but it’s still cool that online public platforms like Blogger and gmail are being used by a government involved in an armed conflict.
Quick warning, though, there are pics too; those are rather confronting.
War in the cyberage could, on one hand, result in increased proliferation of propaganda, but blogging also provides another (quicker, direct) way of analysing and commenting on said propaganda.
We looked at the influence of bloggers and “new media” on political developments when I did a unit on Politics & the Media back in 2004 (that study was actually the impetus for me to start blogging). The US election was the main case study back then, and four years later we can repeat that analysis, but the Georgia/South Ossetia conflict adds a whole new dimension to it.
I should probably dig around in my own Motherland‘s cyber backyard before I say this is groundbreaking (I know there’s a lot of pro Tamil Tigers stuff on the interwebs already), but, hey, it’s more the case of this being so fresh (and they’re white? Oh SNAP!) that it’s hot.
I spoke to my Mum in Sri Lanka this morning, and she is safe-safe-safe. Everyone in my family is safe, and there’s just property damage to deal with. I cannot believe our luck…
My Mum and my Aunt from the US had wanted to drive down the South Coast (the worst affected areas) on a pilgrimge to a temple of Hindu god (Kataragama) (in whom Buddhists believe in/pray to too) this weekend, but all the holtels were booked so they went to another Aunt’s house in Awissawella, which is inland. They didn’t actually hear anything ’til after it had all happened.
Yesterday morning they had planned to drive down to visit my Grandma, who lives in Morragulla, Beruwalla–on the West Coast of Sri Lanka. The planned early-morning journey was interrupted when a water main burst in the street near my Aunt’s place and my Uncle had to get in touch with the authorities to sort that out. It was a Sunday and a public holiday (Sri Lanka observes Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian holidays–another excellent reason as to why we should embrace true multiculturalism) so it took ages to organise maintenance… while they were waiting they got call from a relative of a relative asking if they had any news. It was apparently a “what news?” moment. The TV went on and they weren’t going anywhere.
The first wave had come up to my Grandma’s front fence. She spoke to my Mum and said everything was fine, the water’s receded quickly. Silly old lady! The second wave was worse, and her place, which is actually raised about a metre off the ground, was flooded up to her chest. Her neighbours carried her to the second storey of the house across the street. My Uncle who lives nearby (the one with the new bub) owns a restaurant and a small guesthouse which did not get touched.
My second Uncle’s house in the South was destroyed, but the family is safe, and a second cousin was playing cricket on the beach on the East Coast and he got sucked out to sea twice, but he’s a national junior swimmer or something and he is ok.
Again, thank you everyone who called/messaged/got in touch with me, it means so much to know that you guys care, and thank you thank you thank you for your prayers/good karma… if you can, please keep it coming; my family is ok but thousands, maybe millions, more aren’t doing so well.
If anyone is able to, the Red Cross/Red Crescent is taking donations…
- Red Cross Australia’s Asia Quake and Tsunamis Appeal: Info, Donate Online
- International RC/RC accepts donations to the Emergency Disaster Relief Fund
P.S: My brother’s in the US at the moment and he and my cousin drove to Canada this weekend… apparently there’s a bitch of a blizzard out there right now. Is this a test, Mother Nature? I promise I will recycle even more…
To the citizens of the United States of America
In the light of your failure to elect a proper President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchial duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honorable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
- You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminum.” Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favor’ and ‘neighbor,’ skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix “is” will be replaced by the suffix “ise”. You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary”. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up “interspersed”. There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won’t have to use bad language as often.
On your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize”. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to Cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents – Scottish dramas such as “Taggart” will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we’re talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon”. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” >e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as “Men Behaving Badly” or “Red Dwarf” will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can’t cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness. You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through. You should stop playing American “football”. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American “football” is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays “American” football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders” which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs. You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons if they give you any merde. “Merde” is French for “Shit”. The 97.85% of you who were not aware that there is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians have never been the bad guys. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don’t believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2th will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called “Indecisive Day”. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps”. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers. As a sign of penance, 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer”, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager”. The substances formerly known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”, with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as “Weak Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion. From December 1st the UK will harmonise petrol (or “Gasoline” as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon – get used to it). You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.
Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).
Thank you for your cooperation.
email forward via Annabel; thanks bubs!