Do you need any further proof that Pitchfork is now part of the establishment? Read this thoroughly obnoxious news item about M.I.A. posted by Mr Pitchfork himself, Ryan Schreiber on February 5, 2012 at 11:19 p.m. (that’d be, uh, American time).
You may have heard that Madonna put on a staggeringly high-budget performance during the Super Bowl’s halftime show last night that was basically a combination of Watch the Throne and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But despite the spectacle’s inclusion of LMFAO, its most obnoxious moment came via M.I.A., who delighted audiences with this outstanding achievement:
Yes, while reprising her cheerleader role from the “Give Me All Your Luvin’” video alongside Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. uttered the line “I’mma say this once, yeah, I don’t give a sh*t” (the existence of that bleep is also being debated) and promptly flipped off the 152 million viewers that NBC claims watched the big game last night.
What’s extra annoying about last night’s event is that M.I.A. doesn’t need these cheap ploys to up her visibility, even when the stage design and costuming is best described as “GoldenPalace.com.” After all, she released her first great single in years just last Thursday, and its music video had already racked up more than 3 million YouTube views even before the Super Bowl send-up. Following the rep-shattering press surrounding 2010′s /\/\/\Y/\*, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to draw as much focus as possible back to her music.
Instead, in the few bars Madonna was kind enough to grant her during the biggest television event of the year, M.I.A.’s message to America was simply, “Fuck you.” Well, in M.I.A.’s own words, the little people will never win, but they can fuck shit up. Success might be the best revenge, but apparently, being an asshole is forever.
Bangs wept. I shudder to think what he’ll make of Russian feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot. You can imagine Ryan’s commentary now:
In the few bars the Kremlin were kind enough to grant Pussy Riot before unceremoniously bundling them off stage and throw them in jail, Pussy Riot’s message to Russia was simply, “Fuck you”. Well, in Pussy Riot’s own words, death to prison/freedom to protest! Revolution might be the best revenge, but apparently, being a brat is forever.**
* /\/\/\Y/\ is the 2010 M.I.A. album that Pitchfork gave a 4.4 rating to. (I have no idea if the writer justified such a low “score”. Like the majority of Pitchfork users I don’t look at the reviews, just the ratings.) When Ryan refers to the “rep-shattering press surrounding 2010′s /\/\/\Y/\”, presumably he’s not referring to any British newspapers or websites (such as BBC, NME, The Guardian, Drowned In Sound, Clash et al) or American (e.g. Paste Magazine, LA Times - where the highly-regarded critic Ann Powers raves over the album, Boston Phoenix, Spin, Village Voice, Rolling Stone) or indeed the majority of reviews pulled together for MetaCritic (to put it in a language Ryan can understand), let alone the rest of the world… merely his own site’s myopic, chauvinistic worldview.
Wow. And I thought my memory was selective.
** One can only imagine Ryan would go on to paraphrase that infamous Pens review from Pitchfork:
Not to be a complete curmudgeon or anything, but how many of these bands do we seriously need? I should first clarify that in my heart, there will always be a place for crummy, DIY lo-fi – it might not be the most original shit in the world, but when applied with vigor and creativity, you’ve got some potentially exciting stuff on your hands. When paired with rote punk variations, laziness that’s been confused for brattiness and a profound propensity for short, shambling pop-punk tunes that are as aimless as they are irritating, well, you’ve got the Moscow-based female collective Pussy Riot – they can’t play, shout directionlessly at each other most of the time, and make sure that each song sounds exactly like the one before it, a pastiche of uninformed garage footnotes, slug-and-chug hardcore rhythms and boneheaded tee-hee juvenile Putin put-downs.
Tug of the ET beard to Dangerous Minds for tipping me off to this.
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