First off, I know this is a blog about books. But fuck that.
Second, if you weren’t rooting for the Patriots last night, I don’t even know… what… I mean, yea, Tom Brady went to Michigan, but really, fuck the Giants. I was shocked so many people in D.C. were rooting for them. Then again, a surprising number of people disapproved of my Redskins jersey. Strangers. In D.C.
What I really wanted to talk about was the whole ‘Finger-gate’ controversy: M.I.A.’s middle finger to American families, as the Parents Television Council put it. During Madonna’s halftime show, which I actually enjoyed for once, she performed a new song featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. NBC apparently approved of this, even though Nicki might be one of the most sexed up musicians out right now. Take a gander at her latest guest appearance, titled ‘Ass’:
Wobbledy wobble, wo-wo-wobble, wobbin’
Ass so fat, all these bitches’ pussies is throbbin’
Bad bitches, I’m your leader, Phantom by the meter
Somebody point me to the best ass-eater
But maybe that’s not a problem, because half of the Superbowl ads are selling sex anyway. I mean, there’s the Fiat ad, in which a man is berated for mentally undressing an Italian woman who turns out to be a car. The perennial GoDaddy ads implying that you’ll be able to see Danica Patrick naked on godaddy.com. Then there was that bizarre ad just showing David Beckham in his underwear. (You can check all of these out on Youtube.) So obviously, NBC doesn’t have a problem with a little sex, unless God forbid a nipple should slip.
And apparently NBC doesn’t have a problem with violence either, judging by commercials and by the game itself. Or implied language, given the lyrics to the song that M.I.A. was specifically invited to sing. (Perhaps it’s OK because she said shhh- instead of shit. I guess.) Which brings me back to the middle finger, which she flashed demonstratively while singing “I’ma say this once, yea I don’t give a shit.” I think it’s pretty clear from the context that the middle finger was meant to back up her claim of not giving a shit, and it worked.
But then the PTC weighs in. And apologies are issued, and we have another Superbowl halftime show controversy. It’s a shame, because they’ve been trying to avoid it by hiring only over-the-hill performers, and they couldn’t even get that right.
I think I might regret ever saying this, but I agree with some of what the PTC has to say. M.I A is the classic revolutionary musician, in the sense that she talks a lot of shit about a topic that she really knows nothing about, in her case the Tamil Tiger insurgency in Sri Lanka. But it’s OK because she’s Tamil, or something, right? Let her be the truffle-flavored-fry eating expert she claims to be.
Mostly, though, M.I.A.’s a ‘revolutionary’ because she likes to stir up controversy. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that this happened when she’s trying to come back after a couple years of irrelevance. So yea, when you combine her love for petty rebellion and the actual lyrics to the song, NBC should’ve seen this coming.
I’m just not quite sure why we should care. The Superbowl- the game, the ads, the halftime show- is a celebration of violence, sex, excess, wrath, lust… nevermind, those are deadly sins. But the Superbowl is not a great vehicle for preserving your child’s innocence. You can’t go to an NFL game without seeing fans yelling obscenities at the visiting team, or flipping them the bird, so I don’t know why people are upset about seeing those things in the Superbowl.