Another brouhaha about another over-hyped Super Bowl half-time show, during the course of which the rap ‘artist’ Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam from the U.K., better known as M.I.A. (named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009), offered what the ancient Romans called the digitus impudicus to millions of viewers—at least, to those millions not using the break for more productive purposes, like leisurely visits to their lavatories. M.I.A.’s enablers, NBC and the NFL, each rushed to point the finger, so to speak, at the other, but it’s not as if they didn’t know what they might be getting:
Rap singer M.I.A., who gave “the finger” to America and the world during Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show, has offended before – putting out a graphic, obscene, anti-American music video that was banned by YouTube.
The video, “Born Free,” which depicts U.S. soldiers rounding up, beating, and killing red-headed civilians and children, also works in some frontal nudity and crack-pipe smoking for good measure…
Use of the venerable “impudent finger” is, of course, not limited to disaffected musicians, New York City cab drivers, or the U.S. government (who gives it to the taxpayer every day):
When you use the Internet in a public place, do you prefer to have as much privacy as possible? Well, that makes you a potential terrorist. According to the FBI, Internet privacy is now considered to be suspicious activity. If you are out in public and you attempt to keep snoopers from peeking at your computer screen, then according to the FBI they should gather as much information about you as they can and they should report you to the authorities immediately.
[…] what drives militia extremism according to DHS now is “belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms.” It is demonstrated by opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership).” … if you oppose federal regulations and support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and though you don’t actually belong to a militia, you can still be branded a “militia extremist” by your own government, and presumably be targeted by law enforcement agencies.
…for those who would … claim that DHS would never target anyone who wasn’t knowingly and willingly involved in “facilitating and engaging in acts of violence,” the DHS lexicon adds another category, “unwitting co-optees”:
“Groups or individuals who provide support to terrorism without knowing that their actions are contributing to terrorism…”
All things considered, I’d rather get the finger from M.I.A.