hmm. was going to post this as comment on The Lipster's news story, here: http://www.thelipster.com/articles/mia-terrorist-whispering-campaign but cdn't log in.
so - 'cause i think this shd be addressed...
I’m pretty certain M.I.A. has never made any formal pledges of allegiance to the Tigers – her father was a member of a rival faction (and she retains some measure of bitterness about his choice of politics over family – they’re estranged – to this day).
Also, while I’m sure few would condone terrorist tactics when perpetrated by anyone, it’s a bit disingenuous to talk about the Tamil resistance movement without putting in the historical context – i.e. the struggle of a minority (some of whom are descended from imported slaves) - and there has been incalculable blood lost on both sides. Also, that some of the war’s flashpoints (‘Black July’, etc) illustrate the Government employing terrorist tactics, albeit from a position of power (doesn’t Noam Chomsky call this State Terrorism?) Anyway, if DeLon is rapping from a Sinhalese perspective, it seems more than a little hypocritical of him not to declare his /own/ partisanship.
For me, the big issue here is a clash between two ways of thinking – modernist and postmodernist. M.I.A. operates in the latter sphere, collaging personal and political symbols and ideas together in a subjective confusion. She’s not someone who claims to have programmatic political solutions (unlike the LTTE); she writes about the flux of her early life (in a civil war) as it created her; about the Third World ‘cause she comes from there (looking at DeLon’s biog, he’s from LA – maybe with Sri Lankan roots, but I’d be interested to hear how much of the struggle he’s witnessed firsthand…)
Meanwhile, for DeLon, symbols are stable, b&w – like so: M.I.A. uses Tigers – this means she must be /for/ the Tigers. HUGE LEAP. Jamie Reid and The Sex Pistols used images of the Queen, very similarly detourned – does that mean they were /for/ the monarchy? Clearly not.
She's a provocateur, not a propagandist (and looking to provoke thought, debate).