February 6, 2012

"America secretly loves whipping itself up into a frenzy over this sort of thing, but it wasn't just the rightwing press expressing outrage..."

"... even Pitchfork was in on the act. 'In the few bars Madonna was kind enough to grant her during the biggest television event of the year, MIA's message to America was simply, "Fuck you"' it complained, somewhat innacurately (surely the message was 'I don't give a shit', otherwise she'd have just said 'fuck you'). It went on to conclude that: 'It wouldn't be the worst idea [for MIA] to draw as much focus as possible back on to her music.'"

Writes Tim Jonze in The Guardian, embarrassingly choosing the word "inaccurately" to spell inaccurately.

This is all so stupid. First of all, listen to the recorded song, or just read the lyrics. "I'mma say this once, yeah, I don't give a shit" is in the original song, so it's not as if MIA was going off script and inserting some spontaneous self-expression. Even though Madonna has famously sung "Express Yourself" — and even sang a bit of it during last night's big show — MIA didn't suddenly come up with an opinion and decide to spit it out to the world. And the word "shit" wasn't even vocalized. If you think you hear it, you're only hearing it in your head because it's the word that rhymes and obviously follows "I don't give a," and there was a hissing "shhhh" sound in the instrumentation that was used for a bleeping effect.

So the only issue is the giving of the finger. I remember when the America Online movie discussion forum was afire with the discussion of the finger back when "Titanic" came out and the Kate Winslet character gives the finger. Here's an old "Straight Dope" column from 1998 discussing whether it was historically accurate — or as they say in England "acurrate" — for Rose to give the finger in 1912? ("[T]he middle-finger/phallus equation goes back way before the Titanic, the Battle of Agincourt, or probably even that time Sextillus cut off Pylades with his chariot.")

Are we going to get all heated up about the finger again? Because that would be really stupid. A throwback to 1998. But what the hell. We are that stupid. We are getting all jazzed up about "Titanic" again right now:
Fans crashed multiple servers trying to secure advance tickets for the now sold-out Feb. 14 preview screenings of Hollywood's "Titanic in 3D," producers said.
You want to know my opinion? I think giving the finger is completely appropriate.

59 comments:

MadisonMan said...

If you don't have talent, you become famous or maintain fame by controversy.

MIA? Talent is MIA. Ergo, controversy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Didn't notice it. Don't care either. So some celebrity acted like a jackass, stop the presses!

Tank said...

Giving the finger to the Superbowl audience is appropriate?

I don't get it.

(Actually, I did not see it. I didn't watch half time.)

EDH said...

Writes Tim Jonze in The Guardian, embarrassingly choosing the word "inaccurately" to spell inaccurately.

Did Althouse misspell "innacurately" inaccurately, or did she spell "innaccurately" accurately?

Scott M said...

I think giving the finger is completely appropriate.

I can't think of a single situation in which giving someone the finger doesn't make the person doing it look completely, utterly immature and stupid. Unleashing a torrid of expletives is a) more organic, b) requires less effort because of a), and c) can be hysterical. Giving the finger to someone is never hysterical.

When I see someone give someone the finger, I assume the person showing it lives in subsidized housing of some sort.

Tim said...

I didn't notice it either, as the performance wasn't that compelling. But for me, the only problem with her giving the finger is that I can't give her the finger back.

It's no fair that someone gives me the finger through a medium in which they are protected from me giving the finger back.

We need some interactive, 'firmative action for that...

Tim said...

"...I assume the person showing it lives in subsidized housing of some sort."

Indeed. And they probably sold off the refrigerator and the air conditioner unit for crystal meth, and want the housing authority to replace them, post haste.

Fucking tax leaches.

rhhardin said...

The French have more than just le doigt d'honneur
up yours
cuckold

DADvocate said...

If the NFL wanted to stop this kink of stuff, they coul simply use better judgment in who they select to perform. It's not that hard, but the NFL probably doesn't really give a shit either.

DaveW said...

It was appropriate at a super bowl halftime show to give the finger to a televised audience in the hundreds of millions? In prime time on Sunday evening, when kids were in the audience?

Why? I wasn't incredibly offended by it, wasn't the first time somebody ever gave me the finger, but I'd never call it appropriate.

edutcher said...

Madge (I love that the British tabloids called her that when she was trying so hard in her pretense to sound like a cultured Englishwoman) has been giving the world the finger for almost 40 years (yeah, she's that ancient).

She's made a career of it.

PS ric, the business of horns signifying cuckold is mentioned in "Tom Jones" (the book) and probably goes a lot farther back than that.

Michael said...

MIA is a one percenter giving a finger to the slobs at the Super Bowl. MIA is married to a Bronfman. MIA lives in Brentwood. She considers herself quite the edgy artiste but she is a tiresome one percenter married to an ultra rich guy living in one of the rochest zip codes in America.

You go girl.

ricpic said...

As long as Barry remains prez giving the finger will be "in."

chuck b. said...

Missed it. I was staring at her crotch.

PatCA said...

I think it's hilarious that the Graundian, so anti-American, is staying up late and then reviewing the Super Bowl half time show!

They just can't quit us.

Thorley Winston said...

I assume by the fact that I’ve never heard of MIA before reading this blog post that she’s the sort of “entertainer” who substitutes controversy for talent.

DaveW said...

Missed it. I was staring at her crotch.

I was too after she did the F-U thing. She was fooling with her loincloth or whatever it was, and I half expected she was going to pull something else. I have to say though I wasn't watching any of it all that closely, I was relaxing and just watching between halves.

The paper says NBC muted and blurred it, but a second too late, but I never noticed any muting.

Anyway, this is why they lip-sync. The NFL doesn't - can't - trust them to sing live.

William said...

Individual gestures, good and bad, were swamped by the blaring excess that surrounded them. I was impressed by the exuberant moves of the dancers which contrasted starkly with Madonna's stiff, deliberate movements. I didn't catch the finger flip, but among all that pomp and circumstance, you have to expect some noble steed to gift the pageant with horseshit. I'm sure I'm not the only one among the miliions who hoped for Madonna to have an epic fail moment, but it didn't happen. Given all the flywheels and moving parts of that show, it has to be counted as a success, and I'm impressed with Madonna's showmanship for making it happen.

TWM said...

I totally missed that as I was fascinated with Madonna desperately trying not to fall and break a hip.

Pastafarian said...

Speaking of the movie The Titanic, and fingers: I wouldn't mind giving the people that made that movie the finger.

I recently read that one of the villains of the film, some ship's officer, is portrayed as a coward who bribes his way onto a lifeboat; and that this character was an actual person, with the same name as the actual officer that held that rank.

Only the actual officer didn't bribe his way onto a lifeboat -- he made damned sure that all the women and children got into one, and he went down with the ship.

But it's all good -- some asshole that made this movie and slandered this man's memory gave something like $500 and a case of Heineken to the man's home town in Scotland. So no harm, no foul.

William said...

We should not let this contretemps divert us from the true morality play that was on view during last night's game. I'm referring of course to the confrontation between Eli Manning and Tom Brady. Not since Churchill confronted Hitler during the Battle of Britain has there been a more stark contrast between good and evil......God supplies mankind with a finite amount of good luck, glory, and Brazilian super models. It's a zero sum game, and when one man, such as Tom Brady, helps himself to too much of the good things of life, it puts the world out of joint. It is left to humble, decent men like Eli Manning to restore balance and proportion to the world. Last night, amid the wretched excesses of the half time show and the Patriots' owner box, a perfect, gentle knight redeemed our world. It was a triump not just for the Giants, but for all who care about decency and modesty and honor.

Chase said...

I think giving the finger is completely appropriate


Completely expected reaction from someone who's standard of musical excellence and performance is Madonna.

I guess us stupid people have been taught. Thank you Professor.

Chip S. said...

You want to know my opinion?

I've found that saying "no" in reply to this question hardly ever stops delivery of the opinion, despite the subsequent verification that "no" was the correct answer.

Carol_Herman said...

Wanna know a secret? "Half Time" is "iintermission." When theater owners knew to draw the curtain closed. And, let the audiences they had, rise up. And, go to the bathroom. Or to buy popcorn.

Football? No one tunes in a game to see the half time. (Though having bands playing at half time is fun. Especially if you're a mom. And, your kid is in the band.)

Clint Easterwood's ad drew more attention. Until you notice ... it was an ad for Obama's second term. (Obama's now at "half time." If he wins another term.) Most people were sure the Chrysler ad was not about selling cars.

Plus, if the unions had shown up at the lost World Trade Center; instead of clearing the site in 9 months time ... You'd still be at it. While, yes. It's still a hole in the ground. And, we had two wars that we lost. Plus, we keep losing ground in the Mideast.

It was just a football game! Well played, too.

Chase said...

By the way, I participate as one of judges in music entrance auditions for a local branch of the University of California. Every year I see dozens of women with multiple factors of talent over Madonna. The difference is that almost all of them aren't willing or prepared to sleep their way into a starting position, trading their character for a standard of success that will one day be laughed at and eventually forgotten.

Yesterday I heard Sinatra 3 different times on TV commercials and in a movie. Tell us again which of Madonna's songs will still be played in 75 years?

Come to think of it, how did you get your start Professor?

edutcher said...

Pasta, James Cameron is a hard core Lefty and pumps lots of propaganda into his movies (a rare exception is "True Lies", but that was pre-9/11).

In point of fact, some crew had to be in the lifeboats to make sure everybody got away safely.

And more women from third class made it off than men from first class.

If you're looking for history, go to another movie.

AJ Lynch said...

William wrote:
"God supplies mankind with a finite amount of good luck, glory, and Brazilian super models. It's a zero sum game, and when one man, such as Tom Brady, helps himself to too much of the good things of life, it puts the world out of joint."

That is an excellent and funny analysis! Althouse should save this to use on Meade!

Scott M said...

Pasta, James Cameron is a hard core Lefty

And a coward in regards to his leftiness. Just search climate change, James Cameron and Aspen. Very interesting reading and the main reason I couldn't care less that Jimmy is decamping for New Zealand.

Geoff Matthews said...

This is defining deviance downward. Why shouldn't we push back?
If there wasn't the outcry over the 'wardrobe malfunction', do you honestly believe that we wouldn't see more of it?

edutcher said...

Scott and Pasta

One of the more interesting (and another of the few non-Lefty) things Cameron did was collaborate with Simcha Jacobovici (Naked Archeologist) on a documentary that explains the plagues of Egypt and the Exodus as being a result of the Santorini Eruption - the contention being that placing it in the time of Ramses II is off.

Thorley Winston said...

I did notice the Clint Eastwood ad when I was having dinner at Outback last night (didn’t hear it but read the closed captioning) and I thought it was either an Obama ad or trying to spin the bailout of the UAW as “Americans working together” as opposed to one group of people using the government to steal from the another.

I’ve never seen That Damn Boat Movie but every once in a while I see the DVD sitting in the stack at my local library. Haven’t broken down and watched it – is there any reason to see it (other than Bill Paxton who is always fun to watch)?

Thorley Winston said...

This is defining deviance downward. Why shouldn't we push back?

Because the sort of morons who act out like this in public are doing it precisely because they hope to get attention. They’re from the “no publicity is bad publicity” mindset and the best thing for them is to generate controversy. The worst thing for them is to be ignored and slide into obscurity.

Petunia said...

MIA's gesture was just a way for a no-talent rapper to get some publicity. And it worked.

The true Titanic story has enough human drama in it to make several movies. While the sets and special effects in Cameron's movie were amazing, the made-up Jack and Rose story was just silly.

Pastafarian, were you referring to First Officer Murdoch? He didn't survive, and there was at least one survivor's report that he shot himself. Are you thinking of J. Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line, who survived and was vilified for doing so?

Ralph L said...

Next year, in honor of our new overlords, the NFL should hire Donnie and Marie.

A well-brought up young lady in 1912 wouldn't comprehend The Finger, much less use it.

MadisonMan said...

The difference is that almost all of them aren't willing or prepared to sleep their way into a starting position

How do you know this, exactly? :)

(ducking)

Sigivald said...

What's this "we", bwana?

ricpic said...

Giselle Bundchen has been caught on tape haranguing a lesser being that "How dare that mere mortal, end Wes Welker, not catch Tommy's semi-perfect pass?!" It's like the icing on the cake of William's morality play.

traditionalguy said...

OK, Americans have no class...never have and never will.

So what is their complaint again?

tree hugging sister said...

I was in a coma from the withering effects of Madonna's show. Missed it completely.

Revived nicely once the game started.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did Althouse misspell "innacurately" inaccurately, or did she spell "innaccurately" accurately?"

I accurately spelled the word I was referring to, which he had spelled incorrectly and I wanted to point out. If I'd spelled it his way, I'd be referring to some nonword which he had spelled correctly, which wouldn't make any sense.

Alex said...

Maybe the next Super Bowl halftime show should feature Sibelius' 4th symphony. That'll show 'em.

Carnifex said...

I was actually very impressed with the half time show. Very nice production values, and the guy on the tightrope was just frigging amazing. The self deprecation of the septagenarian songstress was very amazing, what with her using the stiff overly muscled hormone guys to actually try to show how limber she used to be.

Didn't notice this MIA person, and I guess that's appropriate. Wish the guys from the KIA commercial could have shuffled a bit more, I like that commercial.

The game itself was entertaining, both teams going on scoring binges, settling down to a defensive battle, and then coming down to the last 3 minutes to win or loose the game. I watched it all, and when the
Giants got the ball back with 3 1/2 minutes left I called my Dad in Florida to have him turn it on. (if the Pats had scored on the possession before to go up by 9 I wouldn't have)

achmafooma said...

"Even though Madonna has famously sung 'Express Yourself' — and even sang a bit of it during last night's big show...."

I must have missed the part of the halftime show where Madonna sang.

Jose_K said...

Ramses II is off it is not only him. The movie Moses also has Ramses Ii expelling Israel. But Ramses II defeated and expelled the hitites that were guided by a shepperd king( moses in the egyptian language) and Saint Geronimus, who discovered that the Vulgata traslated by the 70 interpretes was different from the Thora confused them with Israelits. They went to Egypt 3 centruries after Ramses II. Check Maneton . History of Egypt

Jose_K said...

the business of horns signifying cuckold is mentioned in "Tom Jones.. all the fifth book Of gargantua is about Paniugo being cornuto , having horns. It goes back to the romans

Pastafarian said...

Petunia -- it's Murdoch.

In the movie, they showed him take a bribe, then shoot a couple of passengers before shooting himself. It was never confirmed that he committed suicide at all, in fact: "Surviving eyewitnesses reported that he worked diligently until the end, and was seen alive in the water after the ship went down." (Wiki.)

It's a damned dirty shame what they did to that man with that movie. Which I've never seen, by the way -- I avoid any movie that features Arnie Grape.

I just hope no cats were killed on the real Titanic -- I hope that some of the space on the lifeboats was reserved for human animals. Right, Petunia?

Blue@9 said...

Sure it was appropriate. Her picture was on Drudge, it's on the front page of Google News, and we're talking about it now on Althouse.

It's inappropriate in our book, but we're not clawing desperately for some kind of publicity (didn't MIA have a baby? didn't she go MIA after that?).

She'll probably come out okay over this. Janet Jackson got sunk, but she had a "wardrobe malfunction"--that's a no-no symbol of vulnerability and weakness and female sexuality. MIA chose a confrontational 'eff-you' gesture, which will catapult her to the top of the ranks of "daring rebels" in the feminist book.

chickenlittle said...

I think giving the finger is completely appropriate.

LOL. I didn't even notice her or her "gesture" when it happened. I think that's even more appropriate. Imagine giving someone the finger and the recipient doesn't even notice.

By the way, WFT does MIA have to angry about anyway? She's a big grown-up star.

Amartel said...

We're the ones whipping ourselves "up into a frenzy"? I think the one trying to whip up a frenzy is the foreign newspaper that doesn't like us and is stirring the pot. The incident has been discussed in the media but at least at my house, the attitude was more, "oh look, the back up singer wants attention" than OMG Eleventy Outrage.

When the media isn't flipping us off it's lying to us.

Triangle Man said...

If you don't have talent, you become famous or maintain fame by controversy.

@MadisonMan

Don't drag Gingrich into this.

Michael said...

ChickenLittlt. MIA is a real one percenter. Married to a Bronfman. Lives in Brentwood. She was giving the finger to the 99 percent.

knox said...

I didn't notice. Then when I found out about it I thought: of course. Madonna couldn't possibly do the Superbowl halftime without creating some sort of controversy. It's her tired M.O.

jeff said...

Didnt see it, wouldnt have noticed it.
"I think giving the finger is completely appropriate"

Why? A marginal performer hijacked a multimillion dollar presentation put on by the NFL. I suppose as long as there is ANY public event with the smallest amount of class, it will be appropriate to screw it up.

chickenlittle said...

You want to know my opinion? I think giving the finger is completely appropriate.

That sort of gender deference is so yesterday.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Heh. Who cares?

Fen said...

No-talent Ape throws feces at audience.

Whatever.

SunnyJ said...

You know "appropriate" is all about place and time, right? Lawful..legal now that's all about rule of law but, using "appropriate" in this situation isn't really appropriate is it? There's apparently no law against it, but we know the letter of the law and the spirit of the law are two different things...as in free speech for OWS and STFU for everyone else.

Giving the finger in this situation is not appropriate time and place..it is legal. I celebrate the right to be an ass! Even if you're a phony 1% ass that would squash someone else's rights in a NY second.

I'm feeling highly appropriate, just wish Gov Brewer would have picked the same finger when she met Obama at the plane...now that would be completely appropriate, right?

Alan said...

The NFL should hire Hank Jr. and Springsteen to do next year's halftime show. Offend everyone.

EFB said...

I didn't notice at the time watching it. But nevertheless, it's rude. It may be appropriate, but it's still rude.