You may have assumed that M.I.A. would have spent the last few days trying to distance herself from the fallout over her New York Times profile and her subsequent tweeting of a reporter’s personal phone number, perhaps by enjoying a relaxing holiday weekend of just chilling and thinking about refugee camps while dressed up like a tiger. Instead she continued her campaign to expose the “truth” behind what she believed was reporter Lynn Hirschberg’s smear campaign, posting audio from the interview on her blog under the heading, “War Crimes And French Fries.” In the first clip, Hirschberg is heard raving about and then ordering the “truffle-flavored French fry” that became the starchy symbol of privilege and hypocrisy the journalist used, to great effect, as a way of undercutting MI.A.’s declaration that she wants to be “an outsider.” (Advantage M.I.A., as this is a clear case of appetizer-related entrapment.)
She also posts a second clip that expands on her comments about using her Grammys appearance to bring attention to the war in Sri Lanka; in it she’s heard saying, “It wasn't just about me, and me getting to the Oscars, or me going to the Grammys. That doesn't mean anything. The whole point of the journey was so you can go, 'Hey, 50,000 people are going to die next month. Here's your opportunity to help.' And no one did, and they still died. It wasn't about accolades or fame.” Which isn’t markedly different from how she was quoted in the original piece, but by posting Hirschberg’s sympathetic response (“Oh yeah, I understand”) it serves to illustrate M.I.A.’s basic beef with Hirschberg: She lured her in by pretending to take her commitment to political activism seriously, while secretly concocting an angle on how silly it is to pretend that a Grammys performance with Jay-Z and Kanye West counts as activism.
Along with the interview excerpts, M.I.A. also posted a new song called “I’m A Singer,” that starts off saying, “So you wanna hear about my politics / Yeah, I could show you things that could make you sick,” before accusing the Army of spying on her by using “satellites above me taking pics.” This seems to fit into M.I.A.’s burgeoning paranoia, as expressed to Nylon, about the Internet, which she believes is basically one big spy network set up by the government: “Everyone on the Internet is like, ‘Oh my God, come and join Facebook!’ They’re all so optimistic… and really, everyone is fucking you up behind the screens. And I don’t like that. It makes it difficult for me to interact with my fans knowing that. Google and Facebook were developed by the CIA, and when you’re on there, you have to know that.” In that same article, M.I.A. talks glowingly about her teen years, having “crazy times” hanging out with “all the Bloods and the Crips,” and apparently running the streets with Tupac Shakur, which should settle the question of whether she's totally gangsta once and for all.