M.I.A: Framed by a French Fry
M.I.A. was so pissed about her New York Times Magazine profile that she tweeted writer Lynn Hirschberg's phone number and then made a diss track about her. What a baby, right? Well. She had a good reason to be mad.
This was the single zingiest line in Hirschberg's profile:
"I kind of want to be an outsider," she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry. "I don't want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I'm a terrorist."
That single passage summed up M.I.A.'s fundamental problem: the disconnect between her life and her stated ideals. That truffled fry did her in. But! John Koblin talked to Hirschberg and found out that Frygate was not what it seemed—in fact, Hirschberg is the one who ordered the truffle-flavored fries. (Clarification: This fact first surfaced on M.I.A.'s own secret recorded clips of herself being interviewed, which she posted online). Oh ho!
"I was just trying to explain to her what was on the menu," she told The Observer on Tuesday. "I don't really have much of a comment about the French fries. I don't think the French fries illustrate that much about her character. I don't think that's the only example of contradictions in M.I.A.'s life."
Bullshit, Lynn Hirschberg! You know that is bullshit! You also pointed out that she got some "olive bread," like it was soooo bourgeois! It's abundantly clear that a journalist of Lynn Hirschberg's caliber knew exactly what that truffle-flavored french fry represented to readers: nearly unforgiveable hypocrisy. Which is not to say that M.I.A. may not still be a hypocrite. She lives in Brentwood, she's insanely rich, she married an insanely rich music exec's son, she's not incredibly sharp on the ins and outs of Sri Lankan politics, etc. The profile was very good! But still. The fry thing was the best line in the whole story, and it was a setup. Reporters do shit like that all the time, and usually get away with it, and, you know, that's the game, so don't be mad. But not this time.
M.I.A. wins this battle, but loses the war. Now we should all just move on, because this is not that important, in the grand scheme of things. We can all agree that Paper Planes is still the jam, right? [NYO. Pic: Getty]