Pity the poor New York Times. Not only does the Gray Lady have to worry about shrinking readership and declining ad revenues like the rest of us, but now the paper of record has now gone and pissed M.I.A. off.
In last Sunday's travel section, the NYT identified impoverished Sri Lanka as the top global tourist spot in a feature called 31 Places To Go in 2010. This angered the agit-popper born Maya Arulpragasam, whose father is a member of the rebel group the Tamil Tigers - that's not a band - which has clashed violently with the Sri Lankan government for decades. (The government declared victory in the 26 year war last May.) So, to punish the Times for havng "f---ed up so hard," as her publicist told The Fader, M.I.A. wrote and recorded a new protest song called either "There's Space For Ol Dat I See," or "Space Odyssey," depending on which version of the Internet you believe. The song and video, according to M.I.A.'s publicist, were made on Monday night for $100, and the song was posted immediately to the artist's Twitter feed, along with some less idyllic photos from the island nation's "lush coastline."
Listening to the trancey track, which features M.I.A. singing more than she did on 2007's Kala and is expected to be included on her forthcoming third album, currently slated for June, you wouldn't guess it's a protest song. But M.I.A. says so, so I'll take her word for it.
Previously: Teddy at Live Aid