At the Super Bowl halftime show, famously enough, M.I.A. flipped the bird and uttered an “expletive,” unbeknownst to star Madonna, who later expressed dismay that such a juvenile act disrupted the feeling of love and peace that had taken over the stadium.
This from the woman who said “fuck” a million times on Letterman just to get attention.
But M.I.A.’s finger got in the way of Madge’s moment.
And now Adele performed a similar digital stunt at the Brit Awards.
On winning Album of the Year, the singer saw the host come out to whoosh her off since the live show was running overtime.
The audience promptly started booing, and Adele shot up the finger.
And I’m thrilled that this old shtick — a staple of our culture, and obviously renowned the world over — has returned to the main stage.
It’s quick and cathartic, and vividly expresses the nauseated feelings we’re experiencing without having to resort to a whole lot of verbiage.
And like Janet Jackson‘s breast, it really doesn’t harm the young and impressionable. It gives them a rise, a release, and a physical demonstration of how to legally express displeasure.
Besides, these shows generally think nothing of honoring all manner of pedophiles, rapists, bigots, and wife beaters.
Is a big “fuck you” really that out of line?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2012