The Pop Diaspora of M.I.A
One of the most entertaining and frustrating things about being a fan of M.I.A has been watching white critics struggle to articulate her style while challenging her right to the aesthetic she cultivates. Artists of color aren’t often recognized for their sophistication or intent. Rather, they’re ascribed a “primitive rawness.”
With her synthesis of diverse but connected motifs M.I.A gets dubbed “cut and paste.” Words like “patchwork,” “slapped-together,” and “scotch tape” are regularly used, and that’s from positive reviews. American critics, unsure of the cacophony of identities and experiences M.I.A offers, commonly project their own uncertainties onto her.
The reception of her albums can be charted along her public perception, which took a hit in 2010. Her increasing success hadn’t changed the tone of her antiestablishment politics and the juxtaposition made scoffing at M.I.A as fashionable as dancing to Galang had been.
I wrote about Matangi Arulpragasam and the subaltern struggle.
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aries: This week, the world around you will expand, it will open up, it will give you all the space you need. It might feel a little lonely and it might feel strange and it might feel like you’re living high above the ground, but the air you breathe will feel clean, and the light will feel clear and kind. This week, you’ll have enough space to grow into yourself and enough space to grow into your world, enough air to breathe freely and deep and enough air to laugh and shout and sing.
Taurus: This is a week for getting free, for unsticking yourself from the heavy things and the poisonous things that live around you, that have crept into your bones and into your dreams. This is a week for cutting away the doubts that have wrapped themselves around you like vines and for throwing away the ones that sit heavy in your pockets. Quit the things you need to quit, this week, and marvel at the bright self that remains, marvel at how light you feel, marvel at all the fresh sweet ways you can move.
Gemini: Some kind of breeze is going to sweep through your life this week, gentle enough that it won’t make you cold, but strong enough to stir things up a little, to clean out the mustiest corners in your house, to clean out the stuffiest corners of your head. Some kind of breeze is going to blow through your life this week, just enough for the air you breathe to feel fresh again, just enough to remind you that the world is in motion, to remind you that your heart is full.
Cancer: The best thing you can do this week is get so dreamy; the best thing you can do this week is let your imagination run strong and wild. It’s a week for believing in your own dreams and a week for believing that every good thing is possible. Go to the movies and let your mind wander in the dark. Go to the ocean and let your mind wander in the sun. This week, you’ll have so much to think about all day long. You’ll have so to dream about in so many different colors at night.
Leo: This week, your desires might run up against the boundaries of what’s possible, they might crash up against the borders of the world as it exists. The world might feel like it’s too small for you, like it’s not enough, but you can make it bigger; you can make space for yourself if you want to, if you don’t hide. Try to be honest with yourself, try to be open with the people you know, try to be brave enough to own even your deepest, most tender desires. Listen to Beyoncé and let your bravery carry you through this week.
Virgo: When you look at the moon this week, when you look at the clouds, when you look at your own sweet face, you’re going to see so much desire reflected back to you, so much need, so much longing, strange and bright. It’s going to be easy to want everything, every single joy there is, every good thing. It’s going to be easy to get carried away, to get lost in the wanting. This is not a bad thing. Let your desires move you, let them shake the ground under your feet, let them burn you up.
Libra: This week you’re going to be so full of energy, and your brain will feel so sharp, and your body will feel so electric. Try to be as unserious as you can. Try to choose your friends over your work, try to spend time with the people who make you laugh until you can’t even breathe. It’s a week for feelings of lightness, even in a heavy world, it’s a week for bright and illogical feelings of joy, as if these feelings could heal you, as if they could save you.
Scorpio: This week, especially when you feel bored and especially when you feel dull, try to accept all the invitations that the world extends to you. Try to take every chance you’re offered, try to grab at every opportunity like it might be the one to change your whole life. Talk to the people you meet. Listen to their stories and their jokes and their songs. Trust that they’ll have secrets to tell you; trust that they’ll have things to show you. Go out to the weird parties, go to the weird shows, follow the paths that open up.
Sagittarius: This week, the world you move through is going to feel complicated and strange and vast, made up of so many different pieces, different materials, different feelings all woven together. And this week, the world inside of you might seem just as strange, just as big, just as unknowable. Try to feel all the weird tangled knots in your head and try not to even worry about them. This is not a week for making sense, but a week for letting life’s messiness shine, for letting it sing to you, for letting it brighten your days.
Capricorn: This week is going to be about getting the things you need to survive; this week is going to be about finding the life you want. This week, you’re going to be brave and you’re going to be unstoppable, in ways you can’t even know, in ways you can’t even expect. Listen to songs about defiance, listen to songs about shining as bright as the sun. Stoke the fire in your head and in your guts. This week, you can burn through everything that would keep you down. You can light your own way. You can keep yourself warm.
Aquarius: This week is for feeling your roots, for feeling your history, for remembering the things that hold you in place, that make you solid. This week is for feeling the full weight of the life you’ve lived so far, and the full wild range of futures that are available to you if you need them enough, if you do the work. This week, tell the stories about yourself that are truest, tell the stories about yourself that nourish you, tell the stories about yourself that can keep you safe and the ones that can let you move forward.
Pisces: This week will be best if you work on taking small steps, if you work on being patient, if you work to believe in your own future. This week, the future will stretch out before you, all sunny and wide like a highway, like an open field, so big that it can disorient you, so bright and golden it can make you dizzy with desire. Just keep moving, just keep your feet on the ground. Work on the projects that will take you a very long time; work on the things you love best.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.
One of them, for example, is to remember how to use Tumblr.
Sporadic, distant, but here.
Bring it back to me, Suf.
Happy World Cat Day!
(World Cat-Day, also known as Internation Cat-Day, is celebrated throughout the world on August 08, 2013. It was founded in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other animal rights groups.)
I wrote a thing.
Upma Kapoor called in from Herndon, Virginia!
her white radishes with clear, saline vinegar.
They share a decadent shortening with the relish.
Her elderly rectitude,
her worn hands, age the small fruits and vegetables.
She slices each plant into artifact: ferments each
sesame to become another everyday staple. Similar
to her mango pickle, she says gooseberry is tradition.
Her rite follows—
Vegetables do not have to dry or be tender, but preserve—
“We make achar for all meals, for all hands.”