Given the ubiquitous nature of text messages these days I find it hard to believe that it was only twenty years ago that the first ever text message was sent. The message was despatched from a PC to a mobile phone by an engineer using the Vodafone network in the UK; the message was simply ‘Merry Christmas‘.
The development of texting or SMS (Short message Service) actually goes back further than that. It began as an idea by Matti Makkonen a Finnish Civil Servant. It was during a pizza meal at a telecommunications conference in 1984. his idea became the standard for the SMS facility that we use today. Strangely it was never patented, a little unlucky for Mr Makkonen then!
I assume that there were a few more texts sent in 1992, however the rise has been incredible with an estimated 8 trillion sent last year. I wonder what percentage of those were illegally viewed by the UK tabloid press?
So how about a few text related (some very loosely) songs to celebrate?
It would seem that Madonna’s performance in the USSuperbowl half time slot was both spectacular and controversial. Her set at the not particularly exotically named Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis included many of her biggest hits; “Vogue”, “Music”, “Open Your Heart“, “Express Yourself“, “Like a Prayer” and as expected her new single “Give Me all Your Luvin”. She arrived on stage in a chariot preceded by a whole legion of Roman Gladiators. To be fair Kylie has already done the chariot thing in concert.
Madge was joined at various times by Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and of course MIA. That is where the apparent controversy has arisen. There was no Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction but simply a glimpse of MIA’s middle finger. Yes MIA flipped the bird on live TV. The reaction of the US press, who seemed to take great delight in pointing out that MIA, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, is British, would suggest that it was an international incident on a warlike scale. NBC apologised for her inappropriate and spontaneous behaviour.
oh dear, the shock, the horror!
In my opinion this is a great deal of fuss over nothing much a real storm in an espresso cup. It’s interesting (and thanks to Nick Horslen for reminding me of this) that whilst the broadcaster NBC didn’t like MIA’s middle finger they were quite happy to let Madonna perform a song with a not so hidden reference to fellatio; “Like A Prayer”. Patrick Leonard co-wrote the song with her Madgeness, claimed that at first he didn’t appreciate that the opening lines; ‘When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer, I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there’ were effectively about oral sex. He asked Madonna to change the words but she refused. I wonder if she said ‘come on Patrick, let’s at least suck it and see!’ That quote from Leonard was included in J. Randy Taraborrelli‘s book Madonna: An Intimate Biography.
Incidentally did you know that the middle finger insult was first recorded nearly 2,500 years ago. According to the BBC a public intellectual, expressing his contempt for a gas-bag politician, reaches for a familiar gesture. He extends his middle finger and declares: “This is the great demagogue”.This allegedly took place in Fourth Century BC Athens, when the philosopher Diogenes told a group of visitors exactly what he thought about the orator Demosthenes. Read the full BBC explanation by clicking here. Apparently it is a very phallic gesture with the middle finger representing the penis and the curled fingers on each side the testicles. So it was mostly just bollocks then.
Anyway the thing has had the desired effect. Madge has oodles of free publicity for a show which she took no fee for. Her album sales will rocket and she has just announced a world tour to support the release of her new album in March. If you arrived here looking for something about the sport and not the spectacle of the Super Bowl I can tell you that the 2012 game was won 21 – 17 by the New York Giants who beat the New England Patriots.
And finally Madonna acts out the offending lines from “Like A Prayer”
Madonna has been in the news a lot lately hasn’t she? Presumably because she has a new single out, a new album coming out and she is the half time entertainment at the Super Bowl this weekend. Unless of course she is just a media whore, no wait that’d be David ‘Call Me Dave’ Cameron wouldn’t it!
Elton John has given her some advice for that Superbowl show, he told her to ‘Make sure you lip-sync good’ which seems to follow on from his earlier digs at her for lip-syncing and frankly someone at the top of their game in music should have no need to lip-sync. What do you dear readers think about this? She has also hinted strongly that she will be giving up acting. Good news in my opinion and no real loss to Hollywood either.
Madge has also come out with some rather odd pronouncements recently. In a response to a complaint that tickets for her live’ lip-sync shows are too expensive she has told her fans should ‘work all year, scrape the money together and come to my show. I’m worth it’. She has also compared Lady Gaga with Britney Spears, not by comparing their music but by suggesting of Gaga that ‘I mean, she’s not Britney Spears. She’s not built like a brick shithouse’. Strange or what?
NME readers have given her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin” a big thumbs down. Click here to read that story on the NME website. Micki Minaj and MIA guest on the single which you can hear below. It really is a long way from Madonna’s best stuff and sounds just a little plain to me, Catwoman reckons it sounds old-fashioned. What do you think of it?
OK firstly this post is a little more serious than my usual fayre, however it is probably just as rambling as the regular stuff! So feel free to stop reading now if you wish
Many of you regular readers will know that I am very difficult to offend, in fact I don’t recall ever being offended by anything. I can see why some people do take offence at things though. Earlier this week YouTube banned MIA’s video for her new single “Born Free” Click here to see the story on the BBC. It is quite graphic on both the sex front and the violence front. However is the real issue that it deals with race issues in a rather novel and hard-hitting way? The army/ police in the video are rounding up red-haired people and killing them in the same way that many other ethnic minorities have been rounded up and killed in the past. Are people offended because they accept people with a different hair colour and not people with different skin colour?
Stills from the Born free video
I wonder what the scummy British National Party think of this? In BNP speak I would be an indigenous British person because my skin is white, whether I have red hair is irrelevant to them (incidentally I have no hair, but my son is a red head) I find this video quite thought-provoking, in particular how it focusses the mind on our attitude to race issues. I personally don’t take offence at the film, but I do take offence at scummy political parties like the BNP
People of the UK in next weeks election use your vote and use it wisely. A no-show from you could enable the BNP to gain ground, that is surely unacceptable. I respect MIA’s right to freedom of speech and expression as I respect my own. Indeed I also respect the right of all political parties to make their point. But to invoke my own freedom I believe that the BNP are inherently evil and should not benefit in the polls by people who can’t be bothered to cast their vote. If you choose to actually vote BNP then I totally believe you are wrong, but I know that it is your right. But I implore the rest of you to make sure you cast your vote; Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Green, Monster Raving Looney or anyone else but please let’s ensure that the BNP lose their deposits
OK rant over, and I look forward to your comments, although clearly I recognise that I may have opened the floodgates to the crazies!
Click here to see MIA’s video, but trust me it does contain sexual scenes and scenes of violence