WTF Island

Five Great Middle Finger Moments In Music History

Monday morning, the Internet was awash in consternation and jpegs after M.I.A. flashed her middle finger during Madonna's Super Bowl halftime performance Sunday, meaning Janet Jackson is finally off the hook after all these years. To be honest, Rocks Off watched the entire halftime show and must have been reaching for some more dip, because we did not notice the Sri Lankan-born rapper's uncaged bird at all. Neither did the dozen or so other people at the Super Bowl party where we were.

We can't speak for NBC or the NFL's attorneys (or M.I.A.'s record sales), but Rocks Off takes this to mean we - as a culture, and a person - have become so desensitized to the once-crude hand gesture, which supposedly dates back to the days of ancient Greece, that it barely registers anymore. Maybe it would if we were still driving.

Leave it to others to speculate what the organizers were thinking in booking someone whose reputation as a loose cannon is well-known enough to inspire a recent SNL skit. It didn't take long to call up a whole host of pop stars showing off their middle metacarpals, including Pink, Lady Gaga and Avril Lavigne.

But it wasn't so long ago that the sight of someone raising one finger to the sky while pointing its neighbors at the ground really did make someone besides blogs and NFL PR flacks hyperventilate. Remember?

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray