M.I.A is a case study in contradictions, and has built a career on exploring the grey area - between the east and west, high and low taste, fear and stereotype. Arulpragasm may just be a high top-sporting, potty-mouthed Joan Baez for our generation.
Sure the bird-flip was pretty ill-judged - but when you book a provocative performer like M.I.A what did they expect? Given the utter degeneration and hyper-sexualisation of our current crop of female pop performers, in terms of debasing, offensive, inappropriate performances, M.I.A.'s middle-finger salute was little more than a cheeky nose-thumbing.