M.I.A.’s video “Born Free” presumes some kind of state-led race war against gingers in track suits and denim. There’s no reason this is the case, and were it not arbitrary enough on the surface, we’re shown ne’er-do-wells overlooked by the shock troops (a crack smoker in the clearest instance, perhaps prostitution (or just obesity?) in another). An extraordinarily graphic ending–don’t watch if the famous picture of General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong soldier makes you queasy, because there’s a reenactment. Just for good measure, we also get a slow-mo rocket explosion that sends life-like arms-n-bits flying across the frame (and bouncing…urgh). As Jessica Hopper is right to point out, there’s no clear takeaway here, and because M.I.A.’s music has been so throughly legitimated as political discourse, there’s little chance for learn what it is meant to be. On the other hand, the song’s pretty pleasing, especially if you’re sitting around waiting for Orbital to make another album. update: Jessica Hopper reverses course, denies video as exclusive projection of M.I.A. (fair ’nuff) and suggests it hits the mark, if the mark is WTF Media.