Author Topic: How Lennon and Bono Are Different (Washington Post opinion piece from Easterly)  (Read 9441 times)

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Offline Saint1322

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If by 'did more' you mean record self-important music and provide a sideshow while the problem went along with no notice, then yes, Lennon did more than Bono. If you mean actually HELP people ... I don't think there is even any comparison.

Offline miryclay

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They both actually sand the song HELP as well. I prefer Bono's version.

Offline fishcci

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I love John Lennon.
But his niche was more of being the voice of causes.
Bono's is the less romantic, less sexy means of working with politicians, doing practical, real-world(i.e. "boring") work to make changes.  (IMO)

Offline doctoru2

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I think articles like these can best be summarized by Bono's comments about John Lennon's song, "Imagine".  While it is a tremendous song, Bono stated that he was never a fan of just imagining - he wanted to do.  And that is the big difference between what Lennon did and what Bono is doing.  Obviously, one cannot "do" anything without first envisioning it, but purely wanting something to occur is rarely enough.

That "imagining" stage is where Lennon's activism was during the late 60's through the mid-70's.  He would rant to the press and have "bed-ins" and such.  While he raised awareness on topics, which is vital, the next question is then what?  How does one truly make a difference?  Are we stuck just "imagining"?

This is why I have such respect for Bono's efforts.  Bono has gone to the next step.  He is doing.

Bono gets a lot of flack for apparent "tax evasion".  Uh, it's not evasion - these are all legal tax aspects that all those with any significant income will do.  Bono is appropriately handling his finances.  I find it odd that those complaining the loudest probably own nothing and have little money, so they have no perspective on how to manage money (I guarantee you that they would use every tax benefit they could if they had a significant income).  But despite this flack, Bono gets little credit for spending his own time AND money on his charitable causes.  DATA and ONE were at his expense.  He toured for them - on his dime.  Yet, instead of respect, people are tired of his preaching.  They would rather "imagine" than do, or perhaps not even imagine at all.  People are far too self-centered.  Despite this, Bono continues to do.  Medicines, trade, debt closures have occurred.  There is now real hope. 

I also believe that had Lennon's life not been tragically taken, Lennon would also have moved to the next level.  He too would have taken action.  But I find it sadly humorous that Lennon also received a tremendous amount of flack for his "bed-ins", so much so that the U.S. government closely watched him.  It appears that even "imagining" can be a challenge at times.

Offline miryclay

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Lennon and Bono are spiritual if not literal neighbours. Lennon's activism was geared towards the topic of the day which was Vietnam and to a lesser degree helping John Sinclair in Ann Arbor. See the LENNONNYC doc for more on this.

Bono's cause is helping the plight of African development which is topical in the 21st Century so it is all about where they were at the height of their influence.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:44:49 PM by miryclay »

Offline Saint1322

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I think articles like these can best be summarized by Bono's comments about John Lennon's song, "Imagine".  While it is a tremendous song, Bono stated that he was never a fan of just imagining - he wanted to do.  And that is the big difference between what Lennon did and what Bono is doing.  Obviously, one cannot "do" anything without first envisioning it, but purely wanting something to occur is rarely enough.

That "imagining" stage is where Lennon's activism was during the late 60's through the mid-70's.  He would rant to the press and have "bed-ins" and such.  While he raised awareness on topics, which is vital, the next question is then what?  How does one truly make a difference?  Are we stuck just "imagining"?

This is why I have such respect for Bono's efforts.  Bono has gone to the next step.  He is doing.

Bono gets a lot of flack for apparent "tax evasion".  Uh, it's not evasion - these are all legal tax aspects that all those with any significant income will do.  Bono is appropriately handling his finances.  I find it odd that those complaining the loudest probably own nothing and have little money, so they have no perspective on how to manage money (I guarantee you that they would use every tax benefit they could if they had a significant income).  But despite this flack, Bono gets little credit for spending his own time AND money on his charitable causes.  DATA and ONE were at his expense.  He toured for them - on his dime.  Yet, instead of respect, people are tired of his preaching.  They would rather "imagine" than do, or perhaps not even imagine at all.  People are far too self-centered.  Despite this, Bono continues to do.  Medicines, trade, debt closures have occurred.  There is now real hope. 

I also believe that had Lennon's life not been tragically taken, Lennon would also have moved to the next level.  He too would have taken action.  But I find it sadly humorous that Lennon also received a tremendous amount of flack for his "bed-ins", so much so that the U.S. government closely watched him.  It appears that even "imagining" can be a challenge at times.

'Awareness ...' I am pretty sure people were aware of the Vietnam conflict without John and Yoko staging their bed-in. His heart was in the right place, but all he did was affirm people's beliefs that he had completely lost his mind.

surit87

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I have a tremendous amount of respect for John Lennon and at the same time I agree with most here that Bono is more practical than Lennon. I also have to agree with Saint here that some of Lennon's acts like the bed-ins and the like were a bit stupid and attracted more attention to the gimmick than the actual cause.

Offline codeguy

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Had John Lennon lived to today, I believe he would have been a vocal supporter of Bono, and a late life convert to capitalistic philanthropy

surit87

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Had John Lennon lived to today, I believe he would have been a vocal supporter of Bono, and a late life convert to capitalistic philanthropy

Totally agree with you there.

Offline doctoru2

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I think articles like these can best be summarized by Bono's comments about John Lennon's song, "Imagine".  While it is a tremendous song, Bono stated that he was never a fan of just imagining - he wanted to do.  And that is the big difference between what Lennon did and what Bono is doing.  Obviously, one cannot "do" anything without first envisioning it, but purely wanting something to occur is rarely enough.

That "imagining" stage is where Lennon's activism was during the late 60's through the mid-70's.  He would rant to the press and have "bed-ins" and such.  While he raised awareness on topics, which is vital, the next question is then what?  How does one truly make a difference?  Are we stuck just "imagining"?

This is why I have such respect for Bono's efforts.  Bono has gone to the next step.  He is doing.

Bono gets a lot of flack for apparent "tax evasion".  Uh, it's not evasion - these are all legal tax aspects that all those with any significant income will do.  Bono is appropriately handling his finances.  I find it odd that those complaining the loudest probably own nothing and have little money, so they have no perspective on how to manage money (I guarantee you that they would use every tax benefit they could if they had a significant income).  But despite this flack, Bono gets little credit for spending his own time AND money on his charitable causes.  DATA and ONE were at his expense.  He toured for them - on his dime.  Yet, instead of respect, people are tired of his preaching.  They would rather "imagine" than do, or perhaps not even imagine at all.  People are far too self-centered.  Despite this, Bono continues to do.  Medicines, trade, debt closures have occurred.  There is now real hope. 

I also believe that had Lennon's life not been tragically taken, Lennon would also have moved to the next level.  He too would have taken action.  But I find it sadly humorous that Lennon also received a tremendous amount of flack for his "bed-ins", so much so that the U.S. government closely watched him.  It appears that even "imagining" can be a challenge at times.

'Awareness ...' I am pretty sure people were aware of the Vietnam conflict without John and Yoko staging their bed-in. His heart was in the right place, but all he did was affirm people's beliefs that he had completely lost his mind.

If that is all you obtained from my post, then either you ignored the rest or I poorly wrote it.  If the latter, I apologize.

Obviously people were aware there was a war.  But there were many who opposed the war.  Yet for a decade, men were drafted to die in this war.  Plus, much like some of the wars of recent years, what was the real goal there?  Why have this war at all?  Superficially, it was to provide freedom - but what was the real reason?  Lennon discussed those hidden things as well.

While a "bed-in" was frivolous, it garnered attention.  Perform a "bed-in" today and you'll just be called lazy.  ;)  Today requires action.  And the actions of Bono, his wife, Edge and even other celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, have all required action.  And they have all made a difference.  Oddly, all of them are also mocked for their charitable actions. 

If Lennon is mocked for raising awareness about particular issues and today's celebrities are mocked for making a difference, it begs the question - are people really that narrow-minded and self-centered?  Bono does preach - been doing so since the 80's.  I can understand if people are upset by that.  But I never hear the others preach - yet they are still dismissed.  Even South Park said Bono was a giant "piece of sh*t".  It's fun to have fun at Bono's expense, but that episode was so incredibly dismissive that I wondered if those guys even knew what they were talking about - or did they just hop on the "make fun of Bono" bandwagon (talk about jumping the shark).

Offline Saint1322

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I think articles like these can best be summarized by Bono's comments about John Lennon's song, "Imagine".  While it is a tremendous song, Bono stated that he was never a fan of just imagining - he wanted to do.  And that is the big difference between what Lennon did and what Bono is doing.  Obviously, one cannot "do" anything without first envisioning it, but purely wanting something to occur is rarely enough.

That "imagining" stage is where Lennon's activism was during the late 60's through the mid-70's.  He would rant to the press and have "bed-ins" and such.  While he raised awareness on topics, which is vital, the next question is then what?  How does one truly make a difference?  Are we stuck just "imagining"?

This is why I have such respect for Bono's efforts.  Bono has gone to the next step.  He is doing.

Bono gets a lot of flack for apparent "tax evasion".  Uh, it's not evasion - these are all legal tax aspects that all those with any significant income will do.  Bono is appropriately handling his finances.  I find it odd that those complaining the loudest probably own nothing and have little money, so they have no perspective on how to manage money (I guarantee you that they would use every tax benefit they could if they had a significant income).  But despite this flack, Bono gets little credit for spending his own time AND money on his charitable causes.  DATA and ONE were at his expense.  He toured for them - on his dime.  Yet, instead of respect, people are tired of his preaching.  They would rather "imagine" than do, or perhaps not even imagine at all.  People are far too self-centered.  Despite this, Bono continues to do.  Medicines, trade, debt closures have occurred.  There is now real hope. 

I also believe that had Lennon's life not been tragically taken, Lennon would also have moved to the next level.  He too would have taken action.  But I find it sadly humorous that Lennon also received a tremendous amount of flack for his "bed-ins", so much so that the U.S. government closely watched him.  It appears that even "imagining" can be a challenge at times.

'Awareness ...' I am pretty sure people were aware of the Vietnam conflict without John and Yoko staging their bed-in. His heart was in the right place, but all he did was affirm people's beliefs that he had completely lost his mind.

If that is all you obtained from my post, then either you ignored the rest or I poorly wrote it.  If the latter, I apologize.

Obviously people were aware there was a war.  But there were many who opposed the war.  Yet for a decade, men were drafted to die in this war.  Plus, much like some of the wars of recent years, what was the real goal there?  Why have this war at all?  Superficially, it was to provide freedom - but what was the real reason?  Lennon discussed those hidden things as well.

While a "bed-in" was frivolous, it garnered attention.  Perform a "bed-in" today and you'll just be called lazy.  ;)  Today requires action.  And the actions of Bono, his wife, Edge and even other celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, have all required action.  And they have all made a difference.  Oddly, all of them are also mocked for their charitable actions. 

If Lennon is mocked for raising awareness about particular issues and today's celebrities are mocked for making a difference, it begs the question - are people really that narrow-minded and self-centered?  Bono does preach - been doing so since the 80's.  I can understand if people are upset by that.  But I never hear the others preach - yet they are still dismissed.  Even South Park said Bono was a giant "piece of sh*t".  It's fun to have fun at Bono's expense, but that episode was so incredibly dismissive that I wondered if those guys even knew what they were talking about - or did they just hop on the "make fun of Bono" bandwagon (talk about jumping the shark).

I hear you, and I apologize if my response came across as glib.

I just question how much 'good' Lennon's bed-ins did. I'm not really sure he did all that much to bring attention to the cause, because the war was on American TV every single night, and what the politicians were saying didn't line up with what the news was reporting. That's what turned American opinion on Vietnam, not Lennon's bed-ins. There were plenty of protests well before and long after Lennon's stunt. I think people just saw Lennon looking like a homeless person with his weird mistress turned wife. I think Vietnam was in the 8th paragraph of that story, you know?

I am sure if Lennon had the Internet, 24 hour news, etc. at his disposal the way Bono does now, he could have come up with something better. Moreover, you could say that Bono learned from the mistakes of the first rockers who tried to protest politics. If you make a stink or embarrass world leaders, they aren't going to take your call, much less write you a check. Do you think Ronald Reagan would have supported Bono's causes after Bullet the Blue Sky? Or Bush 41 after all those phone calls? Of course not, because Bono made it personal.

As for the turning tide against Bono, he's just an easy target for lazy comedians who would be 'satirists'. That goes for the South Park writers, Rollins and the whole lot of them. These are people who hate humanity. I'm sure Family Guy will be next.

Offline feedback

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It's all oranges and apples. John Lennon's time was very primitive when Pop music and politics wouldn't share the same building much less shake hands in the oval office. Bono's tactic is more like '007' - infiltrating the bad guys by wining and dining them. Lennon was more like a guy scratching a CEO's Porsche with a key and proclaiming it a victory.

Offline The Edges Cat

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They both made certain types of glasses iconic. There's that.

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Bono doesn't smack women like Lennon was rumored to do.

Offline miryclay

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I have a tremendous amount of respect for John Lennon and at the same time I agree with most here that Bono is more practical than Lennon. I also have to agree with Saint here that some of Lennon's acts like the bed-ins and the like were a bit stupid and attracted more attention to the gimmick than the actual cause.

Don't forget that his bed-ins were in a a pre-media saturation age. He was basically inventing the psuedo-event which bands like U2 would use in videos like Streets.