Author Topic: Bono and the Politics of U2  (Read 1711 times)

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Offline DK46

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Bono and the Politics of U2
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:24:41 PM »
        Okay, let me start out by saying I am a fan of U2 and I like Bono.  But Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam are human beings and are flawed and susceptible to criticism like the rest of us.  They are now men in their 50s and have grown up since their late teens as a band. I don't love all of U2's discography, the 2000s were not a highlight for me, though they had moments (but I am sure you've heard enough of that on this forum). 
       Now on the subject of Bono, I am always curious as to why he is always so incredibly hated.  I realize this has been touched on a bit here. I understand the whole tax evasion stuff (which I think deserves criticism) and his sermonizing and ego can turn people off.  I just don't understand how people hate celebrities though (or people you've never even met really).  I also wonder if Bono's mixing in with George W. Bush turned off people.  I am no fan of Bush, I think he is one of the top 3 worst Presidents we've had (certainly the worst in my lifetime, I am 26). I also admit Obama is far from great and has doubled down on a lot of things and even outdone Bush for the worst in many areas, so I am not fan of him either, for the record.  However, I wonder if that's also why many hate Bono.  He certainly never seem to voice any disdain or major criticism of Bush's policies (that I can recall)? Would you say the Bono/U2 hate started in the 2000s or more since Rattle and Hum?
          Another issue is: has U2 gone soft?  I mean, where did their edge (pun intended) go? In the 80s, there was a stance they had that was political but it was also edgy and thoughtful.  I mean, could this band write a song like Bullet the Blue Sky today?  I remember Vertigo was originally a song called Native Son and it was about Leonard Peltier, but then Bono didn't feel comfortable and rewrote it as the commercial, radio friendly hit we all know and (some) love.  I mean, does Bono seem afraid to pi*s people off?  I am not saying I was expecting or hoping How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb to be a major protest record or anything, but where was the f****** edge??!!!  Like other than 2 or 3 songs, this was just dad rock.  I am not saying he has to go out there and bash people, but perhaps because he has worked closely with a lot of foreign leaders in his efforts to reduce third world debt, he feels he can't be so outspoken on issues.  I believe he said he wasn't in favor of the Iraq War, but he never really seemed very outspoken about it and he did work with Bush after all.  I am not sure exactly the point I am making here, but I just get the sense that U2 has been trailing down, boring ol' play it safe road.  I mean, $100 million deal with iTunes?  I think I agree with Iggy Pop that Thom Yorke (a musician I admire most greatly) and his BitTorrent experiment was more interesting and daring in today's music climate.  I appreciate U2's effort and I think their new album is quite enjoyable (especially after their last 3).  I don't know, it seems U2 is a cooperation and they are everything 80s U2 would dislike.   I don't hate Bono and I think his heart is in the right place, but he is a fascinating and frustrating enigma to me sometimes.  I dunno, what are your thoughts? I realize this piece is all over the place, a little political and I am sorry if this topic has been done to death, but yeah, what's the deal?

Offline vanev74

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Re: Bono and the Politics of U2
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 05:49:04 PM »
You expressed your thoughts very well.

Be careful to link the entire band members with the politics of Bono.
I believe the band members support Bono's intentions of reaching the poorest of the poor and and over-all idea of social justice.
I doubt very highly they always like, or even at times agree, with his methods.

Also be careful to define Bono's politics.
He may wine and dine with world leaders and with the the worlds richest business owners, but that in no way means he agrees with their political or otherwise positions.
I heard Bono in an interview one time answer why he does this.
His answer was that he wanted to "get into and understand the structure of why things are the way they are, from the government side of things". I believe he also stated that if he, the band, or others can influence world leaders to make better decisions, then that can only be a good thing.

I believe to the world it looks like selling out, or something along those lines.
I believe to Bono, he thinks it is the most Punk Rock thing the can do to further the causes of social justice.
It is a way of getting into the trenches and putting your hands on the wheel and trying to steer the ship in a different direction.

We all have our own political views.
A lot of that comes from where you come from in life.
I personally do not align myself with most of Bono's "policies" to solving the worlds problems.
I do, however, have immeasurable respect and admiration for his heart being in the right place and having the guts to stick his neck out there all these years.

On politics / My opinion:
Whether you agree or disagree with Bono's views of the world, personal approaches, or political views, it is important to recognize the merit of taking on responsibility.
The world we live in and the problems that exist in our global community are not because we are short on solutions, resources, or heroes.
We are short on the majority of world citizens to simply shoulder responsibility in their families, local communities, and country.
Every time we as people rely on heroes to either do our jobs for us or save us from the consequences of our own actions, the world and everyone in it gets a little bit worse, even when our heroes deliver the goods.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 05:56:05 PM by vanev74 »