Now perhaps it’s not Bono’s fault. I’m altogether willing to believe that Bono is actually a very humble man.
But I’m gonna need some hard proof first.
It’s no secret to most who know me that I think U2 is a highly overrated band and Bono a deeply insincere performer. I also know that I am in a minority. And it’s not that I think their music downright sucks or is completely devoid of talent, I just think it’s a reflection of the cultural mediocrity that all generations in all societies share.
Very rarely do the best rise to the top in their own lifetimes. If ever. Popular culture is rarely a reflection of the best we have to offer. Just as “Best Of” albums almost never contain a band or performer’s most original, groundbreaking, or truly “best” work. It, more often than not, contains that person or persons’ most “accessible” work. Which, put into other words, is the portion of their body of work that has captured the attention of the lowest common denominator.
Seeing U2 twice in concert was more than enough to convince me that no one loves Bono more than Bono. And while the crowd happily consumed his brand of patriotic self-indulgence, I had to close my eyes to try and at least give the music a chance without being polluted by the “performance” that was accompanying it.
Oooh, the hate mail I’m gonna get here…
And I’m afraid I have to laugh when I see ads like this one:
Really? Someone cares about what this guy thinks? And yeah, I realize that the answer to that is yes. But I just want to point something out here…
He calls himself “Bono”.
Why not “Ultraman” or “The King Of Pop?”
If you want me to take you seriously (and I know I’m not completely alone here), present yourself as a human being and not a product. Or are you afraid that using your real name might somehow diminish your credibility or impact? That might be true for some. Me? I’m more interested in what Paul David Hewson might have to say. But only slightly.
And while we’re at it, even though you may not look quite so hip without the glasses, take those fuckers off so I can stop being so damned distracted by the notion that your interest in politics often appears to be nothing more than another photo op in some vain pursuit of demigod status.
And perhaps all of this just touches on my own fears of being vain or what impact celebrity might have on me if I were to find myself in a similar position. But I hope that, if I start down this particular path, my closest friends sit me down and perform some sort of intervention. You know, start off by telling me that my name is actually “Hal” and not “Rough-n-Tumble” or “Crossroads” or some such ridiculous self-imposed moniker.
And then slap those glasses off my face. Go on, it’s okay. I might get angry at first, but I’ll thank you later.
In the meantime, I have to ask, in all honesty, are we really getting the Best Of Paul “Bono” Hewson?