Paul David Hewson is A Wank

July 8, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

WANKER

WANK FACE

bnoo_time

If Bono is so determined to fight the war on poverty, why does he use the traditional economic model to perpetuate his own success? I was in a movie theater the other day and one of the previews featured Bono on stage, bright lights flashing singing one of his quasi-political anthem-hits. The camera kept spinning around his head. He wore his proto-typical sunglasses, the camera panned farther back and farther back and farther back, each time revealing the exponentially increasing crowd (digitially created, no doubt), cheering for him. Of course, the punchline is that U2 loves a particular kind of cell phone.

It’s one thing that people fetishize celebrity.

It’s another when celebrities fetishize themselves.

Still another when celebrities use their cult of personality to make a ton of money endorsing products that they probably don’t use.

All of that stuff is pretty well above board. It might not exemplify the best parts of our culture, but at least it’s straightforward and at least the general public is literate enough to understand everyone’s agenda.

But. It’s ridiculous if, in the midst of a larger crusade to save the world one is hyocritically complicit and, even, perpetuating the very power structures that do violence and suppress those one claims to be rescuing. Some bull shit if you ask me. And, maybe most of all, pretty  boring. Like any number of celebrities, Bono has created a unique opportunity to affect change. Indeed, he has adopted the persona of a political activist but he falls so short its insulting. As one who began with political punk roots, he presumes to maintain that stature with amphitheater “chats” where, instead of playing a show, U2 will decide instead, on a whim, to have a town hall meeting, discussing the global economic climate. No doubt it’s a feel-good session where people come away feeling like they have contributed, learned something and plan to Do Better.

To my mind such an experience is more dangerous than going to a concert and buying a Coca-Cola. While neither setting, the concert or the town hall, accomplishes anything, at least the concert doesn’t pretend to be anything but entertainment. Similarly Bono is a pop star pretending to be something else. Because he has money he has influence. That does not mean that he is an agent for change. If he was an agent for change he would take steps towards revising the colonizing impact of celebrity, mainstream, culture. And, at the very least, would stop endorsing fucking corporations.

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