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Old 12-15-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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A little bit of venting...

So, as a college student, you might imagine that I am surrounded by people who think they know U2's music, but of course don't. There is a lot of hate for U2 with people under 25, and it is unfortunate.

Anyways, since starting college, I made 2 really great friends. We always talk about music and jam together, and I have introduced them to some bands that they really like (flaming lips, sigur ros, etc...). In other words, we seem to have the same musical taste, or at least similar. So I thought, maybe I should educate these people on U2's music since they seemed to be neutral on U2. At first I played a few songs and my friend started jamming out a bit and liked it. I have played U2's music a lot in front of them, and some of the best and most interesting U2 songs out there. They also know how emotionally attached I am to the band. They think it is a bit unhealthy, but it is true that I feel that U2 is a part of myself and my life. Attack U2 and I sometimes take it personally because of how bonded I am to their music, it is unfortunate.

So anyways, one day they were making fun of me for liking U2 as much as I do. They ask me if I go through "Bono withdrawl" if I dont listen to their music, I laughed it off and just tried to explain the emotional connection I have with their music. And then they were like, "ok but you have played a lot of U2 for us, and we have been waiting to tell you this, but they suck. They are just really bad! I think I maybe have liked 2 songs of all that you have played"

my other good friend agreed by saying "yea, I despise U2. like seriously DESPISE!"

To me, this thought seemed absolutely unfathomable, how could anyone with at least similar musical taste at least not appreciate U2's music, or at least like some songs? So, me being foolish took this as a personal attack, because in some strange way- I felt it was. I tried asking them what it is about U2 they dont like, they said "we dont have to have a reason, we just think they suck. It is not an attack on you personally, it is an attack on the band." They then searched "U2 sucks" into google and read all the attacks laughing and agreeing.

so I just kind of sat there, trying to explain why I love U2 and how I felt sorry for them since they will never appreciate the music that has made such an impact on my life. It turns out this discussion went way out of hand and I just felt, for some reason really upset. They were also confused as to why this mattered so much to me. I dont know why, but because U2 is such a big part of my life, having 2 of my best friends making fun of me for liking U2 and saying they "despise" them is kind of a problem for me. I think I am being over sensitive and over reacting, but I just kind of need to vent the frustration to my fellow U2 community.

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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If they don't care, don't waste your energy on them. Some people like the music, some don't. You can't force it.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #3
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If they don't care, don't waste your energy on them. Some people like the music, some don't. You can't force it.
Yea, I know that. It is more the way they make fun of me for liking U2 so much, that I felt personal about it. But yea I need to stop wasting my energy.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Hey Zoo,
I have been there too. I totally know what you mean. Sometimes I want so badly for my closest friends and family to get the U2 thing and to feel connected like I do but you can't force it. I am thankful that at least my brother "gets" it. For me it's a spiritual thing and that's a very personal.
I don't know if you pray or not, but that's what I would do and let God handle it.
Let go and ... you get the jist...then maybe one day you will turn around and they will be jamming to U2. Also, maybe just not mention U2 to them at all....
I don't know if you do this or not , just an observation...I notice that when I try to get people to listen to a song or read something about the band, it just makes them dislike it them even more. That's why I love this place. We can share with like minded people that "get it"
Hang in there...
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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U2 have fallen in and out of fashion many times over the years. Now, they're in a down cycle. It happens. If you ask me, it's partly because they collectively, and Bono singularly, have been overexposed for several years now, at least since the release of HTDAAB, and partly because HTDAAB and that tour were so massive, and there's a tendency to want to knock the mighty down a peg or two. After this tour, they need to go away for a year or two, and then come back with something fabulous.

No matter what's going in with U2's popularity, if your friends are saying their music flat out sucks, even if they're not fans, they're not being objective at all.

Btw, during '05 and '06, I had people of all ages (including high school and college students) coming up to me when I'd wear my Vertigo tour shirts, and they'd go on and on about them, saying how they would have killed for tickets, etc. U2 have not gone from fabulous to sucking in 3 years, it's just public perception.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Yea, I know that. It is more the way they make fun of me for liking U2 so much, that I felt personal about it. But yea I need to stop wasting my energy.
That sucks indeed, and has probably happened to all of us. What does NOT help is getting angry over it and tell them off. What did help for me was to ignore the jokes and bashing. Laugh with them, even though you're secretly just laughing at their stupidity.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
They also know how emotionally attached I am to the band. They think it is a bit unhealthy, but it is true that I feel that U2 is a part of myself and my life. Attack U2 and I sometimes take it personally because of how bonded I am to their music, it is unfortunate.
Oh you're not alone in feeling that.

It's irrational but when somebody close to me criticises U2 I feel like they are also attacking me. I think a lot of people feel the same way though.

Fans always jump to the defence of the thing they love the most, whether it's The Beatles or Led Zeppelin or Radiohead or whoever, the instinct to stand up for something you believe in is perfectly natural.

When you find something that connects with you so deeply, you do start to feel as if it's a part of you. Criticism suddenly feels very personal.

In the end though, I don't let the naysayers affect my own feelings. Let them waste their energy on despising the music, I'll carry on loving it.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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Um ok, and your problem is?

Many of my friends, even my students know I love U2. Some of them like them, some don't, some don't care for them. So what. Nothing about that situation makes my friends like me any less or makes me like them any less. They also know I love certain art and artists which they don't like. So what. Friendship doesn't have to be about everyone liking the same stuff. That would, in fact, be boring.

When I'm with my friends, I'm listening to the music they play for me and sometimes I say: Well, I'm not into that music or that artist, but it's ok for you to like them. Personally, I don't like it. Same for U2 - or any other music/band I like. People have to accept that and if it's a problem, then the friendship isn't really strong enough.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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All that really matters is that YOU get enjoyment from u2. dont go getting caught up in your mates likes and dislikes...thats for them to be getting on with.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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I think it was meant to be a personal attack!

Honestly, people get jealous when they see someone having such a passionate connection with a band's music when they don't feel anything that strong.....
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:06 PM   #11
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Who cares really?? I'm quite sure U2 aren't that bothered having just chalked up nearly a billion dollars in touring this year.

I have experienced this myself, being just 20 and having gone through school and uni with a passionate love for the band. Luckily my best mate is just as big a fan as I am and together we went, with a couple of neutral music fans to see them for the first time in Dublin this year. As neutral music fans previously ambivalent to U2, they were both blown away. So ignore the haters, life is just too short. I have said this before but I'm convinced that as soon as U2 call it quits and the dust settles on their incredible career, only then will it become widespread opinion how great they were as a band when looking at their legacy.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:16 PM   #12
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I went through the same experience and during Zooropa lots of people dumped on U2 and jumped on the Pearl Jam wagon, but I think Bono said it best. U2 makes ecstatic music and some people will be turned off by it. I also noticed a lot of people who didn't like U2 because they didn't hear much live music so when they saw U2 Sydney they complained that U2 didn't sound like the CD. Apparently some people don't actually know the difference between live and studio recordings.

You should ask them how they view Radiohead vs. U2. Radiohead is more dour and depressing and many people only like dour and depressing because it depicts their view of the world. U2 would come off as emotionally embarrassing or "cute" to people like that.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:21 PM   #13
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^^I agree. I get where you're coming from, I don't get super upset about it, but its just dumb that people write them off because of their success, that's when I get mad, they don't know anything beyond like WOWY, MW or Vertigo and pull the 'they always sound the same card' meaning they've never listened to 2 of their albums and/or they don't know anything about music, or how influential U2 have been (especially on popular artists with these same people like Coldplay and Radiohead).

But I do think their music will be timeless, and when people aren't annoyed by over-exposure or whatever the reason to hate them is, new generations can start to realize how important they were. Of course there's always cynicism over genuine emotion in music (you know, that's not unbalanced or drug-induced) so that's another hurtle for U2 with young people.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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Oh well I know that lots of haters end up with tickets when U2 show up and when it comes to fans, we know who outnumbers who.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:06 PM   #15
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The particular reasons people (pretend to) hate U2:
-- Their music tries hard to be uplifting.
-- Their music is spiritual.
-- They're not cool and aren't apologetic about it.
-- Bono is a do-gooder.
-- They've been over-exposed (this is partly their fault).

And then, there's the biggest sin of them all, the most unforgiveable fault:

-- They've been the world's biggest group since cro-magnon man.

Things that are (a) really popular and (b) really uncool are prime targets for music / cultural snobs to dis. U2 exemplify both.

I think the history of U2 moving in and out of pop-culture approval goes something like this:
1980 to 1982: cool, young, up-and-coming group loved by college students
1983 to 1985: cool, young and arriving group loved by college students
1987: massive group loved by everyone
1988 to 1990: overexposed stadium rockers, loved by uncool rock fans
1991 to 1994: cool, spiritual Godfathers of the "alternative rock goes mainstream" movement
1997 to 1999: old dudes, a bit washed-up
2000 to 2006: mainstream rockers, back to being accessible and big, welcomed
2009: old dudes, a bit washed up and overexposed.

It is a bit baffling, though, why some fans of groups like Pearl Jam, The Clash, The Stone Roses, The Who, or Oasis don't like U2, since the style is pretty much the same.

Oh, then there's the fact that a lot of old farts (like my Dad) don't like U2 because they have absolutely no "blues" bones in their bodies.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:59 PM   #16
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Every time I hear someone hating on U2 I just remember how many millions more love them. U2 has a huge fanbase, and this forum is evidence of that. And here, I am in good company.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:39 PM   #17
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I completly understand why you see your friends' revelations as a personal attack, zooropop40. It'd be the same if they insulted your political views or your religious beliefs. They're trashing something you hold very dear & although you know they're entitled to feel that way it makes you want to lash out at them, nonetheless.

Here's the thing to remember, though: if your friends don't get the spirit of the music, then they're never going to understand your devotion to U2 - and that's perfectly OK. You can even remain friends. You just have to all commit to allowing others to have their own opinions, even if they're the polar opposite of your own. If you guys are truly compatible in every other way, why let something as pliable as an opinion get in the way of a great friendship?

I speak from experience. Sometimes I wonder how in the world my best friend of almost 34 years (we met in kindergarten!) has remained my best friend. She's pretty girly, I'm a tomboy; she wanted to get married, have lots of kids & stay home with them while I always wanted to work outside the home & only for a short period showed any interest in having children; she LOVES to shop & buy while I manage to only tolerate it. And don't even get me started on how dissimilar our politics are!! But it's those very differences that I find interesting in her - we have strong opposing opinions in many things, but we've always accepted that about each other because we understand that we're each entitled to how we feel. Hopefully you & your friends will be able to accept that about each other, as well.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:22 PM   #18
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^ Has he not heard The Edge "play the blues"???
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #19
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Oh, then there's the fact that a lot of old farts (like my Dad) don't like U2 because they have absolutely no "blues" bones in their bodies.
My above post meant to refer to this post.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #20
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I'm no expert but it seems like the simple way to handle this is just to ignore them whenever they go on about it, and perhaps even laugh it off. I mean, as much as I would hate having friends that ridicule my favourite band. You might need to decide if you really want to be friends with these people or not.
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