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Old 04-01-2002, 01:14 PM   #1
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"Into The Heart"

I picked this book up at Tower Records when I was in Philly this weekend...I was not impressed.

Sure it looked pretty...but this is definitely an example of the old cliche, "you can't judge a book by its cover."

It's entry on UTEOTW was...how shall I say...perverted. Not only did it discuss oral sex, orgasms and so on, but it also hinted at a homoerotic relationship between Christ and Judas.
I definitely was not impressed with this guy's insight.

Next came the entry for Tomorrow. Said something to the effect that the song was marred by the band's attempt at folk rock with Bono's ad lib. at the end being one of his worst misjudgements.

A basic pattern I noticed was that it downplayed the spiritual aspects to most of the songs and instead focused on the secular side, perhaps the topic more people are willing to accept.

Overall I was very disappointed and returned it the next day. The book told me nothing that I didn't already know. Definitely not worth the money...at least in my opinion.

Anyone else own it or have opinions?

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[This message has been edited by Se7en (edited 04-01-2002).]
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Old 04-01-2002, 01:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en:
I picked this book up at Tower Records when I was in Philly this weekend...I was not impressed.

Sure it looked pretty...but this is definitely an example of the old cliche, "you can't judge a book by its cover."
That's nothing. Some dumbass critic when POP came out thought part of the song was about Bono having a homosexual experience. Looking in the places where no flowers grow, looking for to fill that God shaped hole, holy dunc space junk coming in for the splash,been around the back been around the back. The critic was probably gay and having a fantasy of him and Bono.
It's entry on UTEOTW was...how shall I say...perverted. Not only did it discuss oral sex, orgasms and so on, but it also hinted at a homoerotic relationship between Christ and Judas.
I definitely was not impressed with this guy's insight.

Next came the entry for Tomorrow. Said something to the effect that the song was marred by the band's attempt at folk rock with Bono's ad lib. at the end being one of his worst misjudgements.

A basic pattern I noticed was that it downplayed the spiritual aspects to most of the songs and instead focused on the secular side, perhaps the topic more people are willing to accept.

Overall I was very disappointed and returned it the next day. The book told me nothing that I didn't already know. Definitely not worth the money...at least in my opinion.

Anyone else own it or have opinions?

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Old 04-01-2002, 01:54 PM   #3
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I own it, and I have never been overly impressed by it. It has some neat pictures and a few anecdotal stories that are interesting, but the way the author passes off his interpretations of the songs as THE interps...nah. I don't buy it. Not to mention he seems to have a real fixation with sex. lol. Now, I know that Bono isn't shy about sex but I rather doubt that every song has a deep sexual meaning. But hey..*shrugs*...maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 04-01-2002, 07:26 PM   #4
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Did you see where Larry said he didn't like the book either because it made it seem like you could explain the songs with only one meaning?

I own it too, and though I enjoy it, I agree with Larry and others here that it has the problem that is all too common with interpretations of art, and perhaps especially with U2's art -- the idea that each song is "ABOUT" one thing and one thing only, and if we find what inspired it, or what Bono was thinking about at the time he wrote it, we have exhausted the entire meaning of the work of art.

As if "Streets" can only be "ABOUT" Ethiopia or "I Will Follow" can only be "ABOUT" Bono's mom's death or (to quote an early 90s interview I read with Bono recently which made me grin) "Gloria" can only be "ABOUT" speaking in tongues (which is what he said it was "ABOUT" in the interview.)

The idea that all art has one and only one referent is a sign of not understanding art very well, IMHO.
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Old 04-01-2002, 07:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en:
It's entry on UTEOTW was...how shall I say...perverted. Not only did it discuss oral sex, orgasms and so on, but it also hinted at a homoerotic relationship between Christ and Judas.
I'm replying separately to this as an individual issue, without looking at what the guy wrote but -- oral sex is mentioned explicitly in the song, and the Judas character does address Jesus with words that we associate with lovers, yes?

I'm *not* saying the song is claiming that was what was really going on, but that it certainly invites us to ask how Judas' betrayal and sexual betrayals cast light on each other.

And the way that encounter was staged between Bono and Edge on the heart during the Elevation Tour... well. Has anyone ever seen the famous statue of St. Teresa in ecstasy, with an angel backing her to the ground with an arrow symbolizing the love of God? Same kind of deal. I think. But that's just me.
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:39 PM   #6
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sula: have I seen this one? You had it on Grammy night, right?

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Old 04-01-2002, 09:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mebythesea:
I'm replying separately to this as an individual issue, without looking at what the guy wrote but -- oral sex is mentioned explicitly in the song
In reference to the phrase you are referring to as an explicit sexual phrase;

"In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim"

I really take that as his sorrows taking control of him, turning the tables, as they drown him. When you are in the ocean, if you are drowning, what does the water do? It surrounds you, it goes down on you. Taht's why I believe that if Bono intended this as a sexual metaphor, I believe it was intended to paint a metaphorical picture about how water behaves when it drowns a man; I do not believe that this particular metaphor had anything to do with the relationship between Christ and Judas.


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Old 04-01-2002, 10:12 PM   #8
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What 80's said...

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Old 04-01-2002, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
In reference to the phrase you are referring to as an explicit sexual phrase;

"In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim"

I really take that as his sorrows taking control of him, turning the tables, as they drown him.
Well, OK.... although at least personally I have never heard the English idiom "going down on me" used to mean anything other than oral sex, and in the Flanagan book Bono does accept F's characterization of it as an oral sex reference (tho with great embarassment and a request to change the subject LOL!!).

I certainly agree with you that this phrase has nothing to do with a suggestion of an erotic connection bewteen Jesus and Judas, at any rate. However, I think one reason I'm willing to entertain the overall erotic metaphor is that actually I read what the "sorrows" do a *little* differently than you do. This is why talking together about poetry is great IMHO -- I have just learned a new outlook from your reading! So can I share mine?

I hear it this way.... Judas is trying to kill his sorrow, destroy his capacity for remorse, so that he will not be vulnerable to any sorrow that could point him back towards God. But his sorrow overcomes him, grows so strong that he cannot repress it anymore, and as he becomes vulnerable to it, under its influence he reaches out for Jesus again "in waves of regret and waves of joy" (I already wrote a whole post here about how that line, I think, describes the truest Christian repentance, as we're simultaneously pierced with sorrow for our sin and overjoyed at the boundless grace that will yet forgive us).

So for you the sorrow is sort of pushing him down, if I hear you right -- for me it's luring him back up. For me the metaphor is that the awesome grace of God which tries to win us back is as powerful and intimate as sex.

Thanks for an interesting discussion of one of my favorite songs!

[This message has been edited by mebythesea (edited 04-02-2002).]
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