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Old 09-15-2007, 05:01 AM   #1
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My experience at "Here Is What Is" + Lanois Q&A

I wasn't sure which thread or forum to post this in, so you can move it if you want to admin.

My experience watching the Daniel Lanois documentary "Here Is What Is"

I really want to say thanks to atu2.com for posting the news about this film, including the title, so that I was able to take advantage of my arrival back in Toronto to buy a ticket for 11:15 on Friday September 14th to see it. I'm really glad I went.

U2 songs
There really wasn't much in terms of the Fez footage, but that's probably because I only saw it once and couldn't absorb much; most of you would have done a much better job of taking it all in. About 3 song samples were shown -- each from 20 seconds to 50 seconds, I'd guess.

1. The first and longest sample was a crunchy guitary piece with The Edge, Bono and Daniel Lanois all on guitars. Bono was singing, too, but it was hard to tell much because the melody seemed a bit repetitive and not as nuanced as I would have liked. Yet that was just a first impression.

2. The next had Bono on electric guitar strumming with Lanois and Eno around him, and he giggled after he broke off and stopped playing, seeming uncertain of the lyrics, remarking "or something." I wasn't sure if it was just a cover, but The Edge (without guitar), standing, seemed amused. Couldn't tell much from this. I was more stunned that Bono was playing guitar, as the footage started on the player's feet and scanned upward.

3. The last one was a shot from overhead of Bono and (I think) The Edge and Lanois, but perhaps Brian Eno also, all singing into a microphone. When I spoke to Mr. Lanois in the question period, He referred to this as the choir piece, I think. It seemed the most interesting.

It's really hard to tell anything; I was just excited at seeing the footage, though it was not in the best quality picture.

Talking with Brian Eno
The nicest parts of the film for this non-Lanois music fan was seeing Brian Eno and Lanois talk about music and their history together. I wish there'd been more because Eno was very clear and methodical in how he expresses himself.

They first talked about making something out of crap. Eno was saying that people always think Beethoven had the music perfectly formed in his head and just put it down on paper, but music always comes from nothing. It's all about the process. The tiniest seed can become something great if given the right conditions, just as the seed with the greatest potential can become nothing special if given poor conditions. His message was that everything has potential, and Lanois remarked that his life reflected this as he (and maybe Eno; I'm not sure) came from humble beginnings.

Eno told Lanois that he enjoyed telling people his techniques for making music. He used the example of looping over certain sounds a number of times to create an effect. He said, in his defense, that "it doesn't mean I think I don't have any talent," (they both laughed) "but it tends to take away some of the mysticism surrounding music."

There was a nice moment when Eno was looking at a Middle Eastern rug and was awed at the colors and how they were arranged next to each other. He wasn't sure if he liked it, but was fascinated by it, remarking that each color was not solid but a mixture of other colors, and that the designer placed a complementary colored strip next to one strip and next to that 2nd strip was another complimentary color. He had never seen anything like it. It's too bad the footage was in black and white. Lanois remarked that he thought Eno was talking about music composition, but, in fact was talking about the rug.

They used this to launch into a short discussion about music composition, which was the other striking moment. If you look back at the press from "All That You Can't Leave Behind", you'll find quotations of Eno saying that there's a difference between music that's fun to make and which tends to be complex, and music that's fun to hear. In the lead-up to the 2000 album, he and Bono had discussed the timelessness of popular Beatles songs that were so simple, you could hear them from a window or in the next room. Thus, the mission statement for "All That You Can't Leave Behind" was to simplify melodies. This notion has always bothered me, especially in the last few years, given the results in U2's music which has appealed more to the mainstream but sacrificed creativity and uniqueness. Now, in Fez, Eno was telling Lanois that he likes complex things. He's bored by simplicity. If this is going to be the attitude as these two co-write with U2, I'm very excited. I hope they fight all the way for this vision of not surrendering to the mainstream, but just write great quality music.

The meat of the documentary
There were a ton of full-length (or close to it) Daniel Lanois songs used; some slight interviews with his drummer; some footage of a collaboration with Sinead O'Connor. I had tried to listen to Daniel Lanois album last year, but wasn't too interested. I was surprised at how subtle and beautiful his voice was. His guitar effects sounded more exciting that what I heard in the Fez footage. Some very jarring guitar sounds reminicent of The Fly, and lots of blusey guitar effects and the use of that metal sliding cylinder one sees in "The Unforgettable Fire" sessions. Much of Lanois' guitar effects sound like those on that 1984 U2 album, actually. Now, we know where U2 got it from.

My statements to Daniel Lanois.
On my way to the cinema, I wondered if Lanois would be there for a Q & A, but it was the second airing and I doubted it. Still, I had some ideas about what I wanted to say. Before the film aired, Lanois came in and the introduced himself and his two producers to the crowd. The woman conducting the proceedings said Mr. Lanois would answer questions after it was over. I kept thinking how I'd formulate my recommendations for the next U2 album. Would he get mad it wasn't a question about his work specifically or the documentary? Would he cut me off mid-statement, saying it wasn't the time and place? I needed to be clear but not take up too much time from other Lanois fans, so I kept thinking about what I had to say, and I was so damn nervous.

The lights came on after it was over and I hesitated, as I was too terrified to ask first. After the first person, I quickly raised my hand. "You, in the back. Blue shirt," Daniel Lanois yelled.

I knew there were a lot of people there who were fans of his, so I thought I'd ask him first if I could make some recommendations about the upcoming U2 album.
He said, "The new U2 album?" "Yes" (some people giggled) "Yeah," he replied calmly.
I couldn't believe it. It was happening. My mind was cluttered, as I stumblingly said something like:

"You're probably familiar with concerns that U2's most recent work has tended to be simpler, less subtle, and more obvious lyrically.... When I listen to a song like "Love and Peace or Else", I think that Bono has missed the point.
(Here's why I think that):
http://forum.atu2.com/forum.src?Acti...5&SubjStart=26
"Because you guys write political songs, and ...God I feel so nervous," I muttered. "I wanted to suggest Battlestar Galactica as a kind of muse because it's the most politically-insightful show in the history of American pop culture. It's all about the dehumanization and homogenization of the other -- whoever that may be -- and it's about war and terrorism.... and faith. There are no good guys and bad guys, and the conflict comes out of differing interests and perspectives. And I just wanted to suggest that to the band as a kind of muse..."

The whole time, he was a gentleman. Neither he nor his producers smirked or looked annoyed (from what I could see, way up)
He asked, "Well, what did you think about the choir piece?"
I nervously slightly lied and said, "It was pretty good," even though I barely had an opinion, which is not to say it isn't good, but it was hard to tell.
I emphasized, "I mean, I loved Achtung Baby!....But when I hear a song like 'Love and Peace or Else' saying both sides just have to lay down their arms...That's just not the problem." (If I were thinking clearly, I would have said, laying down arms helps the Israelis continue the occupation, but not the Palestinians who only began resisting violently after being ethnically cleansed from their homes and land, and occupied after 1948. I would have also said that "Bullet the Blue Sky" was great for bringing up American mistreatment of Nicaragua, as was "Mothers of the Disappeared" great for discussing the actions of US-supported Latin American dictators who killed leftist activists, and "Silver and Gold" for discussing South African apartheid. I would have also expressed thanks for "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and especially "Please" for illuminating the ego-centric mentality of many terrorists. Yet, I would have said that's only half the problem in this war on terror. State actions of oppression and war are equally morally ambiguous as terrorism.)

He then said something; I can't remember what because I was so nervous, but then said, "Well, I'll pass on the message to them."
"Thank you!" I said.

That made my freaking day! I still can't believe it! If U2 sees this show, they're smart enough to get all the nuances and brilliant realistic depiction of the dilemmas facing our world one can't find in mainstream media. I've fantasized about moments like this when I could raise awareness for this show that can change culture (in the West and East) for the better by bringing understanding.

I've also fantasized of meeting Bono on some Much Music show and questioning U2's creative reticence of late, and bringing up certain corporate decisions regarding their commercial releases, like not having lyrics for the deluxe version of "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (so we'd have to buy the regular version of the album to get them in print) or only releasing their worst Vertigo tour performance and having almost nothing on the bonus disc, or doing a bad job with DVD releases by putting out the barest of extras.

I still can't believe this happened. I wanted to chicken out but I'm proud of myself for not doing so! I was able to get through to someone intimately associated with U2 to bring attention to the most important show in American history and to voice the dissatisfaction of many fans over U2's recent output.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:01 AM   #2
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Old 09-15-2007, 01:31 PM   #3
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:44 PM   #4
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thanks for sharing your story- cool opportunity you had and congrats for making the most of it.

i'm sure i'd be tongue-tied too in that situation, but i always find it helpful to remind myself that as much as these guys can seem like giants to us, they are human as well.

those are some pretty damn intense and complicated topics you brought up, in your mind at least.

U2 and Bono are in many ways spokespeople for this generation, but even they have to choose their battles, the fronts they will work on, and part of greatness is the humility to realize when a topic may be beyond the scope of your wisdom or influence..

they've had incredible impact on issues like poverty and third world debt and peace in Ireland and maybe even a us political election or two, and aparthied in the 80s perhaps, but an issue like peace in the Holy Land, i'm willing to wager, is something that they can only have a very small impact upon.. i don't want to be a naysayer, maybe they can have a real impact if they're around another 20 or 30 years, but its a huge issue...

ps you know the U2 clip from "Here is What is" is linked in the thread titled "Video from Fez" correct? ;-)
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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Thank you for this outstanding review for us, Muldfeld.
It was very interesting to read and I'm glad you took the opportunity to ask Lanois your questions and speak you mind.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #6
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Re: My experience at "Here Is What Is" + Lanois Q&A

Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld

"You're probably familiar with concerns that U2's most recent work has tended to be simpler, less subtle, and more obvious lyrically.... When I listen to a song like "Love and Peace or Else", I think that Bono has missed the point.
(Here's why I think that):
http://forum.atu2.com/forum.src?Acti...5&SubjStart=26
"Because you guys write political songs, and ...God I feel so nervous,"


I emphasized, "I mean, I loved Achtung Baby!....But when I hear a song like 'Love and Peace or Else' saying both sides just have to lay down their arms...That's just not the problem." (If I were thinking clearly, I would have said, laying down arms helps the Israelis continue the occupation, but not the Palestinians who only began resisting violently after being ethnically cleansed from their homes and land, and occupied after 1948. I would have also said that "Bullet the Blue Sky" was great for bringing up American mistreatment of Nicaragua, as was "Mothers of the Disappeared" great for discussing the actions of US-supported Latin American dictators who killed leftist activists, and "Silver and Gold" for discussing South African apartheid. I would have also expressed thanks for "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and especially "Please" for illuminating the ego-centric mentality of many terrorists. Yet, I would have said that's only half the problem in this war on terror. State actions of oppression and war are equally morally ambiguous as terrorism.)


Sunday Bloody Sunday was a call to "lay down your arms" in regards to the Northern Ireland situation and nobody thought it would ever happen either but it has. I see Love and Peace or Else in the same light. If people don't commit to seeking non-violent solutions then the violence will continue in a never ending circle. You act as if Bono is trying to lay out a political solution in a 4 or 5 minute song when all he is trying to do is get people to think in non-violent terms. People have to open their hearts in order to get past the cycle of violence. It is hardness of heart and unwillingness to compromise that continues these conflicts. All LAPOE is doing is reminding people of both faiths that they come from the same roots and are brothers and sisters, all descendants of Abraham. What is so bad about that? I get the feeling that you are the one who missed the point of that song, not Bono. You seem to be thankfull for Sunday Bloody Sunday but don't see that LAPOE is basically the same message. The same criticism you launch against LAPOE, that laying down arms is not that simple is the same criticism that U2 got for Sunday Bloody Sunday. The music isn't going to solve the situation in the Middle East and no song is going to be able to lay out solutions to these types of situations, but it can make people think about how they see things.

As far as for U2 being less subtle and more obvious maybe they've gotten sick of explaining themselves because people used to complain that Bono was too vague in his lyrics and didn't commit to anything and a lot of people just didn't seem to get it, so Bono gets more direct and straightforward in his lyrics and now people complain that he's too obvious. He can't win either way you look at it.

While I am all for a new musical direction for U2 it has nothing to do with being disatisfied with the last two albums. They wrote beautiful, emotional, moving songs on these records that had nothing to do with surrendering to mainstream but more with reclaiming mainstream. If it wasn't your cup of tea that's fine, I respect that, but there was nothing wrong with what they did. They wanted to reclaim the mainstream for rock and roll which was dominated by hip hop, rap and meaningless pop and I think they did a fabulous job of it. They were true to the goals they set for themselves which was the challenge of taking on the mainstream charts. U2 have never wanted to be a cult band, or a niche band, so I don't see why so many people on the boards keep trying to shove them back into some little box labeled experimental like that should be some badge of honor. It has never been where they were at. They didn't experiment for the sake of experimenting.

Dana
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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^^ ......... perfectly said .. i so agree with you Dana ....u2 are artists.... their music is their canvas and paint .. they have their own vision of what the final piece is to be...all artists go through different phases in their lives.... one thing i will add is that ..listening to u2 is not a one shot thing .... the more you listen .. the more you connect ...
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:47 PM   #8
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Just wanted to thank people for their kind words and emoticons!
Quote:
Originally posted by dr. zooeuss
thanks for sharing your story- cool opportunity you had and congrats for making the most of it.

i'm sure i'd be tongue-tied too in that situation, but i always find it helpful to remind myself that as much as these guys can seem like giants to us, they are human as well.

those are some pretty damn intense and complicated topics you brought up, in your mind at least.

U2 and Bono are in many ways spokespeople for this generation, but even they have to choose their battles, the fronts they will work on, and part of greatness is the humility to realize when a topic may be beyond the scope of your wisdom or influence..

they've had incredible impact on issues like poverty and third world debt and peace in Ireland and maybe even a us political election or two, and aparthied in the 80s perhaps, but an issue like peace in the Holy Land, i'm willing to wager, is something that they can only have a very small impact upon.. i don't want to be a naysayer, maybe they can have a real impact if they're around another 20 or 30 years, but its a huge issue...

ps you know the U2 clip from "Here is What is" is linked in the thread titled "Video from Fez" correct? ;-)
My sense was that the other threads were about links to excerpt video footage or stuff dealing only with U2's Fez footage. I wanted to post this in a thread having to do with Daniel Lanois' documentary as a whole because I saw the whole thing.

What I'd say is that U2 was willing to speak frankly about oppression in those earlier songs, but not on this issue. It's so popular for politically-removed people to say, "both sides are equally to blame", but this is very rarely the case in history. In "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Mothers of the Disappeared", Bono could easily have said that America's allies were reacting with violence to terrorists working on behalf of Soviet Communism and that this was unacceptable, but he saw through the hollow rhetoric to speak about the greater injustice of what was done to those on the left.

I'm sure there were many violent actions by black South Africans during Apartheid, and whites would have justified the hierarchy in saying that blacks were equally responsible for the conflict, when the root was oppression and discrimination.

So, too, with this issue, the fault is more at the hands of well-off Israeli Zionists and their supporters than the dispossessed Palestinians, and this is not to deny the wrongs of those claiming to fight on their behalf -- whether other Arab states or Al Qaeda-type groups, but the real cause of the conflict is the 58 year occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians, who can't walk away.

My sense is that peace in Northern Ireland came from both economic growth and the fact that Britain had long stopped brutalizing the Irish people. The movie "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" showed how terrible the British occupation was at the start of the 20th century. The Israeli occupation is of comparable intensity, and until that ends and opportunities are allowed to be created among Palestinians living in refugee camps, then the desperation leading to terrorism continues. But the initial violence was begun by Israelis and Jewish migrants, and many left-wing Israelis and left-wing Jewish people feel this was the case, and have waged campaigns to end the occupation.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:28 AM   #9
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Re: Re: My experience at "Here Is What Is" + Lanois Q&A

Quote:
Originally posted by rihannsu



Sunday Bloody Sunday was a call to "lay down your arms" in regards to the Northern Ireland situation and nobody thought it would ever happen either but it has. I see Love and Peace or Else in the same light. If people don't commit to seeking non-violent solutions then the violence will continue in a never ending circle. You act as if Bono is trying to lay out a political solution in a 4 or 5 minute song when all he is trying to do is get people to think in non-violent terms. People have to open their hearts in order to get past the cycle of violence. It is hardness of heart and unwillingness to compromise that continues these conflicts. All LAPOE is doing is reminding people of both faiths that they come from the same roots and are brothers and sisters, all descendants of Abraham. What is so bad about that? I get the feeling that you are the one who missed the point of that song, not Bono. You seem to be thankfull for Sunday Bloody Sunday but don't see that LAPOE is basically the same message. The same criticism you launch against LAPOE, that laying down arms is not that simple is the same criticism that U2 got for Sunday Bloody Sunday. The music isn't going to solve the situation in the Middle East and no song is going to be able to lay out solutions to these types of situations, but it can make people think about how they see things.

As far as for U2 being less subtle and more obvious maybe they've gotten sick of explaining themselves because people used to complain that Bono was too vague in his lyrics and didn't commit to anything and a lot of people just didn't seem to get it, so Bono gets more direct and straightforward in his lyrics and now people complain that he's too obvious. He can't win either way you look at it.

While I am all for a new musical direction for U2 it has nothing to do with being disatisfied with the last two albums. They wrote beautiful, emotional, moving songs on these records that had nothing to do with surrendering to mainstream but more with reclaiming mainstream. If it wasn't your cup of tea that's fine, I respect that, but there was nothing wrong with what they did. They wanted to reclaim the mainstream for rock and roll which was dominated by hip hop, rap and meaningless pop and I think they did a fabulous job of it. They were true to the goals they set for themselves which was the challenge of taking on the mainstream charts. U2 have never wanted to be a cult band, or a niche band, so I don't see why so many people on the boards keep trying to shove them back into some little box labeled experimental like that should be some badge of honor. It has never been where they were at. They didn't experiment for the sake of experimenting.

Dana
How the situation in Palestine/Israel is much more oppressive than Britain and Protestants were in Ireland in the 90s.
Sunday Bloody Sunday was a song about factions of equal power coming to the negotiating table in a situation where no major state oppression was occuring. The Irish people had economic opportunities and could lead lives apart from identifying with the violent nationalist cause. The IRA originated in very different circumstances, which no longer existed by the '90s.

Those conditions have never been allowed to materialize for the Palestinian people. Israel was founded, based on religious zeal among Jews, through terrorism and US-supported creation of a state, which then expanded its borders by taking over Palestinian homes through violent raids and the threat of violence. It wasn't just an occupation, as the British had long ago occupied Ireland, but colonization and ethnic cleansing. While the UN was manipulated by the US into creating Israel, even it has not approved the Israeli territorial expansion, and there are thousands of resolutions against Israel's actions.

Daily life for the Palestinian and the building of the Wall.
The Palestinians live in refugee camps. They have had their entire civil society violated by Israeli state terrorism, which is able to use laws and state tools of oppression to regulate their life. Recently, they withheld resources and taxes rightfully belonging to the democratically-elected Hamas government in order to sabotage it and generate discontent. They make them go through multiple checkpoints and consume hours of their time every day, making daily errands and keeping a job extremely difficult. They decide how to use their tax money, refuse in negotiations to SHARE governance of Jerusalem with them, and divert their water toward Israeli projects, leaving them to live in terrible conditions. Most recently, the Israelis unilaterally decided to build a wall to separate themselves from the Palestinian threat, but this wall was not only built without their permission since it would place even greater delays and obstacles to their daily lives. It was also built on land that even Israel recognizes as Palestinian -- often as much as 6 km into Palestinian land. This has led to Palestinian farmers losing their property. I saw a CBC news story about well-off Canadian Jews selling their home in Toronto in the late '80s, who have now moved onto the land claimed as a buffer zone for Israel's wall. Zionist zealous Jewish settlers are building new settlements right up to the wall. These settlers have been encouraged by numerous Israeli governments to settle land stolen by Palestinians, just as whites took land from the native American. They realized that, if enough time passes, their presence will become a fact on the ground -- just as much of Israel's expanded territory has become in the eyes of the US.

Bono's simplistic depiction of the problem in Israel/Palestine: Why laying down guns only works in Israel's favor, not that of the weaker Palestinians.

Bono's claim that both sides just need to lay down their guns misses the point that states don't need overt violence to continue the suffering of the weaker party. The occupation continues, the settlements continue. If Palestinians stop resisting, Israel keeps up the biased power structure that occupation has brought them, and history has shown their government has never been willing to do what's right for them. Palestinians weren't using terrorism when Israelis moved into their land, colonized, ethnically cleansed and occuped them. Bono has spoken very insightfully about ego-centric aspects of the hearts of many terrorists in "Please", but many statesmen and soldiers are just as hungry for destructive impulse. The state oppression, war, and daily violence must end, too.

The problem is whenever there has been a ceasefire, and Palestinians have "laid down their guns" and made a concerted effort at stopping terrorism, their actions have been met with Israel's state violence through continued oppression, massive arrests without evidence, and military attacks on so-called terrorists, which usually kill many Palestinian civilians. Israel has never been willing to negotiate fairly with the Palestinians, and decades of this occupation have led many toward desperation. Although Hamas may couch its rhetoric in religious terms, the Palestinian resistance is not founded on a nationalism based on old, avoidable, abstract hatreds. They aren't in this fight because they're part of some imagined community. The causes are practical because the daily lives of Palestinians are ruined by the continued occupation. They can't chose to live good lives in the situation Israel has created for them. There are no economic opportunities, except as cheap labor for Israeli jobs; in fact, many Palestinians provide the labor that is building this wall, just as Mexicans would build the wall many Republicans wish to have. Their motivation to resist the Israeli occupation are not motivated by simply choosing to hate, but by the utter lack of choices in life.

Analogy to the native American's treatment at the hands of white colonizers.
The plight Palestinians face is much like what happened to Native Americans. Zionists came like white settlers and took land belonging to others without compensation. Destitute and desperate from having their lives shattered, many natives responded to this colonization by engaging in raids on white settlements. White mythology for many years described these acts as savage, much as Israelis describe Palestinian terrorists the same way. Yet, who committed the first wrong? Who dispossessed whom first without any compensation and then left them to rot? If people have moved to the historical understanding that what happened to native Americans was wrong, then, logically, they cannot lend moral credibility to the Israeli colonization, occupation and ethnic cleansing in times when the West -- and specifically the US -- was supposed to be past all that. Facts on the ground/might-is-right justifications just don't cut it anymore.

The international community has failed the Palestinian people in allowing Israel and the US to set the terms of accepting a Palestinian government. Hamas was moderating its position. Their holding the right to use violence against Israel is their only leverage to get Israel to end the occupation. Israel was never asked to end its occupation and regulation of Palestinian life. Israel was never asked to do its part toward recognizing Palestinian concerns. Whenever Arafat proved unable to stop terrorists from his side inflicting destruction on Israel -- which is something even Israeli leaders have been unable to do -- he was condescendingly excoriated by Presidents Bush and Clinton. In contrast, far more severe actions, including Ariel Sharon's role in starting the Intifada and his history as a war criminal in allowing genocide in Sabra and Shatilla, are met with soft pleas. Even Zbigniew Brzezinski has objected to the outright pro-Israeli position the US has taken in recent years.

Israel's 2006 massacre in Lebanon.
Hezbollah came into existence from Israel's occupation of Lebanese land. In 2006, Hezbollah kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers. Israel has arrested thousands of Palestinians and many Lebanese without cause. Hezbollah wanted a simple prisoner exchange. Yet PM Olmert wanted to show his mettle by engaging in a needless bombing campaign killing over 1,000 innocent Lebanese civilians who had nothing to do with Hezbollah's foolish actions. CNN often acted as though violence was being carried out equally on both sides, but Hezbollah killed one 10th of that number and they were nearly all (if not completely all) Israeli soldiers. Israel's military moved into Lebanon and killed mostly civilians, and ruined the nation's infrastructure. The international community stood by this massacre, giving Israel carte blanche to engage in this kind of attrocity. This showed the Lebanese people and many potentially radicalized Muslims that the international community didn't care about Lebanese lives consumed in collateral damage. This severely hurt the popularity of a moderate government, which pleaded -- to no avail -- for the West to stop this. It proved that the Lebanese head of state was ineffective and that he had misplaced his faith in the West. This only encourages more terrorism and support for terrorism. Rather than blaming Hezbollah's stubbornness, they blamed Israel and the international community. And they were grateful when Hezbollah and Iran supplied funds to reconstruct their homes.

John McCain won my attention in 2000 when he said he thought the US government could do more to help the plight of native Americans. Yet, on the Tonight Show, he was blinded by his pro-Israeli sympathies in excusing this massacre by saying the deaths were accidental. The fact is that, whenever you wage war, you risk civlian lives, especially the way Israel did it. It's hypocritical and immoral to say that terrorist violence is deplorable when it attacks the people who control the source of the violence waged against Lebanon -- the democratic Israeli government -- but then say it's okay for Israel's people to allow its army to kill over a thousand Lebanese who have no control over what Hezbollah does.

As long as this pro-Israeli attitude remains toward creating conditions for peace talks that favor Israel, there will be no peace. And that's sad.

Bono's role as an artist to depict the problem honestly; why terrorism is as morally ambiguous as state tools of war and oppression.
You're quite right that "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Love and Peace or Else" are very similar in their message, but perhaps this points to a biased view of the nature of terrorism in a purely Irish context. Terrorism is just as morally ambiguous as state tools of enforcing laws and war. The American Revolution and French Resistance to Vichy France were cases of terrorism, and Hitler waged war. So neither one is morally superior to the other. The morality of the means depends on the goals and targets of the act. That is why I oppose Al Qaeda-type groups, and Bono's message would apply to them. The members tend to have lives far removed from the unavoidable plight of Palestinians, and they make a petty nationalist choice to be offended only by what happens to Muslims. However, the case of Palestinians is vastly different and not based identity politics, but arousal from practical realities of living in poverty, and being angry about the causes of this.


Bono is a smart guy. I think he knows better, but he's afraid to really discuss the issue and point to the attrocities here because he doesn't want to alienate pro-Israeli people and the American right wing needed for helping with African debt. In doing so, he's only relying on cliche observances and failing to illustrate the real causes of the continuing violence in Palestine/Israel and that's allowing continued state oppression which has caused unrelenting suffering and desperation among the Palestinian peoples.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:13 AM   #10
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Re: Re: Re: My experience at "Here Is What Is" + Lanois Q&A

Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld


Bono is a smart guy. I think he knows better, but he's afraid to really discuss the issue and point to the attrocities here because he doesn't want to alienate pro-Israeli people and the American right wing needed for helping with African debt. In doing so, he's only relying on cliche observances and failing to illustrate the real causes of the continuing violence in Palestine/Israel and that's allowing continued state oppression which has caused unrelenting suffering and desperation among the Palestinian peoples.

Again, you are acting as if Bono, in the course of a 4 to 5 minute song, can solve the problems in the middle east. In the song, Bono uses images. "Lay down your guns" is more an image of peaceful resolution than it is a specific command to lay down "guns". Sunday Bloody Sunday was no more of a specific plan of resolution than LAPOE is but you seem to accept it as a useful song. But you also seem to be criticizing LAPOE for not being a map for resolution. Bono has said in interviews that there is only one word to describe the treatment of Palestinians in Israel and that is Aparthied. Yes, he knows very well what the situation is and he was approached by a delegation of people wanting him to get involved in the promoting the peace process in the Middle East, but he told them that if got on another bandwagon it would be vomit inducing to the public and he's probably right. If he started making detailed pronouncements about what he thinks should happen in the Middle East he'd be pilloried for it. His only suggestion to them was to try to focus on the common ancestry of the three main faiths, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and that is probably what LAPOE grew out of and is his sole statement. What U2 primarily tried to focus on in this tour besides the Africa work but actually as an extension of that work, is the declaration of Human Rights. Because if all nations would truly accept and support the declaration of Human Rights (including the US) then that would go a long way towards beginning the process of peace in a lot of places. But again, I point out to you that a song cannot be a map for political resolution. Bono's intention is to get people thinking in terms of non-violent resolution. He is also not just suggesting that Palestinians stop the violence, he is talking about BOTH sides needing to remember that they are descended from the same blood, in others words they are family, and should not be killing each other. You are trying to take the lyrics of the song as if they are Bono's recommendations on how to stop the killing and that in no way makes any sense. Again, I point out that the purpose of the song is to address the hardness of heart that allows these conflicts to continue, because when you boil everthing down to basics if the parties on both sides are full of hate, bitterness, and resentment, and allow that to dictate their actions instead of acting in the way that their faith would have them act then nothing can ever be accomplished. The heart has to change before the situation can be changed. Bono has NEVER claimed to have answers to any of the situations that they address in the songs, he simply sings what he feels. He is crying out for what he would like to see happen. It is a plea, just as in Sunday Bloody Sunday, with the line "but I won't heed the battle call" he is begging for those involved to seek peace. Are you sayng he can't write a song, pleading for peace without making a comprehensive statement on how the situation should be resolved? Man, I know people joke about can Bono save the world, but jeez you're expecting a bit much aren't you?

Dana
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:21 AM   #11
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I totally agree with everything rihannsu said.

Lighten up! You can't expect Bono to give a detailed lecture about how to solve the world's problems in a song. Also, you seem obsessively ani-Israel.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:39 AM   #12
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To Rhiannon and others, I'd point to my reply to Dr. Zooeus (specifically how Bono could easly have justified state oppression in the cases of "Mothers of the Disappeared", "Bullet the Blue Sky", and "Silver and Gold", but didn't) as well as many edits I've been making throughout the last post. Again, I think Bono's message in LAPOE applies to those joining Al Qaeda-type groups, but not Palestinians. I'm not saying Bono has to describe the details of what's happening, but the spirit has to at least be right. The cliche observation that both sides only need to stop violence to allow peace only allows the Israeli occupation to continue disrupting Palestinian life and would not end their suffering. Israel has shown a willingness to run over the rights and lives of Palestinians when there was no resistance, and whenever Palestinians have ceased firing. An end to overt violence is only half the problem and fails to realize the need to stop the state oppression that has caused this. It wouldn't take much for Bono to say this kind of thing. I really believe that whatever U2 can do to help forward real understanding of this problem, it should it it's going to discuss this issue. Otherwise, it's just another excuse of Israel and conservatives in the West to write off Palestinians as barbarians, but allow state oppression that causes this desperation to continue. Proper illustration of the essence of the problem isn't too much to expect. I believe U2 can do this, and it should! It's pivotal for Westerners, especially Americans, to understand this if we are to take away Al Qaeda-type groups' potency.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:27 AM   #13
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Why are you expecting Bono to save the world?

I mean seriously, he does more than the average man, but no one should be asked this much of...

What are you doing? You try and place this weight on Bono, what are you doing?
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:14 AM   #14
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Let Bono make just the musician, U2 can do anything for what no man can do anything...........................
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:55 AM   #15
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Wow, great how a musical discussion turned into a political one. If I got to meet Daniel Lanois or the guys of U2 in a similar setting one day, I'm sure I could think about a million other questions to ask.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld
To Rhiannon and others, I'd point to my reply to Dr. Zooeus (specifically how Bono could easly have justified state oppression in the cases of "Mothers of the Disappeared", "Bullet the Blue Sky", and "Silver and Gold", but didn't) as well as many edits I've been making throughout the last post. Again, I think Bono's message in LAPOE applies to those joining Al Qaeda-type groups, but not Palestinians. I'm not saying Bono has to describe the details of what's happening, but the spirit has to at least be right. The cliche observation that both sides only need to stop violence to allow peace only allows the Israeli occupation to continue disrupting Palestinian life and would not end their suffering. Israel has shown a willingness to run over the rights and lives of Palestinians when there was no resistance, and whenever Palestinians have ceased firing. An end to overt violence is only half the problem and fails to realize the need to stop the state oppression that has caused this. It wouldn't take much for Bono to say this kind of thing. I really believe that whatever U2 can do to help forward real understanding of this problem, it should it it's going to discuss this issue. Otherwise, it's just another excuse of Israel and conservatives in the West to write off Palestinians as barbarians, but allow state oppression that causes this desperation to continue. Proper illustration of the essence of the problem isn't too much to expect. I believe U2 can do this, and it should! It's pivotal for Westerners, especially Americans, to understand this if we are to take away Al Qaeda-type groups' potency.
Once again you have totally ignored the point. To say that Bono is justifying state oppression is totally over the top. Bono is addressing the hardness of heart that allows this to continue. If the heart is opened then the "willingness to run over the rights and lives of Palestinians when there was no resistance, and whenever Palestinians have ceased firing" would be addressed as well as the specific physical violence. Pretty much every position U2 takes can be boiled down to acting in LOVE. Acting in love would not condone the actions you are speaking of. I've made this point in every post and you totally ignore it to continue your agenda. You respond only to the parts of my post that allow you to continue your arguement. You have still not answered why you can consider Sunday Bloody Sunday an appropriate response but LAPOE is not. The only answer you did give simply shows that you are somehow personally invested in this issue but not the one in Northern Ireland. And Bono did intend the Coexist message to apply to Israel and Palestine as well as Al-Queda because he is addressing it to ALL members of the three faiths. It was also intended to help curb violence toward Islamic peoples that was building after 9/11. U2 have been promoting love from the very beginnings of the band. If people act out of love much of the evils in the world would not flourish. U2's focus has always been the heart. Even the Africa work which is more specific and which is only mentioned just as obliquely in a song like Crumbs is still an extension of targeting the heart as the basis for it is love thy neighbor and our neighbors are now the entire world. You obviously won't be happy unless Bono specifically starts campaigning for Palestinians so I guess you are just going to be perpetually disappointed. But to state that this is somehow Bono's responsibilty is ridiculous.

Dana

And by the way my user name is Rihannsu not Rhiannon. It has nothing to do with the Fleetwood Mac song.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:48 AM   #17
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Note to Muldfeld...... you are so obviously anti Israel.... perhaps you should read more history or talk to those that have lived the history of Israel ....My Grandmother was born in "Palestine" ....There was no such thing as The Palestinian People ..until after the state of Israel was created... Unfortunately at this time in the world ... again the Jewish people are to blame for all the ills in the world .... I have a question for you..... What exactly does a Q&A with Daniel Lanois ( whom I think is absolutely Brilliant) have to to do with the Middle East and Israel .. or did you you use this as a forum to rant about your views?.....
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaynejenjune
or did you you use this as a forum to rant about your views?.....
Rant.

And ramble.

But, when someone truly believes that if a band could just watch Battlestar fucking Gallactica, they could then make an album that could help save the world, or at least the Middle East from the evil Jews, do you just need to say to yourself "consider the source" when reading their rants/ramblings?

There are so many things that are wrong with the initial post that I don't know where to begin.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #19
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Galactica's a great show, but come on, haven't we had this conversation before?

There's absolutely no way Bono or the band will become saviors after playing a 4 minute song inspired by Adama kicking Cylon ass for 3 seasons.

That's like saying watching The Wire will solve gang violence.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:36 AM   #20
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i'm sorry, i just have to check something here... did you ask daniel lanois if u2 could use battlestar galactica as inspiration for their next album?

just checking.

i suppose it could work... i mean achtung baby was written after a marathon of mork and mindy episodes.
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