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Old 02-10-2002, 07:48 AM   #21
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Umm... I can't see how anyone can claim that U2 are NOT a mainstream band. They've sold over a hundred million of records; they've had no. 1 albums and singles all over the world and just had a second most high-grossing tour of all time. More than that, they clearly enjoy their fame and they never were the "reluctant stars" like REM, Pearl Jam or Pink Floyd. They never hid their ambitions for the Beatles-sized glory or approached the idea of mainstream success with the indie-band mentality. "Mainstream" doesn't equal "sell-out" or "bad music"; sure, 90% of it is pure crap, but so is 90% of anything: movies, TV ads, paintings, theatre plays, and yes, non-mainstream music too.
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Old 02-10-2002, 01:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by elevation:
Sure the article was harsh, and wrong at some aspects but the funny thing was that when I read it, I found out that I actually agreed with some of it. Whether I like that feeling or not. When I watched the halftime show I felt completely alienated from U2. Really. They were mainstream. Worse than mainstream. Trying to embrace everyone and trying to please everyone. That is everyone=America these days. Don't get me wrong. 11th September was the worst tragedy in the Western world in a long, long time but what on earth has U2 to do with that?! Is it their call to comfort everyone marked by the tragedy? Maybe its due to the fact that I'm not American but I really don't get it. In my opinion U2 should do what they are really good at. I don't mind politics and music being mixed but not on the cost of the latter...Where's U2's "we want to fuck up the mainstream"??!! - and being ahead of the game instead of - sorry - kissing everyone asses?!?

First Mug222, another contrats on a great email!

Second, Hi! I'm Sherry Darlin, and I most hang out in PLEAB but this was too great a thread to miss. I wanted to respond to the above post.

1. According to an article I read from atU2.com, U2 didn't even receive any money for their performance. (That made me really very proud to be a fan!)

2. I hear what you're saying, Elevation, about them being too mainstream but I think of it this way: their f--king it up from the inside. That's a lot more effective, really. When I hear, for example, Stuck in a Moment on the radio, followed by Janet Jackson or Spears or the INync, the weakness of *most* mainstream stuff is made clear. Consider the mainstream effed.

3. I'm not sure how they are trying to "please everyone" with their cheerleading for America. Let's remember, there are people who think we're not necesarily going about things the right way and also people who prefer their rock without politic soul, thank you. Also, it's worth remembering these are men who have dealt with terrorism first-hand themselves. I'm sure that has something to do with their outpouring of compassion and solidaity. I think what Bono wanted to do was remind people that rock can, if done right, be a spiritual, unifying force, and a healing one. This IS what U2 "is really good at."

4. All points about overexposure well taken. As a fan, I'm loving it, but after the Bowl, I'd almost have them lay low for a bit and let that be their (temporary) farewell after a great album and tour.

Thanks for listening...sorry if this was long.

SD



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You don't have to be Henry Kissenger to figure out that a more prosperous world is a more secure world; a more educated world is a more tolerant world; and a more healthy world is a more stable world, and I think that would be a fitting memorial to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11th. ~Bono on Leno, Thanksgiving 2001
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:23 AM   #23
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The article made me so angry I could hardly see straight. But that's probably because those sentiments have been rumbling around for a while -- Rodriguez is just the first guy to spell it out...for "their" side. I'm angry and, yes, defensive because (as I believe in compromise in much the same spirit Bono does) there's a fear their side is somehow "right"... as long as one sees through adolescent bad guy/good guy lenses. It's disconcerting to let go of your youthful assumptions, you know. To hate the sin and see the value in loving the sinner, rather than in wiping him off the face of the earth. Rodriguez obviously believes in problems, not solutions, in white hats and black hats. Oh, and that anyone who attempts to love the sinner better get out of rock'n'roll. Well, okay, they can have their argument, it works for them. Rock'n'roll better not grow up.

Bollocks, indeed. Bono's always been an easy target because he is not coy. His feelings are BIG, and that's uncool to cynics.
Quote:
Is it their call to comfort everyone marked by the tragedy?
Actually, I think it is. Not in a "nursing" sense, obviously, but empathy and compassion have always been their creative fuel, their "inner" call, and this is all consistent with that. They played Sarajevo; they wrote a song called "Miss Sarajevo" -- for the same reasons. No one accused them of sellout. Loving America for the wrong reasons is the bane of my existence as a Canadian, believe me (no offense intended!), but loving Americans for the right reasons is what the Superbowl (for once) tried to be about. "Sellout." Crikey. Yeah, so that his "mainstream" recitation from Psalm 51 could sell more bibles, yeah, that's it. Whatever.

Thank you, mug, for being more coherent than me. But had to get that off MY chest.

Deb D

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Old 02-11-2002, 01:33 PM   #24
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I'm sick of people nitpicking U2 for their patriotism. The general attitude is, "They're Irish, we're American, this tragedy happened here." Blah blah. Sorry, weren't people of all nationalities and races killed in the terrorist attacks? Yep, thought so. American arrogance goes a long way in trying to prove invalid points. *sarcasm*
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Old 02-11-2002, 03:07 PM   #25
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Okay...here it goes.
You know what?
I wasn't going to let any of this shit bother me...but sure enough it did.
Being a redhead doesn't help me here...LOL..my blood has been in a slow incline to a boil since I've read Mr.Rodriguez's article a couple of days back.
I wasn't even going to respond to this thread...but what the fuck...why the hell not?
Not only am I responding to this thread...but I also emailed that bastard too.
I wasn't going to...but when push comes to shove...well you know the rest...
Here's my email to that poor excuse for a journalist...and I have to warn you..it's a little long...sorry in advance

Dearest Juan,
I have read your article numerous times..over and over again.
I have never read your work before...but being a fan of U2 since 1982, I had the opportunity to stumble upon your work.
Now I'm sure you have had heaps of emails since submitting this said article, but I do hope you have patience to read one more.
I will even try to keep it short.
What disturbed me the most was the sensational title "Bono's Biggest Sellout". That alone is proof that you are trying to get the reader's attention in a way that is not much different from what the National Enquirer and other trash magazines do on a daily basis.
Considering your age...I would expect more from a "respected" journalist like you. Coining the word "Sellout" is just about as lame as your article. That word gets thrown around much too often...and somehow the meaning gets lost. Maybe you should start revamping your vocab. That would be a great place to start. Because the title "Bono's biggest sellout" just screams out to me "sensationalism". You often take shots below the belt on Bono's choices of words...well, you need to look in the mirror. How about working on yourself first before tearing apart someone else? Just some advice.
Suffice it to say...you are not a fan of U2.
That is okay by me. Not everyone is.
How about accepting the fact that people do like this band? And Bono,for that matter?
I thought your article was going to deal with Bono's activities in world politics,etc...but then you forayed into critiquing U2's musical history and work. Now that led me to thinking...now what is it exactly that is bothering this guy? Is it Bono's attempts or motives on the world economics front...or is it the music? You went from bashing his "hobnobbing with men with big cojones and hearts of steel" to stating "realizing they were starting to get a little long in the tooth....they decided to make one last killing...All That You Can't Leave Behind...safe as milk". Your lack of focus is evident throughout the entire article. It is something slightly short of comical. Maybe you should consider writing for the Sunday morning comics instead.
Good journalism? I think not.
What you did accomplish,though, is probably something you never intended.
You came across as sour grapes. As a ranter and a raver,without focus or making any sense. It actually made me SAD for you. Here you are, behind your desk, in front of your computer...complaining away about someone who is trying to make a difference in this world. Whether Bono suceeds or fails, that remains to be seen. How are YOU trying to change the world? Or are you just one of those miserables that live their everyday bitching and moaning? Do you think Bono is affected by anything you said? I think not.
If anything..you have provided him with a BIG chuckle. He's going to go on his way, on his terms...brushing the "Juan Rodriguez Dust" off his shoulders so to speak. Nothing you can say or do will stop that man. Perhaps what essentially bothers you is the fact that Bono is a "go-getter". And I admire him for that.
Change doesn't happen if you sit on your arse complaining how bad things are. Unless you yourself are trying to affect change to better this world, I can't see your article being anything more than a grumpy old "geezer" showing his true colours. Hey..you called it...referring to yourself as "this geezer"...and what a fitting description of oneself!!
There may even be some anti-psychotic medicine prescriptions in your near future. Your dislike for Bono came across to me as a little on the "unhealthy" side. Please keep yourself away from guns, knives, and pretty much anything else that may induce harm onto others. Your intense loathing of Bono was all over the board...much to the same tune "a la Mark Chapman-John Lennon". Very scary indeed. You have a lot of work to do on yourself...and I suggest you start right away.
Try listening to "Give Peace a Chance". That just might calm you down.
Wishing you luck in your future,
Autumn
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Old 02-12-2002, 03:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angel:
Anywhere from age 19-50+ The majority are 30-40, but what does that have to do with anything?


Because your class of 30-40 year olds (and I am in that age range) sound like a bunch of uneducated children. One could forgive a naive teenager or an overzealous 20-something for such comments. But a person in his/her 30's or older should know better than to make silly accusations for no apparent reason.

The odd thing is, I've heard nothing but praise from the people I know - even those who aren't big U2 fans. And, as horribly snobbish as this sounds, it appears that the group of people I know are better informed. Angel - if these people are as stupid as they sound, then you'll easily get the only "A" in the class. LOL!
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Old 02-13-2002, 01:15 PM   #27
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BONO'S BIGGEST SELLOUT

When I read this article I became angry and confused. Angry at the writer for
only telling half the story and confused because maybe he had a legitimate
point.

It is too easy to simply speak with one's heart and ignore one's mind. That
is why I try to be objective.

Some retorts to Mr. Rodriguez' article that I sent to him:
1. he calls Bono & U2 sellouts yet he fails to mention that they played the
Super Bowl for free

2. he claims that punk rock is rebellious and Bono is blasphemous to this;
yet I ask Rodriguez: isn't supporting an unpopular and unhip cause(debt
relief) some form of rebellion?

3. How is ATYCLB selling out if it DOES NOT sound like any other
mainstream/pop music on the radio today?

4. he criticizes Bono for hobnobbing with politicians and powerful people yet
ignores the fact that this is his most viable way to garner interest for a
good cause

5. In the media's eyes you can't win: if U2 would have written another
irony-filled, synth-induced album it may have been flawed and hated by the
band(even U2 admitted that POP was flawed) and fans/critics. One listen to
ATYCLB and you can see the synergy in Bono's lyrics and what he has been
expressing in his life over the past few years(world issues, death, mid-life
crisis) which DOES make it anything but selling out. If he were truly
selling out he may have written hip-hop/pop or angst-ridden material.

In the end Bono will get criticized no matter what he does: if he doesn't
support causes people will wonder if he has given up his beliefs and
convictions and if he does continue to support them, writers will take shots
at him for hanging around with people that are different then him. Remember,
if you constantly criticize people and have an opinion like Bono so often
does, he is then fair game for criticism to be redirected at him.

Finally, I realize that there is no wrong or right, just opinons. Lets be
fair here: you shouldn't dismiss someone or something simply b/c you disagree
with them. If he or she brings credible evidence to support the issue, you
should think about it and try to see both sides, then form an opinion.

I look forward to any and all replies
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Old 02-14-2002, 02:37 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:


2. he claims that punk rock is rebellious and Bono is blasphemous to this;
yet I ask Rodriguez: isn't supporting an unpopular and unhip cause(debt
relief) some form of rebellion?
I think you have a great point there. A lot of people seem to understand *rebellion* as listening to 'subversive' music or wearing unusual clothes...basically rebelling against the *mainstream* I suppose. But I think sometimes it's about rebelling against the boxes you get put in, the labels people give you. If people define a rock band as a group of people who drink, smoke, do drugs, trash hotel rooms, sleep with a different girl every night and comment in every interview that you don't give a fuck what people think of you, then you're rebelling if you refuse to fit into that narrow little category. Doing all the things they expect isn't rebellion. Being rebellious according to their definition of rebellion absolutely defeats the object.

So I completely agree with you there. I think getting involved in something which people wouldn't expect you to, or might tell you not to, is a way of rebelling.

And isn't trying to do something that's going to make a difference in the world another form of rebellion? Against the way we're told day after day that we should just accept the world the way it is and never over-step the line and try to change what's wrong. That's a whole lot more *rebellious* than throwing a chair through a window or whatever the stereotypical rock'n'roll style rebellion is.

I don't think I've seen you post here before...so welcome and I thought you had some really interesting ideas there

[This message has been edited by FizzingWhizzbees (edited 02-13-2002).]
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Old 02-15-2002, 12:39 AM   #29
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Old 02-15-2002, 01:16 AM   #30
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God what a bitchy email I sent that man!!!!
But you know what?
I would do it again.
All that man achieved by writing such an article was to put his own shortgivings on display.
I'm sorry...but that man is one miserable bastard.
Why scorn those who are trying to help the world?
And I'm sorry...but that comment about the American Flag lining in his jacket..."what? did he purchase that over the Internet?" comment....was just simply too imbecile for me to handle...
What an asshole. A Chapman in the waiting.
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Old 02-15-2002, 11:02 AM   #31
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Hey everyone,
I find the hateful articles in life to be the most interesting for a few reasons:
1. I am curious to see the "other side" of a point of view in order to compare it to mine
2. they are much more amusing, interesting and/or provacative than a complimentary article.

Anyway, let me preface by saying that this excerpt was taken from the "Well Hung" section of the current Rolling Stone Magazine. The authors of this article(Jason Cohen and another fellow who I cannot recall at the moment) have a strong hatred and bias against Bono. I am a frequent reader of Rolling Stone and to be fair, they are usually very favorable toward U2. If you have any anger to vent, please try to direct it toward someone other than Rolling Stone. I am very cusious to read your replies(you can reply to the authors at SQWUBBSY@AOL.COM).

BANALITY OF EVIL AWARD: Bono

This one really ought to be named after the little prick. See, what you people can't seem to fathom is that U2 spent the last half of the Nineties wallowing in artistic and commercial relevance. They didn't "get back to rock" because of passion. They "applied for the job" of BBITW because that's what it is to them -- a job. The kids wanna rock, they said, so we'll ditch this techno stuff (which was an equally desperate aesthetic
choice, the first time their experimentation felt motivated by external rather than internal forces). The only bands that matter are on TRL, so we'll pander to that. Clear Channel is gonna give us the most money and that will help us get more radio play, so we'll cast our lot with them, and we'll have $45 general admission seats so nobody
notices we're charging $130 for the good ones. We don't care about Bono's attempts to "change the system from within" -- it still doesn't justify lending someone like Jesse Helms credibility, or pandering to the same corporate fuckers responsible for world debt by showing at the Super Bowl. It's a long way from "New Year's Day" to "Beautiful Day," that's for fucking sure.

We've got no trouble with Edge, Larry and Adam, though. They're cool.

My reaction to the article:
Firstly, I read the article knowing that it WOULD NOT be objective b/c these guys hate Bono. Some of their points were nonsense and silly:
1. "we don't care that he is trying to change from within,"--they are just ignoring Bono's good work b/c they don't like him
2. "they spent the last half of the nineties wallowing in commercial and artistic relevance."--that is just not completely true; they DID NOT "wallow" and DID NOT care about being commercially relevent(especially in the States) during they 90's; if they did they would not have had the guts to experiment in the 1st place!
3. the only people on the planet who know where the passion for writing the songs on ATYCLB or any other album(such as their experimentation that is mentioned)are the 4 members of the band; for someone to state that he or she knows where the passion comes from is silly.

It pains me to admit that I agree with some of this piece, though. Some examples:
1. U2 tix ARE TOO expensive
2. U2 has over-exposed themselves over the past year-and-a-half and much of this exposure has not been simply b/c of 9/11 so that is not totally a justifiable excuse(Leno, Letterman, Super Bowl, Grammys(twice), MTV Awards twice, NBA Halftime, TRL, VH1, etc...)
3. I sometimes wonder whether U2 really felt compelled to "go back to scratch" or if they are just catering to their American audience and capitalizing on the slow reamergence of rock(Creed, Incubus, System of a Down, P.O.D., etc...).
4. I did not like the fact that U2 WENT ON TRL; it is one thing to sell yourself and try to "fuck up the mainstream," but this appearance wreaked of "please love me."
5. Bono once said, "be careful of TV, it minimizes what you do."--this one is defenseless and it makes Bono look like a hypocrite.

I realize that this is a lengthy post. U2 and Bono(admittedly, he deserves some of this and it is expected b/c he comes across as an arrogant, opinionated jerk sometimes) in particular have been getting reamed in the media over this past week and I have been trying to understand where some of the cynisism is coming from. Some of it is ignorant, nonsensible and laughable. Other parts of it actually seem to make a lot of sense and has made me re-think my outlook on U2. I still thorougly enjoy their music and maybe I always will b/c they connect with me like no other music. However, I sometimes wonder what their motivation, goals and intentions truly are.

I hope that you reply and involve yourself in this on this subject and/or ethical dilemma.
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Old 02-15-2002, 12:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:

1. U2 tix ARE TOO expensive
2. U2 has over-exposed themselves over the past year-and-a-half and much of this exposure has not been simply b/c of 9/11 so that is not totally a justifiable excuse(Leno, Letterman, Super Bowl, Grammys(twice), MTV Awards twice, NBA Halftime, TRL, VH1, etc...)
3. I sometimes wonder whether U2 really felt compelled to "go back to scratch" or if they are just catering to their American audience and capitalizing on the slow reamergence of rock(Creed, Incubus, System of a Down, P.O.D., etc...).
4. I did not like the fact that U2 WENT ON TRL; it is one thing to sell yourself and try to "fuck up the mainstream," but this appearance wreaked of "please love me."
5. Bono once said, "be careful of TV, it minimizes what you do."--this one is defenseless and it makes Bono look like a hypocrite.

1. Yes, they are, but the article seemed to imply that the $45 GA tix were not good, when obviously they were the best in the house. I loved GA, and it was more than worth the $45 I payed for each of the 3 shows to which I went.

2. Yes, U2 made a conscious effort to be in the public eye. If you want to call this "mainstream" or "selling out" I guess it's how you look at it. Personally, if I saw all the crap that passes for popular music today, I might have the same reaction as U2 seemed to. They seem to be saying "let's challenge all this pop-junk with some quality songs. Let's show the world that a rock band can still be huge, that NSYNC and Brittney don't rule everything."
I would take it as a personal challenge to unseat boy bands from the throne.

3. If anything, I think Creed is building off of U2's old foundation, which never really vanished. U2 doesn't need Creed for success. As for those other bands, they are more a part of the hardcore/rapcore scene anyway. Their styles are so different as to afford no real comparison.

4. I agree, they are a little over the top with apperances, but again I can see why they might do it. I really do think they are putting out some of the best music now, and as such shouldn't they get the best recognition etc.? Well, at least in an ideal world...

5. I think that there's a difference between Bono's quote and appearing on TV. Special appearences are different then like, bad sitcoms or soap operas. Now, if Bono started a show just like all the other crap that was on tv, I would be worried.
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Old 02-16-2002, 06:10 AM   #33
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"2. "they spent the last half of the nineties wallowing in commercial and artistic relevance."--that is just not completely true; they DID NOT "wallow" and DID NOT care about being commercially relevent(especially in the States) during they 90's; if they did they would not have had the guts to experiment in the 1st place!"

Um, that is not completely true either; sure they wanted to experiment, but they did expect POP to sell like hotcakes (Paul McGuinness predicted 20 million in sales as I remember reading). IMO if they -truly- didn't care about the sales, they'd put out "Passengers" as a U2 album.

Anyway, this notion of POP being the first album motivated by external rather than internal forces is not really convincing IMO. Achtung Baby was an extremely self-conscious attempt by U2 to re-invent themselves and their music, which had a lot to do with the public getting fed up with U2's 80s personas, so if any album was motivated by the "external forces" Achtung Baby was it.
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Old 02-16-2002, 12:51 PM   #34
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Quote:

Anyway, this notion of POP being the first album motivated by external rather than internal forces is not really convincing IMO. Achtung Baby was an extremely self-conscious attempt by U2 to re-invent themselves and their music, which had a lot to do with the public getting fed up with U2's 80s personas, so if any album was motivated by the "external forces" Achtung Baby was it.
U2 albums are always motivated by "external forces" to some degree. They are pop artists. They have an audience. They are aware of their audience. It's not that complicated.
Just before Joshua Tree came out there were are lot of interviews with the band where they expressed their frustration that they had never had a "hit" single in America. When they released Pride they thought it would be a big hit in America but it tanked. The Joshua Tree, the band explained, was an attempt to make a great album that was popular and had "songs" on it that could be played on the radio.

MAP
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Old 02-17-2002, 02:36 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:
Hey everyone,
I find the hateful articles in life to be the most interesting for a few reasons:
1. I am curious to see the "other side" of a point of view in order to compare it to mine
2. they are much more amusing, interesting and/or provacative than a complimentary article.
Me too.
"Banality of Evil Award:" OUCH. That's rather the tip-off to a particularly deep slant, eh? Knocks several pegs off the credibility scale.


Quote:
I realize that this is a lengthy post. U2 and Bono(admittedly, he deserves some of this and it is expected b/c he comes across as an arrogant, opinionated jerk sometimes) in particular have been getting reamed in the media over this past week and I have been trying to understand where some of the cynisism is coming from. Some of it is ignorant, nonsensible and laughable. Other parts of it actually seem to make a lot of sense and has made me re-think my outlook on U2. I still thorougly enjoy their music and maybe I always will b/c they connect with me like no other music. However, I sometimes wonder what their motivation, goals and intentions truly are.
I've never had any doubts about their motivations; they always begin in personal and artistic integrity. People who write for the performing arts, by definition and compulsion, create work that MUST engage an audience, the work is incomplete until it does. Sure, some pander when they lose the passion to share their own vision -- but U2 can never be accused of that. How crazy would a playwright be if he wrote a piece without imagining an audience in the house??
As I noted earlier, Bono's passions tend to be big, U2's music is often big, and that makes them an easy target. Bono sometimes oversteps -- out of enthusiasm, not insincerity. Out of overambition, not greed. An admirable sort of flaw, I think.

And just a note on the "Passengers" thing: it wasn't a U2 album, though. It was a 5-piece in which Eno was an equal, which included Eno's compositions...even musically, it feels like a completely different entity. I never imagined I could hear Edge,Adam, Larry, and Bono play together and NOT "hear" U2, but on this record I hear simply five musicians. Very cool.

And I just listened to the C-Span clip of the WEF's opening panel. Let 'em criticize Bono for who he hangs out with, never mind, 'cause that was amazing.

all fired up again,
Deb D


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