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Old 03-16-2005, 02:48 PM   #1
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on "bomb"-bashing and bonophobia

Without blaming the bashers, what do we make of how this record is either panned or praised, lashed or lauded? Are Bono and Apple computer really the root of all evil?
I must confess that since my serious Bonophilia of the 1984-87 period, I thought I'd left my youthful U2opian obsessions behind.
I went from Bonophile to Bonophobe.
But in 2001, I started to come back into the family. "Leave Behind" led me to leave behind many cynical doubts about my spiritual connection to this band and this singer. "Elevation," "Beautiful Day," "Walk On," and "Kite" remain all-time favorites today.
Then, 9-11 came, as did Bono's Super Bowl set. I never thought that the White Flag would be replaced with the American flag. Suddenly, it actually looked like Bono was going pro-Bush.
By 2004, I was all-too-ready to forgive the prodigal Hewson when the Bomb got dropped in my car stereo in late November.
I've come back home again to my first love, my obsession, my rock and roll religion.
This album is why I am on this list, why I have replaced my old, lost vinyl and casssette collection with the CDs, why I have been reading and meditating obsessively, getting ready for seeing them on tour with feelings I haven't had for 18 years in the days before JT opened in Arizona, and I was there.
Today, I read a sampling of the 711 reviews of the Bomb on "gold lyrics"-dot-com. The sincerity and severity in the anti-bono sentiment shocked me with the awful possibility that I am just a dupe for the devil in angel's clothes (especially since my political beliefs see some of the inherent hypocrisy in the hype).
But past the blogging punditocracy pretentiously blasting Bono's pretensions, I think that this record is real, and that these boys are back. (Actually, in catching up with Pop and Zooropa, I realize they never left).
How does this relate to the record: I think at least 80% of the songs do for me what Joshua Tree did: take me to the higher ground of one tree hill just outside the city of blinding lights where the streets have no name and freedom has the scent like the top of my newborn baby's head . . . .
When I flipped over War at 17, I was a card-carrying Christian wannabe Bono preacher. Today, I'm an ordained Reverend in an obscure pagan church, but Jesus remains in my pantheon (it's just the hard-core-fundamentalists that make me queazy).
I like the return to anti-war themes linked to utopian and mystical spirituality; as a dad with a pre-teen daughter, "original" makes me want to cry almost every time.
This love without limits: but what about the crass capitalistic side of this tour and all the ticket-brokers who make Bono's evil huckster preacher a la "Bullet" in "Rattle" seem more saintly?
Dancing on the head of a vertiginous ambivalence and looking for a sign, some kind of a sign . . . .
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:24 PM   #2
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Wow...what an opening thread...where to start on the reply. I too have been somewhat 'brought back into the fold' with this album, though it has more to do with the music than with anything else. It just so happened that I didn't like the quality of the last two albums--and perhaps some of the absurdity of the whole PopMart shite. (Wait til you see the replies that statement will generate on here) Anyway, you bring up some interesting points. Is the new record 'U2 by the numbers' as some critics have suggested? Yes, to a certain extent. Does that please some of us fans? Also, yes---unfortunately. I find myself wanting to hear 'good' U2 songs again, yet lament that the record is not edgier. It doesn't really break new ground, yet it captures the feel of what U2 represents for me. Is Bono a sell-out? A little. It's all a big conundrum. But I always find myself coming back to this band, and like yourself it seems, going through periods of minor obsession. Is U2 'back'? Some will argue they never left (though there are too many of us that feel otherwise--SOMETHING happened to them in the last ten years) Others will say that this is just some slick repackaging and good promotion. All I know is that I'm once again interested in listening to, talking about, and going to see them. They do have some kind of weird power in that way. We'll see....
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:27 PM   #3
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This is something that I don't waste time on anymore (but I used to). I don't worship the members of U2, don't even know them. I'm sure they've all done things that I would not like, or not agree with, or maybe make me sick. What matters is this: Bono said it first, but I liked it much better when Adam said it. The question was "Bono says that on this Elevation tour, more than any time before, that the Spirit is in the house". Edge also said this. The interviewer said "Do you have a problem with that, and for that matter, the spiritual nature of some of the lyrics?"

Adam: No, not at all. In fact, I have felt what Bono is talking about. It's not every night, and it's not always the same, but when it happens, you certainly know it. I feel it. As for the lyrics, Bono has always written about faith, doubt, hope, loss...you know, the big questions. The ones we all want the answers to. For some people, it's just good music that they like to hear. For others, there is something more to it than that. That's whay I like so much about Bono's songwriting. It can mean a lot of things to a lot of people."

Now that's an attempt to capture what he said, although I know it's not word for word. So I ask myself, does U2's music take me to a higher ground? YES. Does it help me connect spiritually and help my faith? YES. Did I lose that "feeling" or "connection" during the 90's? YES, at times, but it was still there...you just had to...look harder. Have the last two albums made a much more direct connection to spirituality? YES, but I wouldn't change a thing about the past...U2 had to take their own journey.

So, how do I deal with all the contradictions? I don't have to. U2 can do what they want. Their music inspires me in a variety of ways, which I have listed above to a point. For me, then, that's all that matters. Bono could be made a Saint tomorrow, but if the I stopped connecting with the music, then I'd stop listening. I do believe Bono and the other members when they say "there is something more, something spiritual in our music and our concerts...it's there for the people WHO WANT IT."

Well, I want it. And, for over 20 years, I have found it. I can watch Slane Castle, Boston, Mexico City, Zoo TV, and Rattle and Hum, and for me, there is something more going on than just 4 guys in a band. To my spouse, it's just really loud folk music. To my friends, it's an opportunity to get drunk and party. To Bono, I have no idea for sure what his motives are...he could be a complete fraud.

But to ME, it's great music that helps me grow spiritually, gets me through tough times, and challenges me to keep searching for the answers. U2 has been the soundtrack to my life. For those of us who can say that...who are similar in age to the band or at least discovered them early on...we have been blessed, IMO. Younger fans may be even more blessed, as U2's music has one very rare quality...it's timeless...and if I was 16 right now and was just discovering U2 by going back through the catalog to the beginning, I would be full of hope and joy in finding that there IS great music out there, and I'd have SO MUCH catching up to do.

So what am I trying to say with all this rambling? You have to separate U2 the band, 4 human beings just like you and me or anyone else, and U2's music, which transcends all of that, and may just be what opens up your heart. I can compare it to my faith and my Parent. Raised as a cradle Catholic in the strictest sense with 5 siblings, I loathed the hypocrisy of spending so much time in church and formal prayer, only to watch my Parent be the most judgemental, cold-hearted person I knew. For my siblings, belief in God = validating our Parent's mean and judging behavior, so sadly, they truly HATE both. For me, it took a long time and some great friends to help me understand that "Religion" is not Faith, my Parent was WRONG and needed help, my "Church" is run by human beings who fail repeatedly, and that I have to find my own answers and take my own journey. Relying soley on others, or looking for that perfect "role model" to teach me all the answers, is a cop out. It's up to me to make my own decisions about what I listen to, watch, act, think, etc., and there is no room in my life to be judgmental of anyone anymore.

Simply put, there are many sources of information and opportunities to experience things as I fulfill my personal journey of faith, and it just so happens that U2's MUSIC is one of the things that have helped me a lot in this part of my life. Yeah, sometimes I just love to get in the car and turn it up really load. Other times, though, I turn on Falling at Your feet when I feel like praying. It's there if I want it, and I have no idea what Bono is doing when that happens.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:48 PM   #4
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by beLIEve

But to ME, it's great music that helps me grow spiritually, gets me through tough times, and challenges me to keep searching for the answers. U2 has been the soundtrack to my life. For those of us who can say that...who are similar in age to the band or at least discovered them early on...we have been blessed, IMO. Younger fans may be even more blessed, as U2's music has one very rare quality...it's timeless...and if I was 16 right now and was just discovering U2 by going back through the catalog to the beginning, I would be full of hope and joy in finding that there IS great music out there, and I'd have SO MUCH catching up to do.

So what am I trying to say with all this rambling? You have to separate U2 the band, 4 human beings just like you and me or anyone else, and U2's music, which transcends all of that, and may just be what opens up your heart. [QUOTE]Originally posted by beLIEve

You got it down to the source, here is here and "we get to carry eachother." Thanks for this brilliant spin from the center, out to the Edge, and back to the center again: there's something ecumenical and universalist and transcendent here: yes, it's a holy Whole that exceeds the summary of the four parts who make me want to party and go to church and make love all at the same time: Spirit + Sex + Revolution =Soul Music like the writer James Baldwin would have made if he were a white guy from Ireland.
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:26 AM   #5
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All of the above replies involve too much typing for me
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anu
Are Bono and Apple computer really the root of all evil?
the bono i believed in wasn't short of cash, mister.

this is a whole new era.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosgirl84


the bono i believed in wasn't short of cash, mister.

this is a whole new era.
Hmmm... Never felt the need to believe in Bono, per se, but he hasn't been "short of cash" for a LONG time now.

This "new era" is needed due to the truly "evil empires". Look at Billboard's top albums and Hot 100 song list and tell me how many new hot rock artists are there? Heck, how many old rock artists are there? If you're rap - even if you are crap - you have a shot at a top 10 hit. R&B - that's platinum. But rock? Forget it! And you best not be around for longer than 5 years.

U2 have broken all trends - but in order for them to even make a dent on the charts, they have to do something. The 1987 - 1992 U2 didn't need to make iPod commercials. Their music was enough. While the music is still great, sadly, it's not enough any more.

So blame Clear Channel. Blame MTV. Blame whatever you want - but I'm not willing to fault Bono or U2 here for finding an innovative way to get their music heard with out accepting $$ for it.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho


Hmmm... Never felt the need to believe in Bono
Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!! And I agree with the rest of your post, too.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:07 PM   #9
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Re: on "bomb"-bashing and bonophobia

Quote:
Originally posted by Anu
Without blaming the bashers, what do we make of how this record is either panned or praised, lashed or lauded? Are Bono and Apple computer really the root of all evil?
I must confess that since my serious Bonophilia of the 1984-87 period, I thought I'd left my youthful U2opian obsessions behind.
I went from Bonophile to Bonophobe.
But in 2001, I started to come back into the family. "Leave Behind" led me to leave behind many cynical doubts about my spiritual connection to this band and this singer. "Elevation," "Beautiful Day," "Walk On," and "Kite" remain all-time favorites today.
Then, 9-11 came, as did Bono's Super Bowl set. I never thought that the White Flag would be replaced with the American flag. Suddenly, it actually looked like Bono was going pro-Bush.
By 2004, I was all-too-ready to forgive the prodigal Hewson when the Bomb got dropped in my car stereo in late November.
I've come back home again to my first love, my obsession, my rock and roll religion.
This album is why I am on this list, why I have replaced my old, lost vinyl and casssette collection with the CDs, why I have been reading and meditating obsessively, getting ready for seeing them on tour with feelings I haven't had for 18 years in the days before JT opened in Arizona, and I was there.
Today, I read a sampling of the 711 reviews of the Bomb on "gold lyrics"-dot-com. The sincerity and severity in the anti-bono sentiment shocked me with the awful possibility that I am just a dupe for the devil in angel's clothes (especially since my political beliefs see some of the inherent hypocrisy in the hype).
But past the blogging punditocracy pretentiously blasting Bono's pretensions, I think that this record is real, and that these boys are back. (Actually, in catching up with Pop and Zooropa, I realize they never left).
How does this relate to the record: I think at least 80% of the songs do for me what Joshua Tree did: take me to the higher ground of one tree hill just outside the city of blinding lights where the streets have no name and freedom has the scent like the top of my newborn baby's head . . . .
When I flipped over War at 17, I was a card-carrying Christian wannabe Bono preacher. Today, I'm an ordained Reverend in an obscure pagan church, but Jesus remains in my pantheon (it's just the hard-core-fundamentalists that make me queazy).
I like the return to anti-war themes linked to utopian and mystical spirituality; as a dad with a pre-teen daughter, "original" makes me want to cry almost every time.
This love without limits: but what about the crass capitalistic side of this tour and all the ticket-brokers who make Bono's evil huckster preacher a la "Bullet" in "Rattle" seem more saintly?
Dancing on the head of a vertiginous ambivalence and looking for a sign, some kind of a sign . . . .
Anu
First, a lot has changed in music since 87 - 91 and it's naive to think U2 would still be in the charts without the promotion in the US.

Second, Super bowl wasn't about U2/Bono being pro-Bush.

Third, don't let Bono haters and cynics tell you what to like about the band.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:02 PM   #10
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Re: Re: on "bomb"-bashing and bonophobia

Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl


First, a lot has changed in music since 87 - 91 and it's naive to think U2 would still be in the charts without the promotion in the US.

Second, Super bowl wasn't about U2/Bono being pro-Bush.

Third, don't let Bono haters and cynics tell you what to like about the band.
Now a little blast of naive passion never hurt anyone--especially Bono, and actually, the whole I-pod thing was rather cute and funny to me. In fact, promoting Mac Intosh in a PC world is rather subversive in its own right. At least they're not stumping for Michael Dell.
The point of my first post, rather, is not that I believe the rabid Bonophobes or flaccid Bonophiles--in fact I have both voices breathing heavy (and sometimes not at all) inside my fan's heart.
Instead of dismissing either side simplistically, I am trying to understand the intensity of this feeling and this record and this moment, for myself and the fan community.
Why do some people hate Bono and the band with such vigor? Why do some dedicated fans see this "Bomb" as mediocre rehash? Why do some of us see this as the light on the hill burning brighter than it has possibly ever?
I'm in the latter category. I haven't felt this pumped about U2 since 1987, and then . . . well, we didn't have the Internet then!!!
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
I think at least 80% of the songs do for me what Joshua Tree did: take me to the higher ground of one tree hill just outside the city of blinding lights where the streets have no name and freedom has the scent like the top of my newborn baby's head . . . .
thank you for putting my feelings into words..
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:47 AM   #12
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Hmmm... Never felt the need to believe in Bono, per se, but he hasn't been "short of cash" for a LONG time now.
lol, i can't believe you took that so literally.

what i meant was, the bono who used to inspire me didn't wear roberto cavalli jackets and three hundred dollar bvlgari shades in every color of the rainbow. he didn't schmooze with politicians, he challenged them.

just my thoughts on how everything has changed.
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:21 AM   #13
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Bono is challenging them more now then ever. Actually getting them to put money where there mouth is rather then just talking about it.

Secondly I think Bono is a lot more mature since the days of wrapping himself in Amnesty International flags on stage.

Bono is still very much an activist just is a lot smarter about why and how hes doing it.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:00 AM   #14
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Here's what confuses me about Bono bashers:

He was absolutely cool wearing flashy jackets and shades for the whole decade before now. Interestingly enough, no one complained about it. When he talks with Bush, he's a nutcase - when he pals with Clinton, he's a star. Double standards?

That same guy brought up mothers of dissapeared on stage and organised the Sarajevo satellite link-ups, protested the Sellafield etc... His activist side never left him.
What he's doing now is more effective than just talking about politicians. Talk is cheap.
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