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Old 01-19-2006, 10:50 PM   #1
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Rock N' Roll Politics: The Bono Years (Super Long Post)

EDIT: Dammit. Mod, please move this to Everything You Know is Wrong. I can't believe I posted this in the wrong forum. Thank You.


PREFACE: Ok, guys, I told you about my Senior Thesis paper of the B-man, and the final draft is finally done. I'm handing it in tomorrow, and I'm unvieling it now here on Interference for your reading and debating pleasure. It's quite long, and I'm not sure how many posts it's going to take to finish (edit: wow, color me surprised...it seems like they let the whole thing go on one post!...plus, i tried to make it a little easier to read), so please, bare with it...it should be worth the read

Oh, one other thing, some of the citations are a little F***ed up still, specifically the Laura Jackson ones, so please ignore them (not like the works cited page is especially interesting anyway, although I suppose I could post that too if anyone really cares enough to want to read it. So yeah, here it is. I'll finish posting it, then go to sleep. Very tired...long day tomorrow...I'll reply again tomorrow night. Thank you, and without further suspence, .... .... here it is.

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Rock N’ Roll Politics: The Bono Years
Music and politics have always been closely related. As far back as ancient times, tribes and primitive civilizations communicated through the use of music, and used songs as ways of recording their own history. Much later, during the time when art music was dominant, composers would write and perform exclusively for royalty and politicians. During the romantic era, a strong sense of nationalism led composers to write pieces with the purpose of representing the ideals of their own nations.

In America, The Blues was born from the oppression of the slaves, demonstrating a pure expression of the political and social climate through music. At this time in history, artists were not labeled as “political singers or bands” because that was the very nature of the genre. Jazz and Blues stand as a testament to the relationship between the art of music and its mirror to society.

When Rock and Roll exploded in the late fifties and early sixties, artists like The Beatles and Bob Dylan were beginning to make their own radical statements about society and revolution. By this time, popular music had really begun to pick up momentum as a venue for artists to reach out to the common folk with deeper messages about the world they live in. Only soon after did the music industry pick up on the potential power and profit to be had by supporting huge political causes.
Starting in the early seventies, massive benefit concerts were often held in stadiums with a roster of dozens of timely acts and performers. From George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 to the most recent Live 8 in 2005, artists take these opportunities to contribute to a charity, even if only for one day. Many artists, however, devote much of their time to political or humanitarian activism. Men like Bob Geldof are most famous for their work with ending global poverty, while artists like R.E.M. or Bruce Springsteen perform and tour with political groups in order to raise awareness for the Democratic party.

However, only one band and artist has emerged from the glamour of the business to not only become one of the most socially relevant musicians of this century, but to become the music industry’s greatest political activist (Tyrangiel). Bono, a singer, song-writer, artist, and member of the world’s most successful rock band, U2, has worn his heart on his sleeve his entire career in order to call attention to the world’s modern crises.

U2 has always held the reputation of being both a political and a religious rock band. Earlier album lyrics are full of these themes, and later work reflects deeper social values. U2 made a huge progression in their career when they performed at Bob Geldof’s Live Aid concert in 1985, often noted as a highlight of the entire show. Most noteworthy however is Bono’s own campaign for Africa, which has taken center stage in the news in recent years. Bono’s work for the African continent starting in 1998 marked a significant switch from musically-driven activism to a more direct political role in his causes and made him the world’s most successful Rock N’ Roll activist.

Bono’s first significant charity event was 1984’s Band Aid single when several artists including Sting, George Michael and Boy George contributed their voices to the record, “Do They Know it’s Christmas?”. Bono’s line “Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you.” happened to be the most controversial yet touching moment in the song. The truth that everyone has a similar, secret feeling when confronted with extreme poverty of disease is what makes Bono’s line so powerful, and marks the beginning of his growth into a political giant. Consequently the single reached the number one position in the charts and raised eleven-million dollars for third-world relief funds (galenet.galegroup.com).

The following year Bob Geldof arranged the now-famous Live Aid event in the cities of Philadelphia and London. The money from admissions was to be used toward relief in Africa, where thousands die every day from hunger. Along with Queen and David Bowie, U2 was one of the major headliners in London. Their epic set of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and an eleven-plus minute version of “Bad” were for many the highlight of the event. A total profit of more than two-hundred million dollars was raised that day for Africa, in no small part due to U2’s performance (Coll).
Also in 1985, another benefit concert was held in U2’s native Ireland called Self Aid. The goal of this event was to inspire unemployed Irishmen to pledge jobs. Since Irish culture is such a strong part of U2 and Bono’s beliefs and heritage, the growing unemployment epidemic in Ireland was one more cause the band can help through their music. While U2 headlined the event, other European artists including Van Morrison and Elvis Costello also performed at the event, coming together for one common goal. Now, the members of U2 can even more clearly be seen committing their time to work aimed at improving the conditions of people’s live, be they Irish, American, or African, in order to create a better world.

Coming off the highs of Live Aid and their successful Unforgettable Fire Tour, U2 pledged their efforts to Amnesty International, a global organization dedicated to the promotion of peace. The Amnesty International-run Conspiracy of Hope tour of 1986 was a six-city, two week tour featuring several of the decade’s most popular artists. John Healy, an ex-Franciscan monk and Peace Corp worker, started the tour in order to promote Amnesty International’s ideals to potentially unaware audiences around the world (Booth).

U2, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, The Neville Brothers, and Brian Adams signed on to the tour with a true passion in their hearts for what Amnesty stands for, many of the artists even canceling their own tour dates in order to perform (Booth). The most unique aspect of the tour was the genuinely fun environment on the road and the devotion the acts showed for the cause. During the Amnesty International Press Conference on June 12 Bono elaborated on his feelings for the tour, “As rock musicians, we are generously rewarded for what we do and I think… we should try to give back. I think the extraordinary thing is the more we try to give, the more we seem to get back… because rock and roll is a much more vital medium” (Propaganda). His comments were equally confirmed by co-headliner Peter Gabriel who said “What I really want to be able to say about my own music is maybe that I contributed something to make a better world” (Propaganda).
Bono and Peter Gabriel both express the sentiment that accomplishing good through their musical talents is not only self-rewarding on a more spiritual level, but made their responsibility as artists. If they have something to say, people will listen, and while entertainment is their primary goal, the moral content they deliver can be equally as powerful as their music.

After the Conspiracy of Hope Tour, a bit of backlash against benefit concerts and their constant television coverage began to leak into the media. The artists and managers involved with the Conspiracy of Hope Tour were careful about over-exposing the shows through MTV coverage because of the number of recurring benefit concerts and possibly diminishing the tour’s sincerity. Overall they struck a delicate balance between raising awareness and over-saturating the public with the shows (Hilburn). If the audience were to become tired of the televised charity concert, the purpose of the shows would fail to be taken seriously. Instead of raising people’s awareness on the delicate issues at hand, it would simply increase their indifference.
U2 felt the need to leave Amnesty International after Live Aid and The Conspiracy of Hope Tour, because participating in endless benefit shows began to feel old and less affective. In response, the band joined Greenpeace and began doing work for that environmental rights group. Like every other cause the band fought for in their career, they are all equally passionate about Greenpeace and their agenda. The first act they do for Greenpeace is volunteer their music for the 1989 album “Rainbow Warriors”, a Greenpeace effort to raise profits and awareness for environmental protection (Majendie).

U2’s greatest moment with Greenpeace came in 1992 when the band organized a protest demonstration outside of the Sellafield 2 nuclear power plant, slated to open in Cumbria later that year. However, when an injunction stopping U2 from demonstrating at Sellafield was instated, the band used the Greenpeace boat “Solo” to sail to the shores of Sellafield and dump barrels of Irish polluted mud on the beach with the label “return to sender” (Majendie). Along with taking a photo of the band in their hazardous materials suits at the site, the band integrated a pollution message into their new Zoo TV tour that year, displaying the words “fallout, plutonium, mutant, radiation, sickness, Chernobyl” on giant screens over the stage (Flanagan, 143).
On the subject of Sellafield, Dave Evens (The Edge), guitarist for the band, speaks about “As a father of two girls I am disgusted it is still going on. I am concerned about Sellafield and that Irish Sea is the most radioactive in the world.” (Majendie). Bono, always the loudest of the U2 members, made it clear at the time that as a rock and roll band, all they can really do is present the facts to the audience. They will even dress up in ridiculous suits if that is what it takes to make the point (Flanagan, 149). The band’s genuine concern for the health of their country turned what may have been viewed as an exploitatious publicity stunt into a cleverly arranged display of protest.

U2’s massive and revolutionary Zoo TV tour also acted as the perfect medium for other issues the band wanted to address. Inspired by the televised coverage of the first Gulf War and the latest trends in modern technology, Zoo TV was a true concert spectacle. The first to use video screens to present moving images other than performance shots, the Zoo TV tour was quite literally a television station on wheels, traveling from city to city, a living testament to U2’s ingenuity and sense of irony. Through the use of their available technology, the band decides to explore the state of condition in Sarajevo, Bosnia, another step in Bono’s humanitarian evolution.

Sarajevo is a war-torn city in the most dire of human conditions, where people fight to survive daily with no electricity, no heat, no water or food, and under constant siege. This means men and women cannot leave the city to find shelter or missing loved ones. Most of the soldiers are corrupt, and a heavy barrage of gunfire and mortar shells fill their surroundings. To U2 and the Zoo TV crew, this city quickly became the heart of their live shows (Duffy).

Journalist Bill Carter was over in Sarajevo to film a report when he contacted U2 with the idea of presenting the report through the Zoo TV satellites since there was practically no way to air from the city itself. The project eventually grew to become a series of thirteen link-ups between Carter in Sarajevo and U2 in whatever city they were touring that night. The idea behind the feeds was to feature Bosnian citizens given the opportunity to talk to the outside world. Not only did this give these people a connection not before possible, but it informed the European audiences of the issues in Bosnia that are not well known (Propaganda).
The risks in linking to Sarajevo live during a rock concert are great. The feeds depress the concert audience bringing the momentum of the performance to a stand-still. The more practical risk, however, is the very real possibility of the crew over in Sarajevo being injured or very likely killed. U2 was adamant in doing what they felt was right, and continued with the live feeds until all thirteen were complete. More immediate results included exposing the Bosnian people as the cultured and sophisticated people they are, and in some cases reuniting families torn apart during the war through the video interviews with the Bosnian citizens. One mother reports later “I can die happy now because I had spoken to my son.” (Propaganda)

One of the last significant acts Bono performed during this era of their career was in relation to the Chernobyl relief cause. In 1996, Bono and his wife Alison Hewson supported an aid convoy sent to Chernobyl consisting of two-million dollars worth of aid. This eventually became a personal cause for Alison, as they supported an infant with a tumor by bringing him back to Ireland for surgery. Alison and Bono continued to provide support to the Chernobyl relief organization for years to come (Collins). This case more clearly reveals the work Bono commits to in a more personal, private scenario. While Bono and U2 make it a priority to utilize their popularity as a stage for the world’s greater issues, their individual donations to charity are not to be discounted.

Roughly the years 1980 to 1998 are Bono’s and U2’s more music-oriented roles political and humanitarian activism. As such, their music during this time is heavily influenced by and reflective of this. U2’s first three albums are driven by Bono’s religious and political lyrics. Being raised by a Roman-Catholic mother and a Protestant father, Bono remained uniquely independent in his religious beliefs, subscribing strictly to neither sect of Christianity (Jackson, 15).
The lyrics in Boy and October are particularly laden with biblical imagery and questions of God and creation. Songs from October such as “Fire” and “I threw A Brick Through A Window” are particularly religious in nature, with themes of redemption and the apocalypse (Jackson 31). While U2’s first two albums primarily focused on exposing Bono’s personal beliefs, and inspire a younger generation of kids and teenagers, WAR’s message was strictly political.

U2’s most blatantly political album, WAR marked a critical point in the band’s reputation in the music industry. Not only was the album hugely successful, but U2 were suddenly now the world’s premier protest band, though that’s not exactly what they intended. The greater conflicts between North and South Ireland served as the setting for one of the band’s most famous singles, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. However, as Bono introduces “Bloody Sunday” on the War Tour documentary Under A Blood Red Sky, “This is not a rebel song. This is Sunday Bloody Sunday.” (Jackson, 45) The desired result is not violent rebellion of revolution, but rather the opening hearts and minds. Whereas classic punk rock inspired angered protest, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” strives to serve as a study of the desperate conflict.

In fact, much of U2’s popularity can be attributed to Bono’s passionate political and social beliefs, which he embodies during U2’s live performances. As much as Bono’s flagrant physical exercises in stage showmanship contribute to the band’s success, it is the other three-fourths of U2 whose restraint keep Bono from burning out too quickly.

U2’s role as the world’s most popular Christian and political rock band continued well into the album The Unforgettable Fire. Songs “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “MLK” are in homage to the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. known for his work for civil liberties. Through his voice and poetry, Bono honors the legacy Dr. King left behind and for what he stood. In this period of U2’s career, Bono can feel the gravity of what he is accomplishing, so perhaps through honoring Dr. King, Bono is also realizes his own potential as a spokesman.

“Bad” is another landmark song for U2. An anthem about overcoming drug addiction, the song is not only inspiring, but it completely soars when performed live. U2’s legendary Live Aid performance consisted of a nearly double-length version of this song as well as a fierce “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (Jackson, 56). Much of the atmosphere and content of The Unforgettable Fire lend itself to U2’s performances on The Conspiracy of Hope Tour as well. The change in musical style simultaneously marked the Bono’s evolution into a slightly more prominent spokesman for social equality.

One of U2’s most powerful albums came two years after The Unforgettable Fire in the form of an epic portrait of American culture. The Joshua Tree’s music and lyrics draw on the band’s experiences in the deserts of North America and Bono’s and Ali’s time in Ethiopia and Central America. Bono returns from Ethiopia in 1986 shocked by how profoundly spoiled and hollow Americans and Western Europeans are (Propaganda).

Songs like “Red Hill Mining Town”, “In God’s Country”, and the cynical “Bullet the Blue Sky” are reflections on Bono’s culture shock. On the subject of American citizens, Bono admits, “It’s not my position to lecture them or tell them their place or to even open their eyes up to it in a very visual way but it is affecting me and it affects the words I write and the music we make.” (Propaganda).

The closing song on The Joshua Tree, “Mothers of the Disappeared” is a telling of the events in El Salvador where children are literally stolen from their mothers and never seen again. While much of the content in this album is subtle, it is unmistakably powerful and from the heart and makes for U2’s best-selling album to date.

The religious messages in The Joshua Tree are even more buried, but perhaps more affective then ever. “With or Without You” is often regarded as U2’s greatest love song, but it is in fact more of a prayer than a ballad. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is U2’s take on gospel, and between these two tracks alone, Bono questions the value of faith and the relevance of Earthly matter (Jackson 95).
Ultimately, the entire Joshua Tree project affected Bono’s position as harbinger of political and social equality in two ways. First, his popularity and recognizability increased greatly, providing an even larger future audience for his activist work. Secondly, he gained first-hand experience in a third-world poverty-stricken country, where the real depth of the inequality epidemic struck him on a deeper level, foreshadowing future work in Africa.

The dramatic shift in U2’s music after the turn of the new decade had no adverse effect on the band’s or Bono’s devotion to human rights or charity. What it did change was the manner in which their message was delivered. Achtung Baby and the Zoo TV tour marked the beginning of U2’s “ironic era”. Their style and attitude was centric on mocking technology, MTV, and society’s lust for easy entertainment (Flanagan 87).

Achtung Baby accomplished this with layers of industrial rock and dance music over their classic songwriting talents. The album was recorded in Berlin’s Hansa Studios where David Bowie recorded his famous Berlin Trilogy of albums. The depressed Berlin atmosphere heavily influenced the album’s dark lyrical content, however the fall of the Berlin Wall during the recording sessions infuses the album with hope and resolution as well. No other U2 album is so strongly related to the circumstances of its recording as their 1991 masterpiece, Achtung Baby (Flanagan, 120).

Similarly, if one was to pinpoint U2’s single most globally appealing and relevant song, it would have to be “One”. The band’s near break-up during the Achtung Baby sessions gave birth to the song. Its lyrics are open to interpretation, varying from a story about an AIDS-inflicted son resolving differences with his father, a simple love song, or an autobiographical anthem. However one wishes to interpret the song, U2 has always been quick to take advantage of its appeal. The initial sales of the single went to AIDS research, and the song lends its title to Bono’s latest venture of activism, the ONE Campaign (Jackson 138).

U2’s Zoo TV era is another critical stage in the evolution of Bono’s personality. His songwriting skills advanced to a more mature level that reflects his vision of change. The band entered a new musical era, and with that, Bono stepped into perhaps his most impressive leap yet in his journey to become the man he is today.

U2’s final album of the nineties, Pop, is, despite its lousy first impressions and techno inspired rock rhythms, the band’s most religiously dense work. The album’s lyrics play out like an apocalyptic opera. The first three songs paint the portrait of a corrupt and lonely society. The next three foreshadow the end of days. The Middle of the album details the end of the world and the loss and confusion we all suffer during dark times. “Wake Up Dead Man”, the albums closer, begs Jesus to restore faith in humanity before all is lost (Jackson 160).

The lyrics are incredibly heavy, yet the infamous PopMart Tour that accompanied the album was an elaborate assault upon the senses. The stage featured a 140-foot wide video screen and a forty foot mirror-ball lemon in which the costumed band would arrive in before the shows’ encore. The tour suffered a shaky start, but sold out in later legs. A few key landmark performances occurred in Santiago, Chile where Bono brought up the actual “mothers of the disappeared”, and in the first professional concert to be held in Sarajevo in over seven years (Jackson 171). Similarly to Zoo TV’s Sarajevo feeds, these concerts delved into highly emotional and groundbreaking territory, marking the end of an two-decade long era for Bono and U2.

After the PopMart Tour, Bono decided to take serious action in regard to the poverty and AIDS epidemic plaguing Africa. In 1999, Bono, Bob Geldof, and Quincy Jones met with Pope John Paul II to discuss Jubilee 2000. The idea was to celebrate the new millenium by eliminating all debt in the poorest countries in Africa. The Pope gave them his blessing, agreeing that total debt cancellation is the only way to begin resolving the problems in Africa (Propaganda). An epic first step into the dangerous world of politics, Jubilee 2000 kick-started Bono’s highly ambitious African-equality campaign.

In September of 1999 Bono addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations as spokesperson for the campaign to cancel third world debt. The awkwardness of a rock star addressing the UN is something most people are willing to look past considering the weight of the material being discussed (Propaganda). This is only the beginning of Bono’s new journey into the world of politics, and it is one that will dramatically change the way Bono and U2 address issues and their affect on the band’s music.

Africa is home to the biggest AIDS epidemic in the world, killing 6,600 people every day. The continent also owes hundreds of billions of dollars in debt to the world’s richest countries. If the world’s wealthiest countries were to agree on one-hundred percent debt cancellation, Africa might finally be able to pay for its own survival. New funds for AIDS drugs, government development and new trade opportunities can begin to save this country. The first step, however, is debt cancellation (data.org).

It is on this premise that Bono and the organization he co-ounded, DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), hope to live up to the expectations of this generation. Bono feels it is unfortunate the rest of the world does not care about Africa as much as other countries, yet insane amounts of people die every day because of financial problems (Assayas, 81). “The ultimate goal is to unite people, their voice to gather and use their numbers to affectivity get the legislature passed to stop world poverty”, states Bono in interview with Michka Assayas. “The world is inherently fixable, through all history man is destined to be equal, but some are being put down by higher ranks and government organizations.” (data.org). Boldly, Bono echoes the same beliefs that men like Martin Luther King Jr. advocated decades earlier, only applied to a different oppressed nation.

DATA’s primary goals in Africa are to cancel debt, open new trade opportunities for the development of Africa’s economy, and to raise awareness in the American public so legislation will get passed to solve these problems. That is where Bono feels it is his responsibility to reach people. Few men from the music industry have done so much work on their own as Bono in his campaign for Africa. He can be personally accounted for as part of DATA’s success. Bono contacts decision maker to get a response. He met with President Bill Clinton and with President George W. Bush on separate occasions to discuss solutions for Africa. But, realizing the President is not the biggest influence in the United States government, Bono became increasingly more politically aware, because Congress’ inner-workings control the ultimate decision on debt-cancellation (Assayas, 90).

Bono’s role simply cannot be ignored. As a rock star, the amount of power he has in the Africa Campaign is unbelievable. Speaking about Bill Clinton Bono admits, “If you asked him how it made it through Congress, he would say, ‘A lot of footwork by a few people.’ And I’m certainly one of them.” He also feels, “As a pop star I have two instincts. I want to have fun. And I want to change the world. I am not alone.”

And he certainly is not alone during the concerts of 2005’s Vertigo Tour in promotion of U2’s latest album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Before the band performs “One” at every show, Bono makes a touching speech about the goals and success of his ONE Campaign, and how everyone can make a change by pledging their name and voice to getting the legislature passed for Africa (one.org)

ONE is an organization aimed at fighting global poverty. The goal is to raise awareness of the American public so the decision-makers will take significant actions. In order for it to be a success, the richest nations in the world must commit to opening markets in Africa, giving them the power to decide their own trade policies, and have those countries represented at trade negotiations table (Stone). If just one percent of the federal United States budget is set for development assistance, twenty-five billion dollars would be provided for development tools to those poor countries, while an additional one percent would totally transform the future of Africa. (one.org)

Along with Bono, dozens of other celebrities have pledged their assistance to ONE. Other supporters include Bread of the World, CARE, DATA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children US, World Concern, World Vision, Sun Microsystems, MTV, NBA, and the millions of Americans who have signed the ONE Declaration with their support (one.org). Bono has become a true humanitarian icon. He used his stardom to kick off campaigns. Joking about being annoying and being a rock star, he pleads Americans to follow their hearts to make the right decisions in their world, for their future (Maione).

Despite Bono’s undying resolve and commitment to his work with Africa, his is still the singer in the world’s biggest band. When the time for recording 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Bono was uniquely absent from a fair amount of recording sessions. Everything about this album is clearly influenced by Bono’s “second job”. The lyrics to most of the album are vacant of any heavy political or religious themes, and are rather simple inspirational tunes which reflect the spirit of DATA and the ONE Campaign.

There is a stark contrast between the relationship of the pre-DATA Bono and U2’s music and the present Bono and U2’s latest work. Once Bono stepped into this direct political role, the politics stepped out of the music. Whether or not that is a bad thing is left up to each fan, but what is certain is how inseparable U2 has been with activism. U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. explains, “I also think that real rock and roll has always been tied up in political issues, and you can’t separate it.” Bono agrees, “rock music can change things. I know that it changed our lives.”

Bono the rock and roll activist gave way to the Bono the politician, and he became a true humanitarian icon. Seeing Bono pose for a photograph with George W. Bush can be a bizarre experience for long-time U2 fans, and many have yet to come to terms with Bono’s new political ties. Meeting with President Bush, Bono realized you only need to have one “harmonious common” to get along with someone. Focusing on a single issue with the President was important in weighing its seriousness. When Bono is asked about becoming a political insider he says, “You start to see the world in a different way, and you’re part of the problem not just part of the solution!” (Assayas, 94).

In July of 2005, Bono proposed a benefit concert to correlate with the twentieth anniversary of Live Aid as well as the G8 summit that same month. When the leaders of the world’s eight richest countries meet to discuss debt-cancellation among other things, Bono, Bob Geldof and others organize an free eight-city concert called Live 8 in order to raise awareness of the issues, and to send a message to the leaders at the G8 summit to do the right thing. On July 11, 2005, the G8 agree to erase over forty-billion dollars in African debt. Bono cited this announcement as “one of the greatest moments of my life” (“Bono’s Campaign for Africa…”).

In December of 2005, Bono is named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” along with Bill and Melinda Gates. Under the title “The Good Samaritans” the three’s humanitarian efforts are examined and rewarded with the revered title. It’s through Bono’s charisma, his ability to connect at a deep and spiritual level with people, and his limitless devotion to the issues that makes him the incredible man he is (Tyrangiel 49).

On a basic level, Bono is comprised of two parts. His music is the first, but his Dedication to healing Africa is the second. He is equally reliant on either one to survive, and while they may interfere with each other and drain him well beyond his limit, they are what make Bono the greatest political activist the music industry has ever seen (Tyrangiel 52).
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:09 AM   #2
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Re: Rock N' Roll Politics: The Bono Years (Super Long Post)

Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc

Ok, guys, I told you about my Senior Thesis paper of the B-man, and the final draft is finally done.
I never heard your earlier remarks about this, so I'd love to hear the details. A Senior Thesis for what? What qualification are you working on?

I've only had three seconds to scan your actual draft, and you've clearly put a lot of work into this. I will make an effort tomorrow to read your whole piece. One thing that did jump out at me was this: "Being raised by a Roman-Catholic mother and a Protestant father". That's not right. It was actually the other way around, so you really need to correct that.

But well done on such a lot of work!
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:41 AM   #3
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:clap:


just :clap:


precise... not THAT long...


like a "brief" of U2/Bono's work...

for newbies, this is great...
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:55 PM   #4
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biff, thanks for pointing that out, that's one of those typos that is nearly impossible to catch during the editing process. Luckily my teacher will never know the difference so it's all good. But, at least you mentioned it so anyone reading it on here will know.

But yeah, the assignment was for my AP Language/Composition course, supposed to be a 4000-word thesis paper on any subject of your choosing. Originally I wanted to focus specifically on the Zoo TV tour, but the wonderful people here on Interference reccomended this angle instead.

Truthfully, the paper probably won't offer anything longtime fans don't already know, but it did accomplish its purpose of arguing a statement and providing substantial evidence for it, while making the paper easily accessable to those unfamiliar with the subject matter.

I'm proud of it. It has certainly been the biggest single writing assignment I've ever done (unless you consider acting as Editor-in-Cheif of our school's 2006 yearbook).
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc


Truthfully, the paper probably won't offer anything longtime fans don't already know, but it did accomplish its purpose of arguing a statement and providing substantial evidence for it, while making the paper easily accessable to those unfamiliar with the subject matter.


I haven't read it yet, but I think this is a well-defined purpose for the paper. For something that's for a high school comp. class, you want to make sure you can demonstrate good technique, but the subject matter itself doesn't need to be so specific the reader needs a degree to make sense of it.
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Old 01-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc
Luckily my teacher will never know the difference so it's all good.

As a teacher I would say, don't bet your life on it.
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc
biff, thanks for pointing that out, that's one of those typos that is nearly impossible to catch during the editing process. Luckily my teacher will never know the difference so it's all good. But, at least you mentioned it so anyone reading it on here will know.

But yeah, the assignment was for my AP Language/Composition course, supposed to be a 4000-word thesis paper on any subject of your choosing. Originally I wanted to focus specifically on the Zoo TV tour, but the wonderful people here on Interference reccomended this angle instead.

Truthfully, the paper probably won't offer anything longtime fans don't already know, but it did accomplish its purpose of arguing a statement and providing substantial evidence for it, while making the paper easily accessable to those unfamiliar with the subject matter.

I'm proud of it. It has certainly been the biggest single writing assignment I've ever done (unless you consider acting as Editor-in-Cheif of our school's 2006 yearbook).

Don't underestimate your teacher, nor disrespect your reader. I do hope your teacher doesn't catch on to this error. Too bad it wasn't caught before you handed it in.

Good work though, well versed with a myriad of facts and quotes to have any reader's jaw dropping in awe of the impact and energy this one person has and continues to have on millions of people around the globe. Good article for "newbies" and young fans of Bono and U2 or the music industry's impact on global politicking, but also a very good reminder to those of us long term older fans of the constant good that international celebrities such as Bono continue to pursue. Awareness is so important to make an impact and to bring about change, it is the first step.

I wish you good luck with this project. Best of all is that you obviously put a lot of work and effort into it and are very proud of te piece. Stand proud behind it. Let us know what your instructor thinks of it! And thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:04 AM   #8
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I remember writing my Advanced Comp paper....half the time, my teacher wasn't around or was so tired he didn't want to help so we sat around and played Mafia. The reason: U2 was on tour (Elevation) and he was hitting every show within driving distance! Stupid me, this was before I was a huge fan, so I stayed home and wrote the friggin beast of a paper (12 pages on ephedrine as an IOC banned substance, with gymnast Andreea Raducan as a case study for approaching the topic....ephedrine is not even a banned substance anymore).
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
he didn't want to help so we sat around and played Mafia.
First of all...Mafia as in "everyone heads down" kind of Mafia? Wow, I've never met someone outside of my group of friends that even knows what it is.

Secondly...on the paper... you analysis was very thorough...I wish you the best.

For future reference though. ZooTV was in no way the first concert tour to use TV screens to display something other than performance footage. Paul McCartney's 1989-1990 tour did, I'm pretty sure there was some other footage shown during the Steel Wheels shows as well but I could be wrong there.

Also.... "consequently" the live aid single went on to sell 11 million copies... you're implying that the reason it sold 11 million copies was because of Bono's line. That's a dangerous implication, because while his line makes the song more powerful, I'm quite sure that a majority of the success of Do They Know It's Christmas? can be attributed to the fact that it was a charity single.

I'm really not trying to pick apart your paper here, but these are just some things that stick out to me.

"Speaking about Bill Clinton Bono admits, “If you asked him how it made it through Congress, he would say, ‘A lot of footwork by a few people.’ And I’m certainly one of them.” "
--- Erm, what's "it" in that quote? how IT made it through congress.... I'm confused.

Also be careful how you talk about Pop/Popmart... not because I'm defending the album, but you say that Pop made a lousy first impression, and a) that is not a fact yet you stated it as such, and b) if I remember right, Pop was very well recieved when it first came out, it was only once American reviewers started trashing it that the rest of the world followed (which is also what destroyed Be Here Now... 1997 was a great year for underappreciated albums). Continuing with that, Popmart's shaky start is indesputable, but saying that the band "sold out later legs" is simply not true - combining legs 3 and 4, the band played 32 shows and only sold out 16.

Anyhow. All told, it's a great analysis of an interesting topic. And, should you have to do further writing in college, there are a few angles that could be explored a little more here (the impact, if any, Bono's activism has had on bands of the last decade; the Silver and Gold debacle; if you're going to discuss the lyrics to All That You Can't Leave Behind in the context of Africa, you definitely should bring up the current record too - Crumbs From Your Table alone is noteworthy as the first blatently One-campaign related song they're done.

Good luck on the grade, I'm sure your teacher will be impressed.
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:55 AM   #10
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Let us know what grade you receive (especially after I read the whole thing )
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:57 PM   #11
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This will be my evening reading, I was looking forward to reading this....
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:27 PM   #12
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Thanks a lot for the comments....especially the ones correcting my mistakes! It's good to know what is wrong so I can correct things in the future if need be.
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:08 PM   #13
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Read and thought it was great. I am holding on to it so when people ask me about the charity work, if its real or not I can show them this. Excellent job, hope you fixed your mistakes. Let us know what grade you get.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:35 AM   #14
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any word on your grade yet?
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