Read artilce here: Bono Bashing

It’s the season of peace and good will, so let us all quit bashing Bono and Bob

Barbara McCarthy

PUBLISHED22/11/2014 | 02:30

Bono
Bono

‘Well tonight, thank God it’s him, instead of you,” critics said this week, after Bono suffered a terrible fall from his bike in New York and had to undergo five hours of facial re-constructive surgery.

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It wasn’t enough that he cheated death a few days previously, when the door of the Lear jet he was travelling on came off at 8,000 feet and his luggage was splattered across the German countryside on a flight to Berlin. From the reactions I read and heard, it appears that many people would have been happier had someone died in the incident.

After all, how dare a rock star fly to Berlin in a private jet, when he could have flown low-cost with a 10kg carry-on bag like the rest of us. That’ll teach him.

“First world problem; deluded egotistical p***k; shame he wasn’t attached to the door; would have done the world a favour . . . ” were just some of the comments I read online. It appears that when times are tough, a rock star who has absolutely no moral obligation to do anything for anyone is not entitled to any luxury.

To add insult to injury, U2 made a deal with Apple to distribute their newest album, ‘Songs of Innocence’ on iTunes free of charge. The deal, which made U2 €80m was met with contempt.

Though I am not a big fan of U2, I would agree with Bono when he called his critics “haters.” I don’t understand the big deal – people got a U2 album for free. So what? I don’t care that he made a load of money out if it. There seems to be a common belief that stars don’t deserve their own hard-earned cash. The misconception being that it was handed to them. “Bono should get a job like the rest of us,” I read.

At the Web Summit I overheard people call him a hypocrite, egomaniac, a tax avoider who does more harm than good . . . and he dyes his hair. Whatever about his political and social engagement, there’s a crop rotation going on in his head. Despite the fact that he said he was an “overpaid and spoilt rock star’ people still took umbridge.

In an incident at the G8 summit in Germany last year, he was chased down the street by a bunch of anarchists, wielding placards and screaming: “Make Bono history.”

“As a musician and a songwriter it is an act of the ego to believe that other people might be interested in your point of view,” he said in an interview with the ‘Guardian’.

“I am not an idealist, never have been, I am just quite pragmatic about finding solutions,” he continued.

Many would say his idea of finding solutions is hob-nobbing with global leaders and not actually having a clue what he’s on about or, indeed, what they are on about.

I would be sceptical of his decisions to get into bed with certain political and corporate leaders. He said in a recent interview that the people he admired most in life were Bill and Melinda Gates, even though they too have been the subject of on-line attacks over their vast wealth and investments.

Perhaps Bono has his finger in too many a pie to keep up, some would say. Indeed, being in the world’s biggest rock band and working on eradicating Third World debt must be exhausting.

Yet it didn’t come as a surprise to see him alongside fellow countryman Bob Geldof last week for a fourth recording of ‘Do they know its Christmas’ – this time in aid of the Ebola crisis, which is ravaging parts of West Africa and has already killed over 5,000 people.

He, and a host of other stars, re-recorded the 30-year-old single, which went to number one in numerous iTunes charts around the world.

Despite that, it was panned. How dare these white people with their saviour complex think they can represent the needs of these African nations with their innacurate lyrics and complete lack of understanding of West African culture?

“Do they know it’s Christmas?” the critics asked. “Given that over 500 million people living there are Christians, we must presume the answer to that is ‘yes’,” one journalist wrote in the ‘Daily Telegraph’. “Could you be more condescending? the commentator wrote. “Have you no shame?” She went on to describe the song as “a form of bullying that has sneeringly been dressed up as do-gooding.”

If a guy at the end of the road had penned the lines: “Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear,” he would have been classed a poet, but because it’s Bob, he’s insulting people who live in countries a lot of naysayers had no idea existed a few months back.

“There is no peace and joy in West Africa this Christmas,” isn’t completely false, according to friends in Freetown, who informed me that the situation is calamitous. As for people not knowing what Christmas is, I hate to say it but unfortunately there are children who don’t have clothes on their backs let alone food in their tummies and Christmas means nothing to them. “Its b******s,” Geldof said, when told his song ignores Africans.

I suggest the begrudgers find a more suitable means to raise money for charity.

In the meantime, cut Bono and Bob some slack – they’ve had plenty of hard times and, dare I say it, they’re only human.

Irish Independent