Monday, May 30, 2005

Que Bueno, Bono

OK, truth time. I'm not the biggest U2 fan. But that's kind of like saying I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan. Just because I don't dress like a bounty hunter or a wookie doesn't mean I haven't seen the original trilogy five kajillion times ("20 Trillion dollars? It's 1968, that type of money doesn't even exist yet! You might as well ask for a hundred cadrillion, quajillion dollars!").
And just because the music isn't as good as it was does not hinder the classics from being The Classics. The Joshua Tree and Acthung, Baby! are two of the greatest albums of all time, hands-down. Stevie Wonder has released a remarkable slew of duds since his mid-70's glory days, but Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life, et. al. are great enough to keep him in the Pantheon forever. Ditto Jordan's pre-Wizard days.

And now Bono garners the attention and respect of dignitaries the world over for social causes. And he's becoming more and more articulate about his beliefs. Not that we should confuse Bono for Augustine or Bonhoeffer, but I found this post an enjoyable read this morning. He sounds like a decent Baptist preacher here, not too high-falutin' and not someone I would completely agree with (psssshh.), but someone with a bit of verve and a mission, to talk about and try to live under grace.


  1. It's interesting that you note Bono becoming articulate about his beliefs. I was always under the impression that he was a Born-Again believer...along with his band mates. When I was living & attending a church in Detroit, the pastor of the church chronicaled U2s descent from Ireland to worldwide superstardom. He mentioned that they started out as a praise band or something like that. He mentioned their zeal for Christ. I thought that was awesome and it would explain why Bono is so adament about social justice and issues.

  2. timi,

    what i like about the interview i linked here is not that he's articulating something new, it's that he's re-articulating it in the face of pressure.

    they didn't start out as a praise band, per se. but bono, the edge and larry mullen were in a fairly strict sect of christianity (honestly, because the place where i read this part of their history was written by someone, like the interviewer in the linked passage, who doesn't understand the first thing about religion or christianity, i don't know much about it) when they started out. so, if you ever hear their version of van morrison's 'gloria', it is a praise song.

    i think they've always had strong core values and a worldview. and certainly a lot of their music reflects that, both sonically (the bombast is partly inspired - if i can use that word in a non-positive aspect - by real, live bomb blasts) and certainly lyrically. The whole album, War. "Bullet the Blue Sky", "In the Name of Love" (about MLK AND Jesus).

    but there was always a movement to distance themselves from Christianity as a movement. and then there's "I Still Haven't Found (What I'm Looking for)," which some geniuses interpreted as a song of faith. although it does make for a great gospel song musically, it's a song about doubt, about Christ not really fulfilling those inner desires. looking back at it now, i guess i could see it in a psalmic, prayer way. an entry in a faith diary.

    but there has been a lot of distancing, on their part. i guess i could see why, although i don't agree.

    where the various members are at right now in their faith walk, i cannot and will not stand in a place of judgement. but i thank God for them. for their lyrics and stances and all. and for their current acts of justice and mercy.

    adam clayton, by the way, is not a believer, by his own token.

  3. Timit can't spell adamant.
    Because she's a jerk from Deli-Where.

    Good post! I enjoyed reading the excerpt!

    How were the BBQ's?!

  4. p.gum,

    i'ma leave the arguments between y'all between y'all. especially since i'm kinda diggin' timi's radio blog now. and i want her to extend old school wednesdays. but she never, ever answers me. why oh why, timi tims?

    the barbeques were illin' (and for once, i mean that in the old school and not in the websters way. you know, in the san antonio not the pistons.) i want to talk about it in a post later. i've been thinking sloppily about it for half a week. maybe it's time.

    soon, my young apprentice, soon.

    and with that, i'm off to see the star wars.


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