Monday, November 27, 2006
I caught part of the Bono and The Edge Off the Record interview last night on HBO.
I've been a huge U2 fan since the early '80s. Unlike Rubik's Cubes, blazers with T-shirts and rolled up sleeves, and piano keyboard ties, U2 has managed to stay culturally relevant for my entire adolescent and adult life.
I always felt like I "got" their music and it always seemed to have more substance than most of what passes for art these days.
That's not to say I've agreed with the antics of Bono over the last 10 years or so. He's a great poet, like many of his countrymen, but his dabbling in geopolitical and social causes has struck me as a bit self-important. As if he really thinks he can save the world.
I put up with it, though, for the sake of the aforementioned great music. And in last night's interview, the former Mr. Hewson admitted that sometimes he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Bono and The Edge were discussing the song Bullet the Blue Sky, a political criticism of US foreign policy in El Salvador. Bono said the man who's "face (was) red like a rose on a thorn bush. Like all the colors of a royal flush" was Ronald Reagan, the person Bono blamed for the suffering of the farmers and villagers in El Salvador.
Bono said something to the effect of "I later learned of the horrible affects of communism on the country and that Reagan wasn't solely to blame. I was only seeing part of the picture, but I couldn't understand why these people were being firebombed."
(Note: I paraphrase the above quote. I Googled furiously for a transcript of the interview and couldn't find one. If I find it, I'll correct my quote).
Anyway, it's rare to see someone (especially someone as "self-confident" as Bono who said if he can't understand a concept, it's the fault of the person trying to get said concept through his thick skull) to admit being wrong.
I think the larger lesson is to try to keep an open mind to all sides and not to assume you know all there is to know about a given issue.
Plus, I still dig U2.
tagged: Bono, The Edge, U2, HBO, culture, music, politics