“The New York Times” Finds Its Bono Vox Populi

Oct 23rd, 2008 // 9 Comments

Radar reports that The New York Times editorial page will have Bono penning columns for it in 2009; he’ll do six to ten (that’s an oddly vague commitment) pieces for the Gray Lady next year. (Radar also teases the possibility that this could mean the sacking of Sarah Palin fetishist Bill Kristol, which is a deal I would gladly take.)

Biases up front: I’m a huge U2 fan, and I think that Bono, despite his arrogance, is a saint, a musician who puts his money where his mouth is and works really hard for the things he believes in, like the AIDS crisis in Africa and forgiveness of Third World debt. (We need some of that in the First World, come to think of it.) These articles could be thoughtful think pieces about the geopolitical issues. I’ve seen him on the Today shows of the world sounding like he knows what he’s talking about. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen him pontificate at awards shows like some godforsaken beat poet-warrior robot that only speaks in bluesy non-sequiturs. Which is why I’m worried that these NYT pieces might end up looking lke this:

Readers, I’ve come to testify. I’ve come to preach for you, but I’ve got no cross. I’ve got no pulpit. I’ve got the Church of Rock and Roll. I wear no collar. I wear a leather jacket. My bible is a guitar. My holy water is my music. I left my pew. I crossed the aisle. I crossed the cold darkness of bipartisanship, of ostracism, of American schism. I went to Alaska. I spoke to Sarah Palin and said, “Let’s build a bridge to everywhere.” I went to Tom Delay and said, “Let’s exterminate hate.” I went to Dick Cheney and asked, “Can we torture poverty?” Too often, we feel the winds of change, but we let them blow past. The sun offers knowledge, it beats down on us, but we don’t look back. We’re afraid of burning our eyes, of feeling that pain. We pass the suffering of our fellow Man, but we’re lost looking down at the sidewalk cracks below us. We’ve gotta reach up, reach out, dive in, dive down, hold it, grab it, never let go! We’re poets and we’re whores. We’re leaders and carnies. We’re drinkers and smashers and lovers and healers, each of us with our one chance, our one thing, that great big grab at that big brass ring. Brothers and sisters, it’s why we’re here. It’s why we live. It’s why it’s now.

NYT’s Unforgettable Hire: Bono [Radar--props on that pun!]

  1. Thierry

    I can’t begin to count the ways in which Bono can be insufferable, but as someone who’s done some pretty extensive research (in my Master’s thesis)on his work for debt cancellation and African causes – including interviews with some of his associates and officials he targeted – I can vouch for the fact that he seems genuinely committed to these causes and has clearly done his homework, to the point that officials often found that he knew the facts and the challenges better than they did!

    It’ll be interesting to see how he uses this platform – but I”ll reserve judgement until I actually read the first piece.

  2. Chris N.

    Bill Clinton comes up to me
    His face red like a rose on a thorn bush
    Like all the colors of a royal flush
    And he’s peeling off those proposals for African economic relief
    Slapping them down
    One hundred billion! Two hundred billion!
    And I can see those vaccinations
    And I can see those aid packages
    Across the mud huts where the children sleep (despite inadequate nutrition)
    Through the alleys of a quiet city street
    Take the staircase to the first floor
    Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
    As Dick Cheney barks into a telephone
    Through the studio intercom I hear The Edge groan
    Outside it’s America!
    Outside it’s America!

  3. Lucas Jensen

    @Chris N.: Yes. This is exactly what this thread should become. Bono-inspired fanfic.

  4. Ned Raggett

    @Lucas Jensen: Bono-inspired fanfic.

    You are a sick, sick man.

  5. Chris Molanphy

    @Chris N.: [stands, applauds, raises lighter]

  6. Lucas Jensen

    @Ned Raggett: Larry turned to me and yelled, “I founded this band! I decide when it breaks up!” I felt angry…betrayed…aroused. He was sweat and muscle, and a few strands of hair fell from his greased-back coif.

  7. Silverfuture

    These guys are from England, and who gives a shit?

  8. Lucas Jensen

    @Silverfuture: Wow. Is that a real comment? If it’s not, it’s hilarious. If it is, it’s hilarious.

  9. Silverfuture

    Define “real”…

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