Quit moaning about Bono, thank him


By Brendan O'Connor

NO DOUBT the usual cranks and begrudgers will be bitching about Bono over the Christmas. "Man of the Year?" the taxi-drivers will say, "Time fecking magazine? I'll give him Man of the Year. And Time magazine. It's far from it he was reared."

It's easy to have a pop at Bono. It's practically an instinctive reaction at this stage. "Oh, he might fool that crowd of Yanks at Time magazine and that George Bush fella, but he can't fool us. We knew him when he hadn't an arse in his trousers."

Frankly, that kind of thing reflects more on the people who say it than it does on Bono. Because, if you think about it, Bono hasn't actually done anything wrong. And it's not as if you could disagree with most of his causes. He's often compared to Jesus, in a negative kind of smart-arsey way. But, in fact, he is a bit of a Jesus - though in a good way.

Whatever your personal opinions about Jesus, it'd be hard to disagree with most of his messages: Don't kill people and be nice to the poor and so on. And Bono is pretty much the same. The message is inherently sound: Cure Aids, be nice to black people and eliminate poverty. You can't fault that kind of thing.

And in fairness, his heart seems to be in the right place. There are people who claim that he does it all as a big PR thing to sell even more records, but that doesn't really stack up. If anything, the preaching is probably putting people off the records.

But for the other members of the band it has a musical benefit. Larry Mullen broke ranks recently to say it was handy when Bono headed off out of the studio and let them get on with theirwork. He'd go off and meet George Bush or whatever and they'd get on with making the album, and when it was all nearly ready he would come back in and do his singing thing.

And it's not easy being some class of a living saint. In fact, if you listen to Bono properly he actually spends a lot of time trying to tell us that he's not a saint. In fact, he goes to great lengths to try and convince us that's he's only a human being - and a flawed one at that, a bit like the other Christ. He's always telling us what an eejit he is and how he lets people down and how he goes on the piss and doesn't have time for his friends and how he's insecure and hugely egomaniacal.

But still people think he goes around thinking he's a saint. But he doesn't. People are just projecting.

And the fact of the matter is that the rest of us haven't really got time to think about world peace and curing Aids and poverty and the environment and all that other stuff. Most of us have jobs and just need to try and look after our own little corner of the world.

And we could easily forget that all those big problems exist and we could sleepwalk our way into a situation where it all falls apart for future generations.

But Bono has the time and the money to be thinking about it all and doing something about it. And it kind of takes the pressure off us a bit. He's kind of like our nagging conscience. And of course he's the nagging conscience of the politicians as well. If he wasn't bugging them and embarrassing them they'd probably happily enough ignore the whole saving-the-world business as well.

The other thing to bear in mind is that he doesn't have to do all this stuff. He could happily sit around on his arse out in Florida, make one album every five years and be loaded.

But he's taken this job on himself. And what a job it is. He could have taken on something simple, like paying for an orphanage or a school or something. Instead, he decided to try and solve the insoluble, to do a job that is as wide as it is deep, a job that often seems to have no tangible results, and a job that he gets the complete piss taken out of himself for doing. It's not only impossible, it's thankless.

So, for the New Year, we should thank him. We should start ignoring the knee-jerk reaction to seeing him mugging around the world with the Nelson Mandelas and the George Bushes and all that. We should remind ourselves that he is doing a good thing.

And, not to be cliched about it, but he really is a great ambassador for this country. He'd actually make you proud to be Irish.

Copyright © 2005 Unison.ie. All rights reserved.


Very well said, and well written! I very much agree. Thank you, Bono! I'm Irish American, and you DO make me very proud to be Irish! As always, hats off to you for all you do! :-)

I could not have said it better. Thank you, Bono.

Most people give something back by coaching a kids sports team or running a cake stall. Bono decided he wanted to end 3rd world debt. It's hard to even fathom that kind of challenge. Bono is leading the way on how to play a bigger game. He can influence change and make a difference. More power to him I reckon.

The cynics out there, are just sad people who wouldn't even know how to bake a cake.

Newtz, said it better than I, thank you Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, and the best drummer, Larry Mullen Jr. for putting your, faith, heart, souls, and absolute love into your music for everyone. And making it work to feed people. It just doesn't get any better than this ever.

Thank you Bono for all you do. You are the nagging conscience of the world. Also need to thank Edge, Adam and Larry for allowing you to express what we all feel.

My 14 year old son went to his first concert ever - U2 Madison Square Garden, Nov. 21 and now all he talks about is how we need to all "COEXIST"

You do have an impact!

I do agree with what you have all said, and I really like Bono and his friends as you do. But don’t forget he is not always right in what he is doing or saying. And please, stop comparing Bono with Jesus. I’m afraid that one day we’ll make his dear head explode (he already has a big ego ...).

Brendan O'Conner is absolutely right... I wish everyone would stop slagging off Bono... not only are U2 the greatest band in the world, they are genuine compassionate people. Bono, carry on mate, you're doing great.


I fear the world as we know it IS in clear and present danger... just as there is unrest in Ireland so there is where evil waxes worse (the middle east)... I can only see that Bloody Sunday is not far off.

Good day everyone,
thanks to O'Conner for expressing what many of us feel about Bono and his work. He has indeed taken a big task and for that many politicians and cynical people alike dont really feel what it means to be Bono. Only he knows I suppose. Thank the Hewsons family for letting their husband, dad and friend come over the states to spend time and work with lousy politicians that didnt care about 3rd world debts before.
You see, I am a U2 fan. I am a Bono fan and I have seen first-hand how some of these politics work. I come from a third world country (Mexico) and I am sometimes ashamed of what my own presidents have done (or havent for that matter.)
My prime example is this: How many ex-presidents of Mexico live and retire in Mexico to help? NONE - they all live in Europe, Far, far away from the corruption they didnt want to deal with. Is that sad or what?
So, do other presidents of third world countries really like what Bono is doing? Not really. They feel Bono is doing their job. Who wants that?

Finally, let me say this: Thanks for creating such a nice website and for working on the updates, is really good to know what the U2 fan community all over the world is saying. -I am proud of being a U2 fan- forever.

I think ur totaly right!

Thank you Bono! Thank you for the last 23 years in my life. All of the positive lyrics in your songs. And thanks for caring about the rest of the world. Brendon O'connor, thanks to you for writing this lovely entry. I actually teared up!

My wife, Helen, is now receiving extensive chemotherapy in Chicago. She left from Hawaii 4 days ago. THANK YOU BONO for cancelling the april 8th concert!!! It was probably the last concert she could ever have attended.

Gee, Bono and U2 could do a private concert or Bono could write her a letter or a song for her. But the song "Sometimes You can't make it on your own" will suffice for now.

I am flying to California to be with Helen. I don't call them U2 anymore, I have renamed them "the Greedies".

the man is not only in the best band in the world he stands up for the common people good on you my son u r the biz

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on December 27, 2005 2:48 PM.

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