Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Bono

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Like when a beautiful person writes a dating book, or a fatso campaigns to eliminate hunger*, whenever a jillionaire starts preaching about eliminating poverty, my finely-tuned bullshit detector starts to twitch. I mean, it's all well and good to blather on to governments about foreign aid when you're sitting on a pile of lucre yourself, especially when even a tiny portion of it could go towards starting thousands of micro-banks in the developing world.

Or maybe I'm just an old cynic.

Celebrities are great catalysts, and Bono in particular seems to have nonpartisan appeal, as comfortable talking to President Bush and the Pope as he is talking with regular humans. The thing about humanitarian efforts, unfortunately, is that they often don't show results for years. At least in this way, Bono seems to be in it for the long haul.

Plus, he's had the same mates his whole life and been married to the same woman (Ali Hewson) for nearly a quarter of a century. He's never had a tabloid scandal that my long memory can recall, nor does he splash out on bling. In this case, his actions more than his words point to his sincerity. I suspect he's not a dilettante, then, but an actual caring person. (Even if he refuses to pay tax in Ireland and can't count in Spanish...)

There you have it: what amounts to a ringing endorsement from the Pop Culture Institute.

*Yes I mean you, Sally Struthers...

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Y | O | Y said...

I give any celebrity credit for using their star power for good. The alternative is being like Paris Hilton who uses her notoriety to get the best tables at swanky restaurants and free drinks at the bar!

michael sean morris said...

This is true. I guess the trick is to not let one Paris Hilton ruin it for all the Bonos and Angelina Jolies out there who are doing things.

I guess a good deed - even if it's done for the publicity - is better than no good deed at all.

I was brought up that charity should be anonymous.

Seumas Gagne said...

Bono couldn't do what he does anonymously. It's his very celebrity that has the most effect. He could give away every penny he's earned and it wouldn't make as big a difference as being photographed lambasting some hypocritical politician.

michael sean morris said...

I guess, then, there are two parts to the charitable act - relieving whatever condition requires relief, and drawing attention to the underlying source (where applicable).

Of course, we don't know that Bono isn't also anonymously charitable - after all, how would we?

Anonymous said...

The current World (us) needs something more than charity. The guy below (Nelson Mandela) didn't work in the line of charity (romantic, predictable, TV pedantic ads) but he dedicated a lifetime of work for a dream.

Remember what Bertold Brecht said:

“There are men that fight one day and are good. There are men that fight for a year and are better. There are men that fight for many years and are very good. But there are men that fight for all life... These are essential.”