Saturday, December 27, 2008

U2: Dissent in the ranks

Hey, it turns out it's not just us who worries about the people Bono rubs shoulders with. Larry Mullen isn't that comfortable, either:

Although he says he admires his bandmate for his achievements on the world stage – which he says will be “his legacy”, as well as his his voice and lyrics he adds: “My biggest problem really is sometimes the company that he keeps. And I struggle with that. Particularly the political people, less the financial people. Particularly Tony Blair – I mean, I think Tony Blair’s a war criminal. And I think he should be tried as a war criminal. And then I see Bono and him as pals, and I’m going: 'I don’t like that'.

He said Bono "would know how I feel about Tony Blair". Mullen said he understood why the singer had cosied up to President Bush. "George Bush has been very generous to his cause … the difference between him and Tony Blair is that Blair is intelligent. So he has no excuse for what he did. Whereas I think George Bush could find a few excuses for his behaviour.

It's admirably outspoken and honest of Mullen to say that in public - although it's hard to see why he's any more relaxed about the financial chums of Bono.

Bono, of course, has an explanation for why he rubs shoulders with Bush:
“It was embarrassing for the band. Edge always tells me, 'You’re an artist, remember that. You’re not a politician'. But if you’ve looked into the face of a mother whose daughter or son has died in their arms for no good reason, they don’t know or care who’s President of America. It’s something that once you’re a witness to, you can’t get it out of your head and so you don’t take shit on their behalf."

And that's a fair point - if you have the access, you should use it to push for good. Trouble is, Bono seemed to always be popping up to help Bush - photo-ops, stressing what a good job he was doing. And, indeed, the only time Bono seems to criticise his famous chums is when their period of power is coming to an end. It might be easier to believe that Bono is using his unique position to forward the needs of the many if the people with whom he met seemed more like they found the meetings awkward, rather than so much great fun.


1 comment:

Olive said...

Yes, but before Bono's friendship, George Bush did nothing about all those things that Bono professes to care about; war, 3rd world debt, the environment. Now, he's... oh. Still, maybe he looks really cool in a pair of sunglasses like the last pope did.
I'm astonished that Mullen is able to forgive 8 years of breathtaking incompetence and corruption on Bush's part by basically saying 'oh, he's just an idiot, bless him'.

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