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Old 02-26-2006, 11:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger
1. His constant morality preaching
Completly agree with you there, I hate people telling me what I should do with my money...and ok fundraising is fine, but presurising people into giving money is wrong
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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But sometimes pressurising people is the only way to get the point across. These people in Africa are starving and something needs to be done about it, Bono's only helping.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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But sometimes pressurising people is the only way to get the point across. These people in Africa are starving and something needs to be done about it, Bono's only helping.
Then he should give every dime he has to them. I'm sure he is living a more than luxiourous (sp) life, time to put his money where his mouth is.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well he wouldn't give them all his money, the same as you wouldn't give them all your money. I'm sure he gives them a hell of a lot though. Also the donations aren't all about the money. They are also to show the amount of people that want to make a change in Africa.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The story begins, appropriately enough, in Africa.

In 1985, Ethiopia was suffering from a devastating famine when UK rocker Bob Geldof organized Band Aid, a collection of Britain’s top artists that came together to record a benefit single for famine relief.

The single was “Do They Know it’s Christmas” – in retrospect, a stupid question to ask about a continent that has no snow and is overwhelmingly non-Christian. But I guess “Do They Know It’s Kwanzaa” didn’t have the same ring to it. But the charitable zeal spread across the pond as American stars organized USA for Africa and it’s benefit single – We Are the World – a sentiment that would later be echoed by a US president. Canada got into the act too with Northern Lights, the only celebrity benefit where the performers arrived by bus. Even eastern Europe got in on the action with a benefit song by the world-famous Shmenge brothers and Israel’s single, No They Don’t Know It’s Christmas, you meshuginnah goyem.

Emboldened by their successes, the biggest names from all the efforts came together in a giant benefit concert called Live Aid that was telecast globally and raised millions for the cause.

Not all the artists at Live Aid were top sellers…among the performers was a band known in the UK but otherwise rather obscure – an Irish rock combo called U2. The group had released The Unforgettable Fire a month earlier to a collective American yawn, but Live Aid launched U2 from uncharted territory to worldwide success.

The global exposure of Live Aid and the goodwill associated with it put U2 on the map. By 1985, Rolling Stone magazine was calling U2 “the Band of the Eighties.” All from the strength of Live Aid. In short, Africa was very very good to U2.

And here began the U2 pattern of major charity efforts coinciding with an album release or concert tour.

Which may be why Bono jumped at a chance to be a part of the single Sun City by Artists Against Apartheid, protesting the iniquities in South Africa. Humanitarian as his concern no doubt was – U2’s EP, Awake in America – didn’t start selling in the US until after Sun City was released…hmmm…African charity concert…album sales…African protest song…album sales…do you need to be a musician to see the rhythm?

But his time in Africa really sensitized Bono to the plight of Africans…in fact, he’s said to the press that Africa isn’t a crisis...it was an emergency.

So what was his response to this emergency? Ummmm…nothing for a few years, which is a strange way to respond to an emergency. It’s like paramedics putting you on hold.

1987 was the year it all hit for U2. Among the socially conscious rock fans of the 80s, U2 had become heroes for their politically charged music and African benefit music. The Joshua Tree became their biggest album ever, which they quickly followed up with the documentary film Rattle and Hum – which pushed U2 into full-blown overexposure.

But while U2 was finally finding major success…Bono didn’t feel the need to be a part of any big African relief project.

Hmmmmmm…apparently, the “emergency” in Africa seemed less immediate while people were taking his picture. While he did make mention of Africa from the stage, it seemed to backfire. Could it have been that a preachy multimillionaire rock star subsumed in an orgy of a concert tour trying make working-class crowds feel guilty about poverty might have seemed a trifle hollow?

And by the time of Achtung Baby and the ZooTV tour, talk of Africa and anything else political had given way to radio-friendly tunes and an over-the-top sensory display. And their follow-up PopMart tour was even more awash with mindless spectacle. Not just that, but critics had started noticing something about U2’s new music – it was crap! And the fans could smell it too as U2 played to less-than-full arenas and their tour almost went teats up.

Then suddenly, Bono re-discovered world suffering. But Africa somehow slipped his mind as he concentrated on the more headline-grabbing tensions in Bosnia. U2 played a concert for Sarajevo – right around the time they released a new single.

Then Bono sang on a benefit song for a British children’s charity, and he and the Edge joined the protest for debt relief for poor countries at the G8 economic summit in Germany – at the same time as they were promoting U2’s Greatest Hits CD. link,

Charity work…record sales...charity work…record sales…charity work…record launch…charity work…record launch…didn’t Pavlov do this experiment with dogs?

In Germany, Bono met Jamie Drummond, the head of a UK campaign called Jubilee 2000 which was agitating world governments to cancel 100% of the debt for the world’s poorest countries…which of course still included Africa. Drummond reminded Bono that Africa, in the form of Live Aid, had made U2’s career, and it was time to give something back.

So Bono signed up and became a tireless cheerleader for the cause. Yet 2000 came and went and the debt wasn’t cancelled...but U2’s album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” debuted at number 1 in 22 countries. I’m sure all the free exposure Bono got from his charity work had nothing to do with it.

Bono kept going even after the Jubilee campaign wound down, and was in the process of producing a charity single for African AIDS relief when the planes flew into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2000. With 9/11 the focus of the world’s attention, Bono suddenly forgot about Africa again and diverted proceeds from the song to 9/11 relief efforts. What about African suffering, a crisis Bono had termed “an emergency?” 9/11 was just more immediate. Apparently, Bono practices a form of triage philanthropy.

But the 9/11 benefit song secured U2 a spot at that year’s Superbowl, where Bono literally wrapped himself in the American flag…after which All That You Can’t Leave Behind, which had been out for a while and had dropped down the charts, jumped more than 40 places on Billboard album charts, and The Elevation tour went on to become the second highest grossing tour of all time.

Sure – you could argue that it’s all a coincidence and Bono’s political activism just happens to coincide with U2 product launches. You may also find it a coincidence that Clark Kent disappears when Superman shows up. But at least Bono finally remembered the African emergency, and in 2002 he formed his own relief organization,

Not related to the pasty-skinned Star Trek character, DATA stands for Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa...or Democracy Accountability Transparency Africa…even they aren’t sure, which is consistent with the mixed messages of his organization, one day agitating for debt relief, the next day for money to fight African AIDS.

DATA’s professed goals are: “…to raise awareness about, and spark response to the crises swamping Africa: unpayable Debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and unfair Trade rules which keep Africans poor.” – That’s a lot of newspeak which basically means they’ve created a charity to inform us that Africa is impoverished and ridden with illnesses.

Sally Struthers has been doing that in one minute TV commercials for 20 years. So, nobody else is working for African aid? HMMMMM…. So it seems that maybe there ARE a few others dabbling in the cause. So why create another charity to do what others have already been doing?

Well, those charities won’t do is splash Bono’s mug on every page of their website. What another charity will do is divert already thin resources to a duplicated effort, otherwise known as donor fatigue , defined by long-time relief group Doctors Without Borders as “a state in which donors no longer contribute to a cause because they have become tired of receiving appeals for donations.” In other words, too many charities asking for money, so all of them get less. Thanks Bono.

And what does DATA actually do? Again, according to its website: “DATA does not either directly offer program money to development projects on the ground nor does it make grants to implementing partners. DATA is solely focused on spreading the word about the crisis and advocating solutions that will work.”

Yes, you heard right. No medicine, no volunteers, no money for Africa. They say their purpose is to lobby Washington, but that’s the same purpose as the other 36,959 registered US lobby groups.

That’s a lot harder than selling iPods.

DATA also pushes governments to increase foreign aid to African nations. Bono has been really outspoken on the issue, even chiding politicians who don’t meet Bono’s stringent standards for aid levels.

Yes, Bono is all about telling countries to increase their foreign aid. And you know where countries get their funding for foreign aid? Tax dollars. Tax dollars, of course, come from taxpayers.

Know who isn’t a taxpayer? Bono. At least not on his earnings from U2. In his home country of Ireland, where thanks to pro-entertainer tax laws, the members of U2 pay no tax on their earnings from the band.

To put that into perspective, In 2002, Bono’s taxes alone from the Elevation tour would have been in the neighborhood of 3.5 million dollars…that’s not even factoring in album sales. (Based on band’s earnings for tour, split 5 ways, taxed at 25%)

If, according to African relief agencies, it costs $1 a day to feed a starving person in Africa. The money Bono avoided in taxes in one year from one concert tour – no album sales or other income factored in - could feed almost 3 ½ million starving Africans.

A picture is worth a thousand words….in Bono’s world, maybe they’re worth a thousand dollars too. They certainly are in PR value for an aging rocker fronting a mediocre band.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Okay, so we’ve already established that U2 can trace it’s success to headlining charity spectacles that coincide with album launches and concert tours. And that Bono’s charity organization, DATA, provides no money to Africa. And that while Bono sees fit to lecture the free world on how they should spend their tax dollars, he doesn’t pay any taxes on his millions from U2.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day. One thing Bono has right is the danger of AIDS in Africa.

To promote a global response to Africa’s AIDS problem, Bono has met and been photographed with world political leaders and spoken at international forums. But while the photographs have helped establish Bono as a candidate for sainthood – and maybe helped him sell more records – how much has he helped his cause?

Bono made his first real foray into politics when he played a concert for Sarajevo during the Bosnian crisis. Among the people he shared the stage with was Alija Izetbegovic, then the president of Bosnia. According to Bono, Izetbegovic was a “nice and kind” person who impressed Bono with his “Humanism” and “vision”.

Only one problem. Okay, more than one problem. Izetbegovic was a Nazi in world war 2 who was jailed for his role in wartime atrocities. When he died, he was awaiting trial on new war crimes charges for his role in the Bosnian civil war. And while Izetbegovic was president of Bosnia, his government reportedly gave Bosnian passports to Al Qaeda operatives, including one of the 9/11 hijackers and Osama bin Laden himself.

A “nice and kind” person who impressed Bono with his “humanism” and “vision”.

Does this mean Bono supported Izetbegovic’s crimes? No. But it does mean that Bono will kiss the butt of any political leader who will grant him a platform.

Meet Jesse Helms, until recently one of America’s longest serving senators and at the time the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Bono met with him to lobby for greater support in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

After their meeting, and the requisite photo-op carried by all major American news services, Bono said the North Carolina senator was a "brave and bold man" who "cares deeply about what is happening in Africa right now."
Which is very strange, because for his entire career Helms was known for kicking the crap out of foreign aid and the United Nations.

And was it “brave and bold” when this man who Bono claims cares so much for Africans said that: "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."

Or “"The only way to stop AIDS is to stop the disgusting and immoral activities that continue to spread the disease."

Excuse me a moment…sniff sniff...his compassion is overwhelming.

And what did this ass-kissing get Bono? Helms did put forward a bill for an extra 500 million dollars for the global AIDS fund…a figure which he then reduced to 200 million to get the bill passed. The only problem? Helms pushed his bill through, in the process defeating a competing bill that would have given the fund 700 million dollars.

And another of Bono’s buddies? US president George W. Bush. Bono met with Bush to again, push for more US funding to fight AIDS in Africa.

Strange ally he’s chosen.

In 2001, Bush re-instated a right-wing global ‘gag rule’ that prohibits any organization receiving funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development from using those or other funds to council or provide abortion services. Organizations sensibly refused to sign the agreement and 16 developing countries, many in Africa, experienced huge funding cuts that led to shortages in contraceptives – including condoms, one of the most effective tools in fighting transmission of AIDS. -- under heading “Bush Reinstatement of Gag Rule Resulting in Deaths, Disease Globally”

According to the United Nations Population Fund, Bush’s funding cuts to population programs will result in 800,000 more abortions, 4,700 more dead mothers and 77,000 deaths of children under five. -- under heading “Administration Withdraws Funding for Family Planning” Yet the DATA webpage refers to Bush’s “compassion” and “tough love” in his policies. Wonder what brand of mouthwash you use after that much ass-kissing?

In the end, it’s hard to see what he’s accomplished in terms of measurable results. In fact, it looks like at times he may have inadvertently hurt his cause, at the very least been used by politicians for their own goals, goals which are not supportive of African relief.

What he has achieved is front-page PR, which has elevated awareness and respect for U2 despite the fact that according to many critics, not just me, their music has been sucking. And because he’s been issuing platitudes nobody can argue with, he’s been deified by music fans. A rock god is one thing, but Bono seems to be losing the prefix. Someone wrote a book of Psalms using U2’s music, for god’s sake.

And there are folktales going around that when Bono’s mother was pregnant, a psychic told her that her son would do great things…as if a psychic would tell a pregnant woman anything but that. And his dad tells stories of a young Bono communing with nature, talking to wildlife in some unknown language and allowing bees to land on his fingertips without ever being stung. What a bunch of crap.

When it comes right down to it, he’s a rock star who loves attention, so much so that his own wife says when he’s at home he’s jonesing for the adulation of the concert crowds.

He’s a rich guy who tells working-class people to give money to causes, but I still don’t know how deep he’s dug into his own pocket, since though many celebrities, especially those involved in advocacy fund-raising like Angelina Jolie, publicly make an example of giving great sums of money,

My research failed to turn up that information on Bono.

He gets all the attention for being Africa’s saviour without ever getting his sunglasses dirty while volunteers dig wells, build sanitation sites and personally care for Africa’s sick and suffering. And while politicians use him to boost their own popularity by letting Bono speak to the US Senate and the UN, it means that someone who’s never pimped an iPod but is actually an expert on the subject gets shoved aside because they aren’t as sexy as a rock star.

So, give him credit for having something of a conscience. But that doesn’t making him qualified for sainthood. Nor does it make him qualified for a nobel peace prize. And it certainly doesn’t make him qualified to head up the world bank, as some starry-eyed idiots had suggested. A rock star who talks about debt relief heading up the world bank…what’s next, George Clooney heading up the World Health Organization because he once played a doctor?



OK it`s biased but I found it funny
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Why do you dislike U2/Bono??
That's a bit like asking "Why do you dislike Hitler?".
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Old 02-26-2006, 02:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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2 fundamental reasons as to why i despise U2.

1 Their music is neither innovative, original nor inspiring. how they have attained such a status in the music industry with the bland crap they've produced since the early 80s baffles me. overrated is an understatement.

2 Bono. need i say more?
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobojesus
Well he wouldn't give them all his money, the same as you wouldn't give them all your money.
Well I wouldn't give them all my money because I don't care to go around doing 30 commericials a year begging people to give money to African people.

But that's just my reason. If he gave away all his money, I might throw in some.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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^ That and the fact that not all of us are multi-millionaires with cash to blow.
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