Bono: Talented Do-Gooder or Narcissistic Jag-Off?
Pro Bono and Con Bono debate the Polarizing Performer
BY PAUL GLEASON AND COURTNEY LAVENDER
The bigger the fame, the bigger the myth.
Whenever a celebrity achieves a level of out-of-this-world fame, that moment in time will invariably be followed by a counter-attack from media, from fans, and from the goddess Popular Culture herself. Almost no superstar who chooses to remain in the public eye can escape the double-barreled salvos of jealousy and nastiness that invariably come flying when one stands at The Peak of Fame.
Often the pendulum swings – from glorification to the garbage heap; from the cinders back to charmed deification; then back to the bargain bins and to the meme of the week. But once in awhile we find a celebrity who remains beloved and belittled – at the very same time. That, friends, is Bono.
There is probably no one in rock music quite as polarizing as Bono. Axl Rose and Courtney Love are already self-parodies – too comical and artistically played-out to be taken seriously, while Michael Jackson’s legacy was spared both the sordid and the silly by his untimely death. Justin Bieber’s got a Capuchin monkey and a few paparazzi hi-jinks to his credit, but he’s still a little unseasoned (or under-talented?) to rise to the celebra-level of Paul David Hewson.
Decade after decade, Bono remains heroic to many, while nauseating to others. What just is it about this guy that gets people so worked up – both so positively and so negatively? Is he the second-coming of Mother Teresa or just a materialistic phony-baloney? Is any of this fair? Better yet, is any of this even real?
We take time out from our usual ground-breaking Both Sides Now topics (Socialism, General Petraeus, grafitti, Rush Limbaugh, intellectual piracy, free speech, hate speech, Jews and Mel Gibson, face-piercing, women golfers, the Patriot Act, and genderless babies) to have a light-hearted look at one of rock and roll’s favorite side-shows: Bono.
For this task we’ve assigned two writers – Paul Gleason and Courtney Lavender – who absolutely love Bono and U2, but can understand why some people just… don’t.
We call this Both Sides Now… Pro Bono and Con Bono!
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