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March 27th, 2006

(no subject) @ 11:00 am

I'm currently feelin: aggravated aggravated

So ok, the eternal debate on why/if Bono matters...

I'm currently living in Belfast at the moment -- and as many of you may know, the Irish tend to be super cynical about celebrity. This morning, I had an argument with my housemate about the relevance of Bono's involvement in world issues (debt, AIDS, poverty, peace in Northern Ireland and such). Basically, he says that for every person who Bono's made aware of these causes, he's alienated another from it.

I specialise in generalities and he's a stickler for stats and hard facts, so the argument sucked from my end. What I'm asking of you, cos I'm really stubborn and need to have my point made(!), is to provide some of those hard facts (eg Bono bringing hardass Jesse Helms to tears by telling him exactly how many references there are in the Bible to poverty and such).

And if you do have a counterargument for why he is indeed a self-righteous wanker, go right on ahead, cos I'd love to hear those as well. :D

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Date:March 27th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Last week I was talking to someone who works for the UN Millenium Campaign, an effort to halve poverty by 2015. So of course we got around to the ONE Campaign/Make Poverty History, and how celebrities are pitching in. The guy was listing off famous people involved, so of course I mentioned Bono. "Yeah, Bono is amazing," he said. "He did a few concerts in the UK this summer, and there was a certain point when they displayed the Declaration of Human Rights and this phone number for Make Poverty History. People would text-message that number, and they'd be directly connected to Tony Blair's office. So his office was flooded with calls! And eventually the British government called up Bono and said, 'Look, you can't do this anymore, we're being bombarded! We get the point!' And because of all those calls-- or text messages, whatever-- Tony Blair voted to increase aid to African countries by millions."

I'm not 100% on the quote, or the incident itself, but it's mostly accurate. So tell your friend that because of U2 (and specifically Bono), Africa is getting more help than it would have. And the UN agrees with us. ;)
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Date:March 27th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
i just found this on our ONE thread at U2.com and thought you can use it too. i've not seen the article yet but might go buy the mag just because of it.

a VERY flattering article about the ONE campaign in Rolling Stone magazine (3/23/06, p38):

(the pic caption reads: Bono is doing more to aid Africa than Bush.)

ONE Hits Two Million

George Bush may not be directing more aid to Africa, but Bono is. One -- the singer's landmark campaign to “make poverty history” -- has already signed up 2 million members and plans to reach 5 million by 2008 -- eclipsing the membership of the powerful National Rifle Associaiton.

As the public face of the campaign, Bono stops every U2 show and asks the audience to text-message their names to One. But the real work takes place at One's headquarters in Washington, where a staff of five updates the group's database each day and coordinates with forty-seven ant-poverty organizations participating in the campaign.

“The days aren't getting any shorter, that's for sure,“ says One's coordinator, Paul Dioguardi, a tall, energetic veteran of the Gore campaign in 2000. Each week, Dioguardi lines up a conference call with One's participants, including CARE, Oxfam America, Bread for the World and the Christian Children's Fund. Part of the campaign's power lies in the way it coordinates the efforts of so many leading groups. “One of the criticisms we've all justly had leveled at us is that we're all emphasizing our own single interests rather than combining our commitments,“ says Charles MacCormack, CEO of Save the Children. “The public was saying to all of us, 'We can't keep you all straight..' One is really a great solution to that challenge.“

But the real muscle behind One is its members -- and their willingness to take action. (emphasis mine) Last summer, the coalition collected 500,000 signatures urging Bush to support aid for Africa at the G8 Summit. And in July, 25,000 members flooded the Senate with calls backing a measure to boost U.S. spending on AIDS and malaria prevention by $100 million -- a rare show of support for international aid.

“The mail was incredible,” says Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Sen. Richard Durbin, who co-sponsored the amendment. “I've been on Capitol Hill fifteen years, and only one before have I seen a group work the contact-their-congressman thing as well as One has." Thanks in large part to One's efforts, the amendment passed. (emphasis mine)

One is also hiring organizers to build a grass-roots network of anti-poverty activists. In July, it flew 100 volunteers from Live 8 in Philadelphia to the G8 Summit in Scotland so they could witness the international debate firsthand and speak about it when they returned home. “We were so excited, everybody stayed up all night on the flight talking,“ recalls MacCormack.

Dioguardi, forever behind the scenes, stayed in Washington to hold the fort. “I was stuck back here,” he says. “I didn't want to take the seat of an activist.”

-Steve Knopper

Date:March 27th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
hard headed nuts tend to argue this way because it's the way they feel about a subject. at the end of the day, what he's arguing isn't based in truth (ie. for everyone he makes aware he alienates someone else). where did he get that from? did he do a survey? more like he just doesn't like bono and and he's an agressive argumentor.

bono is highly intelligent and knows what he's talking about. he's got a passion almost unrivaled by another celebrity. he uses his position on the world stage to bring help to those who need it. he's taken what god has given him (stacks of money, brilliant talent and international respect) and tried to spread the love around (terrible phrase) but at least his good fortune is not being spent 100% on himself unlike other millionaire celebrities.

rant rant rant i love bono :)

here's an interview he did while he was in oz http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s1591037.htm
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Date:March 27th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
I don't believe Bono is Alienating anyone that would not find another excuse to ignore the issues were Bono not easily available to blame.

Many celebrities use their status to bring to light important issues and ideas that society needs to look at. This is important. Many people (myself included) may not look at things that need to be looked at otherwise. Other celebreties could be accused of "alienating" people as well.

The fact of the matter is, if you are going to choose to put on blinders, you will do so regardless of who is bringing you the information, and who is trying to do good work.

Even if you don't agree with Bono, at least most people would still look at the issues he is addressing, and think about them in their own terms. I know several people who have done just that. To completely ignore social issues is a choice, and not one pushed upon someone simply because a celebrity brings the news.
Date:March 29th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
i had an argument like this with my uncle. he was like- who cares about what bono says? he is just some dumb celeb. i said that he knew more about poverty than 99% of Congress.
Bono Matters because:
First: the man knows what he is talking about and has a great way of persuading people.
Second: he has had results. people always talk about the bad in the world. but because of bono (and others) actually caring- we are getting somewhere in the whole huge-ass mess.
Third: this celeb thing helps him a lot. more people hear you when you have a voice- and bono has a voice.
Fourth: he is damn sexeh and because of this women want him and men want to be like him. therefore everyone who criticizes him is either jealous or in denial.
okay- scratch that last one... i dunno what i was talking about- i was just babbling. hehehe

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