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January 2nd, 2007

Something to chew on @ 10:04 pm

beowulfjones:
Just wondering what you think of the following letter, which I found in today's edition of Newsday:

"Bono knighthood is a very big joke"

After hearing that Bono, of the world-famous Dublin-based rock band U2, was to receive an honorary knighthood from Britain's Queen Elizabeth, I was overwhelmingly saddened. Bono has apparently forgotten his roots.

I guess all the money and jet-setting with the world's elite has softened him. I love the fact that he petitions my American government to forgive Third World debt. Yet, he must be aware that working-class Americans are losing their traditional pensions, all in the name of profit. After listening to Bono's numerous tirades during U2 concerts, I wonder if he needs to be reminded about the many atrocities the British have laid on the Irish (The Great Famine, "shoot-to-kill" policy, internment, Diplock courts, criminalization of the Irish language, the list goes on).

Here is the final proof of the British policy of denigrating the Irish: As Bono is an Irish citizen, he will not be able to use the title "sir." I hope for two things from Bono: Tell Queen Elizabeth what to do with her honorary knighthood, and stick to making music.

Steven F. Cassidy
Franklin Square



The very last bit ("...and stick to making music.") is a bit tired and seems to go against the writer's admiration for Bono's petitioning to drop the debt, but what gets to me is that he seems to think Bono should reject the knighthood on the basis of past British policy toward the Irish. (Or IS it past policy? I'm not familiar with current laws and treatment, although I'd imagine they're not as fierce now as they'd once been.)

So, I'm just fishing for your thoughts: Is Bono being knighted by the British an insult to the Irish?

Yes, I know this is the U2 Livejournal Community so, more often than not, we tend to support Bono, but please be open-minded and really consider what the writer argues.
 
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From:bonoist
Date:January 2nd, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
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OMG, is Steven still around going on and on about Bono? He's been on this kick since the mid-90s. It is such a bore. YAWN.
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From:phoenixwish
Date:January 2nd, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
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I've seen people say something to that effect in the @U2 forums, and quite frankly, I just think it's silly.

Especially this sentence: Here is the final proof of the British policy of denigrating the Irish: As Bono is an Irish citizen, he will not be able to use the title "sir."

That's just... Of course that's the way it is. It's an honorary knighthood. The Queen can only award knighthood to her subjects, so the real denigration would be if he was given the title.

And seriously. What's the deal with blaming the present government for the behaviour of past governments? By this logic, the Americans should still be angry with the English as well. Yes, Northern Ireland is still in the UK, but half the population would riot if it was turned over to Ireland. As far as I know, Blair hasn't done anything to the Irish.

*is annoyed*

I mean, people could be asking why he accepts the honorary knighthood when the UK is in Iraq or Blair is such a wanker or anything to do with the present, and this is what they do.
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From:rosephile
Date:January 2nd, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
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And why bring up the strife of the American middle class??? That makes absolutely NO sense. I (and I'm sure the majority of other Americans would agree) think Bono's got better things to campaign for. *rollzeyes*
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:mellyg14
Date:January 2nd, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
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I agree. Having a title does not belittle or interfere with Bono's goals. Just because he has a certain status does not negate the good he does.

And yea, the American stuff has nothing to do with anything, plus the author needs a writing lesson
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From:wydok
Date:January 3rd, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
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Bono hasn't been "very punk rock" for 22 years. :)

And Larry never wanted to be punk rock.
From:mikes_lover87
Date:January 2nd, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
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Actually from what I gather, Bono is being knighted as an award for all of the campaigning and stuff he does for more aid to Africa and the like.

Personally, if you want my opinion, it isn't hurting America too much to be honest. We are one of the wealthiest nations and it's courteous of us to help other poor nations if we have the power to do so, rather than let others die and keep it all for ourselves. Besides, we sure went in and invaded Iraq and such to "help them" so to say, why should all those Africans have to suffer without a helping hand? It's just inhuman to sit in the comfort that most of us Americans live it while people are out there dying because they haven't the resources to help themselves or at least make an effort to.

I think it's a past policy actually, I've not heard much in the way of the British and Irish being at odds with each other in quite a while, though I could be wrong considering I don't keep up too much this. I just know that they aren't too fond of each other.

"Stick to making music" my foot. Seriously now, he's a celebrity of sorts and they are the best at rallying up the people and gathering together for a good cause. So why not? Bono is what I believe to be a class example of what the world needs more of. People like him, fighting to save it. If he doesn't, who will? He gives hope, at least I believe he does. People oughta just lay off him really...it's ridiculous.

But this is just all from my perspective and the like, I don't expect anyone to agree with me, that's just how I feel about it.
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From:kyrillion
Date:January 2nd, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
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I'm Irish and I don't have a problem with it. I think we've come far enough as a nation now that we no longer need to have this huge rejecting-everything-British complex. no-one needs any further reminding that we're a separate state. if it was an award from any other country, no-one would make any fuss at all.
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From:supacatie
Date:January 3rd, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
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I'm Irish(Australian), I have no issue with it and am I understanding right that this guy is insinuating that we're all going to go to the pub and scheme how to blow up Bono because of it, or something? That we're all anti-United Kingdom? That Big Bad England is picking on poor little Ireland by giving him an honourary Knighthood?

I also honestly don't see why Bono should petiton on behalf of the American people for the American issues.Infact, I don't see what it has to do with America at all, One/MPH is a global campagin. If the Americans have an issue with the American government/policy, its up to them. It's bad enough that celebrities have to kick start these sorts of charities/campagins.

Sometimes I agree, Bono should shut up and sing, but if he doesn't talk about it, who will? How many people would care if people like Bono didn't?

For the record,general concensus amongst my family and my Irish friends is that the "border" is just a line. Sure there's alot of history and alot of people who still think there is a division, but not all of them have the "Down with England/the queen/Up the IRA/UDA/Provos/Real IRA/CRIA etc etc" whatever sentiment there was. And not one of them has a problem with his honourary Knighthood, least not that I know of.

Of course, I could have written all of that for it to not make any sense whatsoever. :D

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From:supacatie
Date:January 3rd, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
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*CIRA even.
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From:wydok
Date:January 3rd, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
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Is the "honorary" knighting of Bill Gates an insult to America?

Same answer applies to Bono.
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From:rockingthemike
Date:January 4th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
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Excellent comparison.
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From:hbpen
Date:January 3rd, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
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"...and seems to go against the writer's admiration for Bono's petitioning to drop the debt..."

I didn't get the feel that this person had admiration for Bono's petitioning, but more that he thought him a short-sighted person who isn't looking at the plight of the people who he's asking money from... (Cuz that's where gov'ment gets their $$.)
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From:lemonchan
Date:January 3rd, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
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It's not as if Bono not being able to use "Sir" is a slight against the Irish, in particular. If he was from India, America, Germany, Azerbaijan, or wherever, he wouldn't be able to use "sir" either, because only people born in the UK can receive actual knighthoods. Geesh.

And if that author is ACTUALLY comparing middle class America to the third world...no. Just, no. Cut that RIGHT out, kthx.
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From:wolfp10
Date:January 3rd, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
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Bono is an easy target. Instead of making up issues, writers and journalists should focus on what Bono is talking and campaigning for.
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From:trinimacphisto
Date:January 3rd, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
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I think the bit about the horrible things England did to Ireland is kind of silly, because it's not like not happened now; and when ppl blame the children for the sins of their fathers, that's when shit happens...

And the thing about not calling him sir it's silly too, because it's not because he's Irish, it's because he's foreign!
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From:mangoprophetess
Date:January 3rd, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
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You know, I really feel like the only people making a big to-do about this being "an insult to Ireland" are Irish-Americans. I know my parents, both Irish-Americans, have (half-)jokingly called Bono a persona non grata in our house because of this whole thing. The Irish themselves haven't made too much of it, and I don't think they mind/care if Queen Elizabeth II gives Bono an honorary knighthood.

Yes, the English in times past committed great atrocities against the Irish people, but Bono especially has spoken out against keeping those old grudges alive. For Bono to decline this honor (because it really is quite an honor, especially because it's in recognition of his humanitarian work) because of the Great Famine would make people like Steven Cassidy think he's even more of an ass than he already thinks he is.

And Steven Cassidy is an ass himself, equating the starving masses in Africa dying of AIDS and malaria to struggling families in the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
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From:supacatie
Date:January 3rd, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
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You know, I really feel like the only people making a big to-do about this being "an insult to Ireland" are Irish-Americans.

That's how I felt, but I didn't want to say anything for fear of getting my head bitten off. It does seem that only the Irish-Americans are making a big deal of it.
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From:lothuial
Date:January 3rd, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
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No...its not just Irish americans....I know there are some Ireland folk that don't approve of Bono period. Don't want to get into specifics and I don't care really. I really think they should be proud of what Bono is doing. Be proud of your fellow Irish citizen making a difference to the world.

I remember as a young lass on my first trip to Ireland and my friend Maryann warning me: "When we're in the pub don't mention Bono at all." I thought it was quite silly. but it was true. I remember one man asking me if I thought Bono was a hero and I replied yes. then he rolled his eyes and politely excused himself. Its really sad....
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From:supacatie
Date:January 8th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
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That could be because alot of people assume that just because they're Irish and U2 are Irish that means you automatically like/approve of them. You know,putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 90. It's like people assuming that all Australian's love AC/DC.

I also think its rather strange for someone in a pub to come up to you and ask if you liked Bono.
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From:lothuial
Date:January 9th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
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no they didn't come up to me...somehow the topic was brought up...it was so long ago I forgot exactly how but thats what happened..LOL!
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From:wydok
Date:January 4th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
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I'm part Irish and I don't have a problem with this at all. *shrug*
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From:rockingthemike
Date:January 4th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
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It's a moot point. It is only an honorary title. He can not be referred to as Sir Bono, or Sir Paul Hewson because Ireland is currently not a member of the Commonwealth.

My opinion of this is the same as people being distinguished with honorary degrees; who f*cking cares? If the person in question has done something above and beyond what a normal person does, then I certainly think some form of recognition is perfectly acceptable.

*shrugs* I don't know where my tirade is going, other than, there are better things to complain about in this world (which the author of that letter might want to try for a change).
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From:supatofu
Date:January 5th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
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what the hell

did bob geldof receive the same type of criticism when he got his honorary knighthood?

people seriously need to back off and shut up. people like this make any kind of progress in the universe impossible.
From:lumencuro
Date:January 5th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)

He Makes A Point but...

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Bono is standing up in an area that few dare to, especially the rich and famous or people that have the ability to span the globe as he can because of the fact that he has built a successful career around these causes in addition to the awesome music that we all have come to love. He has been offered other honorary titles for his work and that should speak volumes about what he is doing in these areas. Who the political powers that honor his work should have no weight on if it is worth earning the honor for because of the work that he does.

Think of it this way, does that mean that he can't win a Noel Peace Prize because he is a musician and that is why many know and love him? No, he has done the work to earn the right to be considered. If the group that bestows that honor wish to acknowledge his work (and, by the way he is also a famous rock band's frontman) then so be it! Don't take anything away from his work just because he is willing to stand up and have the voice for so many that would otherwise have none... That is a very admirable thing that he is willing to do, I think.

I also think that is why he is considered such an incredible human being by so many people. He is willing to stand up for his beliefs and even sing about them in some of the awesome music that he and his group makes. He is part of something that is huge and successful and he uses that to help spread the message. It is awesome combination that makes him even more timeless than he would be if it were to only to be all about the music... I know that there are others out there that agree that Bono is a better human being for all that he does do and support! Am I right?

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