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March 21st, 2007

Bono & Video Games @ 07:44 pm

I play video games. Quite a lot actually. I also visit gaming sites on a daily basis for news and stuff like that. I was surprised to see today an article on Bono over here at Evil Avatar.

Course, someone later in the thread had to take a shot at Bono. I was curious if he was aiming it at the band or the man, so I asked him as to why he posted what he had and the whole "ed the sock" article got brought up. Oddly enough, someone else defended Bono as did I.

Now, I seem to remember someone posting the "sock" article on here, but it looks to have been taken down. I was just wondering what everyone else thought of the article. Granted that we are fans and probably didn't like anything written in it, but other than saying it's horse shit, how do you respond to it?
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Date:March 22nd, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
This is what I said in response to the first post of the "ed the sock" blogs, regarding some of the many discrepancies, inaccuracies and outright lies found in the blogs:

"In other words, too many charities asking for money, so all of them get less."

1) DATA does not solicit donations; neither does ONE.
The gratuitous rant on causing donor fatigue is garbage.

"Know who isn't a taxpayer?"

2) As this has been a favorite of Bono-bashers for ages; He. Pays. Plenty. In. Taxes. The only income U2 has that isn't subject to tax is royalties on the specific copyrights; money for things like touring, personal property tax, etc? All taxed.

3) "He gets all the attention for being Africa’s saviour without ever getting his sunglasses dirty"

Sure. The month he and his wife spent -quietly- physically doing aid work themselves in Ethiopia don't count, I suppose.

This is just a sampling of the inaccuracies present in this piece of tripe.

Make no mistake. I'm just as pissed that the man chose to cozy up to Helms, Bush, et al, and I think he let optimism blind him a bit. I miss the angry-Bono rhetoric of the days when he'd snarl from stage "The PROBLEM is Ronald Reagan!" and rail against the US Republican Party's harboring of bigots like ex-Gov. Ev Mecham of Arizona.
(and yes, I was alive and well into my teens/20s during that era. You'd not remember any of this, seeing as you weren't born yet. I've "been around for awhile now" myself.)

Has he made some crappy decisions? Yes. Has he aligned himself with people that have made me want to puke? Yes.
And yes, I hold those against him. Yes, I agree with some of his critics. No, I don't hold him as a saint.

But these pieces lose whatever credibility they might otherwise have held by including this kind of lazy journalism. Bringing up the iPod deal? Has NO relevance to any of their charity work. They took no payment for doing the iPod ads. Working with iTunes has been part of their way to make the music business available for the smaller bands they once championed with their Mother Records label; mentioning any of it is a red herring in this discussion. If U2 were so commercially greedy, they'd also surely have seized on Toyota's $26 million offer to use a brief snippet of WTSHNN. Yet they said no, because it would have destroyed any meaning the song ever held.

I'm all for people criticizing the man when he deserves it.
However, base that criticism on actual facts without diluting it with urban myths and misstatements.

Hope you find this helpful.
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Date:March 22nd, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
This was a great response to a very biased and slanted attack. Well said.
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Date:March 22nd, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)

I have a question...

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I gotta ask:

Believe me, I don't like Helms, Bush, et al any more than you do (and I voted against Reagan), but I don't understand why some who complain about the fact that Bono has befriended them seem to miss (or ignore) the fact that he's managed to influence these guys at least in a small way in regards to Africa issues.

Considering Helms track record regarding AIDS and racial issues, you think he would be the last person to be enlisted in such an effort.

Somehow, Bono changed the mans mind...for that matter (imo) I doubt any of these guys would have done what very little they have done if it weren't for Bono "cozying up" to them.

So, is it that one shouldn't "fraternize" with the enemy, no matter how noble the cause? (Personally, I doubt the people getting Aids drugs, or food, or education, etc., would turn it down because of an ideological disagreement w/the giver...but I could be wrong ;) )

Or was the "investment" not worth the return?

Or some other answer I can't think of?
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Date:March 22nd, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
I skimmed the letter, but didn't read anything in the forum. I can understand the root of the concern--this violent video game could, in some people's eyes, damage the relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela, on top of doing all the potentially harmful things that violent video games do to kids to begin with. Personally, I think that's sort of silly to think a single video game could have this much power. It's a game. It's not real. Let's be honest--probably at least half the people who will ever play it won't even know where Venezuela is, let alone will rethink their feelings about the country based on who or what they're gunning down while playing.

While Bono is certainly the highest profile of the six investors, he's not the only one. This is far from a case of "OH NOES, BONO THINKS WE SHOULD SHOOT VENEZUELANS! OMG!!!!" Video games are a high profit business, and he's involved in a business venture. It's not like his picture is going to be on the box, or that he's going to be in the game (which would actually be midly entertaining). If people are concerned, they should be writing to the company, not to Bono. Realistically--another violent video game? I doubt it will get much attention.

If these people want to make their opinions heard, they should try getting people to boycott the game instead of sitting around and waiting for Bono to swoop in and save the day.

So, in short, while I can just barely understand where the criticism is coming from, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Video game makers wouldn't be creating more extremely violent games if people weren't buying them. It's going to take a lot more than Bono to stop them.

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