Sunday, June 25, 2006

Left Eye for the Moderate Guy

So you were the toast of the town for years and years and then your ego got to be too much, sending the fans fleeing. You managed to pull a comeback out of your ass by making your album sound exactly like what you were recording two decades prior. Now you've got yourself in hot water again and fans are drifting off.

Subject: Bono
Age: 46
Shape: Pear but prone to orange
Hair: Stringy
Face: In need of shave
Body: See "Shape" and note that subject sweats profusely at all times
Reason for killing off "The Fly?": Noted on the Zooropa tour that even Adam Clayton was attracting more groupies
Prone to: Self-important statements and self-promotion
Music Most Closely Resembles: Cher
Sell-By Date: March, 1997

When Bono waddled in, we put down our copies of LeftTurn and CounterPunch and reached for wallets thinking a homeless person had wandered in. As he started grabbing for our dollars, promising that he'd send merchandise bearing his likeness, we put away our wallets and asked him what he needed.

"No one loves me anymore!" he whined between deep breaths (he was winded from walking up the flight of stairs).

That's not true, we pointed out, the Bully Boy loves him. Imagine how fortunate the Bully Boy is to have what the mainstream press sees as the 'most political rock star' in the world silent on the issue of Iraq? This is the man who once toured for Amnesty, spoke out against South Africa, and many other noble things many, many, many years in the past.

"No one loves me anymore!" he panted again causing one of us to run for a bottle of water and another, noting the sweat cascading from his enlarged pores, to turn a fan on him.

As soon as the breeze got blowing and we got a sniff of the air, we all moved upwind of him. Leather is an unforgiving fashion choice for him, not only due to emphasizing every roll of fat but also due to the fact that it doesn't breathe and tends to trap odors.

He was handed his bottle of water and quickly gulped it down while we, again, noted his massive girth. Standing before us was a middle-aged, pudgy, male who thought stubble, which had now gone gray, was attractive and that the build up of days of sweat made for a personal scent.

"What did I ever do wrong?" he asked wiping his mouth furiously.

Well maybe it was when he said that Africa needs more globalization? Or maybe it was his joining Elevation Partners which, as The Wall Street Journal noted, is into "buyouts and investments in media and entertainment company, seeking to profit from turmoil in those sectors"? It all sounds so predatory and creepy and, honestly, Republican.

Bono waved his hand wildy while we all begged him to put it down. He stunk and he was wearing a shirtless, leather vest, after all.

"I am helping in Africa!" he insisted.

Ah, yes, that. In bed with the religious right. Taking their monies and programs. Giving cover to the Bully Boy who still hasn't provided the long promised funding but, most importantly, using that money or any other to go from educating a medical approach for the disease to one of "Just say no." How much confusion will result from that mixed message? How many lives will be lost due to that?

He started to wave his hand again but stopped when we threatened to evict him immediately.

Frowning, he told us that, "I am Africa!"

We were a bit skeptical and then he mentioned a recent poll that found his actions were hurting the group U2.

"I can still sing!" he said defensively. "I can sing my anthems! Cher sings anthems!"

Yeah, but she's got a body that people pay to see and marvel over. Bono's the flip-side of the coin, the ugly side of aging. Plus Cher's got that natural sob in her voice that grabs the listener and Bono's voice is so sterile.

He interrupted us with, "Regardless, the kids will always come to my concerts!"

We didn't know how to break it to him.

"Kids" haven't made up the audience of U2 concerts since the eighties. That might have something to do with the fact that when the average ticket price is $96.94, not a lot of kids are going to be able to attend. It's also true that even the comeback album (All That You Can't Leave Behind) didn't storm the singles chart. Mainly it's due to the fact that the illegal war is an issue on campuses (high school and college) and Bono's inability to voice an opinion (a first!) on the war makes him look like the cheap carny barker he's become.

"So what are you saying?" he asked, a puddle sweat forming at his feet.

Someone would have to clean that up later.

What we were saying was that he has remnants of the 80s and 90s college audience. Judging by the sales of the last studio album, not in large numbers. Because the group is still seen as an event, it can probably make it through one more big tour. After that, it's "Hello Vegas!" where he can share the stage with the personality his own nature most closely resembles: Wayne Newton.

He shuddered. We worried he might faint and that one of us would have to perform CPR. We all took turns pointing to one another and shaking our own heads "no."

"I've been written off before and come back!" he insisted.

Yeah, but that was when you were just seen as pompous. Now you're seen as a hypocrite and the music, honestly, doesn't cut it anymore. Maybe U2 could get a new vocalist?

While we were tossing out potential names, he screamed and stomped his foot causing the entire building structure to shake and sway.

He roared, "I came here for help!"

Yeah, well, we're really not about helping the moderates try to fool the left. But we understand they're having another training session on that just down the street at The New Republic. If he hurries, he can still make that seminar?

Dejected, he asked us if we validated? We told him "no" and sent him on his way.

About a minute later, we wished we'd stopped him. Asked him to clean up the sweat puddles he'd left on the floor. Somebody crack a window.
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