Anger is an energy. During this depression the celebrity gods are used to flog us all sorts of things, Scratch Dat Itch saw of Bono and Ali saving the world by selling us expensive bags ‘for charity’ and his anger levels went dangerously into the red.
Perhaps the greatest public accusation you can level at someone is to call them a hypocrite. As Samuel Johnson said the term is open to abuse and misuse:
‘Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory’.
With that in mind, I am reluctant to pull the trigger on our local boy made global rock star. Perhaps Bono struggles to practice what he preaches every day, let us say that he wrestles with tough choices like the need to be more successful and popular, in order to do more good with his riches rather than retiring.
Let us not conflate the issues. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we were not brought here today to consider whether this rock star is a gigantic cock, with an ego the size of an orbiting satellite accompanied by a brain the size of a walnut lost at its fulcrum. The verdict is already in on those crimes. For the evidence is in the pictures of the accused shaking hands with war criminals Bush, Blair and Putin. That Ego, Bono, the ONE, cannot resist a photo op. This is also nothing to do with his music which is not on trial here, luckily for it.
No, what we are dealing with here is hypocrisy – telling us to do more for our poorer brothers and sisters whilst struggling to do the same himself. Instead of building a better life for people is he off receiving the delivery of the latest Mercedes Benz to add to his collection?
A man dressed in black, is photographed with his wife in a landscape as vast as his ego, carrying a guitar case as empty as his mind, encouraging us to buy designer luggage. Is this more than it appears to be? Rich people photographing themselves and saying you can be cool if you buy this bag. But as the chief whistleblower in the Watergate scandal kept saying, if you want to know the truth, follow the money.
If we follow the money in another flagship Bono charity, the ONE foundation, this is what we find. The New York Post found that in 2008 the ONE took $14,993,873 in donations from rich do gooders, of which a thrifty $184,732 was distributed to charity. Are we feeling the love for the great ONE dressed in black? For perhaps he wanted more of that $14M to find its way home to Africa ,but he had not obtained victory in his objective due to the heavy price of executive salaries ($8M for ONE in 2008).
Then we look at this little wreck of a boat, this republic slipping into oblivion thanks to the overwhelming wave of debts. What does our great ONE do during our times of desperation? He and his band mates called U2, decided to off-shore their music publishing company in 2006 to Holland. Why? Because 2007 was the first year the republic was going to collect any tax from U2 for music publishing. After the first $500,000 they could’ve chosen to pay tax at 42% which is standard for most people here who earn the average wage. But even if they choose not to do that, they could have paid standard corporation tax at 12.5%. Alas, they choose the Dutch option at 5%.
Bono followers will be aware of his ‘Jesus’ complex, lord knows there is enough whimpering Christianity drenched through his lyrics. I am reminded of the parable of Jesus driving the tax collectors from the temple. What would Jesus do? I think he might drive the tax dodgers into exile.
Ladies & Gentlemen of the jury, is it too late to drag the past out into the light? We’re one but we are not the same. Bono would have it that we carry each other?
But I see little evidence for that. We get to carry each other, the poor and the weaker by paying our taxes. We are not the same, in that I pay my TAXES.
Pull the trigger.
The prosecution rests.