The Daily Dumbass: Bono, you are not God (or a god)

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've had a particular disdain for Bono for a long time. I can't stand the Product Red campaign. I don't know if Bono--should I call him O-nob instead?--is still peddling this poverty of affluence campaign. But now he's writing for the NY Times. I remember hearing about his impending Op-Ed residency last fall and promptly forgot about it.

Bless Andrew Sullivan, because he reminded me of it. I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one who can't stand O-nob's pomposity, particularly because Mr. I-Wear-My-Sunglasses-At-Night's first column is undecipherable! He was probably drunk when he wrote it.

Once upon a couple of weeks ago ...

I’m in a crush in a Dublin pub around New Year’s. Glasses clinking clicking, clashing crashing in Gaelic revelry: swinging doors, sweethearts falling in and out of the season’s blessings, family feuds subsumed or resumed. Malt joy and ginger despair are all in the queue to be served on this, the quarter-of-a-millennium mark since Arthur Guinness first put velvety blackness in a pint glass.

Interesting mood. The new Irish money has been gambled and lost; the Celtic Tiger’s tail is between its legs as builders and bankers laugh uneasy and hard at the last year, and swallow uneasy and hard at the new. There’s a voice on the speakers that wakes everyone out of the moment: it’s Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.” His ode to defiance is four decades old this year and everyone sings along for a lifetime of reasons. I am struck by the one quality his voice lacks: Sentimentality.
Yup. He's drunk. (Note to O-nob: Don't write Op-Ed columns under the influence! It may work for songs but not for the NY Times.) O-nob meanders on about Sinatra's singing and O-nob's meeting with Frank and then back to the pub on New Year's.

I read the whole thing. Like everyone else, I have no idea what the main idea of this column is supposed to be. I knew Sinatra and it's great to hear him on New Year's Eve, perhaps? One of the writers at Foreign Policy gave a contest to his readers: read Bono's column and, in 20 words or less, explain its theme in the comments. His version: "Did you know that I knew Frank Sinatra?"

It's a small comfort that NY Times didn't pay O-nob for his column-assassinating effort, which belongs in the Arts & Entertainment section anyway. Except we're going to hear from O-nob at least 5 more times this year on the Op-Ed page. Hope the next one is on April Fool's Day.

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O-Nob


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