Monday, August 08, 2005

Rock On

Over the past few years, more and more singers, actors, and other entertainers have felt it their duty to broadcast their personal and political beliefs for all the world to hear. And while they are completely free to do so, sometimes, I just don't want to hear it. I want to hear music or watch a movie or see a play. I just want to be entertained.

I don't need Tom Cruise preaching to me about the evils of anti-depressants. I don't need Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon telling me how to vote. And though I've been a fan forever, I don't need to see Bono on the nightly news, meeting with Condaleeza Rice or traveling the world with Paul O'Neil. Or hear rumors that he is being considered to head the World Bank.

So for the past few months, Bono and I were on the outs. While visiting my brother-in-law recently, I mentioned my annoyance. I said something like, "I've had just about enough of Bono and his politics. Enough already!" I believe my poor brother-in-law winced. He tried to tell me that U2 had always been fairly political, as far as bands go, and that Bono always promoted good works, but I didn't want to hear it. I'd had enough.

That is until this weekend. I was doing my usual Saturday morning chores and decided that some music might help to make scrubbing the toilet a bit more tolerable. For some reason I put U2's Rattle and Hum in the CD player. During the middle of "Silver and Gold", as I was sweeping up the dog hair and sand that are constants in my house, I heard it as he spoke about the evils of apartheid..."Am I buggin' you? I didn't mean to bug ya.."

And that was enough. I stopped sweeping, leaned on my broom, and it hit me. Bono had told me way back in 1988, almost 20 years earlier, that though he didn't mean to, he might just bug me someday. He'd been honest since the beginning, but I'd ignored him and forgotten his warning. (Isn't that the way most relationships go?)

So Bono, please forgive me. I'm back. I admire you for all that you are - political activist, advocate for the poor, musician, singer, songwriter and amazing showman. (And, yeah, you still look pretty good in those black leather pants and dark sunglasses.) Rock on.

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