I’m not that serious – even though tearing down a tall poppy could provide a great cathartic release.
Hating on Bono hit new heights (lows?) recently with AC DC singer Brian Johnston spouting forth his wisdom regarding charity donations:
“I do it myself, I don’t tell everybody I’m doing it,” Johnson said.
“I don’t tell everybody they should give money – they can’t afford it.
“When I was a working man I didn’t want to go to a concert for some bastard to talk down to me that I should be thinking of some kid in Africa.
“I’m sorry mate, do it yourself, spend some of your own money and get it done. It just makes me angry. I become all tyrannical.”
The ensuing comments (both on huffington post and the HeraldSun) make for some entertaining reading. AC/DC fans appeared to have crawled out from under their rocks to praise their shrieking overlord, and bag the self-aggrandizing Bono.
Johnson says that he doesn’t tell his concert-goers to care about causes because “They can’t afford it”. Except of course they just paid $120 to get into the AC/DC concert.
Celebs walk a fine line when they advocate for causes. Our innate sense of fairness tells us that if we’re going to shell out cash, Celeb X better shell out ten times as much or else…
The Bono backlash seems to get louder as the years go on, and, so too I suspect, the growing distrust of Aid in general. Billions of dollars has gone the way of poor countries and things don’t seem any different. The belief that we can fix anything and everything with money is flawed. It makes those of us with money think that we can fix everything.
To be fair to Bono – he calls his celebrity status “currency” – that allows him to rub shoulders with world leaders and help to shape policy. That is a good and gutsy thing to do. However, seeing Bono spout forth simplistic and cheesy save-the-world messages at a U2 concert made me cringe – as if understanding and fixing world poverty can be attended to with a 10 minute charade at a rock concert.
We love our entertainment, and it has a place in our hearts like no other. Let’s not kid ourselves.
World box office takings for the movie Avatar: $2,074 million.
Hope for Haiti Now concert donations: $61 million.
Maybe AC/DC has some wisdom on the matter:
You got me ringing Hell’s Bells
My temperature’s high, Hell’s Bells
I’ll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you’re into evil you’re a friend of mine
See my white light flashing as I split the night