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Bono: Talented Do-Gooder or Narcissistic Jag-Off?

Bono: Talented Do-Gooder or Narcissistic Jag-Off?
Pro Bono and Con Bono debate the Polarizing Performer
BY PAUL GLEASON AND COURTNEY LAVENDER

The bigger the fame, the bigger the myth.

Whenever a celebrity achieves a level of out-of-this-world fame, that moment in time will invariably be followed by a counter-attack from media, from fans, and from the goddess Popular Culture herself. Almost no superstar who chooses to remain in the public eye can escape the double-barreled salvos of jealousy and nastiness that invariably come flying when one stands at The Peak of Fame.

Often the pendulum swings – from glorification to the garbage heap; from the cinders back to charmed deification; then back to the bargain bins and to the meme of the week. But once in awhile we find a celebrity who remains beloved and belittled – at the very same time. That, friends, is Bono.

bono hewson both sides now feature

There is probably no one in rock music quite as polarizing as Bono. Axl Rose and Courtney Love are already self-parodies – too comical and artistically played-out to be taken seriously, while Michael Jackson’s legacy was spared both the sordid and the silly by his untimely death. Justin Bieber’s got a Capuchin monkey and a few paparazzi hi-jinks to his credit, but he’s still a little unseasoned (or under-talented?) to rise to the celebra-level of Paul David Hewson.

Decade after decade, Bono remains heroic to many, while nauseating to others. What just is it about this guy that gets people so worked up – both so positively and so negatively? Is he the second-coming of Mother Teresa or just a materialistic phony-baloney? Is any of this fair? Better yet, is any of this even real?

We take time out from our usual ground-breaking Both Sides Now topics (Socialism, General Petraeus, grafitti, Rush Limbaugh, intellectual piracy, free speech, hate speech, Jews and Mel Gibson, face-piercing, women golfers, the Patriot Act, and genderless babies) to have a light-hearted look at one of rock and roll’s favorite side-shows: Bono.

For this task we’ve assigned two writers – Paul Gleason and Courtney Lavender – who absolutely love Bono and U2, but can understand why some people just… don’t.

We call this Both Sides Now… Pro Bono and Con Bono!

Read on

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