clap clap blog: we have moved

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lots of things in this live U2 review are funny, of course, but leaving this question unanswered:

What makes Bono's political manifesto so easily consumed while Patti Smith was so bluntly rejected?
...except to say "MSG sure is big" is especially hilarious. Look, the person quoted earlier--

After Smith's exit, a red-faced frat boy screamed out, "Get off the stage freakin' hippie!"
...I'm sorry, the fratboy quoted earlier (anyone looking like the stereotype of a fraternity member has opinions that are not only erroneous but oppressive, and don't you forget it!)--was right. Patti Smith is a big ol' hippie (see above pic) as I'm sure she'd be the first to agree, and the thing about being a big ol' hippie is that you're defining yourself as different from most people, even if almost everyone seems to be definining themselves as that in some way or another these days. And when such a big part of your self-presentation is "I am not like you," when you express political opinions it comes off as either preaching to the choir ("OK, I'm like you, but not the rest of these people, and since we're so alike, I don't need to explain why the war sucks, right?") or self-aggrandizement ("I am unlike you in so many ways, such as my political opinions!") and you just end up looking like a jackass, which phenomenon in the current political climate is something I've been meaning to address for a while.

Bono, on the other hand, goes for the everyman thing--he's just a guy who likes to drink and pray and help people--and pulls it off well enough that he can convincingly portray his political opinions as universal. (It also helps that he's endorsing causes, not expressing opposition to existing causes.) People get behind him because instead of saying "you should all hate the war!" which even if I partially agree with I have a hard time cheering (and having seen Patti recently I can attest that her political rhetoric was a big turnoff) he says, in effect, "you all support helping Africa, right?" It's like being a salesman: never say no, always say yes, and you'll be more likely to get a yes in the end.

Also, Patti was the opening act and Bono was the headliner. But you know.

(via the apparently reborn The Shins Will Change Your Life)