Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All Oppressed People Ever

U2 did their Bonosaurus Rex 360 concert just outside Washington DC last night. Apparently the traffic delays were monumental, which calls into question how the Capital of the Free World would ever be evacuated in a real emergency.

But anyway, National Review's John Miller has a complaint: the politics was awful. And such small portions. Yes, he sounds annoyed both that Bono espoused any political causes, and then having picked some, didn't espouse all political causes. Or at least the ones that Miller would agree with --

The strangest moment came during "Sunday Bloody Sunday" — dedicated to the Iranian democracy protestors. The stage was awash in green lights, a nice tribute to the Green Revolutionaries. Bono invited a man on stage. He was a Sikh, judging from the turban. He carried an American flag, which he waved as he lip-synched the words of the song. During the final verse, Bono put the microphone in his face and they sang, duet-style: "The real battle yet begun/To claim the victory Jesus won." As they say, only in America.

"Walk On" was basically a public-service announcement for Burma's Aun San Suu Kyi. Bono encouraged the audience to help Amnesty International's campaign for her.

... Yes, the Iranian democracy protestors are important and deserve our support. But what about the voters in Afghanistan, who will either keep the vote or lose it based on decisions that world leaders (especially just a few miles from FedEx Field) are making right now? If Bono said a single word about them, I didn't hear it. But then public support of that would have been a little more controversial, no? The same with Aun San Suu Kyi. What a brave lady. She also deserves our support. But how about some words for jailed dissidents in Cuba? Unfortunately, as causes go, theirs is not as politically safe.

One more thing: When you're getting all preachy about freedom and democracy around the world, how about a word of thanks for American soldiers, especially the ones who have died trying to spread it?

Really. Bono is supposed to have a position on respective merits of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. An Irish band is supposed to thank American soldiers. And if you're going to do Cuba, why stop there. There are lots of jailed dissidents in "our sonofabitch" countries.

Incidentally, and speaking of rebel songs, there was another band in the stadium with U2 whose lyrics include

Rise up and take the power back, it's time that
The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that
Their time is coming to an end
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

Shouldn't the Right's daily quest for "outrage" be focused on Muse?

UPDATE: Here's an actual musical review of the concert.

FINAL UPDATE: The populist right in the form of Glenn Beck embraced Muse until the band demanded a retraction!

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