Ok: all that business I was bemoaning yesterday? I'm over it. I've decided that it isn't worth the headache, and also that what will be will be, and no amount of belly-aching will change that, so nevermind. The planet that's really not worth visiting is planet "Miserable Romance," and I'm not going there. I hope, one day, to have a romance that makes me happy, and that is worth the headache, and when that time comes, I will gladly suffer it. In the meantime, I shall fare forward.
I want to tell you some more things about this excellent book, which I have now finished reading, and which, seriously, I could not have loved more. The first thing I want to tell you is that Bono is an amazing man, and I could not feel luckier than I do to have had him to look up to since I was 13 years old. It may not seem like it today, in light of all the shenanigans I get up to, and how I love that devil music, but I had a very Christian upbringing. When I was a girl, it was so nice to hear Bono say things that were familiar to me, as a Christian, and more than that, it was validating to see him live so effectively, with so much good will and integrity, in a secular world, with his faith in tact, and guiding him.
Bono once said one of the most beautiful things I have ever read about being a Christian. It was during a tour of the American midwest that he did on behalf of his DATA organization, to help raise awareness about the wholesale AIDS holocaust that's underway there, and he was asked by some local paper if he was, in fact, "a Christian." His response, beautifully, was that he aspires to being a Christian, but that he knows he is unworthy of the title. What a different attitude that is to the kind of judgemental, moralizing, politically motivated evil that passes for the voice of Christianity in America, and currently guides so much of our political life.
I love that Bono talks so openly about his faith in this book, and that he says that when he speaks to God, he knows that God hears and answers him, and that he guides him. I love the sense you get that Bono knows how very, very wrong he can be, and the sense of rigor there is in his approach to his religious life, and his life in the world. That is beautiful shit, and I have nothing but respect for that guy.
The other most brilliant thing in this book is when Bono talks about being a performer. "Never trust a performer" he says, reporting that, for instance, when he got off the stage at Live Aid, and hugged that girl from the crowd, he was looking, as a performer, for "a moment" that would stay with everyone who watched it. That, yeah, he was feeling the need to break the barrier between himself and the audience, but that another part of him was calculating how to tell the story of breaking that barrier, and was very conscious of what it was doing. I love the tension there is in his work, and the way he talks about it, between artifice and authenticity, and I love how comfortable he is with the inherent contradictions in what he does. Can we believe him? Do we know him? YES. Is he always 100% geniune? NO. I love the way both of those things are true, and unhesitatingly avowed by him.
Sometime in the 90's, during the big explosion of winking irony that was the Achtung Baby and Zooropa art project, I remember the sense that even though there was a big freaking circus of a stadium roadshow and gold and red devil costume between us and those clear, blue eyes, that the same soulful heart was beating under it all, and then I read some interview where Bono said that the best place to be was standing right at the center of all the contradictions -- that's where the truth is.
How awesome is that? Seriously, I love that guy.