Archive for May, 2010

He moves in mysterious ways

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 by Bruno

There’s gonna be a lot of talk about this next post. This post is not a rebel post, this post is about Bono, bloody Bono.

Paul David Hewson, resident of Killeney’s Sunset Boulevard that is Sicco Road (the neighborhood also houses The Edge, Enya and Van Morrisson to name but a few), turned fifty last week. The man is my pet peeve. On a good day he just gives me a rash, most of the time he makes me sick to my stomach. First of all, so that we’re clear: he’s made five decent songs. One, New Year’s Day, With or without you, Mysterious ways and my favorite: Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me. All the rest: a lot of guitar effect and some Celtic bollix. There are about a trillion better bands in Ireland: Thin Lizzy, Clannad, Hot House Flowers, The Frames, The Guggenheim Grotto,… But hey, de gustibus et coloribus. That is not my main beef with the man.

My main beef with Mr. Sunglasses is the fact that he thinks he is the Messiah (if he is: he overstayed his welcome by about seventeen years, didn’t he?). Let me tell you a bit about the man behind the sunglasses. When a few years back the Irish government decided to tax artists in Ireland, U2 Ltd. moved to Amsterdam, thus avoiding to be taxed in it’s home country. I’m sure all the homeless in your hometown (and you could make a hindrance course avoiding them in Dublin’s fair city) are pleased to know you’d rather help build Dutch schools than help them out.

During my stay in Dublin I got to follow Monsieur BeauNo from close up. When his daughter Memphis Eve turned ten a few years back, he gave her Beyonce. And I do not mean Beyonces last album. No, he had Bootylicious flown over to give a little private concert on Memphs birthday party. In 2007 he got Knighted and became Knight Commander of the British Empire, something that kicked up some dust as well. It’s not very humble is it, to get worshipped as a demi god and then let yourself be overwhelmed with accolades on top of that. Last year he offered to help an African in need: he offered the father of Madonna’s foster child a job. His Product Red campaign was criticized for its lack of transparency and the links that some companies had with sweat shops. But most of all it seems that Product Red seems to offer an easy way for these companies to do some, well, red washing, for lack of a better word. Also Bono and his friends haven’t been worried about making commercials for Apple, BlackBerry and some others. As the best philosopher of the 20th century, the late Bill Hicks, said: “If you have money and you do a commercial, you’re officially off of the artistic talent role period. I don’t care if you can shit Mona Lisa’s on command, you’re done, you’ve made your choice.”

You’re going to say: leave the man alone, he spends a lot of money on making this world a better place. Well, I’d hope so, ’cause he’s got a whole lot of our (well, your) money. He should bloody well use some of it to make this world a better place. Don’t take my word for it, take Paul Theroux’ for example, who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer and labeled Bono (amongst others) as a “mythomaniac, people who wish to convince the world of their worth.”, added that “the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help—not to mention celebrities and charity concerts—is a destructive and misleading conceit.” Elsewhere, Bono has been criticised, along with other celebrities, for “[ignoring] the legitimate voices of Africa and [turning] a global movement for justice into a grand orgy of narcissistic philanthropy.

All I’m saying is: don’t let the world saving to the commercial demigods of this world. I hope, Mr. Bono the human race will save this planet, with or without you. I’ll leave you with a birthday song by that other great Irish band: The Divine Comedy. Especially for you, Mr. Hewson: A lady of a certain age…

Black Water

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 by Bruno

Lyrics: David Sylvian. Pictures: British Petroleum

Tony Hayward, the beleaguered chief executive of BP, has claimed its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean”.

I hold you in a sea of silence
On the borderline of truth, open violence
I see no sign, I see no place I have loved
Depending on the signs to find the road

Blackwater take me with you
To the place that I have spoken
Come and lead me through the darkness
To the light that I long to see again

I walk with you but sleep beside her
The summer came and went, it passed us over
I see her cry, I see the face I have loved
Depending on the blind to find the road

Blackwater take me with you
To the place that I have spoken
Come and lead me through the darkness
To the light that I long to see again

Blackwater take me with you
To the place that I have spoken
I am leaving in the morning
For the land that I long to see again

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 by Bruno

Sometimes people mess up. That’s just human nature. No omelettes without breaking a few eggs. God knows I’ve had egg on my face on more than one occasion. You hurt people without wanting to, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to undo it. Or is there? Well, it’s not perfect, but there is a magic word that – if uttered sincerely – will make it all go away. An age old secret password, consisting of just five letter. Ready? S-O-R-R-Y. When used honestly, it can even reinforce bonds that were thought beyond reparing. However, this word seems to have vanished from contemporary vocabulary. Learned man have forgotten how to speak it.

Let’s start with some of our colleagues. Take Mr. Lloyd Blankfein for example. CEO of Goldman Sachs and doing ‘God’s work’ Monday till Friday, 9 to 5. Now I’m no expert on the Bible, but I seem to remember J.C. saying in one of his parables that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Being no expert on camels and sewing either (I’m not an expert on all that much), I’m not sure just how hard it must be for the ship of the desert to accomplish said feat, but I do have an inkling on just how rich Mr. Blankfein is. Those numbers should ensure the Eternal Hunting Grounds being off limit for old Lloyd. Not that I consider being rich in itself a capital sin, but when you make 666 times the gross salary of all your employees put together, something is awry. And speculating the globe to the very edge of financial oblivion and calling it God’s work: not really good PR with his Dudeness upstairs. The last one to take on God was Lucy, the Morning star, who took a right hook on the chin and is spending all eternity in the Great Barbecue in the Basement. God did give him a chance to repent though: “What prevented thee from prostrating (before Adam) when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.” He could’ve said the word, the hardest word… As could Blankfein.

Another bunch of Charlie’s Angels that seems to do the work of God these days is Britains pride and glory Beyond Petroleum. They’ve apparently set out to reinact the Biblical plagues. Using a bit of poetic license on plague number one, they are turning water into a gooey death trap for all marine creatures, thus making sure plague ten (Death of the First born, for all you heathens out there) will be a reality for all West Indian manatees, warblers, buntings and swallows in and around the Gulf of Mexico. (You can donate hair to clean up the mess. Sorry guys, can’t help you on this one). Then again, no more than a little blemish for a company who’s invested gallons of money in tar sands. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word of BP was no good, it was no more than cheap green wash. They to could use the word, the hardest word, right now, but they don’t. They’d rather speak in tongues. “I wouldn’t say it has failed yet,” said Doug Suttles, the operating officer for exploration and production for BP, “What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn’t work.” And for all their babbling, I’m still waiting for them to say the hardest word.

Anyone else doing God’s work? Of course, the clergy. Belgian bishop Roger Vangheluwe (to name but one, as I suffered under his hand) confessed to have abused his brothers son, some thirty years ago. “The wound does not heal. Neither in me or the victim…” Belgium’s Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard said the resignation showed that the Belgian Catholic Church wanted to “resolutely turn a page on a very painful” topic. Okay, let me spell it out for you, Rog: we don’t really believe you when you take thirty years to come up with some mumbo jumbo as ‘the wound inside of me does not heal’. Show some real repentance, will you? And I bet the 5.000 euros you made every month the last 30 years must have helped to ease the pain just a little. The fact that more and more cases come up, makes the Church’s words sound hollower than thou by the minute.

So who should do God’s work down here? Us? Bit presumptuous don’t you think. Time has turned an angry face and throws a dark eye back to see, that what will pass for mercy now, we practice unforgivingly. As if might and will made right, or either one could make us free… God only knows that we can do, no more or less than He’ll allow. God only knows that we mean well, God knows that we just don’t know how. But I’ll try to be your light in love and pray that is enough for now…

Oh, should anyone feel offended by this post… I’m sorry…