I can’t wait to read this book. For all of the flak that Bono gets for being a rock star with a conscience, he still manages to surprise those who can restrain their cynicism long enough to listen to him.
Bono said: “You know, celebrity is ridiculous. It’s silly, but it’s a kind of currency, and you have to spend it wisely. And I’ve learnt that much. …
“I see the embarrassment, excruciating at times, of ‘Rich rock star works on behalf of the poorest and most vulnerable.’ I mean, it’s a very embarrassing photograph. Yet, you can’t deny who you are. And if I gave all my money away, I’d just be a bigger star. (Laughs). Right? … I can use this ridiculous thing called celebrity to the advantage of these issues. That’s the only qualification I need. I’m there, I have the loud-hailer, and I’m gonna use it.”
Assayas, Bono’s interviewer, is a close friend, but that did not stop him from grilling the rock star. At one point, he asked Bono if “the money you have might lead you to develop very unrealistic views about the world. Don’t you tend to forget about the problems that an ordinary person has to face in an ordinary life?”
Bono presents a cogent argument: “But which reality am I not in touch with? You’re working on behalf of a billion people who live on less than a dollar a day. Isn’t it more important that I’m more in touch with their needs than the normal Western life you describe?”
The guy makes a lot of sense. He could be using his celebrity to buy more islands in Fiji or something. He truly seems to want to do good. And I respect that.
No longer will I take Bono’s name in vain.