08 June 2007

Bono Resists The Urge

When I heard that Bono was 'guest editing' an issue of Vanity Fair to be dedicated to the plight of the less-fortunate residents of the African continent, I could just see the cover in my head.

[cue dreamy harp music]

Bono, wearing trademark douchebag sunglasses, leather jacket, and typical Christ-like sneer, standing with one foot up on a gutted car chassis, holding a starving African child with flies on his/her face, in a sun-bleached desert.

[end harp music]

Amazingly, that isn't the case. But what he did is just about as asinine. As pointed out by Amelie Gillette in The Hater (from the Onion's A.V. Club), Bono instead devised 20 different covers in the most awkward game of telephone, ever. Pictures of one celebrity featured with another, starting with Barack Obama and Don Cheadle (they're both black!), then Obama with Muhummad Ali (black too!), Ali and Queen Rania of Jordan (she's an Arab! and hot!), Rania and Bono (who does he feel is as attractive as him, plus as powerful? a queen of an oil-rich country!).

It gets more and more ridiculous from there on. Warren Buffet and Chris Rock (what?). Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes (huh?). And one of my personal favorites:

You can just tell that W. is looking at Tutu, thinking, "This guy was great in The Shawshank Redemption!"

You can see all of the covers here.

Bono is such an ass. So many things that you could put on the cover, and you have to go with some mystifying gimmick. Are people supposed to buy all 20? And what the hell is Madonna trying to do to Maya Angelou?

Aside from putting all of the obvious Famous Black People on the covers (The only black people he could find were Oprah? Condie Rice? Chris Rock?), would it have been difficult to find someone who is actually making a difference there? A teacher? A doctor? At least Chris Rock has some sense of humility. He is quoted as saying:

"I went to Mandela's house, but I didn't have a sense that he knew who I was; I didn't have these great accomplishments or anything," Rock, who helped launch (Red), says. "His kids, grandkids, and security guards knew who I was, but what do you say to Nelson Mandela? This guy's so great, what the fuck is he doing meeting with me? Is Ja Rule coming in next? Mandela should be meeting with Bono and Oprah … He shouldn't be meeting with the guy from Pootie Tang."

When the world is relying on celebrities like Bono and Oprah to change the world (let alone rich white guys like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who are trying to atone for past sins like Andrew Carnegie, who gave away much of his wealth in some sort of desperate bid for heaven, like charity can atone for past crimes), we are merely putting a pretty band-aid on the problems. Oh, Oprah and Jay-Z care? Great, now I don't have to . Those rich folk can solve all of the world's problems for me.

1 comment:

The Idea Of Progress said...

What annoys me now that I'm looking at these covers is the fact that they don't contain great images: they contain images of people posed to look great. Those expressions of sadness and wisdom? Those people (some of them admittedly giants) are in a studio, being told to frown, or smile, or whatever.

So, so wrong.