Yeah, I said it. I don’t worship at the giant, octopus-like alter of U2. My feeling? They’re OK, I guess. So, while you’re calling the police, allow me to say a few words.
For some reason white people love them some U2 (and casseroles). My wife is white and she loves U2 (and casseroles). But my wife doesn’t like it when people say, “I love me some U2.” She dislikes the, “I love me some [insert whatever]” formula. I can take it or leave it. I can live with, or without it. But Bono, who is everyone’s hero even though he has no last name and wears blue sunglasses at the White House, can’t live with, and –this is key– he cannot live without, you. I, on the other hand, probably can. That’s where Bono and I have one of our very few differences.
I could go decades and not ever think about U2, except everyone keeps bringing them up and acting like you’re a Philistine if you don’t collapse in a frenzy when their music comes on. I will not collapse in a frenzy over U2. Hail Philistia? I mean, for one thing, and I know I already mentioned this, but the dude is wearing blue sunglasses at the White House. I imagine the President or whoever asking Bono, “Hey, why are you wearing blue sunglasses?” and Bono [Jones?] saying, “Well, I love me some blue sunglasses.”
My reaction to U2 is best displayed in the form of a shrug. Not because I dislike them, but because they can’t live up to the hype that surrounds them. They cannot ascend to the zenith where their deification is validated. We’ve all had the experience of hearing about a must-see movie, of having that movie be so built up in our minds by the gushing praise of a friend, only to be disappointed because it couldn’t live up to the praise it had received. For me, U2 exists in that situation. The fanaticism with which the general, casserole-eating public (which was minding its own business, listening to Doc Watson) is pounced upon and emphatically evangelized to the U2 banner is disconcerting. Shruggers are ostracized, like so many shrugging ostriches in a separated pen which is kept away from the cool pen where the cool ostriches think they are a select few with amazing-cool taste where they sip on their Starbucks and don’t seem to realize that almost every single human is in that pen. I say, shrug on people. Don’t give up the Shruggle. Am I alone? Am I a lone shrugger? Shall I create an album called Leonard the Lonely Ostrich? Friendship happens, C.S. Lewis said, when a person says, “You too? I thought I was the only one.” Is there anyone, anyone I say, who will bravely say “you too” to me about U2?
(Note: I am begging you….simply down on my knees imploring you….please, please, please give a vigorous, comprehensive defense of why U2 is so special and, like, totally deserves its godlike el-a-va-tion. Do it!)
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