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Book The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power) (Counterblasts) by Harry Browne (2013-06-04)


The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power) (Counterblasts) by Harry Browne (2013-06-04)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power) (Counterblasts) by Harry Browne (2013-06-04).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Harry Browne(Author)

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  • By katie maginn on June 8, 2013

    It strikes me as odd that anyone would be surprised and/or irritated at this book.That Bono, both as an individual and as a member of one of the most successful Irish exports, has attracted and should or will continue to attract varying degrees of adulation, criticism, and media coverage is warranted. Of course the rights and wrongs of each will be debatedThe book is unarguably rich in facts some of which are unsurprisingly disputed. Whether with or without merit, the disputed facts in no way devalue the arguments the book has spawned. The view-point the author arrives at is clearly documented and revealed and therefore side-able with or against.Honest bias with a demonstrable clearly articulated body of reference points has always played a healthy role in almost any relationship one cares to scrutinise.The whole subject and matters touched on by the book as well as the unfolding controversy, left me the richer on a number of fronts.I found it provoked a wide range of thoughts about the nature of celebrity, the Irish paradox of both celebration and distrust of fame, the evolving role and importance of celebrities and very importantly their audiences and how both can be exploited to different degrees of good and bad in the "global" political arena.Beyond a mixture of critique, which seems to be the thrust of what others have picked up on from the book, it also balances this with meaningful and substantiated praise in many places referring to editorials in The Guardian, The London Independent among others and including references such as to him "transcending the merely charitable and pictorial" and "unimpeachable piece of quick analysis" in relation to his first trip to Africa. .The book went a lot deeper than surface flattery or criticism to reveal Bono's own insight into this dilemma by acknowledging the moments in which he seems to concede to doubts concerning his right to speak as well as at others reconciling his celebrity position with holding the political stage.Most tellingly on a personal note, the book repeats Bono speaking for himself" I'm representing the poorest and most vulnerable people. On a spiritual level, I have that with me. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent."This carried strong resonance for me given the complex and depth of the other reference points in the book. The writer suggests that Bono periodically laughs at the cheekiness of his unelected representation and recently even wished for the day when it would no longer be necessary and he could "f.. off".On balance the book reminds us that there is room for honest differences about what really constitutes the best set of policies to promote African development and overcome the serious obstacles to it.Bono is quoted as saying "people think people like me are overpaid and over-nourished, and they're not wrong" and to be perfectly honest the same goes for me fein and very possibly a lot of others - have we forgotten the famine?To me what would be both a useful, stoic and most characteristically Irish response to the book would be, if Bono and the band members would publically laugh about, argue and or agree with what the book brings into the public arena and or the manner in which it does.Anyone that deserves respect asks themselves questions or answers those raised by others- it is a defining life experience.I have filed the book mentally in the category of "endeavours" and the U2 albums in their time in "part of growing up".Africa, and its issues, is bigger than all of that and the book makes that point too.

  • By Malvin on September 16, 2016

    “The Frontman” by Harry Browne offers a brilliant critique of Bono and faux liberal humanitarianism. Mr. Browne is an Irish journalist and activist whose writing in this book displays a high level of intelligence, perspicacity and authenticity. Readers interested in deconstructing Bono and the decrepit celebrity-political-philanthropic complex he serves will be richly rewarded by this insightful, humorous and powerful book.The book is divided into three parts. ‘Ireland’ explains how Bono’s exaggerated Irish origin story helped him stagecraft a highly lucrative musical career; yet the singer has used every trick available to avoid his Irish tax obligations or otherwise help the people of Ireland. ‘Africa’ discusses Bono’s confounding advocacy work; including his exploitation of the continent’s problems for private gain through the marketing of upscale luggage. ‘The World’ talks about the uses and abuses of Bono’s international celebrity by the rich and powerful; to the detriment of those who struggle for meaningful change.In my view, Mr. Browne is tough but fair. Mr. Browne recognizes that Bono is not the first to embellish his origins for private gain, avoid paying as little tax as possible, jump on the bandwagon of a popular cause, and choose acquiescence over conflict with the powerful – nor will he be the last. The point is that Bono is an opportunist whose political entanglements have merely reinforced an unjust status quo. More problematically, Bono’s constant craving for the spotlight deprives real activists from gaining the attention required to significantly challenge and disrupt the continuation of business as usual.For example, Mr. Browne tells how Bono’s AIDS campaign accomplished far more for the shameless Iraq warmongers, Bush and Blair than the poor of Africa. Bono’s presence helped rejuvenate the disgraced politicians’ images through an ostensible act of charity. However, the deal merely cemented big pharma’s stranglehold on Africa’s medicine supply; blocking the introduction of generics that could have made AIDS medicine far more available, cheaper and save many more lives.In the final analysis, one cannot help but plainly view Bono as who he really is: an exorbitantly wealthy entertainer who believes that One Percenters like him have the solutions for the world’s problems. But just as the soul of Irish folk music has thus far escaped Bono’s musical attentions, Mr. Browne writes that contemporary Irish struggles against oil and gas multinationals and for the rights of African immigrants will be waged with or without you, Bono.I highly recommend this excellent book to everyone.

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