News: Bono to speak on AIDS and economics
Bono is coming to the Pacific Northwest, but not for the reason you are thinking. The rock star has decided to go beyond speaking out about political issues briefly at benefit concerts for causes he cares about. Though other entertainers, including Whoopi Goldberg and Linda Ronstadt, have been pilloried for daring to criticize the current administration, Bono (pictured) is becoming even more politically active than he has been in the past. Goldberg was recently dismissed as a spokeswoman for Slim-Fast, a product that supposedly helps people lose weight. She had mocked George W. Bush at a fundraising event. Just this week, Ronstadt was ejected from the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas when she dedicated a song, "Desperado," to controversial auteur Michael Moore. Bono appears to be undaunted. He, minus his band, U2, will be appearing in the role of spokesman on international relations and poverty. The Oregonian explains.
When Irish rock star Bono appears at Portland's Rose Garden Arena this fall, he won't sing while sprinting around a heart-shaped stage, as he did in an April 2001 show with his band, U2.
The World Affairs Council of Oregon has recruited the singer to kick off its 2004-05 International Speaker Series, the council will announce today.
Bono, a singer and activist for the world's poor, is expected to deliver an address on how rich countries' foreign aid and trade policies have hampered Africa's ability to fight the spread of AIDS. He won't sing at the Oct. 20 event, but, as with the three other speakers in the council's series, Bono will deliver a 45-minute address and take written questions from the audience.
Though the right of people, including celebrities, to express their views publicly is a given to me, by so demonstratedly changing his role from singer to activist, Bono doubtlessly risks oppobrium from some quarters. It will be said that he should stick to what he knows. But, the entertainer seems to be doing that already. He has gathered an impressive body of information about AIDS in Africa and is well-informed regarding the topic. The notion that a person should engage in only one kind of work seems silly to me. I believe it is evidence of the anti-intellectual bias in American society. Talent is distrusted. The doubly talented are doubly distrusted. If an individual is capable of achieving in more than one field, that is a benefit to society. But, I think many people resent such displays of versatility.
Any criticism Bono is subject to as a result of 'gettng out of his place,' will be cushioned by the success of U2.
U2 became one of rock's hottest tickets in 1987, with the release of The Joshua Tree, an album that put the previously niche rockers on magazine covers worldwide. Bono's ability to reach a diverse audience helped U2 mark the second-highest gross sales of any rock tour in history in 2001.
The audience for Bono's speaking engagement will be limited to less than 5000 people. The Council hopes that featuring the rock star will attract attention to the issues of debt relief, AIDS and the relationship between First and Third World countries from young people.