Friday, June 8, 2007

No Bono

Reuters reports that Stephen Harper (Canada's Prime Minister, for all you wacky foreigners) passed up a recent opportunity to meet the musician Bono at the G8 summit in Germany, saying that he was too busy. Note the derisive tone of the article, and the ad-hominem shot at Harper for being "wooden": apparently we are supposed to despise a politician who is too occupied with his work to stage a superficial photo-op with a celebrity -- and all the more so because that particular celebrity has appointed himself as saviour of the world's poor.

I'm sure that Bono's intentions are good, but so what? He has no original ideas for Africa's troubles other than to keep throwing more and more money at them, an approach which has been tried for decades and which has failed abysmally. I don't blame him for playing the role of Great White Father to the dark continent; he's rich and has lots of time on his hands, so anything that keeps him away from drugs or Scientology is all for the best. But in the end, he is a musician and nothing more. He has no innate expertise to offer based merely on the fact that he was in a famous rock band. And no matter how many people have bought his records, no-one has ever voted for him.

It's a sad testament to our pathetic adulation of celebrities that we instinctively turn to them for wisdom on matters they know little about, and that we are willing to dismiss as hopelessly square those of our democratically- elected representatives who refuse to turn politics into a mere appendage of the entertainment industry.

1 comment:

Rajeev said...

I'm waiting for people to sit at the feet of Paris Hilton and absorb her wisdom.