Even if you don't like Bono or US that much, you should still read or, at least, skim his thoughtful reflection on the past year, called a "Little Book for a Big Year." Below are some of the more interesting bits, in my opinion.
Capitalism is not immoral, but it is amoral. It gets its instructions from us. It's an indiscriminate engine, and our obligation is to see that it provides forward movement to everyone, not just to those whose hands are on the levers of the machine.
U2 is a band that started out as fans, and with this new album we wanted to remind ourselves and others that we hadn't forgotten that. We stepped out of the audience of The Clash and The Ramones... In earlier times we had fans sleeping on the floors of our hotel rooms. Later that got weird. But we've always understood who was paying our wages.
Friendship like music is a sacrament to me. I can't remember who said it; it might even be Nietzsche, who said one other thing – and if I wore tattoos, I would ink this all across my right arm – that to do something really great, there requires "a long obedience in the same direction".
Our album [Songs of Innocence] was to be like a bottle of milk dropped at the door of anyone interested in music and iTunes. As I understand it, the journey from the front door to the fridge and into what to some people felt was their bowl of cereal has something to do with a switch called "automatic download" - if you turn it on, you sign up for being pushed stuff.
I broke my hand, my shoulder, my elbow and my face but the real injury this year was to my Irish pride as it was discovered that under my tracksuit I was wearing yellow and black Lycra cycling shorts. Yes, LYCRA. This is not very rock 'n' roll.
At this time of year some people are reminded of the poetic as well as the historic truth that is the birth of Jesus. The Christmas story has a crazy good plot with an even crazier premise - the idea goes, if there is a force of love and logic behind the universe, then how amazing would it be if that incomprehensible power chose to express itself as a child born in shit and straw poverty.
Bono goes from there into the rest of the piece. I encourage you to read on, especially about SDGs, the unholy trinity, vision over visibility, and what he calls Generation Z. Okay, I'll quote him on the last bit. I have said basically the same thing myself. I love working with millennials (24 to 35 year olds) and especially younger millennials (16 to 24 year olds), who I think Bono is referring to as Generation Z. I love working with them, because they will surpass me and my generation (GenX) and do more than what we could ever hope to acccomplish. In his words:
As they age, I don't know if they'll be playing our music, but if we are still around, I hope to be deafened by the joyful noise of a world unrecognizably better because of the innovations in science, medicine, and equality they bring about. The biggest breakthroughs are always in the way we see the world. We could do with some fresh eyes.
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