"The American people would demand action on Africa if only someone would tell them the facts."

Another World Summit post: This coming Sunday's NY Times Magazine has a huge political article by someone working on a book on the United Nations. Its topic is "a new and heretofore undescribed planet in an emerging galaxy filled with transnational, multinational and subnational bodies.... a kind of one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame....the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture." Um...that would be Bono.

The article (here) gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the amazing impact he's had for Africa has happened and what the outlook is now. I certainly hope there aren't many of our blog readers whose interests are so strictly and narrowly religious that you'll only want to skim this thorough and serious 14-page profile -- but if there are and if you do, you'll miss finding out what church Bono is raising his kids in. And no, I'm not telling you what page that's on.

Here's an excerpt from the New York Times Bono profile, recounting a famous story:
In mid-2000, Bono received an audience with Senator Jesse Helms, viewed by Bono's fellow lefties, including members of the band, as the archfiend himself. Bono quickly realized that his usual spiel about debt service and so on wasn't making a dent. So, he recalls: "I started talking about Scripture. I talked about AIDS as the leprosy of our age." Married women and children were dying of AIDS, he told the senator, and governments burdened by debt couldn't do a thing about it. Helms listened, and his eyes began to well up. Finally the flinty old Southerner rose to his feet, grabbed for his cane and said, "I want to give you a blessing." He embraced the singer, saying, "I want to do anything I can to help you." Kasich, who was watching from a couch, says, "I thought somebody had spiked my coffee."

And here's another which I just like:
By the summer of 1999, Bono was ready to take on Washington. The Clinton administration was already committed to canceling two-thirds or so of the $6 billion that the poorest African countries owed the United States, but Bono wanted 100 percent cancellation - not only because he thought it was right, but also because you can't sing about two-thirds of something. "It has to feel like history," he says. "Incrementalism leaves the audience in a snooze."

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