Observer Profile and Bono's Labour Party speech

I'm linking this profile of Bono from The Observer for two reasons: so I can just have a post to point to when people start in on the "hippie idealist leftie rock star not achieving anything anyway save the whales celebrity airhead" stuff, and second, because it has a good example of secular journalism's difficulty in talking about people of faith.

There are now clearly a few adjectives/ phrases that (whatever their actual meaning once was) the media now uses mostly to signal to secular readers, "this person is the kind of Christian that 'our kind' is supposed to dislike." Well, the author of this profile needs exactly the opposite code -- some way to signal that Bono is the kind of Christian who's, you know, not so bad as all that.

So here's how the author does it; first he says that the family's children's names (all Biblical) are "a testament to the broad-based Christian spirituality of their father." Uh-huh. Then we get a comment about the near-breakup of U2 over whether rock and "spirituality" (again) were incompatible; and then, this: "That same faith, though seldom articulated outside their songs, remains Bono's creative and moral raison d'etre, and may be the defining element in why he is the biggest rock star on the planet and, perversely, why rock alone cannot contain him."

"A broad-based Christian spirituality... seldom articulated outside their songs." What does that mean, exactly? Almost nothing, other than that you're allowed to like him.
Overall, it's quite a good article, though. The text of the speech to which it was leading up is here.

No comments: