Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Bono, Fire Your Damn Manager!
It's fun to constantly point out the inconsistencies of U2 lead singer Bono, and some analysts make a career of it. Bono's work with and concern for the poor has been legitimate, but you have to wonder about a guy who actually likes to hang with Paul Wolfowitz.
While we're on the subject of company kept, Bono and The Edge and gang had better take a second look at lifelong manager Paul McGuinness. The blog world is abuzz with McGuinness' Jan. 28 speech in Cannes on the future of the music industry. Actually, his assessment of the failures and foibles of record companies and musicians is spot-on in the first half of the speech. And then he takes on Silicon Valley.
First of all, "hippie values" in the technology industry? Where has McGuinness been in analyzing uber-capitalists? These are the Ayn Rand slaves, dude! But more important, where does he come off dissing Abbie Hoffman? The most important aspect of hippie culture in the 1960s was the nihilist and comedic trend of Yippie culture. If technology supporters behind peer-to-peer music services and MP3 harbor any Steal This Book! trends (which I find laughable), it's probably a good thing. The real danger in the modern world is allowing the transnational capitalists to control the entire game, while sending the big bad Recording Industry Association of America against those poor little file-stealers. Anarchists seeking to limit the power of large corporations are a healthy rage-against-the-machine, blow-against-the-empire trend, like the Barbary Pirates during the expansion of the British empire. If I had to choose between EMI and the Yippies, I'd choose Yippies every time. And if Bono doesn't share that opinion enough to tell his manager to go take a hike, then Bono is indeed the kind of two-faced hypocrite his critics have claimed for years.