Sometimes You Break a Finger on the Upper Hand

Jesus! Can’t you guys recognize bullshit? Don’t you think it would be a useful item to add to your intellectual toolkits to be capable of saying, when a ton of wet steaming bullshit lands on your head, “My goodness, this appears to be bullshit?”
—Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe

I’ve been having problems with deadlines lately—the space-time continuum has been extremely treacherous recently, especially today—and it’s put me in a viciously foul mood, with no patience for crafting any cute little novellas about random deadly sins. I mean, those dumb morality fables have been fun so far this year, but I’m not really interested in humoring that impulse right now. What’s more, another deadline is looming with extreme prejudice—not web development this time, but writing—and so I need to crank the rusty machinery into gear enough to spew two thousand worthwhile and honest words for a real publication. Yeah, don’t come too close, or I might snap your spine with my righteous rage, just like Barack Obama did to Bono recently.

The hell you say—but photos never lie, especially when they’re shot by pompous maniacs like Pete Souza. Seriously, look at that shit—the President is about to give U2’s frontman a Vulcan Neck Pinch to knock him unconscious, the better to break his back with. Oh sure, the usual excuses were made

President Barack Obama meets with Paul David “Bono” Hewson, lead singer of U2 and anti-poverty activist, to discuss development policy in the Oval Office, April 30, 2010.

…but within weeks, the disturbing truth slowly emerged:

Bono undergoes surgery, tour start postponed

According to a statement on Bono “has today undergone emergency back surgery for an injury sustained during tour preparation training. He was admitted to a specialist neuro surgery unit in a Munich hospital, and is under the care of neuro surgeon Prof. Dr. Jorg Tonn and Dr Muller Wohlfahrt. Bono will spend the next few days there, before returning home to recuperate.

And it went downhill from there:

Bono needs 8 weeks recovery, North American leg postponed has announced that Bono has been discharged from LMU University Hospital in Munich. The physician, Dr Muller Wohlfart confirmed that Bono underwent emergency surgery on Friday after suffering severe compression of the sciatic nerve. To ensure a full recovery, he needs to start a rehabilitation program to recuperate for at least eight weeks.


06-03 Salt Lake City, UT – Rice Eccles Stadium ^
06-06 Anaheim, CA – Angel Stadium ^
06-07 Anaheim, CA – Angel Stadium ^
06-12 Denver, CO – Invesco Field ^
06-16 Oakland, CA – Oakland Coliseum #
06-20 Seattle, WA – Qwest Field #
06-23 Edmonton, Alberta – Commonwealth Stadium #
06-25 Pilton, England – Glastonbury
06-27 Minneapolis, MN – TCF Bank Stadium *
06-30 East Lansing, MI – Spartan Stadium *
07-03 Toronto, Ontario – Rogers Centre *
07-06 Chicago, IL – Soldier Field *
07-09 Miami, FL – Sun Life Stadium *
07-12 Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field *
07-16 Montreal, Quebec – Montreal Hippodrome *
07-17 Montreal, Quebec – Montreal Hippodrome *
07-19 New York, NY – New Meadowlands Stadium *

No more “City of Blinding Lights” for you, Barack. Did you realize the consequences of your actions? Did you even stop to think about what might happen if you pushed the little leprechaun-man too far, never giving in to his naive demands for AIDS medicine funding? No, no you didn’t. You were too caught up in your own problems—and yeah, we know it takes a lot of time and patience to govern slowly and decisively, especially when it makes you look like you need a Valium—and thought nothing of how this might affect millions of people in the land you claim to lead. I mean, do you have any idea how many poor bastards re-arranged their lives to go see these shows? Unpaid time off, sick days, gallons of gasoline, hundreds of dollars on tickets—the legions of U2-yuppies out there are fucking pissed, dude.

And really, you of all people should have realized the potentially disastrous political fallout from this folly. Don’t you remember that, ever since 1992, the American two-party system has been fueled by the engine of U2’s album and tour output? Don’t tell me you’d forgotten about that—it swung the 2008 election in your favor, man:

Now, by the album theory, this year was all set to be locked up for Crash McCain, what with plenty of substantiated rumors about a new U2 album looming in the fall. However, it seems that someone in the U2 camp—be it the nefarious Edge, the sullen Mullen, the libertine Clayton, or the socio-capitalist manager McGuinness—has overruled Yer Man Bono, and forcibly delayed the new release to 2009.

We all know how that ended up—a U2 gig at the Lincoln Memorial, a balls-ass-freezing inauguration with an inept Chief Justice and a collapsing Ted Kennedy—all before the underwhelming leak-then-release of No Line on the Horizon in February and March. It did not age well, and according to the biased Beltway, neither did your presidency, despite the hysterical, projectionary, and insecure ravings of your own rabid fanbase.

Wait, what? Look at your record? Ho ho, don’t make me laugh—health care? Financial reform? Lilly Ledbetter? Is that underwater volcano of oil funny? How about those crazy North Koreans? And all those shit-stupid tea baggers with guns? Pop another Valium and get back to me, will you? This isn’t about you. man—this is about ME, and the U2 shows I won’t be able to see until 2011 (even though I hadn’t bought tickets yet anyway) because you decided to get offended by the fifty-year-old Irishman in goofy sunglasses. His sciatic nerve will never be the same now, and his hot wife and daughters will weep bitter Gaelic tears. Even the Edge might consider abandoning his palatial ambitions in Malibu in solidarity.

Because hey man, I was SURE that the band would begin reviving some of those gloriously underrated ’90s songs on the 3rd and 4th leg of this ugly beast of a tour—hell, with the recession on the wane, there’s no doubt they would have brought back “Discotheque” and “Lemon” and “Mofo” and all those other awesome four-on-the-floor musical seizures to rock the stadiums across our great land. But no, you had to get greedy. You had to pick on a man older and shorter than you—a foreigner, to boot—on your home turf, while he was your guest. Never mind the silly lobbying and un-funky dance moves. Never mind the gargantuan ego and obvious self-absorption, no matter how much you may have identified with it. Never mind the undeniable greed of power and the apologists for those in power.

No, forget all that crap. None of it matters, because I’m not getting what I want: a bloated, recession-defying rock juggernaut with the carbon footprint of a planetoid. Thanks a lot, Mister President. Maybe you can come to my house and watch the new U2-360 DVD with me when it comes out next week. We’ll have a beer summit and talk shit about Elton Gallegly, Meg Whitman, and Simon Cowell, and all will be well.