I’m not sure things get much better than they have been for U2 over the last several months, pulling off the momentous and enviable feat of being simultaneously the band of the moment and a band for the ages.
Their most recent album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, is a bonafide critical and commercial smash hit, they were eloquently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by no less than Bruce Springsteen last month (my live blog of the induction here), they kicked off their “Vertigo” tour amid feverish excitement last week (reviews here and here).
And lead singer Bono has become such a cultural icon that no major event is allowed to pass into history without a pronunciamento from his direction, including the passing of the pope:
- On The Death of John Paul II
Bono has spoken of the passing today of Pope John Paul II.
“The best front man the Catholic Church ever had. A great show man, a great communicator of ideas even if you didn’t agree with all of them, a great friend to the world’s poor which is how I got to meet him. Without John Paul II its hard to imagine the Drop the Debt campaign succeeding as it did.”
There you have it, from one Nobel Peace Prize nominee to another. The image of pope as entertainer and cheerleader is a captivating one, and one that doesn’t even seem to be controversial. Is the role of pope as much PR as it is spiritual?