Wednesday, June 08, 2005

U2 Binge and The One Campaign ...

Recently, in a hotel room in Louisville, I watched Diane Sawyer interview U2. All of them, sitting in an empty arena -- the United Center in Chicago, maybe? "Good Morning, America" filmed several of the band's song during a performance in Chicago to kick off the "Summer Concert Series," but first, Diane sat down with the boys to ask the questions she's paid so much to ask and to attempt to stroke their egos, as if nightly sold-out stadiums of screaming fans leave them somehow hungry.

"It must be difficult," she said (or maybe she said "grueling").

Bono scoffed.

Diane continued, to clarify: "Touring, out there, night after night."

Bono was definitive and almost dismissive: "We're spoiled rock stars. We live like princes."

I was proud of him for saying that. The man knows his place in the world: A superstar who wants for nothing, so instead wants for those who want for everything. Who doesn't admire his dogged determination in bringing the plights of Africa to light, and his launch of The One Campaign as an international face to focus the spotlight on the fight against the global epidemics of AIDS and extreme poverty?

Today, a box of CDs arrived from BMG Music. BMG Music e-mailed recently, wanting me back. BMG is always writing. I join, I fulfill the membership requirement, I quit. BMG writes, asking me to return. I rejoin, I fulfill the membership requirement, I quit. I've amassed half my CD collection through this dysfunctional relationship.

This time, six of my seven introductory selections were chosen to shore up my U2 collection, which was woefully lacking in earlier material.

"The Joshua Tree" is playing now, one of the best albums ever recorded. "Mothers of the Disappeared," according to songfacts.com, "is about the thousands of opponents to the Argentine military regime that took power in 1976 who were kidnapped and never seen again. Known as 'The Disappeared,' their mothers formed a group demanding accountability from the government of Argentina."

"On February 5, 1989, U2 played in Buenos Aires with The Mothers of the Disappeared onstage with pictures of their missing children."

Can you imagine how much better the world would be if more of us, celebrities and civilians alike, did our part? You can start at www.one.org. The US government gives less than one quarter of one percent of this country's budget to global relief. The One Campaign needs you. Visit www.one.org to sign The One Declaration, buy a wristband, or get a banner to host on your site.

As Tom Hanks says at the end of the PSA: "We're not asking for your money. We're asking for your voice."

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