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"I have two conflicting visions of America. One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy." — Bono

Week In Review: February 17, 2020

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Bono Advocates for Girls’ Education at the UN

U2 might be on hiatus for the moment, but world events continue apace. As always, Bono is out front, trying to give those events a gentle nudge in the right direction. On Feb. 11, he appeared before the United Nations to help promote Drive For Five: A Call to Action for the Education of Adolescent Girls 

His co-presenters were Geraldine Byrne Nason, the Permanent Representative for Ireland at the UN and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and current Chair of The Elders, an organization of independent global leaders for peace, justice and human rights, founded by Nelson Mandela. In many parts of the world, girls miss out on education due to economic, social, and cultural constraints. Drive for 5, a partnership between the Government of Ireland, the Global Partnership for Education, UN Women, One and Malala Fund, is a response to the continued exclusion of some 96.5 million adolescent girls from secondary education worldwide. 

The program began with opening remarks by UN Secretary General António Guterres and included compelling presentations by four young women who fought for their own educations in situations of danger and duress. The women and girls in the room carried the day, but Bono did speak briefly.

“[Ireland]’s entire success as a country has come from investments in education,” he said, adding that he met the three members of U2 as well as his “missus” at a comprehensive school on the Northside of Dublin. 

He stressed the importance of keeping the UN in business at a critical time in history and cited the climate crisis as the “biggest obstacle in the way of all of us here today.” 

“The climate crisis may be man-made, but it’s likely to be woman-solved,” Bono said. “We’re not going to save Mother Earth with just our sons.”  The world, he said, needs “brilliant women. [Education] is not just access to the classroom, it’s access to the science lab, and to the government.”

“The patriarchy—as my daughter refers to me—the thing that might save us is we’re just not stupid enough not to ask for help from [everywhere] we can find it.”

The presentation concluded with a set of traditional Irish songs played by international musicians. Bono sat this one out, remaining in the audience. You can watch the entire program here.

 

Hi Fidelity: Cool TV Show Deems Bono “Nice”

High Fidelity, which premiered on Hulu this week, is a modern, gender-swapped reinvention of the movie High Fidelity, which itself was based on a book by British author Nick Hornby. 

The show stars Zoë Kravitz as Rob, the self-destructive, list-making music-nerd owner of Championship Vinyl, along with Da’Vine Joy Randolph and David H. Holmes as her employees, Cherise and Simon.

Sounds good, but what about Bono? In episode 2, Cherise is appalled by a customer who tries to buy Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album, in light of Jackson’s alleged abuse of children. Rob points out that Charise still listens to Kanye West in spite of his love for Donald Trump. But the rhetorical victory belongs to Simon, who says that if we are only allowed to listen to music by people who are unquestionably nice, we will be limited to a handful of records by Bono, Phil Collins, Michael Stipe, and Sufjan Stevens. 

(Presumably when Simon says “Bono” he means U2 in their entirety.)

 

Later this Year: New Commemorative U2 Stamps from An Post

According to its quarterly online magazine The Collector, the Irish Post Office (An Post) will release a set of four new stamps under the title “U2 – A Celebration” on October 8, 2020. This is the third set of U2 stamps from An Post. Earlier stamps appeared in 2002 and 2019.

 

While you're here, stick around for @U2's original content, including:

A brand new Achtoon Baby featuring 94(!) U2 trading cards

An in-depth look at Bono's influential role in the creation of PEPFAR

A fun take on this year's subscriber gift

And our latest @U2 podcast

 

© @U2/DeGenaro, 2020