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"[I]f something goes completely wrong I can just phone Bono and find, again, that he's probably one of the best psychologists I know." — Ali

Column: off the record ..., vol. 16-750



Just when I thought I wouldn’t have any news to discuss in this week’s column, Bono pulls a devilish trick out of his sleeve!

For those who haven’t been absorbed by the Twitter storm or the chat in our forum, our favorite frontman resurrected his MacPhisto character for an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week.

In what’s becoming an annual event, Kimmel spent the duration of the episode spotlighting products to purchase with proceeds going to Bono’s (RED) organization. This year, stars such as Channing Tatum and Kristen Bell joined Bono to promote the goods.

The most exciting options for U2 fans are two experiences available from the Omaze charity site. For as little as $10, fans can enter for a chance to have tea with Bono and Julia Roberts or attend a private U2 dress rehearsal.

But back to the shocker: MacPhisto’s return! At the end of the hour (after being interviewed and performing earlier in the show), Bono emerged in a bathtub wearing makeup and horns like his classic Zoo TV-era character (albeit with a new, darker suit). He sang a satirical tune titled “We’re Going To Hell” to urge the privileged world to be more generous with their giving. 

Personally, I thought it was brilliant and I hope this signals a return of one of Bono’s most iconic alter egos. If there was ever a time to bring MacPhisto back, that time is now.

MacPhisto’s return serendipitously coincided with this week’s release of our Zooropa-themed atu2 podcast.

If you haven’t tuned in, the past several months of our show have been dedicated to a song-by-song discussion of every full-length album in U2’s catalog, featuring various members of our staff. They’re a great way to revisit classic songs and perhaps gain new perspective on things that may not have made a strong impression at their time of release. To catch up, here’s the full list, so far:

Watch for our next episode, about Pop, sometime in December.

The weekend of—and the few days after—Thanksgiving is very busy in the U.S. We have shopping-centric days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but the most important day to me (outside of the holiday itself) is Giving Tuesday.  

I plan on allocating my monetary donations to (RED), The Pink Daisy Project, and a few podcasts I listen to regularly, but it’s not just about money.

Even if you’re short on cash, there are dozens of ways you can help organizations and charities you wish to support aside from financial contributions. Here are just a few ideas how:

  • Join the Global Citizen community and earn points by signing petitions, calling decision makers, etc. regarding important humanitarian initiatives.
  • Use Crowdrise to help raise funds for an important cause.
  • Click a link to donate food (free of charge) via Greater Good.
  • Donate your hair to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss.
  • Knit Chemocaps for cancer patients.
  • Visit Amazon Smile to register a charity to receive a portion of your shopping dollars spent on the site.

It feels great to give; I urge you to contribute in whatever way you wish.

As the festive season gets underway, our team invites you to connect with other U2 fans via our annual U2 Fan Christmas/Holiday Card Exchange. Be sure to send your information in by Dec. 5 to participate, and thanks to our staffer, Rashas, for taking the lead on organizing this project each year.

Happy holidays! 

(c) @U2/Kokkoris, 2016

Any opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of @U2 as a whole.