Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You, too?

I find it really odd the things that draw to me to some people and repel me from others. It could be the smallest thing that tells me that someone and I are going to click and an equally trivial bit of nothing that tells me we won't. My best friend of 17 years and I initially bonded over our shared loved of all things Audrey Hepburn and built from there.

I was thinking about this while I watched the U2 concert on YouTube the other night. I've seen them live once before and I think they're amazing. In fact, I'd say they're my favorite band of all time. Lots of bands sound like U2, but U2 sounded like that first. They're truly original.

That's why I had to quit reading this one blog. I'm going to make up a totally random name for her and call her Lava Girl. I can't say her blog was awesome. It was okay with periodic posts that were so "on" I kept coming around in case it was one of those days. Then one day, she went on a rant about U2, specifically Bono.

Now, I don't care if you don't like U2. My husband could take or leave them and I love him plenty fine. (I love that phrase). Liking U2 isn't the point. A friendship with me will not break on that point. As I remember it, her beef with them was that Bono is a hypocrite because he goes around the world, poking his nose in politics screaming for reform and feeding the hungry, and then builds this massively expenisve carbon-footprint intense stage set for their concert tour.

I get that some people hate when celebrities in music or film get involved with political causes. I don't. I say if your fame will highlight a cause that you believe in passionately, you have a moral obligation to try to do something about it. If you're showing up to support a cause because you want the PR, then you're lame. I suspect, after years of casually following U2, that these guys are the real deal and truly care about the causes they champion. So how come they can't promote awareness and raise millions of dollars for regions like Darfur, why can't they donate millions of their own dollars, AND have a stage set to blow the minds of their fans?

Because that's why it was designed. The "claw" as it's called, is intended to create a concert experience unlike any other that incorporates the crowd as much as possible into the show, to put the band as near to the audience as possible, and vice versa. It's expensive, yeah. But I still don't get the hate. If you've ever seen a U2 performance, you clearly get that this is a band that absolutely loves their fans and feeds off of that energy, then pours it right back. They also sing songs that are about everything they preach.

But still, I can be your friend if you don't like U2. The kicker for me with this Lava Girl person, is that she went on to point out how Nickelback is a far superior band.

Uh, I don't want to insult anyone else's muscial tastes here, so I'll stop at saying that they're music is inarguably derivative and I don't think anyone can make a case that they've been a force for good in humanitarian causes. That doesn't mean to say they aren't a good band or even that they aren't charitable. They probably are. But have they mounted anything on the scale of the ONE campaign?

It doesn't matter if they did. It doesn't make them a better or worse band or group of people. But to say U2 sucks and Bono's lame but Nickelback is the gold standard?

It was just one of those moments where I knew the twain would NEVER meet, and I took her out of my blog reader before my eye could twitch any more. It wasn't even about disagreeing with her opinion; it was about being so far apart in thought that I realized we weren't going to find common ground on this or probably most other things. Unless she happened to mention loving Audrey Hepburn, which would have been enough to close the gap. But she didn't.

I rarely remove someone from my blog reader and if I do, it's usually because I have been consistently bored for months and can't find anything to respond to/relate to in what they're writing. This makes them neither good or bad bloggers. There are some really well-written blogs I've moved on from because I just don't connect. It's rare that this happens, but it does.

You're safe, is what I'm saying. I won't cut you off because you have an open love for the Jonas Brothers even though I couldn't name a song they sing. Or shun you because you eat shellfish and I can't stand the stuff. It's just that we watched that concert on Sunday night and I thought, "How could anyone not get this? Not like it, fine, but not get it?" It blew my mind a little.

I love U2, btw. Did I mention that? Bye-bye, Lava Girl.

P.S. Baby Girl Jacobson (I'm so tempted to post her name and claim it pre-emptively but my husband is afraid other people will steal it, like we're living a Seinfeld episode, so I can't) looks healthy, normal, and right on track per last week's ultrasound.

P.P.S. I absolutely LOVE the new blogger editor but I don't know where spell check went. Sigh.


DeNae said...

I've removed bloggers from my reader because of too many spelling errors, so I hope you find that spell checker soon, Melanie!

I'm with you, too. (Ha!) They're the real deal, in every sense. How many tickets would they sell if their stage were made of recycled toilet paper for cryin' out loud?

I'm just sayin'...

(And I think you should have a "guess the baby's name" contest. Leave us a hint once a week until she's born, and we'll all guess, and then if we guess right, we win the baby!)

Kristina P. said...

I actually don't love U2. I don't hate them, but I've never been a big fan.

I said this in a comment on another blog, but I actually spent $95 on a Britney Spears concert ticket, but wouldn't do the same for U2. I hang my head in shame.

Lara said...

There is no spell check in the new editor. I'm sorry. (Hanging head.) Since I use Firefox as my browser, and it has a built in checker, I didn't really notice.

I adore Audrey Hepburn. I wish I were her. Maybe in another life.

Eowyn said...

Audrey Hepburn. I want to look like her so I can dress like her.

U2. . .

I don't think I'm either here or there on them. But if they give to what they believe in, they are far superior to many others.

However, in my defense. I couldn't name you a song that Nickelback sings while my brain immediately started singing U2 as I sit here.

annie valentine said...

I don't have a reader because I'm too lazy/can't figure it out.

And I think that if you're in a position where people can hear you, you're an idiot if you don't champion your cause and make a noise, whatever it might be. Good post.

CaJoh said...

They must have changed the way they do concerts. I almost attended a U2 concert in the 80's. I had seats in the far back row 90 degrees off center stage (I'm glad I had a conflict and didn't go).

Sure hope that I never get too boring for you to take me off your reader. I don't think I will— you're just too interesting. Besides, I like Audrey as well.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I haven't tried the new blogger editor. Guess I'll have to.

I'm so tempted to try to find 'Lava Girl'!

I also love Audrey Hepburn. I have a girl figure that never developed and always comforted myself by comparing myself to her. :) I guess that keeps me safe, right?

Aubrey said...

Let me guess...

You're going to name the baby Seven.

Or Soda.

Am I close? :)

Kimberly said...

I adore U2. And Audrey Hepburn. And I hate shellfish. I knew there was a reason I liked you.

I have to confess to taking someone off my reader because of their passion for all things Twilight. I felt a twinge of guilt but alas, my respect for them had been damaged beyond repair.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Any chance you're going to name the baby Audrey? Because that would be lovely.

And I'm so disenchanted with my own blog lately that I might take myself out of reader. I don't know how complete strangers can feel more enthusiasm than that.

I am not a huge fan of any one band, but I like U2's stuff. They have a song that I heard once that I really like and I have never been able to figure out what it is. I can't describe it, but I know I'd recognize it if I heard it, but I just don't want to download their whole discography to figure it out. You can see I have real problems here. . .

Kristi Stevens said...

I love U2 and Audrey Hepburn and Nickelback (every once and a while).

I believe if you have voice you have responsibility to use it. Celebrities that champion causes to further their own publicity don't fight the for very long. They lose interest and move on to design expensive handbags.

U2 has championed causes for as long as I can remember, long before it was fashionable.

Great post. I wish I would have seen the concert. It sounds amazing.

D. said...

I agree with you on how strange it can be how one thing draws us to a person and something can draw us away. I also think it is interesting what can draw into a person can turn around and turn you off to them as well.
I am also a huge U2 fan and have been for a long time. I think when celebrities get involved and seem actually be there for the hard stuff and not just PR then it makes a difference. I try to be as green as I can but that doesn't mean I have it down perfect and somethings are just part of the deal. Their stage is part of the deal and keeps them in touch with their fans and the sucess of that allows them to donate lots and lots of their money to causes.
Hearts to U2.
And I am also wondering about that spellcheck feature....


L.T. Elliot said...

I've given up a time or two but usually because I so clearly disagree that I can't read anymore and be kind.

I love U2. Sunday, Bloody Sunday is one of my favorite songs of all time.

I love that you used Seinfeld to explain the baby name situation. Her name wouldn't happen to be 7 would it?

Stephanie Faris said...

What bugs me is when someone imposes their own tastes as though they're professional opinion of some sort. I'm sure there's an expert somewhere who could quantify a comment like, "Nickelback is better than U2" (or vice versa) by stating TECHNICAL reasons for that belief...but otherwise it's all opinion. I like both bands, to be honest, but Nickelback's lead singer sounds kind of scary to me. Like how Satan would sound if he could sing.

That Girl said...

I love U2. I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on this.

I've dumped blogs for seemingly ridiculous things - too pink, too grammatically gross, too cutesy, too long, too rant-y.

Dump whoever you choose. Just not me. ;o)

MommyJ said...

I dump blogs often. When I realize that most of the time I'm clicking "mark all as read" I do a thorough cleaning out... I don't have enough to wade through stuff I don't really enjoy reading.

As for U2, I saw them in concert, and the claw? It's most mighty impressive. And the amount of energy they spent during the concert increasing awareness about certain issues was aptly spent... it wasn't over done. The concert was about the music, but their were definitely undercurrents of social awareness.

The concert was awesome and I love U2, um, way more than I love Nickelback... but not quite as much as I love Coldplay. But still... you won't see me bashing one band to promote the superiority of another. I think that's silly in most cases. It annoys the pee out of me when people act as if their own viewpoint is most obviously the only one with any merit. Makes me want to say "Pop your bubble sweetheart, the world is much bigger than your little opinion."

I'm done now. Did I go on too long?

InkMom said...

Sing it, my friend. We read about rabid Muse fans who refused to sit through the U2 portion of the concert, just left after the opening act. Now, those were expensive tickets, let me tell you.

Erin said...

I saw U2 in concert years ago, B.C. (before children). It was awesome. I didn't like their opening act so much, Rage Against the Machine. WAY too many F words.

Annette Lyon said...

I get it. The entire concept aside from US and Audrey Hepburn--just clicking or not.

(But I mean, Nickelback? Really? Come. On. It's freaking U2 and Bono.)

So you're naming your daughter Seven, then? :D

Emily said...

I love U2. They remind me of high school, which I loved. (I'm one of a few people that can say that and actually mean it.)

Chaka said...

I like U2 but I haven't followed them much over the past ten years. I am into their old school stuff like New Years Day, War, Two Hearts that Beat as one, etc.

Note to self: Do not say anything bad about Bono in front of Melanie.

Christy said...

I've removed blogs because they would say things that annoyed me and I never had the never to comment my annoyance. :) So, I stopped reading.

I love U2. It was the first concert I ever went to. My parents were so mad. They didn't let us listen to rock music. Oh, well.

Are you naming the baby "Tuesday?" Hee Hee. We didn't name our sweet girls until they were 3 or 4 days old. We are not good decision makers on things that are that important. Congrats on the girl.

I enjoyed this post.

Kazzy said...

I have removed a couple of blogs from my reader over the past couple of years too. Both times I couldn't take how ticked off the posts made me.

DeNae and Kristine...LOL

wonder woman said...

I know exactly who you're talking about. And I was thinking yesterday that I liked that she was able to share her opinions, however unpopular they may be, witout worrying what others thought. I wish I could be more like that. Similarly, I like that you can share you opinions, whatever they may be, and not worry about what others think.

I like Denae's idea for guessing the name. I have NO IDEA what we're going to name this one.

Tracy said...

I've read that blog you're referring to, and though I live just a few hours from where Nickelback comes from and feel that great Canadian pride (in the name of love - sorry, I have musical tourette's), I must say that nothing compares 2 U(2).