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I can't believe the news today. I can't close my eyes and make it go away.Back when newspapers still mattered, and our finest journalists wrote important articles regarding crucial current events and our national conversation in the nation’s better daily periodicals, America knew where to turn for the best columnist covering the subjects all citizens cared about most: Larry King and his USA Today column! But then, inexplicably, about 10 years ago, USA Today killed the finest punditry in U.S. History. The newspaper business has been in free fall ever since.

But the New York Times is not going to fade away. It will attract the Youths! And how does a newspaper go about attracting the Youths who would really rather scrub their twats, on the internet?

We imagine the opinion editors having a meeting about this, perhaps in a conference room, and agreeing that, when they were young, they enjoyed the rock music — the epitome of the youth movement, really. But which rock band did they enjoy, when they were young? The Beatles, certainly, but the Beatles were no longer with us. What about the U2? Yes, it was agreed, everyone enjoyed the U2, in their youth.

So they actually fucking hired Bono to write op-eds, for the New York Times, because it’s not like there are any qualified journalists out of work.

And, surprise!, Bono is a terrible writer. His column is the closest thing to Larry King’s scattered, random and confused thoughts about celebrities we’ve seen in print. Kudos, Mr. Bono. Here are some, uh, highlights:

  • “I AM in Midtown Manhattan, where drivers still play their car horns as if they were musical instruments and shouting in restaurants is sport.”
  • “I am a long way from the warm breeze of voices I heard a week ago on Easter Sunday.”
  • “Carnival — rock stars are good at that.”
  • “A few weeks ago I was in Washington when news arrived of proposed cuts to the president’s aid budget.”
  • “Strangely, as we file out of the small stone church into the cruel sun, I think of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whose now combined fortune is dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty.”
  • “I think of Nelson Mandela, who has spent his life upholding the rights of others.”
  • “Not all soul music comes from the church.”

We would say something trite like “Keep your day job,” but we don’t want him to keep that, either.

It’s 2009. Do You Know Where Your Soul Is? [NYT]

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62 COMMENTS

  1. NYT. It’s the greatest paper in the world because its editors say so. Which gets repeated by people who subscribe because they have NYC envy. Which is to say they’ve never lived there. But David Letterman told them it’s the greatest city in the world. So there.

  2. “I AM in Midtown Manhattan, where drivers still play their car horns as if they were musical instruments and shouting in restaurants is sport.”

    WTF?

    What drivel.

  3. During a U2 concert Bono asks the audience for some quiet. Then in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands. Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone… “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”

    A voice from near the front pierces the silence… “Well, fucking stop it then!”

  4. It was only when celebrities took over that do-gooders became insufferable, right? Or is there a Mother Teresa Xmas album I don’t know about?

  5. Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?
    How long,
    How long must i sing this song?

  6. Then we found out that if every living soul on the planet had a fridge and a house and an S.U.V., we would choke on our own exhaust.

    As many NYT readers are doing on yours, Mr. Bono.

  7. I loooved Larry King’s column, funnniest bit of unconscious self-parody ever in our culture.

    “For my money, if you want a great actress, look no further than Bonnie Franklin.” He’d come up with this out of nowhere. “I like hot dogs.”

  8. [re=295536]bopumofu[/re]: Or as Alan Partridge put it:
    Alan: ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. What a great song. It really encapsulates the frustration of a Sunday, doesn’t it? You wake up in the morning, you’ve got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you’ve got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you think “Sunday, bloody Sunday!”.
    Aidan: I really hate to do this to you, Alan, but it’s actually a song about –
    Paul: Yeah, bloody Sunday is actually about a massacre in Derry in 1972.
    Alan: A massacre? Ugh. I’m not playing that again.

  9. [re=295541]Prommie[/re]: I don’t know what ever happened to Bonnie Franklin, but Valerie Bert-n-ernie has certainly made a comeback channeling her borderline psychosis into a fantastic weightloss plan.

  10. [re=295494]Red Zeppelin[/re]: He was willing to develop an immunity to teh colored so his band could steal their music and get rich.

    It was apparently necessary because he is the only Irishman in the freaking world who can’t write very well. He probably can’t go out on the streets there without people pointing at him in shock and awe.

  11. [re=295569]wheelie[/re]:

    Sure, the first time. Wait until you wake up screaming the lyrics at 3:00am. It runs itself over and over again in your head until you are a sad, broken shell of a person…

  12. You know THE Bono’s bulletpointed comments might actually make good twittering. At least its better than that crap about running for governor or volcano monitoring or similar such spittle

  13. A man dies, goes to heaven, and is taken around by St. Peter.
    “Is that Ghandi?” the man asks?
    “Yes” says St. Peter. “You’ll see many celebrities here.”
    “Look, it’s Paul Newman!”
    “Yes” says St. Peter. “He did a lot of charitable work!”
    “Oh my! I didn’t know Bono had died!” says the man, pointing at a figure with sunglasses and emitting an aura of cool.
    “Oh” says St. Peter. “That’s not Bono, that’s God. He just THINKS he’s Bono.”

  14. [re=295524]assistant/atlas[/re]: yeah, ‘Mama T’ did one way back when she was slamming smack with Nico & Brian Jones, but Pope Pius bought every copy in the world, plus the masters – if you see it listed on ebay.it, grab it quick!

  15. Can we all agree that while the songs on “Joshua Tree” are very good indeed, they are also the most overplayed songs in the history of music, and nobody ever needs to hear them again? When I think of all the great music that never gets played on the radio, I get really annoyed when some jagoff DJ thinks we all need to hear “With or without you” for the 8 trillionth time.

  16. “Hallelujah, Here She Comes” was a a favorite jukebox anthem of mine. I credit that song with getting me laid far more times than I deserved.

  17. [re=295782]wheelie[/re]: You’re quite welcome. I remember when the single came out and was horribly disappointed to find out it got pulled from the shelves that same day. I saw them play in Norfolk about a year later and they did a version of U2, then were selling completely illegal cassettes of it after the show to raise money for their fight against Island records. I still have it, although I think the tape is broken.

  18. [re=295585]BadKitty[/re]: I love U2 too but, dear God Bono, STFU. It’s hard to miss you if you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever go away.

  19. Wait a farting minute, I know damn well he was taken out by a Goddamn tree several years ago!

    (And have been a kind of Facebook friend* with said tree; really; the tree has a damn good impression 0f Sonny and is looking forward to meeting other celebrity figures.)

    *Tree huggers unite. (or whatever).

  20. Channeling Larry King

    “Of all the shortcakes, strawberry is my favorite.”

    “The Horned Frog isn’t a frog at all; it’s a lizard.”

    “Kathleen Turner has put on some weight since ‘Body Heat.’”

    “Experts say the American ‘Buffalo’ isn’t a buffalo at all, but a ‘bison.’ Apparently none of the experts know what a ‘bison’ is.”

    “Why don’t the Chicago White Sox wear white sox?”

    “I’m told the cast-members of the Broadway musical ‘Cats” weren’t really cats, but actors dressed up like cats. Sort of reduces the magic of it all.”

    “That spicy chicken dish they serve in Chinese restaurants? It’s always a different general but the same chicken. Maybe even the Chinese can’t tell each other apart.”

    “Lou Gehrig died of ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease.’ You’d think he would have seen it coming.”

    “I’ve never been tempted to have a nipple pierced.”

    “If you don’t believe in irony, explain to me how Capote was named ‘True-Man.’”

    “The French have 2,493 official cheeses. I’m happy with cheddar.”

    “Mallard ducks mate for life, a commitment mitigated every year by hunting season.”

    “I never understood how someone whose life or career had been ruined is called ‘toast.’ Around here at breakfast time, when it’s toast it’s ready.”

    “Used to be, Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park erupted every hour. An underground earthquake a few years ago changed the timetable to ‘every 43-to-67 minutes.’ Maybe they should rename it ‘Old Clinton.’”

    “Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?”
    (Hey, this isn’t me; I’m channeling Larry King. Gimme a break!)

    “Considering her age, I think ‘Blondie’ in the comics colors her hair these days.”

    “Of all the cacciatores, I prefer Chicken Cacciatore.”

    “I have few regrets in life other than Humphrey Bogart not staying alive long enough to play Professor Harold Hill in ‘The Music Man’ on Broadway.”

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