Monday, September 14, 2009

Popmart Redux

Rob Mitchum over at Pitchfork has written an interesting review of U2's recent concert at Chicago's Soldier Field. In many ways, pointing out U2's shameless acts of self-commodifcation are about as commonplace as, well, hearing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" on the radio. However, what's most striking about the article is the way that it reveals U2's (read: Bono's) politicking as its own kind of commodity. Here, all of Bono's touchstone political statements--comments on AIDS in Africa, comments on Iran, and comments on Obama--all come off as trademarked, the type of stuff that seem to reflect Bono's highly stylized political posturing as opposed to any kind of communal, genuinely active kind of activism. Also, these comments are, at this point, so predictable that they seem more choreographed than, well, the concert itself.

Sure, at the end of the day, the world would probably be a better place if we had more Bonos around and fewer--at least as of right now--Kanye Wests, but, seriously, encouraging the crowd to recreate the Milky Way via cell phone couldn't seem less green--and more shameless:

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