Author(s): Harry Browne
Celebrity philanthropy comes in many guises, but no single figure better encapsulates its delusions, pretensions and wrongheadedness than U2's iconic frontman, Bono - a fact neither sunglasses nor leather pants can hide. More than a mere philanthropist - indeed, he lags behind many of his peers when it comes to parting with his own money - Bono is better described as an advocate, and has become an unwitting symbol of the complacent wealthy Western elite. The Frontman examines Bono's role in Irish investments before the economic collapse; his paternalistic and often bullying advocacy of neoliberal solutions in Africa; his multinational business interests; and his hobnobbing with Paul Wolfowitz and shock-doctrine economist Jeffrey Sachs. Carefully dissecting the rhetoric and actions of Bono the political operator, The Frontman shows him to be an ambassador for imperial exploitation, a man who has turned his attention to a world of savage injustice, inequality and exploitation - and helped make it worse.
HARRY BROWNE is a Lecturer in the School of Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology as well as an activist and journalist who has written for the Irish Times, Sunday Times, Irish Daily Mail, Evening Herald, Sunday Tribune and Counterpunch. He is the author of Hammered by the Irish: How the Pitstop Ploughshares Disabled a U.S. War Plane - With Ireland's Blessing.