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Posts tagged "Bono"

We're All Right? Phil Harvey Spector, “Sign of the Times”, and the Horror of Pop

We’re All Right? Phil Harvey Spector, “Sign of the Times”, and the Horror of Pop

The following was written by our friend, Rachel Gaffin. A version of this article was originally published in The Ruckus last September. The year my brother Richard discovered rock and roll, his Christmas gifts shared a common theme: one uncle bought him a giant red Visual Dictionary of Rock and Roll; another bought him a set […]

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast. 1) Hard not to start off with this amazing story of grace in practice, of an accused criminal sentenced to 24 hours in jail, and accompanied the whole time by his judge. The Washington Post tells the story of Green Beret veteran Sgt. Joseph […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Genesis Chapter Thirty Three Verses Twenty Four Through Twenty Eight

This morning’s devotion comes to us from the Rev. David Browder. 

Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:24-28, NRSV)

Although swooning on my part is a rarity, U2 is a band I like very much. In their song “Bullet the Blue Sky,” Bono sings, “Jacob wrestled the angel; and the angel was overcome.” Bono then folds the famous story of Jacob wrestling the angel into the midst of a song about unjust violence and hypocrisy. Military force in El Salvador is mentioned, as is 1980s televangelism.

R-1311927-1253218044.jpegWith all the flux and panic of humanity, what does it mean for Bono that Jacob overcomes the mysterious man with whom he is wrestling? As dour as Bono’s prognosis is, Jacob’s is no better. Jacob is sure that his sly chicanery has brought him a just and violent death, courtesy of his brother Esau. As you might remember, Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright by a despicable deception, and Esau is now on the way to meet him face-to-face. Jacob is backed into a corner, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata playing in the background, with no one to blame but himself.

It is at this moment that God comes to Jacob. He does not come as a sweet and gentle person but as an adversary. As an adversary He breaks the remaining vestiges of Jacob’s faith in himself. Wrestling with God, Jacob actually believes that he is prevailing, but all the mysterious “man of God” had to do was reach out and touch Jacob’s leg to dislocate it. As dawn breaks, Jacob asks for God’s blessing, and what a beautiful metaphor: Jacob’s faith is transferred from himself to God as a new day dawns.

All the political and social unrest of the world adds to personal strife. Troubled relationships, broken dreams, and unexpected tragedies can be like a powerful Esau racing toward you with fires to start. “Bullet the Blue Sky” plays as belief in your own ability to master your domain diminishes. It is then that God visits “under the guise of His opposite.” A new day dawns as your faith is placed in One who does have control and dominion. It turns out that the One you have been fighting all night is totally in your corner.

U2's <i>Songs of Innocence</i>: Familiar But Surprising, Free But Costly

U2’s Songs of Innocence: Familiar But Surprising, Free But Costly

That didn’t take long! This review comes to us from Nathan Hart: The biggest surprise of the launch of U2’s new album isn’t the way it was released—it’s how good the songs are. It has been five long years since No Line On The Horizon, an album with some great moments but one which also […]

Grace...for Donald Sterling?

Grace…for Donald Sterling?

If I step on and smash an acorn, have I killed an oak tree? If I answer yes, I’m implying that the acorn has the full capacity and possesses all of the attributes necessary to one day become an oak tree. In its present form, it would be correct to say that the acorn is […]

Bono Talks Jesus on The Meaning of Life

This is a clip from a longer interview on The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, an Irish program on RTÉ Television (ht, AP). Much of what Bono says here overlaps portions of the book Bono: In Conversation With Michka Assayas that we’ve highlighted in the past. Bono seems to be in something of a league of his own as such a huge rockstar who is so open with his (solid) Christian faith, and he is articulate about it to boot. Watch the whole interview here.

By the way, did you happen to catch the amazing/dizzying U2 performance of “Invisible” on the roof of 30 Rock on the premier episode of The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon? Their acoustic set of “Ordinary Love” was pretty mesmerizing, too. Some worthy lyrics here:

‘Cause we can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Are we tough enough
For ordinary love

Another Week Ends: Successful Blueprints, Redemptive Politicians, Don Draper's Truth, Marital Advice, Humanist Blasphemy, Mavis Staples, Bono, and Dropping Keys

Another Week Ends: Successful Blueprints, Redemptive Politicians, Don Draper’s Truth, Marital Advice, Humanist Blasphemy, Mavis Staples, Bono, and Dropping Keys

1. This is embarrassing to admit. As much as I love The Replacements, it is The Wilson Quarterly that has truly been rocking my world this past week. Two articles in particular, both from their Spring issue, are worth mentioning here. First, there’s Sarah Courteau’s “Feel Free to Help Yourself”, in which the author surveys […]

Perfect Tennis, Clever Students, and Mozartesque Semi-Colons (Plus)

Another Week Ends: Marriage Markets, Foxhole Religion, Reconsidering Jobs, Breaking Bad, The Strokes, Psychopathic Day Traders, Innovation Starvation and The Muppets

Another Week Ends: Marriage Markets, Foxhole Religion, Reconsidering Jobs, Breaking Bad, The Strokes, Psychopathic Day Traders, Innovation Starvation and The Muppets

1. The cover story in this month’s issue of The Atlantic is making some waves, “All The Single Ladies,” in which writer Katie Bolick looks into how the recession is effecting the “marriage market.” Something of an unintentional follow-up to yesterday’s piece on Parenthood, Bolick maintains that the explosion of male joblessness and corresponding ascent […]

Webslingers Paradise? Making (Spidey) Sense of <i>Turn Off The Dark</i>

Webslingers Paradise? Making (Spidey) Sense of Turn Off The Dark

Reviewing Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark without having seen the production is a bit like reviewing The Pale King. There are plenty of comments you can make, but nothing you can really say. It’s all conjecture. You can talk about the creators, their significance and ambition, but that’s about it. Song lyrics probably shouldn’t be […]

This Will (Hopefully) Be Our Year: Top Four New Year's Songs

This Will (Hopefully) Be Our Year: Top Four New Year’s Songs

Lest all the anti-New-Years-resolutions sentiment come across as pure party-poopery, I give you four songs in keeping with the holiday, two of which are downright joyful: 1. The best of all-time, without question – sorry, Bono – is The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year”, covered here by The Avett Brothers: 2. I didn’t think […]

Bono on Healing, Reconciliation, and The Saville Report

Bono on Healing, Reconciliation, and The Saville Report

A moving editorial by Bono in yesterday’s NY Times about the remarkable events that took place in Ireland last week. I’m not sure ‘grace’ is the right word, but Cameron’s humility was certainly disarming, in the most important sense. From all appearances it was one of those all-too-rare moments of public life, an instance of […]