Bono has become a one-man state; more than that, he’s a one-man cross-border supranational institution. He presumes to speak for millions, not on the basis of a democratic mandate but on the basis that he – mystically, magically, and because Africans are apparently too poor and destitute to speak for themselves – really, really knows what Africans want. Thus we have the utterly bizarre spectacle of a rock star putting pressure on leaders who were elected by millions of people to do what ‘I WANT’ in Africa. British newspaper columnist Rod Liddle refers to him as "the People’s Republic of Bono," and wonders how long it will be before he is given "a seat on the United Nations security council" or makes an announcement that "he is developing nuclear weapons". (Brendan O'Neill, "Welcome to the People's Republic of Bono", from spiked)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
A new feature: the Wednesday quotation. Part 1: Celebrity colonalism and the end of the nation state.