Tuesday, February 21, 2006

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Irish rock group U2 gave a lesson in human rights and urged Brazilians to help end poverty in their country in a spectacular concert on Monday night at a Sao Paulo soccer stadium.
About 70,000 fans packed the Morumbi Stadium for the eagerly awaited show and the band delivered with a two-hour performance that mixed hard-edged rock with high emotion.
In a sequence of songs, lead singer Bono brought a political message to the crowd of mostly middle-class and wealthy Brazilians.
During "Miss Sarajevo," a song inspired by the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, clauses of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were scrolled down in Portuguese on the huge digital screen behind the band.
They then launched into "Pride," their tribute to Martin Luther King, the slain U.S. civil rights champion of the 1960s.
Bono told the crowd: "Martin Luther King didn't just have an American dream, but an Irish dream, a Latin American dream ... sing for Peru, for Chile, for Argentina, for Brazil."
The screen then lit up with a display of the flags of all Latin American nations.
At the show's pre-encore climax with the song "One," an appeal for peace, Bono spoke over the music saying: "I love Brazil, I love Carnival, because everyone crams together -- rich and poor, young and old, left and right. But to beat poverty, all of us have to work together, to act together."
How much the message of peace and brotherhood got through was open to question. Mention of Argentina brought boos from the crowd. Some also jeered when pictures of Lula and U.S.
President George W. Bush' name appeared on the screen.
Bono ended the show with the appeal: "Pobreza Zero" (Zero Poverty), and thanked Lula for his hospitality.
The singer, a high-profile social activist who has met frequently with world leaders to plead the case of disadvantaged nations, had flown to the capital Brasilia on Sunday to talk to Lula. He praised him then as a hero for his social stands.
Bono will donate a guitar for auction to benefit Lula's Zero Hunger campaign, which aims to give all Brazilians three meals a day, the government's Agencia Brasil agency said on Monday.

Now, I'm as much for ending hunger as the next person, and I consider myself more on the liberal side, but is anyone else getting as tired of Bono's preachy activism as I am? I mean, we all know that you want to change the world, Bono, but I think that if people are shelling out serious $$$ to hear your music, maybe, I don't know, you should play more music and preach a little less. One of my co-workers saw U2 live when they played here in DC. She forked over $300 for tickets. Apparently, Bono spent most of the time spewing his political opinions. I know that, even though I am a democrat, I would have been extremely pissed if I paid that kind of money to hear U2 (who's music I love), and had to sit through Bono's political rant. I personally am tired of celebrities pushing their views on the rest of us. We pay money to hear them sing (or see them in movies), not to hear their opinions. It's great that they support worthy causes, but they seem to think that just because they are famous, everyone should listen to their opinions. And most of these public figures barely possess the intelligence to carry on a conversation that doesn't revolve around whether or not Lindsey Lohan's breasts are fake, let alone preach about world issues. This is especially annoying because of the number of people who are suffering in THIS country. But, apparently, hunger in the U.S. is a much less noble cause to these celebrities.
Sorry 'bout the rant, I'm just a little annoyed today. But I do feel much better, now that I have gotten that off my D-cups ( chest, that is).


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