Wednesday, December 23, 2009

dark and murderous, one-horned, brokenhearted joy

As much as I love the more direct and unabashed worship of U2 2000s,
I still love/often prefer the irony and twists of the 90s..

And I do love Zoo Tv more than TBN..though it's a tough call which is more ironic and zooworthy..

I have always appreciated Beth's classic quote:

[1990s U2 was] marked by depicting and lamenting humanity's shadow side...including their own shadow side....(This was) misunderstood by observers, I'm afraid particularly by Christian observers, who bring to that art the naive thought that any artist who writes about sin must be in favor of it."
Link, audio

And now her new post: of several reasons I've been hesitant to describe the 360 tour as having succeeded as well as previous tours in being real leitourgia. ..

his mode is, I think, not as honest, not as successful and certainly not as liturgical as the way U2 have previously done it, which is to take the audience to a dark place of injustice/sin and then bring them out. Liturgical theologian Aidan Kavanagh writes of how in order to arrive at the Banquet of the Lamb, humans first need to face into a "dark and murderous transaction with reality... because we are a bloody bunch who have made the world a bloody place both for ourselves and for every other creature we have named." There wasn't much darkness in the 360 Tour, and when you don't see your face reflected in an inarguable darkness where we're all implicated, you're perhaps not as likely to transact with reality, and therefore also not as likely to take responsibility afterwards -- not as likely to be forced to make, as Kavanagh puts it, "an adjustment to deep change caused in the assembly by its having been brought to the brink of chaos in the presence of the living God...


  1. "Look what you've done to me..... you've made me very famous, and I thank you. I know you like your pop stars to be exciting, so I bought these (gestures to his shoes). Now, my time among you is almost at an end; the glory of Zoo TV must ascend and take its place with all the other satellites. Don't fear, for I will be watching you. I leave behind video cameras for each of you. So many listening tonight, I have a list... People of America, I gave you Bill Clinton—I put him on CNN, NBC, C-SPAN. Too tall to be a despot, but watch him closely. People of Asia, your time is coming—without your tiny transistors, none of this [gestures to Zoo TV stage set] would be possible. People of Europe—when I came among you, you were squabbling like children. Now you're all hooked up to one cable, as close together as stations on a dial. People of the former Soviet Union—I gave you capitalism, so now you can all dream of being as wealthy and glamorous as me.

    People of Sarajevo, count your blessings... There are people all over the world who have food, heat and security, but they're not on TV like you are. Frank Sinatra, I give you the MTV demographic; Salman Rushdie, I give you decibels. Goodbye "Squidgy," I hope they give you Wales; goodbye Michael Jackson... Goodbye all you neo-nazis, I hope they give you Auschwitz."


  2. Yes...great speech. Here it is:


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!