Thursday, January 14, 2010

You, too, are us...not them

"Our thing in U2 is, No 'them' ... No them, only us.
That, I think, is the mark of our band."
Bono, link

Now, that could be taken dead wrong: "it's all about us, and no one else."
And many would accuse U2, well, Bono that is...of being conceited.
Bono agrees, which of course means that he is not. (:
What he means (link) by"No them, only us," is an embrace of all humanity and refusal of all prejudice.
We are all "us." (even though we are "not the same" in our oneness, which is of course another point..and another song).

Powerful to watch him sing that lyric at the Irish Special Olympics as the participants (who in many eyes are "thems") dance.

All this to say..

There are many theories, stories and myths about the meaning of the band's name.
All the stories may be partly right.
But the best guess of most people who would know is that the bottom line is:

"You, too" are included, invited....and 'us."
Beth Maynard writes, "It’s a cliché to point out that the band’s name is a pun: You, too, can be part of this." It may be cliche, but how many get the fulness of how prophetic the pun is commentary on what Bono has called "the (very) mark of our band": No them.

As in:

  • "You, too, Adam, are included in my wedding party..even though you may feel an outcast."(story)

Adam returned the favor years later:

  • "You, too, Bono....are part of my family. I will take a bullet for you (you, too/U2)."(story)
One more:
  • "Let's remove the stage altogether, fans, so you, too can be part of us, too.' (story)

The whole band, by name and design, is a temple tantrum , a centered set,and a radical recasting of the parameters of the earth's and the Kingdom's borders.

"Distance does not decide who is your neighbor," he has inserted into a song or interview more than once.
-(For my previous post on this topic, including the video of the Special Olympics performance, see here)

-See Brueggeman on xenophobia/"fear of the other"

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