My friend Kari Quaas went to see U2, last week. She is so fun and it looks like she had an amazing time. I don’t begrudge U2 for making pop music and earning tons of money, but they are not my cup of tea. My favorite U2 album is the one that’s least beloved by most hardcore fans.
What can I say? I like Bono the most when he refrains from politics and sells out. It is out of character, and honestly, that’s the moment where I find him the most interesting. (And by the way, this song breaks my heart.)
What fascinates me most about U2 (& The Rolling Stones & Paul McCartney) is that these dudes are so inauthentic — just like everyone else — and yet claim an artistic high-ground and capitalize on faux authenticity. It suppose it’s very rockstar to fly on a Gulfstream and own your own line of vegan frozen dinners — but these men are successful because they are boring businessmen and not rockstars. They never talk about that side of the story because it doesn’t allow you to unleash your inner rockstar and be just like them.
I don’t begrudge capitalism. I like money. I just don’t like dudes who tell me that it isn’t about money — it’s about love & music & curing malaria — all while talking my money and trying to sell me on the dream that I could be a rock star, too.
Right. Do I look stupid to you?
Call me cynical, but I wish Mick Jagger would teach me how to guard my intellectually property as much as he guards the property, likeness, and images of The Rolling Stones. I wish Paul McCartney could ‘unleash his inner real estate agent’ and tell me how to be fucking awesome AND make better property investments so I can have a million houses. And I wish Bono would sell me on the dream of learning Generally Accepted Accounting Principles so I can manage my personal & business finances a little more effectively.
Being a rock star is overrated — and it’s fake. Totally fake. And we all buy into it because it’s fun and silly and allows us to dream. But there are great bands out there who produce good music, support their causes, and don’t pretend that their success is easy or attainable by regular folk like you & me.
Because it’s not. In fact, the part that makes these men rockstars is effusive, amorphous, and can’t be copied. You either have it or you don’t.
And you probably don’t. Sorry.
But your life is pretty awesome. Detach from the fantasy, kiss your wife, and go back to work. It’s not so bad to be you.