If you dislike Bono, it’s probably for one or more of the following reasons: 1) he writes epic, yet somehow quite boring music; 2) that heinous iPod commercial; 3) he (allegedly) misrepresents Africa in his (allegedly) misguided attempts at AIDS relief. If you subscribe to the latter, there’s now an online petition pledging “a ton of money to fight AIDS” if–and only if–Bono retires from public life.
To get Bono to retire from public life (so he’ll stop leading misguided counter-productive philanthropy efforts) ….and, simultaneously…. to make a huge donation to fight AIDS
We will give money to: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
But we will only pay if we meet our objective
Bono’s philanthropy efforts are self-righteous, ineffective, & counter-productive.
The RED campaign has managed to spend $40 million more on marketing that it has raised from RED product sales, while sending consumers a dangerous message.
Many involved in the global fight against AIDS worry that RED will make it harder to raise funds, and that the oversimplified & disempowered image of Africa that Bono perpetuates. , as exemplified in these incredibly condescending lyrics from the Band Aid Xmas song Bono helped create, obscures and undermines the assets African nations must focus on to defeat AIDS and poverty.
The grassroots leaders of the global fight against AIDS didn’t ask for Bono to be their frontman. Its time for Bono to step down. We’ll all pledge donations to the Global Fund, but no pledges are collected until Bono retires from public life. If he wants to moan bland melodies he’ll have to do it quietly in his bedroom. If he want to fight AIDS he can make a direct donation instead of buying a sweatshop GAP T-shirt. As the pledges grow, Bono will have to decide what matters more, fighting AIDS effectively, or him being the movement’s frontman.
Like every petition that has ever squeaked onto the Internet with a false and very inflated sense of self-importance, this will fail, not only because online petitions are inherently useless, but also because Bono is in the Oprah league of celebrity. He lives in a fortress on a private island constructed of $1000 bills and decoupaged with Vanity Fair covers. So I doubt the $595 raised in he week after the petition was launched will move him to stop leading costly aid campaigns with The Gap, or writing ill-informed charity singles. Nice try, though.