Scary stories from a lovely place
We went to see U2 last night. It was great, of course. Though we were unspeakably tired today.
Hopefully I will write on the concert and post some of the photos of the amazing stage apparatus, but right now I just wanted to quickly comment on some pretty ridiculous news stories that are going around at the moment. There’s always a lot of crap in the news, and not necessarily because a lot of crap takes place, but because the media makes normal things into bizarre nonsense. Like the other day I was drawn to read an article on News24 which was entitled ‘Woman shredded by lawnmower’ so of course I wanted to see what that was all about. When I opened the article all that happened was she cut her arm and a picture showing the injury contained the lady and a nurse smiling brightly for the cameras. Disappointing. Anyway, Bono.
From what I can gather Bono was being interviewed for a newspaper before Sunday’s concert and he was asked about the struggle songs that Julius Malema is determined to continue singing. The one song in question contains violent allusions about another racial group of South Africans. I think Bono said that such struggle songs have a place in remembering history but they need to be used in an appropriate, preferably non-inflammatory way. He spoke of singing songs when he was a child with his uncles about the struggle in Ireland which contained mention of guns and violence.
Then his words were blown out of proportion and he was claimed to be defending Malema and being racist towards Afrikaans South Africans. Steve Hofmeyer, who is an Afrikaans singer (but Stephen thinks he isn’t actually Afrikaans, just changed his name and sings in the language to tap into that lucrative market, true anyone?) freaked out and threw his U2 tickets into the Jukskei river as an act of protest. I read some comments on the News24 story about Bono’s stir and lots of people were saying that we all must boycott the concert to show Bono that we don’t like him or his opinions. A few people also said that all Irish people hate Bono and that Irish and Australian people are really stupid (not sure why us Aussies got dragged into it). Stephen has refuted both claims.
Just now I have read another article about the whole shamozzle in which AfriForum have supported Bono’s claims that Malema was in the wrong to sing the old struggle songs. Huh? That certainly wasn’t the impression that the stories pre-the concert gave, hence all the anger from Hofmeyer and others. It seems that the media are taking all parts of Bono’s words out of context and using them to spin stories to support different agendas.
At the concert last night I was surrounded by Afrikaans South Africans on the train and in the stadium, so they either don’t pay any attention to News24 or they didn’t care. Today newspaper articles praising the concert joked that Steve Hofmeyer must have regretted losing his tickets. Indeed, he should.
In less confusing news from the music world I’ve just read that Radiohead are releasing a new album on Saturday. This makes me very excited and happy in a deep and profound way. Now I just wish they would tour South Africa already.