Why South Park Loves To Hate Bono From U2
This year marks South Park's 15th season of satirizing pop culture icons. The show's take on current events has landed it in hot water with too many organizations too count. Celebrities from Tom Cruise to Kanye West have received "the South Park treatment."
However, perhaps no celebrity has been raked over the coals by "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker quite as much as U2's Bono.
Bono is known for his seemingly permanent colored shades and his philanthropic endevors. U2 has been linked to 19 charities and foundations all over the world, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Stand Up to Cancer and the ONE Campaign.
A native of Ireland, Bono was named a Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 and has won 22 Grammys since U2 was formed in the late 1970s. In addition, he and U2 bandmate The Edge wrote the score to the Broadway adaptation of Spiderman the Musical.
Four decades later, U2 tickets continues to sellout stadiums , with their last tour in 2010 and 2011. So what gives? Why has one of the longest-running comedy programs chosen the highly lauded rock star as a target?
Bono has said a thing or two that would make even tdiehard U2 fans do a double take.
"U2 is an original species. There are colors and feelings and emotional terrain that we occupy that is ours and ours alone."
Mo' Money Mo' Problems
While figuring out what this guy is saying may be a bit of a challenge, there is one message that seems abundantly clear: Bono wants to help people, and - he wants you to know that he wants to help people.
His charitable work – while commendable – is often a prominentl part of his U2 tours.
Vertigo tour in 2005 and 2006
U2 encouraged concert-goers to text their local government in support of their ONE campaign. The idea of the ONE campaign is to get Western governments to pledge certain percentages of their national budgets to supporting aid efforts in Africa. Sounds fantastic, but U2 moved their own business ventures to the Netherlands in 2006 in order to minimize their own tax liability.
Tisk, tisk.Turns out Bono is super cool with your tax money going toward ending poverty in Africa, but he has better things to do with his own.
Comedy loves a contradiction
The effectiveness of satire relies on its ability to bring to light a contradiction or hypocrisy in society.
South Park is so successful because it shows us, how the celebrities like our beloved pop icons have just as many faults as the rest of us. Eric Cartman, Kenny McCormick, Kyle Broflovski and Stan Marshshed like on celeb character flaws, and then some.
In one episode of South Park, , "How could Bono be so talented, so caring, and yet seem like such a piece of crap?"
Bono is a very talented and caring individual, though there is something undeniably smug and self-serving about the way he refuses to ever take off his sunglasses. Combine the hypocrisy of his charitable showboating with the inherent strangeness of his enigmatic sayings, and you have a subject ripe for satire.
The U2 frontman is just a regular guy, subject to all the same character flaws as us less-decorated guys, flaws such as pride and greed that are balanced by virtues like empathy and determination. The only difference is, being a rockstar on the international stage, Bono's traits are bound to be exaggerated in the media. Luckily we have shows like South Park to keep all these famous egos in check.