Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing it– Vincent Van Gogh
It’s the 30th anniversary of U2’s release of their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The album has been widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential albums in rock history. It is a clever and audacious musical fable written after their highly successful Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum albums.
Achtung Baby comprises of pieces that inflict majestic mysticism into one’s psyche making it deeply seductive and palatable to one’s spirit. This formula they use has made them a part of the perennial class of musicians with the help of an elite ensemble of producers and engineers. U2 has been the most popular international band since the Beatles, which in turn has made them a mouthpiece for whatever globalist initiative is at play. Whether it’s brokering deals between unionists and republicans in Ireland, American patriotism after 9/11, vaccinating the 3rd World, curing social ills in despotic regions, or the diversity agenda of Europe, U2 just happened to be at the forefront of whatever initiative is being promoted. The four simple Irish boys from the north side of Dublin (as Bono likes to quip before giving a long-winded social justice sermon) have become willing mouthpieces for the new world order.
Paul David Hewson’s stage name Bono is short for the Latin Pro Bono Publico, translation “for the public good.” With the help of a former British Army Intelligence Officer turned talent scout, U2 morphed from being an obscure, unammusing emo band to a group of highly conspicuous, philanthrocapitalist, hyper-celebrities. They headlined Live AID in 1985, and since that concert, they never again wished to be seen as just another popular rock band. Bono and his bandmates have instead been busy promoting the enforced paternalism of the western neoliberal elites for over 35 years.
Bono hobnobbed with numerous people who have flown on the Jeffery Epstein’s “Lolita Express”. He is good friends with the likes of Bill Gates, Jeffery Sachs, to name and a fixture of the globalist World Economic Forum. He carries out various anti-poverty initiatives in Africa, after the manner of a modern-day Cecil Rhodes, but under the guise of being a cool rock icon.
ONE, an NGO of which Bono is chairman, had its co-founder Jamie Drummond speak at Houses of Oireachtas (Ireland House of Parliament) about how Europe has no choice but to let Africans in since the continent is senescent demographically. ONE has a high operating expense of 8 million USD and has had luminaries on its board with the likes of Lawrence Summers, Warren Buffets’ son Howard Buffet, Condoleezza Rice and Maria Shriver’s brother Bobby. ONE has a 98% overhead and spends a measly 1% of its donations on helping the poor. Just Google the word ONE and sure enough, Bono’s NGO pops up along with the Gates Foundation, Clinton Foundation and other organs of the neoliberal soft power body. The NGO also failed to pay local taxes in South Africa and was accused of exploiting female staff.
To Top Bono’s NGO ONE, RED is a “brand” for sale licensed to corporate partners such as AMEX, Apple, Armani, Motorola, Converse, and other multinational corporations. Instead of getting the message out about underdeveloped nations through the typical images of poverty porn and infomercials. RED uses its label to pledge that anything that has its label proceeds will go mainly to the Global Fund for combating HIV/AIDS in Africa. The concept of Western consumerism is sexy (Consumption with a Cause) since you are helping passively by buying $200 pair of Beats by Dre (what better way to drown out the noise of the World with a $5 contribution). Bono said this gem while holding up an American Express charge card at Davos: “It’s not about what you have, it’s about who you are.”
This can be ideologically driven by a belief that market methods can provide solutions to poorer nations through a network of business interests. How much money do RED partners pay to use their label? No one knows. What’s RED’s overhead? Unknown. How does RED select its partners? Not sure. Better yet, how much of the proceeds get past onto the Global Fund? It’s a secret. RED, after all is not a charity nor fundraiser but an LLC.
In 1993 as a tour “stunt,” Bono thought be wise to satellite video call war-torn Sarajevo. Everyone in the band but Bono thought it was bad to exploit the situation and a buzzkill. This led to a mortifying moment at Wembley stadium when young women from Sarajevo told the band and an audience of 70,000 people: “My town is occupied and my family lost everything”. “What do you really do for us”? “I think nothing”. “Do you really know whats happened here”? “You do not know”! “You”re going to go back to your rock show”. “You’re going to forget we exist and we are going to die!” Needless to say, the show never recovered despite the controversial figure Salman Rushdie making his first public appearance in 5 years on stage later that night. Years later, the band’s manager bragged about how they never paid the satellite uplink bill.
During U2’s 360 tours between 2009 and 2011, the highest-grossing musical tour in history (adjusted for inflation), astronaut Mark Kelly appeared on screen at every show, sending a message of “7 billion, One Nation, Imagine, It’s a Beautiful Day”. Bono tells the audience that when one looks down on Earth from space, there are no cultures, borders or conflicts. “Just a series of connected lights bringing us together.”
Bono had dedicated the song. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” to Cardinal McCarrick on numerous occasions, that same cardinal’s prolific child-molesting ways have been long an open secret, though he was officially indicted in the summer of 2018.
During the peak of so-called “Migrant Crisis” in 2018, he did his portrayal of Mcfesisto, an effeminate Lucifer who makes crank phone calls to the U.N., the White House and other global bureaucracies while on stage. He had called people with blonde hair and blue eyes “boring” and implied that the Swedes are Nazis for leaning moderate right during the last election. “It appears the Swedes are beginning to discover their Aryan potential,” Bono said. He also gave the Nazi salute when mocking Anti-Globalist Nationalists in Paris. Though this gesture is against the law in France, he faced no punishment. Usually, after Mcfesisto appearances onstage during the same tour the band would segue into the bitter ballot “Acrobat”(penultimate on Achtung Baby ) with lyrics of “Don’t believe what you hear,don’t believe what you see”. “If you just close your eyes, you can feel the enemy”. Mentioning Brexit and the 2017 Charlottesville rally while quoting the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil”. Alluding to anything that is somewhat nationalist or reactionary is the equivalent to summoning the Devil.
Seven years ago, you had the situation where people who purchased the latest iPhone could not delete the album “Songs of Innocence.” Its album cover Features a teenage boy shirtless with a crucifix necklace with a grown man on his knees holding his midsection. Some 500 million people were exposed to seeing this on their phones, and the Russian government had to make a statement about it being so disgusting. The two individuals on the cover were the band’s drummer and his son. The album cover alluded to not just homosexuality and pedophilia but incest as well.
In the Philippines in 2019, U2 Paid homage to Maria Ressa and other Avant-garde woke worriers in between songs.” Women who light up history, your own Maria Ressa, is an incredible woman. But the extraordinary thing is, even Maria will say it’s not about individuals. It’s about collective action. It’s about social movements. And so then all of you can grow up to be the President or Maria Ressa,” Said Bono. The message left fans who’ve waited a lifetime to see them perplexed and alienated.
How could and why would a band with such popular music be so brazen or perhaps malevolent and use Christianity to hoodwink its listeners? Where does this revolutionary spirit come from? It’s an easy knee jerk to say, “It’s about money,” but one must ponder deeper meanings other than the apparent lust for mammon or stunts seeking public impact.
To start with Achtung Baby, we must first take note of the album cover art, which features a serpent representing Satan in the Bible, the crescent moon of the occult, a Bull (symbolic of Baal), Bono dressed as “Mcfesisto,” a flamboyant Lucifer-esqe character, as well as Edge kissing a man. The album cover art is allegedly supposed to be humorous or a sarcastic statement.
The album’s introductory song, “Zoo Station,” signifies a united Germany where East Germany gets a nice heaping dose of the neoliberal death machine and pop-culture postmodernism. Repeated lines of “I’m Ready,” ready for congested streets, crowded subway stations and ready to throw caution into the wind now that the Berlin wall has fallen. On stage, an East German Trabant (also on the album cover) would be hanging from the rafters during the Zoo T.V. Tour. It should be noted the following album titled “Zoopora” has the 12-star E.U. flag on its album cover to signify a united Europe and with more eurocentric (euro-trash) sounds.
“Even Better than the Real Thing” is a song of prognostication where the false self-persona replaces ones true self with the aid of technology. A foreboding given the ease one can receive gratification leading to self-destruction. “We’re free to fly the crimson sky; the sun won’t melt our wings tonight.” Others say the song is about projected identification of our idols. The desert influence is heavy on the melody, with sounds of an Arabic oud submerged in effects, a recurrent theme in U2s work. The band was once asked where they derive their inspiration from. Bono bluntly stated, “The Desert.” The desert is symbolic as it is free of confusion and represents brutal honesty, adaptations, impersonal struggle and the harsh realities of life and survival.
The band’s most famous song performed live is a tale of Judas betraying Jesus called “Until the End of the World.” Bono sings in the first person as Judas. He mocks Jesus for being so serious at the Last Supper with perverted homoerotic lyrics of the song suggesting that Judas had sexual relations with Jesus: “I was down the hold just passing time,” “(In) a low-lit room we was/Close together as a bride and groom,” “I spiked your drink” (for rape), “You lead me on with those innocent eyes” (i.e. “It’s your fault I raped you”), “I was playing the tart/I kissed your lips and broke your heart” (Judas kiss), “Going down on me/Spilling over the brim” (oral sex and ejaculation). The song ends during live performances with Bono charging Edge with bullhorns, seemingly full of murderous rage.
The song “One” can be viewed as tipping of the hand for One World, “One Love, One Life, One Blood.” The music provokes one’s poignancy when confronting wrongdoings to others. Still, most people acquaint it with a conversation between a father and son. The son reveals he is homosexual and has contracted AIDS.
“Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World” is a satire on feminism. Young women waste their best years debauched and in vanity. “Woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle as you try to throw your arms around the world.” Rudderless vapid women chase “what could be” but are unable to recapture their innocence or youth: “How far are you gonna go before you lose your way back home?” while performing this song Bono would pull women on stage surreptitiously while singing and force them to drink champagne with him.
The song that seems to be a linchpin in the personification of Bono is the 7th track, “The Fly.” The Fly is a character portrayed by Bono, clad in black snakeskin and dark sunglasses. The Fly stems from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies is, of course, Baal (who is featured on the cover of the album), a predecessor to the modern version of Satan. His minions, obviously, are Flies or Beelzebub. The Fly has seen a vast spectrum of human action from evil to good. Bono utters the words in the opener, “Oh baby child,” in a tone of patronizing grandiosity as he’s speaking to the ignorant mortal man (active listener) that knows so little, as opposed to The Fly, who has seen and done it all. Bono’s voice is heavily distorted with the noises of squelching when singing. This is to mimic the sound of someone speaking through an analog payphone. As the verse starts, he begins disclosing the obvious as “no secrets” of man in the form of unspecific truisms to whomever is on the other end of the line. The chores breaks progression and Edge/Bono sings in a star-gazing gospel falsetto, “Love, we shine like a burning star falling from the sky”. This is clearly Isaiah 14:12 verse. As Edge/Bono sings, Bono’s undulating voice comes in and speaks softly: “A man will beg, A man will crawl, On the sheer face of love, Like a fly on a wall, It’s no secret at all.”
The Fly then returns to Hell, ending with words of “universe exploding ‘cos-a one man’s lie (Judas betray). “Look, I gotta go. I’m running out of change (payphone). There’s a lot of things if I could, I’d rearrange.” That is to say, if he could take what he regrets back before final judgment. There is a sense of urgency, a type of catharsis in the song as The Fly must disclose knowledge quickly concerning what he has learned since becoming one of Lucifer’s minions.
Shortly thereafter, we experience the infamous Korg A3 effect on an unreplicated setting played in Bb Chord for “Mysterious Ways” which gives way to a sonic landscape as if one should be basking in projected rays of light on a great desolate desert steppe (again the desert plays a significant role and reinforced by the songs music video shot in Fez, Morocco). Suffice to say the song is simply about things that are beyond explanation, including redemption.
I genuinely believe there are a series of cryptic demonological messages deliberately put forth in the music. We can laugh, mock, ridicule and hold Bono and his bandmates in contempt as tens of millions of us do. Still, he’s clearly a maniacal megalomaniac who has stated, “I have a Messiah complex.” I do not take what he says or writes lightly, given the circumstances we are presently in and what U2 has signified the past some odd 30 plus years.
On an ending note, this is not just to single out U2 as there are many other examples over the decades of artists we’ve grown to adore or have disdain for promoting immoral actions and distasteful ideas. Not to mention my loathing for musicians jumping into politics. I may be over-analyzing the meaning behind Achtung Baby and there are many people out there who are keen on picking up particular cues and other subliminal messages whether there or not. But nonetheless, Bono had said to a journalist once, “You’re just not listening close enough” and “I only ever tell the truth in my songs.” I’m listening, and I got the message of a seriously sinister role that he and his bandmates play, covering this brutal system with grand lies that veil the actual function of the system and those in power.