Re: More Bono bashing (never enough IMO) - final word from me!
Oct 13, 2010, 17:19
Grufty, glad you piped up here, I'll take the opportunity to ask a few things if ye don't mind.
What I don't understand is how the involvement of One tanslates to 'saving lives' in the practical sense?
I'd be grateful if you could give us a clue as to what the doc. said there, even if you can't exactly recall it verbatum!
I've checked the One website, and from what I see they may through the practical work of their affiliated organisations (Oxfam etc) add an element of 'keep up the good work' through high end conferencing etc, coz from what I've read the One organisation doesn't provide any aid in the sense we know it (ie, food, medicine etc).
I'm still not sure if everyone's aware of that (I know you are).
My contention is perhaps that work would go on anyway, and does, and I sort of don't understand the bit about 2m lives saved being the effort of 'one man's work', sort of speak.
I fear alot of money could be farted away unnecessarily is my main contention.
The only response from One to the criticism has come in the shape of a press release, not denying much at that. Except form the price of the leather notebooks sent to newspapers!
You seem to be the only one who has any other sources here to go on.
EDIT: Just read Sea Cat's Pilger piece. Says it all really...
I think you're misunderstanding things a bit sanshee. 'One' is a campaigning group that Bono founded, but it's only a small part of his philanthropic work. It's modelled on Amnesty (of which he is also a major supporter and donator) and is designed to raise the profile of African poverty in the Western media as well as lobbying politicians to act on the problem. That's it's stated goal -- not to distribute money. Whether you think that's a worthy goal is of course debateable, but I'm not suggesting that 'One' is responsible for the "2 million" number mentioned, nor that I can demonstrate how it's work "translates to 'saving lives' in the practical sense".
But Bono also created the 'Red' brand* to help combat disease (mostly in Africa). 'Red' has contributed $150 million directly to HIV and AIDS programs that have treated 5 million people. (link)
Beyond those two, he's heavily involved in a bunch of different philanthropic groups and makes huge personal donations to causes it's hard to argue aren't "worthy". I'm assuming the RTE documentary came up with a rough number based on a list of projects that have his name attached. I'm not going to insist it's 100% accurate, but the fact that the numbers are even in that kind of ballpark is pretty remarkable.
Is it all being done to feed his ego? Should that matter to us? Should it matter to the people who directly benefit?
I really don't know. And I don't necessarily feel all that comfortable defending the guy, as he's said and done some pretty dumb things in the name of his philanthropy; I'm by no means uncritical of him. But I struggle to understand the constant bashing (and I'm not talking about this forum... just that this particular thread is an example of a wider phenomenon).
Anyhoo, the public perception of Bono is hardly a major issue. I'm happy to agree to disagree and continue to be confused by the Bono-bashing in relative silence :)
* I'm very very sceptical about the whole notion of "ethical consumerism" and linking charity to consumption. But I don't blame people for organising such schemes as it's hard to argue against the short-term benefits, even if the real challenge is to come up with more sustainable system for wealth distribution.