The level of hate for Bono and this band is at an all-time high. What gives? For years I’ve been fraternizing with other fans on fan forums and websites and became confident that my beloved U2 was the biggest and most relevant band on the planet.
The reality is, I kept myself in the dark about "the other side". Social networking entered my life and it was a rude awakening for me in many ways. When Bono suffered injuries in a recent bike accident, I was shocked and appalled at the response from Haters wishing he wasn't MORE seriously hurt. Really, people? No wonder the world is in the state that it's in.
This triggered a mission to find out what makes Bono an "arrogant S.O.B." As to what he is often referred. Is it the sunglasses? The work he does with the ONE organization? The reports of tax evasion? The humanitarianism? The fame and fortune? I asked a few of my close friends: "Maybe it's the arrogance?" WHAAAA??? I’ve heard crazy nasty things about Mick Jagger, and he's pretty arrogant, yet I don’t see the level of hate for him or his band. Nor would I complain about receiving a free album from the Rolling Stones. IT'S FREE MUSIC, PEOPLE!!
You can say I’m a believer in synchronicity; that there are no coincidences. I believe that we are born here and we know our purpose. The problem is, many of us forget what that purpose might be. Lucky for some, they feel the fire and know very early on what path is theirs to follow. I'm getting to my point.
Many fans know the story about Bono’s mother, Iris, visiting a fortune teller early in his parents' marriage and being told that she would have two boys, one of whom would have a name beginning with “P”, who would become famous. Everyone forgot about that until years later, when the band began realizing success. While doing this research on this bit of information, I ran across a full review of Bono’s astrological chart and since before he was born, this was a path meant for him. It's full of music, charisma, language, arts, and communication. It was his destiny.
Who we are as individuals evolves from how we grow up. Sometimes we aren't even aware of it. Paul grew up surrounded in controversy; a Catholic father and Protestant mother. His mom would bring the boys to church on Sunday while his dad stayed behind. There was spiritual crisis and behind it all, there was tragedy. Paul lost his mother at a very early age and grew up without a mother, running the streets at an early age with little discipline. Losing your mom at an early age can have devastating effects and Paul's rogue behavior reflected that.
Back in the early days before U2 came on the scene in Ireland, people were looking for their big ticket out of Dublin, out of Ireland. U2 were no different. With that came a sense of urgency. Dreaming of a life outside Dublin, Bono was desperate to communicate with his audience and make an impact. Maeve O’Regan (a friend of the band from Mount Temple) remembers in "North Side Story: U2 in Dublin, 1978-1983" about Bono’s charisma and how Bono "was always posing for the cameras...lighting up the room when he walked into it". This is who Bono was; he found his calling.
The fact is, if you want to be the frontman in a rock band and you want to make it big, you have to have some level of esteem to do so. Bono has admitted to self-esteem issues (i.e. his height for one) which is why he's been known to wear platform shoes. Perhaps he’s overcompensated over the years, and that has turned people off, but when you’re in a band, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Self-promote? If this is megalomania, then so be it.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he mentioned that "it's a strange thing to need 20,000 people screaming your name to feel normal". To have throngs of people paying attention to you and loving you, you get to count on that. For someone with low self-esteem, it can feel pretty great! He's often said he doesn't deserve the life he has and he is forever grateful for it. I've seen 26 shows and EVERY SINGLE TIME he's thanked the fans for giving the band a great life. Bono knows and admits his megalomania. Without it, there is no U2.
The way we are in many ways evolves from how we grow up. Some of us change it, some of us don't. Perhaps the Haters hate because of a tragic or painful past - and for that, we should have compassion.