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Posted by: newsviewer, January 17, 2009, 6:54pm
Bono puts on his journalist hat

by Jon Sufrin
Published: Jan 13/09

[Bono. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier]

For those of you who simply can't get enough of Bono, he has finally made the transition from musician to activist to journalist. Bono is now an op-ed columnist for the New York Times.

His first piece, published on Friday, was expectedly pretentious but unexpectedly free of finger-wagging preachiness.

There is no mention of poverty or crises or AIDS epidemics – this piece is a meditation on the commencement of a new year, Frank Sinatra, and the apparent contradiction in doing things "My Way."

At least I think that's what it's about.
This is a piece written by a man with a very heavy load on his shoulders – his aim is to dazzle, plain and simple – and that pressure seeps through every word.

And there are a lot of words. Take the opener, for example: I’m in a crush in a Dublin pub around New Year’s. Glasses clinking clicking, clashing crashing in Gaelic revelry." Translation: People were cheering.

Despite forcing his readers to wade through poetic vagueness that probably should have been left behind with the beatniks, his efforts were appreciated by some: "To hear Bono's clear, intelligent Irish voice recalling the many moods of Frank Sinatra was a pleasure I never expected from a newspaper," one reader wrote.

Others, not so much: "It's really, really bad. I mean, college journalism bad," one blogger wrote.

I would like to add that Bono may have been slightly unpredictable in writing a column free of pedantry, but the leap from humanitarian to journalist is not huge.

If he really wants to throw us for a loop, I'd personally like to see him try his hand at the pole vault.

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