TIL: “West Brit” and some other FB fun and complaints
Posted On April 22, 2021
(This was originally supposed to go in an episode of Under My Skin a couple weeks back, but it ended up being a 20 minute rambling bit and I opted to just slash it all out instead. Still, thought I might post the notes part of it here.)
So… I’ve mentioned the last few weeks about the U2 old concerts being put up for 48 hours on YouTube. This week’s was Innocence + Experience Live in Paris from 2015, and was recorded just 3 weeks after the Bataclan massacre.
And I thought it was an awesome show, and while a bunch of my friends hate U2 and Bono like I used to, a few of them do like the band, so I shared the link on Facebook with a couple comments.
Namely that it took balls to return to the stage in that city so soon afterwards (not just U2, but the Eagles of Death Metal came on at the end). Yeah, massive security presence etc., but still… I would have been terrified.
And, of course, Bono spews his usual bullshit about “refugees welcome” and your other inane Amnesty International slogans. Bless his heart, as they say down South.
One of my friends, who is French, was livid and hates Bono and said the policies he’s pushed over the years directly led to the Bataclan massacre.
Well, I mean, she’s not entirely wrong. And I know where the Bono-hate comes from because I used to have it, too.
But still, being that I’ve had a change of heart about U2 and Bono, I felt like I should say a few words in defence of my fellow mick, for whatever big fat nothing that it’s worth.
So here’s what I said:
I know where you’re coming from ’cause I used to despise him as well until the last 6 months or so.
I have an idea for a play that would be set in Belfast in the 70s, and the more I research into that world, the more I’ve come to understand why Bono thinks the way he thinks. Now I see him as misguided, naive, and a product of the time and place he grew up in with the IRA and the Orangemen blowing the shit out of each other instead of uniting against common enemies. All the TG4 propaganda in Ireland spewing shit against nationalism as a great evil, etc., plus he had friends who were witness to one of the Ulster bombing campaigns in Dublin in May of 1974 that killed 33 civilians.
I still think he’s wrong, but I don’t think he’s actually malicious, just deluded. He’s so terrified of war and atrocities in the short term that he is blind to the war and atrocities that will inevitably happen down the road on account of the fallout from today’s foolish idealism. (Same as the Troubles were the inevitable fallout from the last 600 years of British meddling in and invasions of Ireland.)
And holy shit is a large swath of Ireland ever fucked and cucked now – less than 100 years after fighting for their Independence from the UK and they’re under the boot of the EU. Which is a product of a whole generation of men like Bono who were terrorized by the Troubles and brainwashed into the whole “peace and compromise at any cost, even loss of freedom and sovereignty” shit.
Just as the UK is currently being punished for Brexit, Ireland has already been brutalized for her defiance of the last century.
But I think Bono is a symptom of that, not a perpetrator.
Anyway, sure was an experience having one of my old vitriolic hatreds mirrored back at me, though I don’t think that was my friend’s intention.
Kinda like how I used to be a hardcore LaVeyan Satanist, active membership in the Church of Satan and the whole nine yards. Then, about a year or so after I bailed on that shit, I’m having dinner with two of my kid cousins (well, they were in their mid-20s at this point) and I see one of them has a huge honking Baphomet tattoo on his left arm.
When I say huge, I mean the fucking linework was ¼” thick black lines kinda huge.
Oh shit. That one’s probably at least somewhat my fault.
But it was kinda a similar sensation reading my friend’s comments on my silly little U2 post, even though that’s definitely not my fault. But it is what I used to sound like…
(End of the bit that was in Under My Skin.)
And I’m sure my opinion on Irish politics is still pretty narrow and naive, because I’m still learning the history. I do see a lot of the propaganda over there from TG4 is identical to the propaganda the CBC spews in its war on Canadian citizens’ minds over here, though.
In any case, it seems there’s a big chunk of Irish that might agree with my French friend’s opinion on Bono, if not the specific details and reasons.
The other day I was scrolling on Facebook and spotted the following meme that had been shared to one of the beginners’ Irish language groups I’m in from another Irish language page I follow:
An té is lú eolas is mó a labhraíonn is an Irish saying that roughly translates to “The one with the least knowledge speaks the most.”
Not gonna lie, I LOL’d. I mean, it’s mean, but also funny, and being that Bono apparently flunked Irish in high school and was held back from graduating for a year on account of it (because that’s the way it was in the 70s in Ireland), it’s even got a layer of ironic humor in using an Irish saying he probably wouldn’t understand… which also adds a layer of meanness, too… but that’s the kind of sense of humor I have anyway.
PS from a week later — This thing kept popping in my head, so I want to add the following thought that came to me: it’s a meaner meme because of the photo chosen. If whoever did this picked a more typical Bono photo, eg. him onstage, mouth wide open on the mic and roaring like a Celtic tiger, or one of any number of posed shots where he does the same pose sans microphone, it would simply be funny. Especially with really dark sunglasses and especially if it was from a few or 15 years ago.
Instead, they’ve picked one that’s more recent where he’s showing his age, and I suppose the pose is supposed to read as “thoughtful,” but since the sunglasses are a lighter tint and we can see his eyes, the overall effect reads to me more like “vulnerable, perhaps even slightly fragile/pained.” And he’s not saying anything at all… well, I guess that’s the way out if someone gets mad at the meme: “yeah, but he’s shutting up, so it doesn’t apply” except then why use his photo for that saying, right? Anyway, the choice of photo gives it an extra bit of vitriol, IMO.
And some of the comments on the original post of it were rather entertaining and enlightening. I’m not sure if “west Brit” is a ethnic reference to his mother being Protestant and therefore he’s seen as not really Irish or if that’s some sort of regional Irish slang for Irishmen who are considered not patriotic enough or whatever…
Nevermind, I just looked it up and it’s the latter: West Brit from Wikipedia
OK, that’s also hilarious. And… well, he kinda is a West Brit, so…
Poor guy. Well, not actually poor, but you know what I mean.
And hey, I don’t know if there’s a Canadian derogatory slang term for a Canadian who would prefer to be American, but if there is, that’s me, so I guess I can relate.
And hey: today I learned a new bit of Irish slang that I may well be able to put to use in one of my scripts, all thanks to Bono (indirectly) and the Irish who can’t stand him.
Who would probably call me a plastic Paddy, so I guess we’re even.