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  Things We're Afraid to Say: Webs of Everyday Media     
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 12:00AM PDT)
From: Send an Instant Message "John French" <mosshead7@yahoo.com>  
Subject: Dear CNN: Bono and U2
To: feedback@foxnews.com
Dear CNN:
Just this a.m. I was playing U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky recorded live at Red Rocks and when Sunday Bloody Sunday came on and I heard Bono declare, “There’s been too much talk about this next song – many, many, too much talk. This song is not a rebel song. This song is Sunday Bloody Sunday.” And then the snare cracks in that almost military time and Edge’s unmistakable guitar notes and Bono humming – I got the chills again – all over again like I used to when I was in high school listening to this album over and over again. At 16 one of my best friends was shot in the head and it blew out the back and he lay dead there in a puddle of blood. I couldn’t help but feel something as 15 minutes earlier he suggested we leave and I suggested we stay another 15 minutes. So, I held-up in my room, in the dark, under the gray skies of early spring down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, PA – listening to U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky over and over and over again as the passion, complexity, lyrics, music, tone all just called me and for some reason helped ease the pain – ease my soul because I felt something that drew me to this music.
I can recall seeing u2’s New Year’s Day on MTV for the first time and what an impact that video, Gloria and Sunday Bloody Sunday had on me. There was something unique about U2 that stood out from the rest of the bands being blasted at me. I couldn’t tell you how many times I watched Live at Red Rocks and laughed and cried while watching Rattle and Hum.
Then there was a course of U2’s career and my life that didn’t click – even though I had a thorough understanding of the “Mephisto” persona in art and literature and film that depicted the highest degree of political and social power and the influence fame and temptations – I did like Achtung Baby and songs like Mysterious Ways and One – but really wasn’t into all the hype and the mission of the band from this point on and did not get into Zooropa and Pop. This mission didn’t resonate with me and it wasn’t the soulful poetics of the bands past music – Of course, I wasn’t upset or mad or anything like some crazy fan – I just explored other music and wrapped my arms around John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and modern bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rusted Root, Uncle Tueplo, the Jayhawks and Wilco.
Then All That You Can’t Leave Behind came and enticed me and eventually captivated me along with Bono’s accomplishments and his mission of  “Trying to Wrap Your Arms Around the World” one me over again. And the release of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb made me smile and feel like “okay these boys are back.” Although the music is not the same as it was in the beginning, that’s fine – everyone needs to “shed skin” and grow a little. I like the music and message of U2 again. I am a fan once more.
I am grateful and thankful for Bono and U2 as musicians and fellow human be-ings. They an example of the type of “higher” I enjoy.
Moreover, I am grateful and thankful for the time CNN gives to Bono within its programming and hope that it continues and more frequently and regularly.
“What a long strange trip it’s been.”
Best of the organic Roses,
John A. Conte` Jr.
“John French” mystrawhat.com
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Poetry  By John Alan Conte`, Jr.
Copyright 2007
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