Monday, 21 July 2008

U2 cover all the spectrums of pop star vanity

Pub tribute band, wedding band, showband, indie band, stadium rock megagroup. It matters not -at whatever level, you’re bound to find all the spectrums of vanity, egotism, conceit and folly in the world of rock’n’roll.

All of the character types are plentiful; in life as in art, in fiction as in fact. Whether it’s the shifty male singer trying to shag the female vocalist(s); the misogynistic hard-rock guitarist whose instrument is an extended phallus; the knuckle-dragging drummer who fulfills all the dumb stereotypes; the pre-Madonna singer with a surfeit of confidence; the acrimony, the plotting, the intrigue, the dishonesty, the theft of ideas or merchandise - the vivacious appetite of the rock’n’roll animal knows no bounds. Unless, that is, you are a certain Dublin 80s band who've outstayed their welcome - namely U2 - in which case none of the above nihilism applies, as property development is more likely to be your idea of rock and roll excess! Man.

Bono and the Edge have been given permission to go ahead with the transformation of the Clarence Hotel by An Bord Plenala (The Planning Board). Various heritage groups had opposed the plan on the grounds that it was not in keeping with the area’s character, citing the destruction of most of the art deco hotel and surrounding buildings. In tandem with the proposed U2 tower - which will dominate Dublin’s docklands if, erm, erected - it will allow Ireland’s best-known tax-shy celebs to leave a real mark on their city for posterity.

Gombeen Man has some respect for Bob Geldof, who at least lives in the UK and pays his taxes like everyone else. He could easily have bolted back to our banana republic to reduce that liability, along with many of the ‘artistes’ – native and otherwise – who came here for that precise benefit. He didn’t though. So we'll allow him to harangue us about Africa, seeing as some of his money is in the pot he wants to share out.

U2, however, famously took their commercial operation to Holland after the belated capping of the Republic’s artists’ exemption tax. Up until then, mega-millionaires such as U2 did not pay a penny tax on royalties, despite all their talk of using other people’s tax payments to eradicate poverty. Even now, the “artists” exemption is still generous.

But in the world of rock and roll, it seems you can be as hypocritical as you like, and nobody will ask any questions. U2 had better be careful though - a proposal put forward by the National Economic and Social Council has recommended the Government introduce a tax on properties. The boys could yet be hit with a tax bill, given their penchant for bricks and mortar, if the NESC finds what its looking for.

But as Bob Geldof himself might say: "It's not enough".

See also: Is Bono a hypocrite?

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The Galway Tent. said...

July 18, 2008
Bono Elevated To Galway Tent [click for Bono image]

"[Bono's destruction of listed buildings] undermines ... the basis of the city's attractiveness for tourists".
- Bord Pleanala Inspector.
- Before His Execution.

The Purple & The Pinstripe.

The purple and the pinstripe
Mutely shake their heads

A silence shrieking volumes
A violence worse than the condemn

Stab you in the back yeah
Laughing in your face

Glad to see the place again
It's a pity nothing's changed

Four Seasons - The Ice Bar - Brickie Section.

Did you hear the honorable executive board of Bord Pleanala only enters The Clarence using the Revolving Doors? These days Billy Gates can't get a job 'cause the band ain't hiring. But as for friends of An Bord Pleanala'a executive board, the Revolving Doors are always open .... ?

This time the Clarence's bouncer tore off the head of the Bord Pleanala Inspector before he pissed down his neck. The little schijt had said His Holiness Bono and Monsignor The Edge would destroy Georgian Dublin with their hotel featuring Holiness Bono's halo up on the roof.

Holiness Bono is the true saint, not Geldof. Saint Bob with The Boomtown Rats only sang about The Banana Republic, and that was 1978. Bono & Co truly embody the spirit of The Banana Republic and are The Boomtown Rats. Bono's so 20th century, oh yeah. A modern girl yeah, ga-ga-ga-ga-ga.



Senior inspector's strong disapproval rejected

AN BORD Pleanála approved plans to redevelop the Clarence Hotel in Dublin despite a strong recommendation by one of its senior planning inspectors that permission be refused because of its "uncompromising, ominous and overstated" impact on the Liffey Quays.


* "a significant loss of historic streetscape [ which] would undermine the integrity of the Liffey Quays conservation area".
* conceptually brilliant but contextually illiterate
* sets an "undesirable precedent" for the demolition of protected structures generally.


Posted by The Galway Tent. on Friday, July 18, 2008

Anonymous said...

It is a condition of many of the licences issued to Irish radio stations that a percentage of airtime (anything up to 30% of all music played) is reserved for "Irish artists"

Presumably music by U2 no longer counts seeing as how they are a Dutch band.

Anonymous said...

Em just a comment on your description of ''Ireland in the late 80s and early 90s''- You said that we couldn't GET CONTRACEPTIVES WITHOUT A DOCTORS PRESRIPTION- WRONG!!!!!!!! That law was actually was repealed in 1985 genius! You could buy them in pharmacies without prescription from 1985 onwards you. Get your facts straight!

Ella said...

Hi Anonymous, GM and any other body who cares.
The Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1985 liberalised the law by allowing condoms and spermicides to be sold to people over 18 without having to present a prescription. However, sale was limited to categories of places named in the act. This all sounded real liberal but in practice most pharmacists were catholics who felt they could dictate their repressed attitudes to the rest of us and would not stock them. I tried many and never found one that had condoms for sale to nubile 18 year old single women.
Not wishing to be denied something I feel to be normal and wholesome my boyfriend and I were lucky in that there were 3 family planning clinics on the island of Ireland at that time, one in Belfast and 2 in Dublin. The wellwoman centre being one and the other was on Pembroke Road. So that’s where I popped for my supplies. Oh and on the odd occasion when the goddam thing burst I had to make a quick visit the following morning for the morning after pill. Now that could have posed a real problem if I’d been living say somewhere like Portlaoise.
Being a resourceful and honest (I was having sex) young thing ensured I never had to take a boat to England like many of my mates, to have an abortion. Guess what these people all got married in Catholic churches, something I most certainly didn’t do. When I went to London it was as an economic migrant.

The Gombeen Man said...

I can state categorically that contraceptives were not freely available in this country in 1985, nor any time soon afterwards - FACT. I was there and looking for the things at the time. Maybe you should "get your facts right", Anon. BTW, why are you commenting about contraceptives in this post? It's getting late... maybe you should stay away from the fridge?

Anonymous said...

When Laws are passed legalising and liberating certain things it takes time for it for all of mainstream society bto fully accept it. I'm sure there were styill ppl who didnt agree with liberisation of condoms at the time but the fact that Government passed a Law liberalising them more was stll a poitive step, and if u ppl cannot accept that then your jus bitter ppl. The Government can't put a gun to shop owners heads and make them sell items, its up to them what they sell. End of story

Anonymous said...

And if u look at how u disagree with ppl's opinions Gombeen , u are the one who is being repressive

Conor said...

Ella I could be incorrect but I get the impression judging by your comments, which suggest a basic lack of awareness of the existence of the other 25 Counties here in the Republic and judgiong by the fact that you mention ''Catholic pharmaacists'', and seemingly not even realising that most ppl in the Republic are in fact Catholic, that you are either originally from Northern Ireland or living in Northern Ireland still, am I correct?

Dec said...

I'm from Portlaoise Ella, why the hell did you mention Portlaoise??

Ella said...

Conor you are incorrect. As far as I am aware there are 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in the North of Ireland. I was born in Sligo, which is in the Republic. I moved to Dublin when I was 8 and lived there for a few years before moving to the Middle East. My family then returned to Dublin where I spent a few more years before moving to London as an economic mirgant. Following that I did the great European tour and resided for some years in mainland Europe before returning to Dublin a few years ago. I was born into a catholic family. I made my communion and my confirmation. After a few years of further indoctrination in other relgions, other than catholicism, I began to question the religion I was raised in and indeed the other religions I had learnt about. I've been an atheist now for more than a quarter of a century. Oh and for the record, my European tour didn't include the North of Ireland. I've never lived there.

I'm very aware that the majority of people in the Republic of Ireland are catholic (that is changing slowly). I don't have a problem with that. Each to their own. If a catholic does not want an abortion, you know that's grand, but why stop others who might want/need one. It's funny but the only Irish people I know who've had abortions are all catholics.

Anonymous said...

Also one last word to you Ella, look I realise you have have a point of view and thats fair enough, but so do I and I was there. I was a 2nd year college student in 1985 and I was twenty years old at the time and I am just saying that I was able to get them without major problems.
But in fact I do remember the Well woman Centre on Pembroke St. Because two of my female friends (not girlfriends) used to go there to get contraception too, but Not because they couldn’t get them in other places but because the Well Woman Centre was giving condoms and the pill out FREE to encourage people to use them. They did not have to pay for them, I on the other hand did have to pay for them, plus I could get them because, as u said one had to b 18 or over to buy them, and I was twenty. The age is now oinly 16, they had to lower the age because of the amount of young under age teenage pregnancy that occurred.
The Well woman clinics also used to advertise their clinics on posters regularly , and that is how I imagine u and others became aware of them, not because they couldn’t get them in other places. I would also imagine that a lot of Fresh faced eighteen year ols were too sheepish and embarrassed to go into a public pharmacy and ask for them, which is understandable. But i tell u myself and my friends were able to get them.

The Gombeen Man said...

Anon from Naas, are you thick?

You said:

"Em just a comment on your description of ''Ireland in the late 80s and early 90s''- You said that we couldn't GET CONTRACEPTIVES WITHOUT A DOCTORS PRESRIPTION- WRONG!!!!!!!! That law was actually was repealed in 1985 genius!"

Well, genius, what I say on the side of my blog is:

REMEMBER THE Eighties and early Nineties?
No contraceptives without a doctor's prescription. No divorce.

I do NOT say "late 80s". Notwithstanding that many chemists still refused to stock them even well after 1985 in any case. And by the 90s I am referring to divorce.

By the way, I published your other comments too - mad as they are - which you made elsewhere on the blog. It's not my fault that you lack the ability to keep track of where you make your comments. I think they are on the "property high-flyer one".

Don't you have a Youth Defence meeting to go to?