Brow Beat

34 Years of Bono Posing Like Jesus

For three and a half decades, U2 has created a remarkable string of pop hits and best-selling albums, reinventing themselves more than once and trying new things again and again. But, perhaps inevitably for a band so big, they have come to seem out of touch: They appear to have sincerely believed that digitally injecting their new album into every iTunes in the world would be a welcome gift from a benevolent group of artists, rather than a creepy reminder that we’ve largely ceded control of our personal devices to the whims of corporate synergy.

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The embodiment of all this, of course, is Bono, who has done genuinely good work in the world and yet whose self-appointed role as the world’s rock ’n’ roll messiah can seem, well, a bit much—never more so than when he is striking one of his favorite poses. You know the one: hands out as though on a cross, the singer, who loves grand gestures and has wrestled for years with his Christian faith, presents himself to be … sacrificed, I guess?

It’s an awkward (albeit fairly popular) visual, but one I can’t totally begrudge him: He and his bandmates from working-class Dublin really want to give back to their fans and to the world, if you ask me. So here’s to 34 years of Bono’s Jesus poses.

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