On the horror which should concern us all

This week I had wanted to talk about something light-hearted, jovial. “Beef,” a friend told me at a party, “You should write more about funny things like equine road accidents and coffee machine alarms, and less about religion and politics and that sort of thing.”

To which I reply, if only. If only I could heed this advice. If only the world were not such a terrible, horrible place! Another week, another atrocity: is there no end to humanity’s capacity for spite? My hands shake as I type this – out of fear, and out of anger. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? Does no-one care?

The answer is obvious: to talk about it is to play into their hands. That’s what they want, isn’t it? This is all just marketing to them. But we’ve ignored this issue for long enough – it’s not going to just go away. It just isn’t.

And yet, it hasn’t made the front pages. They aren’t talking about it on the news channels. I at least thought David Cameron might call another COBRA meeting, before announcing: “They claim this is an album by U2. That is nonsense. U2 are a good band. This has nothing to do with U2.”

I’d forgotten that U2 even existed, until this abomination was foisted onto my telephone, and those of five-hundred million others. It was a happier time. I was disturbed to see it ended, and I was not the only one. Does this not violate some policy on adware?

This phone has been through a lot, let me tell you – spillages, tiled floors, concrete floors, complete submersion in a Spanish swimming pool – but none of these trials can compare to this ordeal.   This is a most grievous intrustion; indeed, it’s a violation. I feel as though my phone’s dignity has been somehow torn in twain.

I listened to the album, and can’t remember the last time I had to endure this brand of achingly ungood granddad-rock.  It’s pretty much exactly as you’d expect – to the point where one must question why they bothered to even record it. Why is this even a thing? Where is the money to be made here? Are Apple just trolling us? Are they trolling U2?

Lyrically, we’re in very peculiar territory. But U2 have form it that department. I’m sure you all remember that song ‘Vertigo’, which glibly plastered English and Spanish words beside one another for no reason? Well, this is almost as bad. The song ‘Volcano’ offers a case study in judicious use of metaphor:

“Your eyes were like landing lights
They used to be the clearest blue
Now you don’t see so well
The future’s gonna land on you”

I am not sure about this; is Bono comparing the object of this song to a mile-long stretch of tarmac? But hold on, aren’t landing lights the things on the bottom of the plane, rather than the things on the runway? They are! So how can ‘the future’ – or anything – land on something with landing lights on it? To throw another spanner in the works, this song is called ‘Volcano’. My only guess, therefore, is that this song is about a mid-air collision caused by poor visibility in an Icelandic ash-cloud.

Let’s try another. Let’s try ‘Sleep Like a Baby Tonight’.

“You dress in the colours of forgiveness
Your eyes as red as Christmas”

What the fuck is the deal with the eye comparisons? Red eyes? Does anyone have red eyes? Is this an ode to fucking Dracula? And in what way is Christmas red? Isn’t it white? Chrsitmas is red only in the sense that Santa Claus is Red, because Coca-Cola is red; this song is a thinly-veiled vehicle for the promotion of fizzy drinks, which are apparently slowly killing us all. You horrible corporate cockbags.

As a side note, poetry fans: the title of this song references William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’. I can’t help wonder why they didn’t opt for the title ‘Songs of Experience’; surely this would be more appropriate, as they are all now old as shit? Maybe there will be a companion album, distributed at a later date via some sort of bio-weapon.

Belatedly, Apple have realised the scope of their error, and launched a nice help page featuring a large ‘delete U2’ button. How terribly fucking embarrassing for U2. If only ISISISISIL could be eradicated so easily.

Right, I will be absent next week, as I will be on holiday, and I’m just not committed enough to update from a foreign country. Barring something extraordinary.

Until the week after next.


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