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Dear Bono

Reverend Billy | 24.11.2006 22:38 | Globalisation | Social Struggles | World

A pop star endorsed product. World-wide debt. An exploitation. What else is there to say?

Dear Mr. Bono,

Let’s give directly to the children of Africa, and to the hungry in our own neighborhoods. You urge us, from a tsunami of ads - to BUY RED. To continue consuming, to shop. But we can never shop enough for the African children, when the cost to the world from ordinary shopping is so destructive. Bono — We need to stop our shopping and start our giving. Change-a-lujah! You are right that the paradox of American giving needs to be solved. This Christian nation doesn’t give. We have tended recently to bomb people in need, rather than help them. But shopping to give is like bombing to save. You got it backwards, Mr. Bono. Don’t glamorize shopping. Amen? Let’s learn to give again.

The thing that we do in creating a good neighborhood, now that is at the heart of giving. The little shop owners, the eccentric on the corner, the funny and heart-rending rituals of trust in a healthy town — this instinct of making a community locally is under general attack by chain stores and super malls, and your participating RED companies are leaders in that aggression. GAP, Nike, Apple — These companies have created the global warming economy - putting us all in cars, driving away from our human-scale stores, looking for discounts that kill us.

You act as if shopping is a neutral act, and that it can be directed this way and that, like a C-5A Cargo plane full of candy. No, consumption is a whole cycle of actions that couldn’t impact us more. It is America’s unhappy drug addiction. Consuming? It’s the psychic prison of shopping that makes giving so impossible. Shopping is the death of our spirit, and of our larger spirit, the earth where we live. Bono? Does it make sense to end life to save lives? You will save some African children and that is a wonderful thing. But we could save more by giving directly.

Let’s NOT buy red, but give to Africa, give directly, and give to our own communities by re-starting our more intimate economies at home.

Reverend Billy
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  1. Let's Make Bono — History