The World According to Keitho

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Bono, shut up!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 20, 2011

Sargent Shriver died yesterday.  I mostly remember him as George McGovern’s vice presidential nominee in 1972.  McGovern had originally selected Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton, but when allegations of his mental instability were leaked (he had been hospitalized some years earlier) he was forced to resign from the ticket.  Shriver was a desperation choice; the McGovern campaign had already offered the vice presidency to Hubert Humphrey, Ted Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, and Walter Mondale, all of whom declined.  It was in this light that I was exposed to Sargent Shriver.

It turns out that Shriver had an illustrious career.  He married Eunice Kennedy, the sister of John Kennedy and under the JFK administration he served as the first director of the Peace Corps.  After JFK’s assassination,  Shriver became the chief architect for Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, founding several programs, most notably Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, and the Special Olympics.

This morning I was reading the Times and there was an editorial remembering Shriver’s life.  Imagine my surprise when glancing at the byline I saw…Bono.  Couldn’t they have found anyone slightly more qualified?  I don’t need to read about Shriver from a dime-store hipster whose singing voice has all the charm of a cat in heat. 

The Irish saw the Kennedys as our own royal family out on loan to America. A million of them turned out on J.F.K.’s homecoming to see these patrician public servants who, despite their station, had no patience for the status quo. (They also loved that the Kennedys looked more WASP than any “Prod,” our familiar term for Protestant.)

So far so good — a little Irish perspective.  Not sure what it has to do with Shriver, but fine.

I remember Bobby’s rolled-up sleeves, Jack’s jutted jaw and the message — a call to action — that the world didn’t have to be the way it was. Science and faith had found a perfect rhyme.

I will now address Bono personally:

OK, first of all, shut up.  Second of all, SHUT UP!  You do not get to call John Kennedy Jack.  You were three when he died!  As a matter of fact, we’re the same age and you don’t see me writing editorials as if I used to summer with the Kennedys at the Cape.  How come I grew up in Los Angeles and hardly even remember Bobby, yet you, from all the way across the pond, have vivid recollections of his attire and mannerisms?  Remarkable. 

To sum up, Sargent Shriver did great work, and Bono has done admirable humanitarian work as well.  I wonder when the time comes who the Times will choose to write McGovern’s obit.  Hopefully not Taylor Swift. 


5 Responses to “Bono, shut up!”

  1. planetofbob said

    Very well written Keith. I too was three years old when President Kennedy was assassinated, and like you I find it funny when people our age – or younger – reflect on how events like this had such an impact at the time they happened. While I do actually have memories – some of my first – of President Kennedy’s death, I think the biggest impact at the time was news coverage interrupting Dr. Maxx, the local afternoon cartoon host.

    As for Bono, I agree with the “shut the hell up” comment, although I probably would go a little easier on him than you did. Naw, I’m not really a big U2 fan, at least not since the early 90’s, but I do admire a lot of the work the man has done. I found the “the Irish saw the Kennedy’s as our own royal family” comment interesting. I’ve never really heard that expressed, but then again growing up in Iowa I wasn’t surrounded by Irish as much I was German’s and Norwegians. To me, if any group claimed the Kennedy’s as their own, I always felt it was the Catholics. To this day one of my best friends from schools mother, as devout a catholic as you’ll find, has three photo’s on the wall as you come in: Jesus, the Pope, and JFK. Okay, okay, the Jesus picture isn’t a photo, but you get the point.

    As for Sargent Shriver, he was one of the good guys, as were JFK and RFK. He was a class act, and while there have been varying degrees of class and success from the Kennedy’s, Shriver was always at the top of the list. While he passing is sad, the fact that he got to 95 is great. I wish the same could have been said for John and Bobby.

    • Thank you Bob, and Blair! I may have been a little too harsh on Bono but I thihnk Blair hit it on the head with ‘pretentious.’ I realize that U2 is a good band but I was never able to totally connect to their music. Part of it is Bono’s whining voice. the guitar player is good and innovative but I can’t take too much of that machine gun style of his.

      The way he described ‘Jack’ Kennedy killed me. It would be like me saying that I remembered the expression on Bill Mazeroski’s face after he hit that homerun in the 1960 Series!

      • Sherm said

        Their music is both pretentious and bombastic, and “the Edge” is nothing special. What do you expect from a band with two people who have deemed themselves worthy of one name titles — Bono and the Edge.

  2. bkivey said

    That was pretty good. I think the word you and planetofbob are looking for to describe Bono is ‘pretentious’.

  3. I love it..someone found this post by searching ‘will Bono just shut the fuck up.’

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