Bono's latest column for the The New York Times
takes the form of five scenes of a screenplay set in Berlin, over several decades. It opens on the night of the band's live set in front of the Brandenburg Gate earlier this month.BERLIN, NOVEMBER 2009 - NIGHT
The camera cranes over a crowd of thousands gathered in Pariser Platz.
An Irish band plays its song 'One' in the city where it was written nearly 20 years earlier. The band is here for an MTV broadcast celebrating the anniversary of the wall's falling. A helicopter shot glides like a ghost through the architecture of this most modern of cities: the avant-garde Chancellery, the glass dome at the top of the Reichstag, the refurbished Brandenburg Gate. Images of East and West Berlin dancing to the music are projected on the gate, turning this monument to peace into a graffiti wall of the same...
We close in on the band. We can feel its sense of occasion. This is nothing new. One suspects THE SINGER approaches a trip to the bathroom with the same degree of vainglory. (To wit, is he not writing about himself now in the third person? He is.) On stage, he is emotional in the way we've come to expect. In this case it's because a song written to help stop his band from falling apart has somehow become an unsentimental ode to unity - in this instance a bittersweet song for a bittersweet history.
Further abusing the contrivance of a screenplay, we cut to...SCENE 2
Read the whole column at The New York Times.