Since I can't be sure about the projects' development, accountability and results by any other means than, well, acritical covering or official reports, I'll stick to the Bono issue, which happens to be quite simple to me, as people here know: music + political activism = I'm out.
And that's it.
Nothing much to add.
Since most of the ONGS working in Brazil are corrupt and have been proven to be so over and over again, I'm always skeptical about these projects.
I like Human Rights Watch, though: I guess it does a wonderful service to the humankind. But I did my job before supporting it: studying the reports I was interested in and checking their reliability. I was also given evidence about how people manage the money in the organization, the claims are very reliable given the excellent work they do, so, it's ok.
As a citizen, national or global, I always act with care, regardless of people's intentions. Wonderful projects, or what seemed to be wonderful projects here in Brazil turned out to be quite ugly nests of the most depraved corruption and imorality.
So: if Bono does propaganda for the UN disguised as music, I'm out. I'm clearly out as a citizen, first, because I don't think it's helpful - on the contrary, it undermines the work that many people who aren't famous at all do - and second, as a musician who finds the music lacking, to put it politely.
Musicians -> do good music.
Citizens -> do their homework as citizens.
Many people who watched a documentary made by a competent film maker about how the Nazis handled Theresienstadt thought that the camp was quite cool. They were really helping Jews there. Needless to say, millions of Jews died - and the movie maker too.
No, no, I'm not comparing both cases, I'm not that idiotic: the "Bonostapo" thing is stupid.
I don't like what Bono does and I don't like the direction his music has taken, but I don't think he's a mean guy.
I always try to discuss principles, not personalities. If the principle underlying not Bono's, but many artists' activism is taken too far, well, things may end up worse than they were before the good, well-intentioned people came in. After all, the UN sanctions against Iraq in the 90s, which many liberals at the time believed to be the best measures to topple Saddam Hussein have proven to be as devastating to Iraqis as the current war. So much so that the guys responsible for the program did jump out of the bandwagon when they saw the mess. And, yes, even skepticals on the left like Chomsky supported the sanctions, though he wasn't honest enough to admit it afterwards, just like the case of the Khmer Rouge (many infamous articles on it in the 60s and the 70s).
I have no problem with Bono giving his opinion the war on Iraq. I have no problem at all if he decides to give over a full interview to it in the Times. It's ok. The problem begins, for me, when musicians are not just giving their opinions anymore, but becoming activists.
That'd be my call. lol
Mixing both often results in bad work in both areas.
And, yes, I have already discussed Bob Dylan's case in the "Queen's biggest mistakes" thread". Hahaha. It always shows up. : -))))))
Take care ya all!