Ernest Gellner ...
"The way in which you restrain people from doing a wide variety of things, not compatible with the social order of which they are members, is that you subject them to ritual. The process is simple: you make them dance round a totem pole until they are wild with excitement and become jellies in the hysteria of collective frenzy; you enhance their emotional state by any device, by all the locally available audio-visual aids, drugs, dance, music and so on; and once they are really high, you stamp upon their minds the type of concept or notion to which they subsequently become enslaved. Next morning, the savage wakes up with a bad hangover and a deeply internalized concept."
Causes that only give about 1% of the millions taken in to those they propose to help while paying $8 million in salaries for executives and employees of U2's ONE campaign to monitor the disbursement of the mere $185,000 the foundation donated to good causes in the past year. Oh, but ONE “does advocacy work, not charity work.” Advocacy now days is a sort of Orwellian term for scam and reports are that many U2 fans fell in line and signed up with the group "ONE" at the Vandy show.
Some folks had a protest this past week in Glastonbury calling for the band to pay their taxes just like those who buy their concert tickets and albums are forced to. Don't they know that those in league with the elite have ways to avoid many of the taxes? 'Saint Bono' regularly meets with political leaders to lobby on behalf of developing nations but wants the working class to foot the bill. The Edge claims the band just wants to be 'tax-efficient.'
I'll let those more well versed in symbolism interpret U2's visuals but the 'Claw' stage setting certainly brings to mind the death grip of debt and the police state currently around our throats. A more mundane interpretation is that the space theme was played for humor and for a grander sense of universal connection and responsibility. 'Responsibility' reinforced in ritual as "a deeply internalized concept" maybe?
Perhaps I'm making more of this than it is but I found it interesting that the show incorporated what a few consider to be a ritualistic and highly propagandized event, the Gabby Giffords shooting.
The song Space Oddity was sprinkled throughout the show, most memorably after Bono acknowledged Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who lived through an assassination attempt, then asked the audience to imagine “her husband looking down on us.” A grinning, floating Cmdr. Mark Kelly in his spaceship appeared onscreen, intoning “tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.”