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Philosophizing about U2 at BYU

Deseret Morning News

PROVO — To the typical college student, philosophy classes tend to be long on words and short on interesting content. The staidness of philosophy education, however, may have met its match with the teaching methods of Brigham Young University philosophy professor Mark Wrathall.

As the result of an epiphany while driving through the Nevada desert in 1997, Wrathall has devised an effective method of tying pop culture — specifically the lyrics of songs by the rock band U2, which will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight in New York — to the philosophies of Plato, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.

The epiphany came while listening to the band's song "Last Night on Earth" from its "Pop" album, which Wrathall felt contained lyrics relevant to the material he presented to his philosophy students.

"I thought, 'Wow, I could really use this in my lectures,' " Wrathall said.

He began using lyrics penned primarily by U2's lead singer Bono to supplement the philosophies presented in his classes. He even asks students to bring recordings of their favorite U2 songs to class to listen to and analyze their philosophical relevance with his students. Not surprisingly, the method has become popular with students.

Has anyone else noticed that an abnormally high percentage of LDS folks are fans of U2?

Not that that's a bad thing. I mean, I like them too.

(Does anyone else think that "Under a Blood Red Sky" is by far their best album?)

I used to like U2, but their latest c.d. sucks...

But who could forget this poignant verse from "Vertigo":

"Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah." ?, that's deep.


Haha, good one.

Move along, nothing for you to see here

Because of the (lack of) content of this conversation, I declare this thread officially dead. Please continue to the next one.

"War" was by far their best,

"War" was by far their best, and will probably remain that way. Get back to your roots, U2!

Man, you beat me to it! If a

Man, you beat me to it! If anyone even cares anymore, my "Vertigo was the stupidest song of 2004" joke would have gone like this:

I think it will take years of study to fully understand the philisophical implications of much of U2's music, such as:

Hello, Hello...Hola!
I'm at a place called Vertigo...Donde esta?
It’s everything I wish I didn’t know
Except you give me something...
I can feeeel, feeeeeeel!

Yeah, their new album sucks. And so does Edge magazine for fawning over it so much.

Lest anyone opine to the contrary...

I'd like to elaborate on my first critizism. Not only do I "not like" U2's latest cd, I've decided to make a list of the worst songs of 2004. Keep in mind that this was very hard for me, what, with Jessica Simpson's "ReJoyce" Christmas-exploitation album, Lindsay Lohan's aural holocaust, "Speak," and Celine Dion's pretentious bullcrap "Miracle," and by the way, I didn't think it was possible for me to hate Celine Dion anymore than I already did until I saw the cover of her newest album and accompanying calendar for the modern "grrrl power" super-wench who finds solace in Dion's brash self-righteous smuggery. Alas, I used some restraint and narrowed the list down to eleven:

1. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Vertigo: A mix of twangy guitars, unnecessary spanish, and Bono's stupid glasses in that grossly overplayed IPod commercial.

2. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Miracle Drug: I'm amazed at U2's uncanny ability to produce the same cookie cutter sound that's slowly crippling originality and innovation on airwaves around the world.

3. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own: zzZZZZZzz.... YAWN

4. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Love And Peace Or Else: If there was a list of things a pacifist should never say, "or else" would probably top it.

5. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - City of Blinding Lights: New age mystic bullcrap.

6. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - All Because Of You: This is the one song on the album that U2's arrogant fans can't come to a consensus about. Some believe it's a song about life, some death, and others God. One thing I think everyone can agree on is: nobody cares.

7. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - A Man And A Woman: Great song, if you ignore the ho-hum music and the fact that "romance" doesn't rhyme with "distance."

8. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Crumbs From Your Table: This song is about how America and its wealthiest people don't do enough to help solve world hunger. The title suggests that crumbs from our table could help starving people in Africa. Bono indicts America for being hypocritical with these lines:
"Would you deny for others
What you demand for yourself?"
Bono could not be reached for comment as he was stepping off his private jet and into his limousine.

9. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - One Step Closer: This sounds like the soundtrack of a coma.

10. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Original Of The Species: This song was supposedly written about the daughter of guitarist "The Edge." Yeah, that's his nickname: The Edge. I used to think names like "The Edge" or "Spike" were cool, but then I turned 12.

11. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 - Yahweh: This quote epitomizes U2's pious, holier-than-thou attitude:

"I don't know why, but we always had this belief that there was something sacred about our music, that it was almost holy."

-Bono, pompous moron and lead singer of U2:
Cocky, high-handed, imperial jerks.

Is that Celine Dion cover tha

Is that Celine Dion cover that creepy one with the green-headed baby? Whenever I see that, all I can think of is that Kids in the Hall Sketch:

"You only hate me because I have a cabbage for a head!"

"Kids in the Hall" rules...

I haven't seen that show for such a long time! And yes, Celion Dion is a creepy wench. I don't know what turns me off more, girls that smoke or girls that listen to Celion Dion, but I regard both behaviors as self-destroying habits that make normal people think you're obnoxious.

wow, I don't think I could ev

wow, I don't think I could ever date someone as pessimistic as you. I have a cousin who you remind me of that seems to have a lot of negative views. Maybe I just feel this way because I don't have many strong opinions, but I just think it's kind of depressing to be around people who are always criticizing everything.

You're right...

You have no opinions. That is why your life is boring.

Plenty of fish in the sea, dude

Sorry, Sam, looks like you're going to have to date somebody else. Good luck with that.

You can't please everybody.

Yeah, well, I'm probably not missing much.