So, since I've been back on my U2 Kick (thanks Tyler for your influence), I was listening to Joshua Tree and reading "U2 Into the Heart:The Story Behind Every Song". Since my last post, and my hatred of war-like language when talking about faith, "bullet in the blue sky" caught my attention. So I read the story behind it and found something interesting. Just something to ponder that was said. Not my words, and no commentary...take it for what you will! Please note the context was Bono's trip to Central America during the 80's when US foreign policy was impoverishing parts Central America, making the area very unstable, as well as supporting civil wars in some of the countries. (sound familiar?)
"'I still believe in Americans' Bono added, 'I think they're a very open people. It's their openness which leads them to trust a man as dangerous as Ronald Reagan. They want to believe he's a good guy. They want to believe he's in the calvary, coming to rescue America's reputation after the 70's. But he was only an actor. It was only a movie. I think the picture's ended now and Americans are leaving the cinema a little down in the mouth.' 'Bullet in the Blue Sky' made one other connection, linking the disastrous US foreign policy under Reagan to his own religious fundamentalism and that of the Christian tele-evengelists who had flourished in his version of America. U2 recognized that imperialism is fuelled by a righteousness that denies others their OWN right to believe, and to express those beliefs.
"'I would say that none of my fundamental beliefs have changed,' The Edge said during 1986, 'but they've broadened and matured and been tempered with a wider experience of a) what's good about the rest of the world and b) what's bad about religion everywhere. I basically assume that every single religious group, or community, has a problem, is in some way screwed up. I don't believe that there is one, single, perfect spiritual way and, in realizing that, obviously you become a lot more open.'"
"The mention of the [former] preacher Jerry Falwell inspired anger, bordering on contempt. 'He preaches that God dresses in a three-piece polyester suit, is white, speaks in a southern accent, is from an Anglo-Saxon background and has a wife and children. And then you say, how does that relate to a Chinese peasant? And you realize it doesn't at all.
"or a southern black? The song contrasts the burning crosses of the [KKK] with the liberating sound of john Coletrane's saxophone breathing into the New york Night. America: the land of paradoxes. Everything that's great about the world, and everything that's repulsive about it. rolled into one. That's what 'Bullet in the Blue Sky' is about"