Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mr. Bono, tear down this wall!

President Reagan urged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear it down, MTV demanded that somebody put one back up.

They celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall today in Germany with a free six song U2 concert at the famed German landmark. A celebration which saw thousands of Berliners and travellers from around the Globe arrive only to learn that the European version of the Music Television Network had erected a two metre high metal barrier.

Interestingly enough, a concert that was designed to celebrate the breaking down of barriers and the integration of the once communist bloc into the wider family of the world, ended up becoming an invitation only affair, as MTV had made arrangements for 10,000 of its European fans to be allowed inside the new Berlin wall, the lucky insiders won their tickets during an online contest last month.

The contribution of U2 to the nights events hasn't been lost on many of those who are on the outside of the wall, especially in light of Bono's frequent preaching about freedom and unity. The rumblings of those kept on the outside may herald a backlash, that even the ever loquacious Bono may have a hard time talking himself out of.

An MTV press release explained away the barrier as a security requirement, "To that end, MTV placed a temporary security fence around the site perimeter. Under no circumstances did MTV build a 'wall' of any kind in or around the U2 production site."

Somehow we think that's the kind of thinking that Erich Honecker would have approved of.

CBC News-- MTV criticized for barricade at U2 Berlin Wall concert
Guardian UK-- New Berlin wall built for U2 gig to mark fall of old one
Times on line UK-- Berlin celebrates 20 years since Wall fell by erecting another for U2
Press Association-- MTV Europe defends U2 Berlin 'wall'
Globe and Mail-- MTV, tear down that wall

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