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U2 News » 'Heart Of America' Tour: DATA veröffentlicht vollständiges Diary

Wie wir bereits am 29. Dezember berichtet haben, veröffentlicht U2.com in diesen Tagen nach und nach Bonos Tagebuchaufschriebe von der 'Heart Of America' Tour. Bono war Anfang Dezember zusammen mit anderen Prominenten (u.a. Ashley Judd und Chris Tucker) durch die USA gereist, um im Rahmen der Organisation DATA auf die verheerenden Umstände in Afrika aufmerksam zu machen. Auf der offiziellen Seite von DATA kann man jetzt schon alle Aufschriebe von Bono nachlesen , auch jene, die bisher bei U2.com noch nicht veröffentlicht wurden. Des weiteren gibt es dort zahlreiche Fotos und Presseartikel von der 'Heart Of America' Tour.

Sunday, December 1, 2002 Statistics, statistics… I hate them - I can't even look at them as I type them.… It's World AIDS day… in Africa 6,500 men, women and children will die of AIDS TODAY and another 9,500 including 1,400 newborn babies will be infected… God Almighty…. Here in Lincoln Nebraska, Africa's seeming a lot less far away… students in the University of Nebraska are displaying squares from their AIDS quilt… and the three bus loads of AIDS activists are tonight on their way to the Heart of America tour. Our tour includes Ashley Judd and her 230 MPH race car driving husband Dario Franchitti, and two dogs Shug and Buttermilk….Tour de France victor, Cancer beater and not-exactly-slow-himself-cyclist Lance Armstrong…. ten outrageously gifted kids from Ghana who sing, dance and make sure we watch our language… Agnes from Uganda, first time out of Africa in to America, living proof that AIDS doesn't have to equal death…. And finally me, that most awful of inventions, a Rockstar With A Cause, Bono. I've just heard the ne ws tha t noted Nebraska punk-rocker and ukulele player Warren Buffett is joining our caravan. During the day he passes off as the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Group. To me he is Yoda, the Jedi Master of American finance, a deeply serious man with an ear for a great melody i.e. a great idea… great melodies and great ideas have much in common….. A certain inevitability, clarity, an instant memorability. America is a great idea…it's an idea that came under attack on September 11, 2001…it's a nervous world, even here in Nebraska; you can feel the edge and it's not because of the cold. Could America lead a historic AIDS initiative, putting an end to the above statistics, saving 2.5 million lives in Africa a year…there's an idea (one of the many on our bus)…America showing what it's for, as well as what it's against. Anyway, tonight we're going to make our pitch in Lincoln, Nebraska and hear what these most American of Americans say back to us. I'll let you know how we did with the corn huskers. Monday, December 2, 2002 No longer a concept, I'm on the bus out of Nebraska on the way to Iowa looking back on a great first day in Lincoln… Yesterday morning, the rockstar ended up in a Methodist pulpit…..I wanted to bang my fist like those fire brimstone preaches I've seen on the TV but I didn't need to - this congregation seemed to already know that the AIDS emergency is the defining moral issue of our time….. I ended up listening to them. The notion put by politicians back east that Midwesterners are not interested in a world outside of America was already crumbling by lunch. Politicians are not afraid of rockstars and student activists - they are used to our placards - they're afraid of Church folk, farmers, and mothers unions…. however when you put student activists, actors, rockstars with the mothers, farmers and church folk, the sight of all of us together is terrifying… Americans in these nervous times are more outward looking….this is good for our campaign…. This is no time for navel gazing. The way the United States is perceived in the rest of the world is now a homeland security issue. We're not wrong to bang on about the AIDS emergency… Colin Powell said that no war on earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic. Our traveling scientist/physician, Eric Goosby, says winning this war is immensely doable -- but only if the political will is there. Ashley Judd is a trip…to be that gorgeous and smart …I thought God was fair!!! Last night she made her debut as an AIDS activist in front of a very responsive Cornhusker crowd…. if she loses interest in acting she'd have no problem as talk show host. In the darkness you can meet when you consider the scale of the AIDS problem, she is a very necessary firecracker… her conversation crackles and fizzes with an urge to make sense of any moment she's in… she's also very funny …. the fastest mouth in the midwest is on her bright red bus, with the fastest wheels …. Her husband Dario is someone who I sense knows how to drink when he's not driving… I like this… we may need some diversions. He tells me he has to abstain in racing season… he can feel the wine in his joints when he needs to feel the fuel. He is a star. Today in Iowa I met the editorial board of the legendary Des Moines Register… bees were buzzing in this hive of a newsroom… including a few Queen bees who responded to Agnes's story of life in Uganda for a mother of eight. Agnes we first met a year or so ago in Kampala, as part of a troop of aids educators called TASO who through their testimony and songs town to town, village to village, save so many lives through their prevention program. Today she showed me the drugs, the anti-retrovirals that are keeping her alive to do her job. Only recently did she and her fellow activists gain access to these drugs. When we first met, these heroes of the hour, the firemen running up the burning building if you like, had accepted they were going to die. She is affronted by the suggestion that Africans would not be able to take pills twice a day to save their life. She is also affronted by the price on her life - 2 dollars a day. It should be one…. it should be none. I am made sorely aware of how we need the pharmaceutical companies - we need their scientists … their research departments… their determination - to reduce the cost of these life-saving drugs. I make a note to ring Ray Gilmartin of Merck and Peter Dolan of Bristol Myers Squibb. I know they're paying attention. University of Iowa, we're coming your way. Apparently there are more pigs than people in this state. That might work for me, I can talk hogwash. I'll end today's diary looking out of the window of our silver blue bus… it's a wide panorama, a cinescope of America. This has been my education over the years, looking out the window of buses, trains and planes… mostly I read more than I wrote. Or talked. Good night. Monday, December 2, 2002 On the road… Ashley Judd: Dario and I arrived in Lincoln, dogs in tow, and awakened to Bobby Shriver's unmistakable voice, from the sidewalk, shrieking about our bus. He hopped on and came back to see us. This is my fantasy trip - out helping change the world, and doing so with my all-time favorite men: Bobby, Bono, and my husband. We rehearsed the evening's program, after being briefed by serious-minded, enthusiastic, DATA workers. This gang is living out one of my fantasy lives - hard-core activism. About the program: I swore to Dario that I wouldn't harp to Lance Armstrong about how my Dario admires him. The event seemed perfect - if a tiny bit long - and the crowd seemed totally eager to learn, help, and rally. The platform was a good balance of voices - Bono, Agnes, whose story is simply staggering, and the excellent AIDS expert Dr. Goosby. If the United States alone spent just $1.70 per year for every American, the debts of 22 African countries which have already done the work to qualify for debt relief could be canceled. I'm humbled and thrilled to be a part of this. We're ending the evening having a bite to eat, the conversation ranging over tomorrow's agenda (truck stops), how we can do better tomorrow night (shorter), and Washington (we'll fight for this with all we're got). The Glasgow kisses - that's my husband - reminiscing with Bono the Irishman about missing their homes, bonding over a dinner table in Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm thrilled! See you on the road. December 4, 2002 Americans do the best coffee in the world next to the Italians, but tea is a different matter… you need to boil the water, 3 minutes, even with a tea bag. Hot water from a coffee maker will not do, and is a very bad start to the day. I normally wake up with a sore eye but insufferable optimism about what the day can accomplish and go to bed disappointed with what I've not managed to do. On the Heart of America Tour I've been watching people going to their rooms having pulled off impossible tasks logistically, strategically, spiritually. Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew have lived out of a plastic bag and a toothbrush for so long they think this life is normal. They were two of the architects at Jubilee 2000/Drop the Debt campaign who are now looking after DATA Europe. I began the day with our new boy/new boss David Gartner, Executive Director of DATA USA, and a room full of activists who don't mind me talking with my mouth full… activists generally look down upon us rock stars, and you have to get up in the morning earlier than God for them to be impressed… this is another reason why I'm grumpy, I'm late. Next stop, I-80, a truck stop, bigger than my country, the biggest in the world I'm told… never eat anything bigger than your head is good advice for truck stops. I tried, it was called a Dairy Queen, bought by the ladies who let you lunch, and some truck driving Teamsters -- the reason I'm here. These people have all the qualities I love about the Midwest -- no high walls, no barbed wire, minds as wide open as the landscape…. and hearts, as it turns out, for their fellow drivers in South Africa, half of whom are HIV positive. Let me say that again - 50% of truck drivers in Africa are going to die, unless they get access to the antiretroviral drugs we take for grated in Europe and America. These men are ready to do what it takes to reach out to the comrades they have never met. Inspiring. On to the Davenport's Central High School to talk about AIDS and education... I had a great time in school - that's where our band was started… I was 16, Adam was 16, Edge was 15, and Larry, the baby in charge, 14. U2 was a high school band, so is 2 Deep. His name was Jeremy and he sang like Craig David, a song he'd written called Get Lost. Presuming he wasn't referring to us, I asked the students if anyone had a definition of Globalization… Coletta put her hand up and said it referred to the world being more interconnected, where people help each other more, and give more aid to those who need it. If only… I wish it were Coletta's world. She understood that with the benefits of gobalization come responsibilities… I drew a rude picture of Ashley on the whiteboard, plus some algebra. A=Ashley, B= Bono, C =Class H, D=Davenport, E=Emergency, F=Factoid: You are more powerful than you think. As we left, students were jumping out of windows, I was shouting up to them "rock rock rock 'n' roll high school". The Principal laughed nervously. Thank you again Joey Ramone. In Dubuque, some serious and upstanding members of the community gathered to listen - their eyes didn't glaze over, in fact they flashed at the opportunity to do something for their country, something for Africa. They spotted the connection. I did a press conference by a Christmas Tree - a shock to me I thought it was still August…. I'm told there's snow on the ground in Chicago. I'd love Chicago even if it was covered in cow-pats. On my way to the great canyons of glass and steel that make up Chicago's skyline, we stop at Willow Creek Church. Reverend Hybels and his wife Lynne sit me down and lift me up at the same time. I can't explain it exactly. I didn't have to explain to them that I wasn't coming calling with a cause, we all have plenty of them. 6,500 people in Africa died today of AIDS. This is an emergency. December 5, 2002 Chaos in Chicago, the snow is thick on the ground and we seem to be moving faster than ever… there's always the thought we'll spin off .. it's a high wire act, trying to convince people who have problems of their own to set them aside for the crisis of others. Crisis is the wrong word. Emergency. The AIDS pandemic is setting fire to the continent of Africa. Razing it. Right before our very eyes. We are giving less and less the richer we get is the truth. The actual facts when you clear away the propaganda… Why? Three words keep coming up: … corruption corruption corruption - especially at Editorial Board meetings. Maybe one thing that binds the Tribune and the Sun-Times?… Americans have lost faith it seems in world aid. Aid Aid, now there's an idea… The only problem is that people are half right. What's the point of giving money away if it ends up in a Swiss Bank account or a fleet of Rolls Royce's… But if done right -- and it can and often is done right -- it sends children to school, trains teachers, builds roads, buys medicines. When they find out the strict conditions now in place - transparency, good governance, measurable results - I have confidence America will turn around the situation where they are 22nd in the list of 22 richest countries in terms of aid given as a percentage of national income. Americans don't like being last in anything. Their personal donations are as generous as Europeans. I'm sure it's the value for money argument. I want bang for the buck too. The Global Heath Fund is what we're looking for. 96 per cent of the cash goes direct to funding programmes in countries hit by AIDS, with only 4 per cent tied up in overheads. That's efficiency. Auditors in each country -- often international firms like KPMG -- monitor the 96 per cent to make sure it is fighting AIDS not lining pockets. I was in Uganda earlier this year (it wasn't called the Heart of Africa Tour, but it could have been), and went to visit some wells just outside Kampala - simple concrete blocks with iron pipes spewing out clean water - maintained by the people whose children lives they save. The wells had been built because money freed up by the cancellation of old debt. People said this money would be misspent, one Congressman said it would go down a rathole… in fact, it went down a water hole Anyway, back to IL. Chris Tucker is in the House! He turned up at 2am this morning ready to work… I think he's spent more time in Africa this year than America…. We were in Ethiopia together in May - a memorable visit to a predominantly female Muslim high-school in Addis Ababa - Chris got mobbed…..I got trampled …. He went back with Colin Powell, back with Bill Clinton, back for more… God was in the room at the Apostolic Church on the South Side of Chicago. So was Senator Durbin a righteous and brainy Democrat… It's so important to us that we keep our work bi-partisan, we had spend the night before in the hospitality of Congressman Jim Leach and his wife Deba. These are great people. Last night we preached the Gospel (literally) at Wheaton College where they grow preachers like Billy Graham (well, there's no-one like Billy Graham)… Anyway, I reminded them they had also produced Wes Craven… first they scare you then they tell you where to turn… Not just because they laughed at my joke, I really loved this crowd. These are the loudest Christians in the world…. normally I'm not comfortable with Church people, they're pious, they're judgmental. These young students gave me hope. I quoted CS Lewis (they have all his letters in the library here): "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date". And his other one: "the stage is but a platform shoe" …that was my other joke. I knew they would think I was smaller in real life, I told them I'm also much better looking. Dr Jim Young Kim, an expert in AIDS treatment in poor countries from Harvard School of Public Health, was on the platform - donating his extraordinary brains for one night. The bastard robbed most of my best lines… We also basked in his academic professionalism… he had laptops, slides, screens, graphs… all the things we knew we'd never be able to work. He told everyone, actually, he showed everyone, that getting medicines to even the poorest people in the furthest places can be possible. He flashed before and after photos (hi-tech ones…). Anti-retroviral drugs, wow, talk about power in a pill. He ended by appealing to the students in the room to view the AIDS emergency - the worst epidemic in the last 600 years with numbers rising exponentially - as the next phase in the civil rights movement. They listened. I am taking to bed feeling sad, Ashley, who truly has the Heart of America, has to leave us after our event in Indianapolis on Thursday…. But it's going to be fun to go in Indianapolis with an Indy driver, Dario her husband… I know we're going to see them both again. December 6, 2002 Woke up this morning to find out that Paul O'Neill has resigned from office… he witnessed the AIDS emergency in Africa in May, and responded with not just tears, but anger… I saw his conviction. I liked him and his family enormously, I'm sure he will continue to work on Africa. Before he was Secretary of the Treasury, he worked in Africa. Valuable, valuable experience. President Bush will see the crisis for himself early next year when he goes to Africa… the President, Dr Rice, Colin Powell, Tommy Thompson, they're passionate about AIDS - we need to turn this passion into cash. I like Hoosiers. The spirit of Madame Walker was with us in Indianapolis last night. The meeting was in a beautiful little theatre named after this amazing woman. In 1905 she started a company producing hair products for black women, and throughout her life fought for civil rights. Always make sure you look your best on the battleground… Each night Dario Franchetti has been sitting in the audience, taking the temperature (hot) watching his wife Ashley Judd's back (cool). But he's an Indy car driver… and so, in Indianapolis, had no choice but to move into pole position... His debut on the campaigning circuit was up to his sporting standards; he was incredible, and fast to my slow. Succinct is not a national characteristic if you're Irish. And on to Cincinnati Ohio… I fall asleep in the back of the bus, with the blinds up and dream in some of the most beautiful landscape in the world lit up by the snow. My dream is a hamburger brought to me by John Sampson, our head of security… in the dream I get my hair cut and haven't the strength to eat it. These are the ramblings of someone who's been away from home for too long. I miss my wife, I miss my kids, I can't wait for Christmas. My present, our present, will be a historic AIDS initiative. I can't believe that the lives of so many people depend on the way the wind is blowing in Washington DC, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, Ottawa. To whom much is given, much is expected… Carocol in Cincinnati is a house full of promise. HIV sufferers that are now activists. In amongst this righteous throne, the racial tension of the city is made ridiculous. Laughter is louder today than loss. I bump into Peter Frampton, who lives locally and wants to work globally on this issue. I tell him his song Show Me the Way taught me how to sing… I wasn't joking. It was a prayer to me. These people are the "aftershot" we so want to see in Africa. The number of people who die from AIDS in the US has fallen by 90 per cent since the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs…. The words of Pastor Ken Mallard from Indiana are still ringing in my ears: There will come a time when there is no such thing as AIDS. Just like polio. Melissa Jones works for DATA USA. She's one of those dangerous quiet people that gets you to do everything she wants. Her front tooth chipped this morning during breakfast… I don't want her to get it fixed - foxy foxy foxy. We are about to go to a meeting organised by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which is run by the impressive Ed Rigaud. They are building a museum to showcase the history of the underground railroad - the Ohio river which separates Cincinnati from Kentucky was an important crossroads for slaves on their journey to freedom. As it happens, Irish longshoremen used to fighting blacks for the worst jobs hid slaves in the civil war here. The Green Card plays well in this neighbourhood. I'll play any card - Irish, rockstar, Catholic, Protestant, sensitive, macho, upper working class snob wino…. I'll make my personality crisis go to work for me… This meeting tonight is in Harriet Beecher Stowe House… this area of the world was full of pioneering women seeking justice… I'm finding out it still is. December 8, 2002 This weekend the Heart of America tour is ending. I'm going to New York City Monday night for the premiere of Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York. U2's music closes this extraordinary film and myself and Edge will do the red carpet along way from the green grass of this Appalachia…I'll miss the grass roots… Last night, Wynonna Judd stepped in for sister Ashley in Louisville, she will do the same tomorrow in Nashville where we get t o meet a bunch of inspirational musicians. The Judd's are inspirational…when Wynonna speaks of her family's humble origins her vibrato has all the shades of grace and humour that mark the whole family…she sings from a special place I don't know where exactly but its something to do with "home". The colour of the grass here is a conservative blue…not many years ago I thought conservative meant at best cautious, at worst selfish, the politics of special interests anti big government but pro big interference in peoples lives. I now discover that there are different "c's". Conservatives, seeking security in the familiar. Religious conviction or libertarianism. Activists are turning up in the least expected places… Archbishop Kelly is a wry man who wants to make his diocese go to work on the subject of Debt, AIDS, and Trade in Africa. These are three swords in the side of an already crucified continent. So does the moderator of the Presbyterian Church who has handed over his office to facilitate myself and the Roman Catholic Archbishops meeting (this would not happen where I come from). He then introduced me to an annual gathering of Presbyterian moderators (100 of them) who let me bang their pulpit. CNN are there…the luminous Daryn Kagan lit up by stalwart producer Ted Winner and a joy called Molly…CNN have been on three continents covering this story, behind Daryn's easy good humour is a serious curiosity in why things are the way they are… They have set up CNN's worldwide broadcasting net at a Krispy Kreme donut and café shop in Louisville where we are interviewing locals…Chris Tucker is taking orders in the drive thru. This giant of a man has been to Africa three times this year…once with myself and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, once with Secretary of State Colin Powell, and once with President Clinton who he can mimic so well that occasionally in the question and answer section of the evening we ask the first black president his opinion…he inspires me to quote the Koran to the Northeast Christian Church in Louisville "he is close to God who make his friends laugh" he has become eloquent about the beauty and possibilities of Africa as well as the wanton waste of life that we are complicit in by our inaction. As an African American discovering with affection and hurt his 'gene pool'…he can talk in a way I cannot… "I saw my face everywhere I went he tells them…my mother's face, my sister's face, my cousins, my nephews…these people are my blood…we have problems in our own neighborhood but not like this." When more African Americans start to demand even the same level of media coverage for their continent that the Irish or Jewish Diaspora demand for their tiny nation states…things will start to happen, even in the 'neighbourhood' - wholeness. Colin Powell is not on tour with us but he may as well be here, three quotes I've used everyday: "The war against terror is bound up in the war against poverty" "No war on earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic" "AIDS poses a clear and present danger to the world" As I close this diary and tour, the administration is preparing President Bush's trip to Africa. I hope they have heard from the Midwest that Americans here care about Africa's plight, interesting they tell me caring about it makes them feel more American. The decency that lives here I am hopeful lives in the capita. The moral compass is now in the President's hand.

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