U2, Starbucks, Spam

… and value added marketing. What do they have in common? Well, for one thing, they – and many other little things – annoy the hell out of Phil Agre as he describes in his essay: Minor Annoyances and What They Teach Us. According to Mr Agre, the band, a morbid study in the dialectic of art and ego, have sucked beyond belief ever since ‘Under a blood red sky’. We wonder if Phil’s related to our favourite curmudgeon, Tanya.

He writes: Nothing is worse (or more contradictory) than ego parading in the guise of spirituality, but that’s what “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” is.

If ATYCLB is about ego, it is about the individual in its natural place within the family – whether blood related or ‘extended’. More about ‘belonging’ than about ‘believing’. But that’s just our decidedly less than humble opinion.