Debuts

Bono's First Column

Say this for Bono: He’s no Bill Kristol. The singer-songwriter’s first offering for the New York Times op-ed page (where he’ll contribute an irregular column) eschews pet causes like debt relief and instead salutes Frank Sinatra. Yes, Sinatra, whom Bono caroused with back in the 1990s. (Frank: “I don’t usually hang with men who wear earrings.”) Bono describes the strange sensation of listening to two different recordings of “My Way.” One was recorded in 1969, when Sinatra was fed up with the music business and used the song as a taunt; another “My Way,” made when Sinatra was 78, was “a heart-stopping, heartbreaking song of defeat…an apology.” It takes quite a singer to find two contradictory ideas in a single song. And Bono, who knows that his job as a political columnist mandates making all of this into a metaphor for our political present, asks: “This is our moment. What do we hear?”