I am a child of the ’80s. I came of age when U2’s Bono was waiving his white flag onstage at Live Aid, the 1985 worldwide effort for famine relief in Ethiopia. That effort and others throughout the ’80s were so big that people eventually tuned out. Instinctively, Bono knew that, and his efforts grew quieter and even more effective.
I was lucky enough to ask Bono himself about this change in the tone of his activism when I interviewed him in 2002 at Davenport Central High School in Davenport, Iowa. He told me that people get tired of listening when you scream at them. And that’s what is so wonderful about this grassroots effort to bring clean drinking water to people who have no access to this most basic of human needs. I think Bono would approve of the goofy hook of dancing. It gets people excited about a huge problem without screaming at them.
With my intense love of U2’s music, you’d think that I would have picked one of their songs to dance to. But, being a child of the ’80s, I chose one of my favorite one-hit wonders, Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance.” Anything by U2 would have required actual dance moves, but “The Safety Dance” was, well, safe. But I still did it because I believe this effort is important and needed.
“You are more powerful than you think, and we can be even more powerful together,” Bono said during his Davenport visit. He is right, so I will dance.
Editor’s note: Janet is awesome. I’ve known her for over a year now and she, like a fine wine, just gets better with age. 🙂 We originally posted this on the dancing blog but I didn’t get a chance to on my own but she’s definitely worth it. I think you can see her awesomeness through this dance. If not, just take my word for it.