I was briefly surprised to learn the latest controversy involves Hillary Clinton, U2 lead singer Bono, and the International Space Station. Then I remembered that the 2016 US presidential election has been a circus for a full year, and this fit with its ongoing theme: nonsense.
Here's the long-short of it. Bono apparently donated to the Clinton Foundation for the same reason I suspect most rich people donate millions of dollars to politicians and Super PACs: because they want to ingratiate themselves with other powerful people so they might one day call upon them for a favor. In this case, it appeared the favor Bono wanted in return was — according to The Washington Post — "some kind of arrangement whereby upcoming U2 concerts would be broadcast to the International Space Station."
Living in space is already very hard; there's no need to add U2 to the mixNow, let me be clear: living in the ISS is already very hard. There's no gravity, so even the basic act of pooping is complicated; you're separated from everyone you love; and your body undergoes serious changes in space that are, at best, mildly deleterious. It's true there's not a ton of live music in space, but perhaps we as a nation can all join hands and agree the solution to this problem is not U2. If there is a solution, better funding for space programs would probably be the starting point.
And yet, here's Bono. The singer getting his way would hardly be unprecedented, considering he duped Apple, one of the world's largest and most powerful companies, into auto-uploading his band's recent mediocre album on the iPhones of 800 million people without those people's consent. Eventually, Apple figured out what a mistake it had made, and allowed users to remove the terrible music they hadn't asked for from their iTunes library.
That wasn't enough, though. Bono wanted more. Bono wanted bigger. Bono wanted space. And he didn't care whether the astronauts were U2 fans. The Earth is not big enough for Bono; his ego cannot be contained by our atmosphere. No, Bono must enter orbit. After all, U2 came too late to make the Golden Record, and thus could not influence aliens' perceptions of what human civilization could be.
Just one person stood between the astronauts and cataclysm: Clinton's deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. When the Clinton Foundation conveyed Bono's request to Abedin, she responded in the finest fashion possible: by letting it die on the vine.
Or as Mariah would say: "Bono?"
Thank you, Huma. We all owe you one.