The Passion of the Bono

Jesus Christ, you're self-righteous, Bono!

Go ahead — roll your eyes at Bono's persistent messianic complex. But maybe the guy's got good reason to think he's bigger than Jesus. Don't forget, Jesus has had 2,000 years to firm up his reputation, while the U2 singer has been alive only since 1960. And — sorry, Pat Robertson — isn't it about time we got some new blood in the deity department? Here's a side-by-side comparison of history's two most important men:

Jesus: Ascended Karn Hattin in Galilee to deliver his "Sermon on the Mount," telling the decent-sized crowd, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Since that time, the world has been embroiled in an endless procession of wars, persecution, and genocide — much of which has been undertaken in Jesus' name.

Bono: Ascended the foothills of Colorado to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre during a torrential downpour, where, in front of a sold-out crowd, he waved a huge white flag to dramatically symbolize the need for a peaceful resolution to the troubles in Northern Ireland. Twenty years later, the IRA is all but dissolved and a permanent state of calm seems to have taken hold in Northern Ireland.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Turned water into wine.

Bono: Turned lousy lyrics by Salman Rushdie into a good song ("The Ground Beneath Her Feet").

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Clashed with the Pharisees, condemning them as self-righteous and hypocritical, and engaged in contentious meetings with them, after which the Pharisees hated him even more.

Bono: Met with ultraconservative Republican Senators Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum, and Orrin Hatch to discuss solutions to the global AIDS crisis, after which Helms called Bono "an enormously impressive gentleman."

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Multiplied loaves of bread and some fish to feed 5,000 people at Tabgha.

Bono:Through countless charitable organizations, speaking engagements, and benefit concerts, has worked to multiply the amount of food and monetary donations sent to Africa, which has helped feed millions.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Raised Lazarus from the dead.

Bono: Raised U2 from the dead after the Popmart tour debacle.

Winner: Jesus, by the slightest of margins

Jesus:During his lifetime, had only a small contingent of loyal supporters.

Bono: Has already amassed untold millions of loyal fans, selling nearly 150 million albums and regularly packing gigantic stadiums around the world.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Crucified just once — by the Romans — for blasphemy.

Bono: Crucified countless times — by rock critics, comedians, former fans, and Henry Rollins — for pomposity.

Winner: Bono

Overall winner: Bono.*

*This is meant purely as satire and should provide no grounds for Bono's ego to grow any larger. Michael Alan Goldberg

U2 plays at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, November 13 and 14, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets are sold out. Call 786-777-1000.Sonic Surgery

Good morning, guys. You must be... let me check my schedule... Wait, there must be some mistake. It says my appointment is with "Mae," but you're, like, a band of dudes. What? That is your name? OK... I guess that's cool. I mean, Alice Cooper was a guy. Anyway, I've got a real treat for you — the rock-o-meter from Rock 'n' Roll High School. You know, the one that tests a patient's reaction to various levels of rock-itude, from muzak to punk.

From preliminary tests I ran on your new album, The Everglow, I regret to inform you that your RIQ (rock-itude quotient) falls between Debbie Boone and Donnie Osmond. Obviously, that would require some heavy treatment, but we'll get to that later. For now, I want each of you to put on these headphones.

This song is "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. It measures a mere 4 on the rock-o-meter and, hence, shouldn't trigger much of a response.

[Song starts] Interesting. I've witnessed plenty of gag reflexes caused by that song but never anything resembling fear. I'm almost afraid to play you this next song, but what the heck — here's "I Kill Everything I Fuck" by G.G. Allin. Ready? [Song starts] Now, if this doesn't get a response, then... Wait, are those tears? Are you crying? Oh, for crissakes — this is why I gave up pediatrics!

Look, I understand you're not trying to be hard-edged rock. But I'd be failing in my duties as a sonic surgeon if I didn't make a suggestion: Either bone up on the rock or fully embrace your feminine side. You remind me of a transgendered patient who wanted new anatomy but was scared of that final cut. I'm here to let you know it's OK — you don't have to carry the burden of a half-hard appendage. The only alternative is to hope the clinical researchers at Fender develop a testosterone pedal.

Findings: Imagine Weezer with Rivers Cuomo's nuts caught in his zipper. Diagnosis: Eroctile Dysfunction. Treatment: Limp on over this Wednesday, November 16, to the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $12. The show starts at 7 p.m., with Mashlin, Mute Math, and Circa Survive. Call 954-564-1074. — Doc Le Roc

Calling the Witness

Tim McTague, guitarist for UnderOath, place your right hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...

Outtakes: How do you feel about being labeled a Christian metalcore band?

McTague: I think that's exactly what we're here for, honestly. It's why the band exists, and I know that's why I make music. Besides, it's one of those things where, if you're going to be labeled something, why not get labeled something you're proud of being? 'Cause if we weren't, we'd just be labeled something else, because you can't not have a label.

Have you ever thought your record label was afraid of marketing a Christian band?

I think to an extent. People at our label support what we do, as does our team. But I think, like with our publicist, we're the only Christian band they used, so when that topic comes up, it's sometimes toned down. They send out bios that'll be like, "They're faith-based, but they're just a good rock band from Florida." You know, trying not to pigeonhole us, 'cause I think that's what their job is, to make us as accessible as possible to other people.

Was your intention always to become a mainstream band?

That was always our focus. We never wanted to be in the Christian market. We feel like we're at home now, on the road, here, playing normal clubs with normal bands. There's a lot of stuff in the Christian market that kind of upsets me a bit. It's not worth getting into, but I honestly don't understand why there's a Christian market at all. We should be like, "We're all bands, we're all musicians, and we should just accept ourselves for our diversity."

You've just wrapped another tour with the Used. Can you explain how one of rock's most clean-cut bands got hooked up with some of its most infamous partiers?

When I'm out with the Used, I don't think, "Man, I'm out on tour with the scum of the Earth." To me, they're just normal dudes like anyone I'd hang out with at home. They're just good people and good friends. We're into what they do, and they're into what we do musically. They do their thing, and we do our thing. People think it's such a huge thing to have us around, like it must be awkward, but it's not an issue on that level. Cole Haddon

UnderOath plays with Thrice, the Bled, and Veda at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 13, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $16.50 in advance or $21 at the door. Call 954-727-0950.

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