Tuesday 22 August 2017

U2's homecoming buzz trumps Black Friday

The oddest things can contribute to the feel-good factor, says Brendan O'Connor. Like four lads playing a few gigs

Bono of U2
Bono of U2

Irish people hate being told to enjoy ourselves. We hate being told that something in particular is the craic. Rather than organised fun, we tend to prefer an improvised, accidental night out, where you somehow end up waking up in a neighbouring country having gone out for one pint after work.

Remember what a disaster the millennium was? Too much pressure to enjoy ourselves. Most people probably had a better night two Wednesdays later when they accidentally bumped into an old friend walking down the street and came home three days later.

So Black Friday was a funny one for us. The pressure was pretty relentless. There were deluges of emails, acres of newsprint and webpages and constant pressure, even from the sober news programmes. We were even told in advance how much we were going to spend - €130m apparently. We ran the full gamut of emotions. First there was anxiety, the anxiety that we were just sitting there in work or at home when we were supposed to be out shopping. Then there was the fear that there was something wrong with us because we weren't out shopping like crazy, like everyone else apparently was. And then there was a sense of stubbornness as we decided that we wouldn't buy into this thing, that no one was going to tell us what to do and when to do it.

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