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The beloved and talented Wolfhound

U2 drummer Larry Mullen: Next time you see a rich man, thank him!

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The beloved and talented Wolfhound

The Wolfhound, as a certified (don't say it!) member of the press, loves it when some rich fekkin' dolt puts his foot in his mouth. But it's even more pathetic when the fekkin' dolt sticks his foot in his arse first, THEN puts it in his mouth.

Meet U2 drummer Larry Mullen, a man long since eclipsed in the musical phenomenon that is U2 by the one-and-only Bono. Yes, Mullen still has the great gift of being able to hit a canvas-covered circular box with a stick, sometimes even in harmony with the music being played at the time, but he's just a blurry shape in Bono's shadow these days. He's sort of a man on the band's dole, and with a paycheck just about the only thing in his "life," it means a lot to him.

But, as is often the case when a fading star or non-celebrity (Larry, meet Paris Hilton!) realizes that he is no longer part of the A-team and is headed for a career in game shows, he is hit with a heavenly light, and hears the voice from above: "Larry! Say something really stupid!"

You won't be disappointed. Surely, not as much as he will be very shortly.

Amid the biggest global meltdown since the Great Depression, with millions out of work, out of their homes, out of food and out of hope, what is the top concern for this almost-has-been? That rich and successful people (like him) "are unnecessarily humiliated when coming in and out of Ireland," describing this to The Independent as "part of a new resentment of rich people in this country."

Well, when the foot's in, it stays in! And away he goes: "We have experienced [a situation] where coming in and out of the country at certain times is made more difficult than it should be — not only for us, but for a lot of wealthy people," he fretted. "The better-off are being sort of humiliated."

Yes, the man has made quite a point off the top of his head. Wolfie — as a student of history — is well-aware of the kind of ignominious treatment received by the incredibly wealthy. Often, their private jets are forced to wait while some slow clunker of a propeller plane lifts off with a heart transplant or something. Their Rolls-Royces and Bentleys are often held up in traffic because of the congestion caused by people pointlessly driving around to answer a help-wanted ad.

Where, oh where, Larry must wonder, is the special treatment he and his super-rich friends deserve for all they have done — and done for us?

"You see guys ... bringing a huge amount of money into this country, and they do not deserve to be humiliated," the former musician declared. Mullen especially praised developers — whose acumen at raising the Irish standard of living speaks for itself — for their charity work and for all they have done for the country.

"All those rich wives, all those rich guys with all those balls (Not sure what Larry means here about these guys and their balls, but let's keep the tape rolling...), all those women that you see organizing this and organizing that, without them we'd be in a very, very different state than we are now."

Ummm, Larry? Have you popped your balding head out the window of your limousine long enough to see the state we are in now? Maybe some of those men you know need to have more balls. Maybe you do, too. Better have a look.

When asked if this shoddy treatment of the fabulously wealthy had made him think of leaving his beloved Howth, Mullen went into deep thought. "I certainly thought that if ... if this is what (super-rich people) experience ... how can I fly the Irish flag and tell people come to Ireland because it's great?"

Larry, if you can bring yourself to do Ireland any favor, please do this: DO NOT FLY THE IRISH FLAG. It's not meant for people like you.

But there is room in Larry's heart for "the little guy." Take restaurateur Jay Bourke's admission he would be forced to close the snobby Eden in Temple Bar unless he got a break on rent. "It's my favorite restaurant," Larry moaned, moved with sympathy for himself. "I love that restaurant. 'll be broken-hearted if that goes down."

Well, wouldn't we all be? Where else is the working man, or more likely, the non-working man, going to find his "Caramelized Banana and Praline Parfait" with chocolate nougatine and milk chocolate mousse? At McDonald's, fer Chrissake?

The world loves Bono not only because of his amazing talent and his genuine, generous joy before a live audience, but for his humanity. He is one man who has earned his super-richness, and has earned the love of his fans and the respect of the world not just because, as Larry says, he "has brought a lot of money into this country," but because he has taken a lot of it it out and spread it around — and not just in Ireland, but around the world.

There are people in the world who are have something to eat, who may live through an epidemic, who may see their children grow up in a better world than they knew, because of Bono.

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