Bono suggests using comedy to fight ISIS. The idea is completely stupid except for the fact that it is totally genius. I agree with Bono that psychology (persuasion) is the key to beating ISIS. I wrote about it here.
You shouldn’t be surprised when Bono is right. He has a genius-level IQ. Or to put it another way, if you think Bono makes no sense – about anything – the odds are good that the problem is on your side.
Bono is the real deal – a Master Persuader all the way down to his DNA.
Bono’s suggestion to send in Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and Sasha Baren Cohen to defeat ISIS is pure Trumpian hyperbole by design. Bono made it visual so you would remember it, and so you would quote it. He isn’t seriously suggesting we send stand-up comedians to war zones. The fact that you think he MIGHT be serious is the genius of it. That’s what makes you talk about it.
Listen to Bono’s quote about maleness, and about the power of mocking. He’s spot on.
How powerful is mocking as a tool of persuasion? It’s hard to say, but if you look at the growth of business books in the 1990s you might find that the growth stopped at about the same time Dilbert came on the scene and mercilessly mocked the industry. Maybe the business book industry had just run its course. Maybe it was a coincidence. But I can tell you I have gotten hundreds of email messages from managers and authors who say they cancelled plans because they imagined how those plans would sound when mocked in a Dilbert comic.
Mocking is powerful force. And it has special power among the young.
Could we mock ISIS out of existence, thus killing it as an idea?
I say yes. I’m with Bono. Take him seriously.