What I found so irksome about J. Lowell's letter was not so much that he believes U2 inferior to the Beatles, but rather that he tells us that all U2 ". . . can croon about is political corruption" (Calendar Letters, May 31).
While it is commonly known that U2 does address political issues, it should be pointed out that the band is much less concerned with the issues in and of themselves than with the mentality behind them.
On the surface "Joshua Tree" would appear to be a bleak look at, among other subjects, politics. The album is actually a much more serious look at the state of the world in general; the symbolism of the Tree itself is concerned with finding inspiration, hope, and yes, even happiness in the midst of a spiritually depleted generation. One needs to admit the existence of darkness before he can look for hope.
As to whether U2 is "better or worse" than the Beatles, well, that's a matter of taste. Please don't insult the rest of us, however, by pigeonholing U2 as "the political band." They are that, but much, much more.