Mike Hernandez – Who Killed the 28?
In the midst of life, we are in death.
All of our celebrations, for the end of this year and for the beginning of the new one, are tempered by our experiences of loss. I think this is ever the case, and I think this year particularly so.
It is customary in this season to make resolutions for self improvement and a better world. Mike Hernandez, in his video Who Killed the 28?, poses questions for each of us as we think about the future.
“Who Killed the 28?”
(In the style of Bob Dylan’s “Who Killed Davey Moore?”)
-written in memory of the 28 victims of the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut. One verse for every victim.
Who killed Allison? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said America
we protect our flesh and blood
we’re the best in the world
freedom for every boy and girl
more murders happen in a week here
than other countries have all year
this is such a bitter pill
was it destiny, was it God’s Will?
Who killed Ana Grace? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the government
I am here to represent
voting is your only voice
A or B, make your choice
we can do what we please
special interest, wine and cheese
you will always have the poor
the blame is shared, what’s mine is yours
Who killed Avielle? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the taxpayer
I earned my money, fair and square
dropping rates for 50 years
is getting close to zero fears
government is not your friend
cut it off, like a dead hand
social service is a crutch
no you can’t blame me too much.
Who killed Benjamin? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me, said the gun
I just make the bad guys run
power is an able hand
protect the weak, across the land
one shot, two shot, blue shot, red shot
speed it up, we’re getting hot
a portable rocket, in a pocket
spraying bullets, no need to cock it
Who killed Caroline? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the NRA
more guns will make this go away
they were made to extend the hand
and put an end to the matter at hand
don’t take away our right to assault
tyranny will be your fault
pry it from our cold dead grip
don’t blame us when people flip
Who killed little Catherine? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the prison system
we divide crime the from victim
people act like animals
we are there to shut the stalls
break the law, and you will pay
that’s just the old American way
rehabilitate on your own damn time
no you can’t make time rewind
Who killed little Charlotte? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said education
we’re the pride of the nation
art and music had to go
but math and science builds the roads
budget cuts are not as scary
as a smaller military
college is for everyone
if it costs too much, borrow funds.
Who killed little Chase? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the military
pride and might are ours to carry
reason to a foreigner
is not as quick as a blur
bombs bursting in the air
we hit em quick, our flag is there
they are weak but we are strong
no you can’t blame us for long
Who killed Daniel? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the video game
with 25 cents lodged in its brain
racing, collecting, shooting, playing
a good ol challenge is amazing
parents are busy and kids like fun
besides its just a pretend gun
in the home, and at the mall
no you can’t blame us at all
Who killed little Dylan? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said Hollywood
buying billboards in the hood
famous is a state of mind
on your change, we wine and dine
drama, comedy, sex and violence
you know you have to fill the silence
without us you would stare at the wall
no you can’t blame us at all
Who killed Emilie? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the internet
we just publish what we get
some want love, some want blood
we will give it, beauty or mud
loners, rebels, step inside
make a friend, get a ride
if you go down the rabbit hole
no you can’t blame me at all
Who killed little Grace? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the Christian right
we just try to bring the light
We are sinners that is true
dirt is on your soul with glue
there must be a punishment
eternal torture, for the bent
you will weep and gnash your teeth
burn in hell you evil thief
without the Lord you will sacrifice
no you can’t blame Jesus Christ.
Who killed little Jack? Why and what’s the point in that?
Not us said the senate and house
to do this job think like a mouse
crawl around and find a crumb
fill our belly, the day is done
someone has to run this place
even if the owners give us chase
we wont go, so vote us out
no you can’t, take away our clout
Who killed little James? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the right and left
we just fight until we’re deaf
common ground is hated breath
slaughter each other ‘til one is left
reasoned speech is for elites
but a sound bite is easy to teach
oligarchy is on the rise
democracy is the disguise
spitting in the wind is fun
pick a side and get a gun
Who killed little Jesse? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the health care system
profiteering from the victims
everywhere that you see pain
we see jobs, we see gain
liberty and happiness is a right
but not everyone has the right to life
if you are messed up in the head
we can’t help you, ‘til your dead
Who killed Jessica? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the businessman
with a pink slip in his hand
I just have to make a buck
competition is more than luck
morals are for church and school
this is business, I ain’t a fool
regulation is socialism
you can only blame the system
Who killed Josephine? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the job market
don’t be mad if you cant hack it
you must not be working hard
get a skill, go get smart
times are tough for everyone
evolution is never fun
if you aren’t lucky, that’s a shame
you only have yourself to blame
Who killed Madeleine? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said competition
I’m the source of capitalism
without me there’d be no title
no hierarchy, no American idol
life would be a boring game
no point at all, no rich no fame
I’m the reason you get dressed
you know you want to be the best
Who killed little Noah? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the first in line
I just hate wasting time
cut you off, when you ain’t lookin
eat my dust, when I get cookin
beside the rules are for the weak
you gotta take or you don’t eat
the only way to get ahead
is cut in line, or run a red
don’t blame me for getting fed
Who killed Olivia? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the school bully
not half mean, only fully
you think I’m a tough punk?
you should see my dad when drunk
pansies are an embarrassment
I don’t even know where my childhood went
push me down or make me crawl
shove your face against the wall
(I need a mother, I need a hug)
no you can’t blame me at all
Who killed Anne Marie? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said competitive sports
we just like to find cohorts
there are two sides in life
us and them, with a side of strife
we just like to exercise
and flex our muscles for the prize
if you can’t play, you must be small
no you can’t blame us at all
Who killed Principal Dawn? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the terrorist
I turn pain into a fist
The oppressed don’t have a voice
without power, don’t have a choice
I create another way
its us or them, on the dead highway
Someone has to make the call
No you can’t blame me at all
Who killed Teacher Lauren? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not us said the grumbling masses
hurling insults like touchdown passes
when we get mad, we get mean
curse and yell, clocks to clean
we will punch you in the face
for being stupid, a waste of space
hateful comments on the wall
no you cant blame us at all
Who killed Mary Sherlach? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the closet door
what’s inside is mine not yours
I will never let you in
to reveal the source of sin
people hide and people lie
they hate the mirror, and what’s inside
hiding, hurling, with the best
no you can’t blame the repressed
Who killed Rachel D? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said the dead poet
pounding print on an old typewriter
I spoke beauty, I spoke truth
to inspire a better you
I will roam the earth in pain
until you stop living this way
take the history of this world
make it sing, let love unfurl
Who killed Victoria? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said a voice from behind the wall
drawing code on the bathroom stall
I see you but you don’t see me
and yet you know the way I think?
That is strange cause the last I heard
2,000 years without a word
beware the things you make me say
no you can’t blame me today
Who killed Nancy Lanza? Why and what’s the reason for?
Not me said Nancy Lanza
with a hug still in her hands
I just tried to raise some kids
life is hard but the best I did
how was I supposed to guess
the little signs would make this mess
don’t forget to say my name
I’m a victim all the same.
Who killed Adam Lanza? Why and what’s the final stanza?
Not me said Adam Lanza
with a gun still in his hands
I could not go another day
it wasn’t worth living this way
It wasn’t my choice to be alive
when I call demons, they arrive
how dare you look at me that way
stare at the picture, until you’re gray
you will never understand the pain
and confusion in my brain
I am sick, I am torn
I hate myself, for being born
children are the holy few
who can’t be blamed because they are new
in truth, I wanted everyone to die
but a few little kids were sacrifice
don’t look at me look at you
at least you have the right to choose
a thousand curses over my head
but don’t let hate, bury your dead
beauty and truth will one day wed
until then, blame me instead
Who killed the 28?
Why and was it really fate?
**Disclaimer: I do not intend to put the blame for the shooting on anyone other than Adam Lanza. Rather, I hope to provoke a broader discussion, suggesting that every person in America has a role to play in creating a safer future.