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Week 9 // 20 Questions For Jared Loughner

by Mount Everest

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I tried so damn hard this week not to write a song about Jared Loughner and the mass shooting that took place in Tucson. I spent the weekend working on something that I thought would be a somewhat emotional travel song about my generational zeitgeist and our general malaise, like I do. But then I put pencil to paper and out came this song.

I wanted so badly to wait until I could find some understanding and perspective on the event before I allowed myself to make my feelings on the subject a matter of public record. But I couldn’t stop myself. I realized that understanding and perspective would most likely never come, because one cannot make sense of an atrocity perpetrated by a man who is so impenetrable and ill as Jared Loughner. So I asked him (in my song) a series of questions. Some of the questions are digging for his humanity, which surely must be in there somewhere. Some of them are looking for his motive, the mystery of which has prompted a national debate as polarizing as any in recent memory. Some of the questions are angry indictments, because when I think about Jared Loughner I want to scream and tear down his insanity to find one good reason to think of him as a human being, but I can’t.

I think Loughner took a look at a house divided an decided to try to burn it down. I was moved this week by President Obama’s incredibly powerful speech at the memorial in Tucson. It is taking all of me not to hurl accusations of culpability at people other than Loughner. I am not immune to the national dialogue, and I can’t help myself from coming down in a certain way on the issue, but in the spirit of the President’s speech and my firm belief that what Loughner really wanted was to tear us ever further apart, I will refrain.

On a lighter note, I purchased a banjo! I used it on this song, along with a mandolin, a synthesizer, a harmonica, and my voice. To all the children out there, I’m sorry for exposing you for the first time ever to the word “shit” in this song. I know it’s a bad word, but I used it because It’s how I felt and I don’t believe in censorship. Don’t ever say it in front of your parents.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.




Can you confront your greatest fear?
Where will you be this time next year?

And on a scale from one to ten
Was the count consistent with your intent?

Are you guilty when you tell a lie?
What must you do before you die?

Did you ever hope you’d have a wife
and kids and live a simple life?
And are you satisfied?

Did they get what they deserved?
And are you happy with your work?
And can you sympathize at all?
And are you dead inside?

Just what does it feel like when
Your mind can break but cannot mend?

And are you living in the dark?
What force could shape you/break our hearts?

Is Arizona on the brink?
America what do you think?

Was that your purpose:
Drive the wedge,
And spread the fire,
And wake the dead with a blow to the head?

And did they get what they deserved?
And are you happy with your work?
And what was all that shit you said
About new currency and mind control?
Is this some kind of joke?
Is this some kind of sick attempt at playing games?
At playing loose with lives?
At playing God?
So tell me can you sympathize at all?
And are you dead inside?


released January 17, 2011


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Mount Everest Maine

I’ve been making up a new song every week since 2010.
Follow me on Instagram [mounteverestmusic] and explore more than 600 songs here.

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