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#Enough: A Zombie Anthem

March 25, 2018

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#Enough: A Zombie Anthem

March 25, 2018

 

 

The legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Victims is being secured as classmates rally in Washington in the March For Our Lives to end gun violence. As a teacher, my heart is full of pride and equally sadness as I watched the speeches pour out from the very essence of students that survived the attack by a gunman with an AR15.

Emma Gonzalez’s 6 minute and 20 second speech, the amount of time the Parkland shooting took to occur, brought the audience to tears. Salty rivers ran down my cheeks as well, as she named the 17 victims that were tragically torn from this world too soon and named things they would never get to do again.

 

David Hogg, another Parkland student took the stage and had the audience chanting “no more” as he called for an end to inaction, and politicians not taking a public stance on gun control. “We are going to make this the voting issue,” he said.

 

And one of my favorite broadway artists, Lin-Manuel Miranda with Ben Platt,  took the stage and sang "Found/Tonight," a mash-up of Hamilton's "The Story of Tonight and Dear Evan Hansen's "You Will Be Found.”

 

"We may not yet have reached our glory

But we'll surely join the fight

And when our children tell the story

They'll tell the story of tonight.”

 

“In the wake of Parkland, I was awestruck by the strength and leadership of the students and their ability to speak truth to power," Miranda previously said in a statement. "In the midst of their grief, they mobilized the youth of our nation and created a movement. This is their moment. Not just for themselves, but for all of us. This song is my way of helping to raise funds and awareness for their efforts, and to say Thank You, and that we are with you so let’s keep fighting, together."

(https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lin-manuel-miranda-ben-platt-perform-at-march-for-our-lives-w518349)

 

Together. We should all be in this together, but our nation is divided and our youth is starting to rise up, and say #enough.

 

Music can launch a revolution. It can connect and unite, and seep into the hearts and souls of a nation. And every movement needs an anthem.  Earlier in the month as I was driving to St. Louis I was listening to music with the weight of the Parkland violence on my mind and the Cranberries’ song Zombie came on. Through the lens of the end gun violence movement, the songs  meaning for me transformed, and I sobbed as I thought of families and students that have lost loved ones to this preventable tragedy and for a nation of zombie politicians and constituents that value rights over lives. And so I made this video as a tribute and as a hope that it would resonate with the nation, like it once did in Ireland. "This song's our cry against man's inhumanity to man; and man's inhumanity to child." - Dolores O'Riordan.(Read whole interview here http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42702781)

 

I am currently writing a zombie themed PD book, and while my metaphors may be tongue-in-cheek or crass calling schools bunkers and classrooms trenches while also borrowing rules such as "Double Tap" from the popular film Zombieland, the underlining metaphor is a critique on the epidemic this country faces: we have a gun problem. While my double entendre carries a much more tame meaning, for example double tap=formative before summative, the truth is double taps are happening at an alarming rate in America. Literature and film often begets the culture of the time, and much like Romero drove home a deeper society message, I hope this book will go down in history as a serious social commentary on not just our testing policies, but another real epidemic of our time: school shootings. 

 

And now I ask you,  America, to unite and support gun reform. O’Riordan wrote the song as a powerful response to street bombings in IRA that claimed the lives of two children, one 2, the other 12. According to a BBC article, “O'Riordan's lyrics received some criticism at the time. People called her naive and accused her of taking sides in a conflict she didn't understand.” Our country is doing the same thing. As I scroll through the comments on the March For Our Lives videos many have lashed out, and personally attacked the kids that lived to tell their story. To launch change.

 

Watching the youth of America spring into action makes me hopeful. It gives me hope for the future of America. To those who think that they are too young to make a difference--These kids are the same age as many of those that fought in WWI and WWII. The youth can and will change the world again. They are planting seeds to a legacy that I hope they will get to see with their own eyes. I just hope that we aren’t so much a nation of zombies that we can’t change what’s been in our head since the founding of this nation.

 

 

 

Lyrics: 

 

“Another head hangs lowly

Child is slowly taken

And the violence caused such silence

Who are we mistaking?”

 

All the heads of parents and loved ones hanging in sadness as the children of America are taken from us in what is supposed to be a place that opens the door to opportunities: not the grave. Well, the call for the stance on silence to end is now. And our children are not silent, but leading a revolution, marching Washington and calling for reform.

 

“But, you see it's not me

It's not my family

In your head, in your head

They are fighting”

 

To those that hold tightly to their second amendment rights…..why? These students aren’t asking to take your guns away, but for safety, the most primal of human needs…No. It may not be your family that is burying a child today, but in this gun obsessed zombie nation calamity could come knocking anytime...not one of us is safe, or too far removed from someone infected by this disease.  

 

“With their tanks and their bombs

And their bombs and their guns

In your head in your head they are crying

In your head

In your head

Zombie, zombie, zombie, ei, ei”

 

“Another mother's breaking

Heart is taking over

When the violence causes silence

We must be mistaken”

 

If this article and video of a mother pleading for gun reform doesn't move you....you might be a zombie. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/alyssa-alhadeff-mother-florida-shooting-victim-2018-2 

 

How many more mother’s hearts are going to have to break? How much more gun violence before we stop protecting the right to own guns and start protecting our children? The 2nd amendment isn't going anywhere....but anything beyond a handgun or hunting rifle seems superfluous....

 

“It's the same old thing since 1916

In your head, in your head

They're still fighting

With their tanks and their bombs

And their bombs and their guns

In your head, in your head they are dying”

 

We can’t keep doing the same thing. We can’t keep letting innocent people die due to lack of better gun control. According to lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, Zombie “became an anthem for innocents trapped by other people's violence.” Let’s resurrect this song and make it our anthem to end gun violence.

 

“In your head

In your head

Zombie, zombie, zombie, ei, ei

What's in your head?

In your head

Zombie, zombie, zombie ei, ei, ei, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh ei ei oh”

 

 

 

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