Vol. 392 of Normal History (September 24, 2016) Jean Smith and David Lester’s weekly column in Magnet Magazine
The Message from Mecca Normal’s album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006)
Mother Africa walking along with Stephen Lewis. The dancers are dancing towards the camera. Hips moving real fast. A young woman in a school uniform, standing in front of the choir, singing a song perhaps she wrote for this occasion, this television opportunity. Make no mistake; it’s directed at you and me.
She sings, “Why me? Why him? Why her?”
But the real question underlies the theme. We know you have the drugs. You keep them under lock and key in the west away from us and you choose who lives, who dies.
Mother Africa takes off her large lens glasses and wipes her eyes. Stephen Lewis doesn’t look like he’s gonna cry. He takes the message back. Takes the message back to where it’s heard.
Why me? Why him? Why her? And do we choose who lives, who dies? Who dies?