Like every kid not just in the 90s, but anywhere, anytime, I engaged in as many fantasies of martyrdom as pop culture could provide fuel for. The only thing that marked mine as particularly 90s in their composition was the fixation on school shootings and, I hoped, being able to save people from them, through some thoroughly unlikely act of (successful) teenage sacrifice and bravado.
In the event that this occurred, this was what I always imagined playing as people acknowledged what I’d done:
I was reminded of this song earlier this week, attempting to nap in my childhood bedroom on a visit home, and sitting bolt upright upon hearing the long high drones of sirens. As a child, I always assumed another 9/11 had occurred (our fire department having been hailed as one of the first responders), and would rush to the TV to make sure it hadn’t. And before that, of course, it had been school shootings. Which, however foolishly, had allowed me in the narrowness of their scope (they were children my own age, after all, and thus surely able to be bested through cunning or strength — or so I told myself) to fantasize that I might be able to do something about them.
When terror takes to a scale that leaps national borders, stopping it becomes more difficult even for the most idealistic of teenagers to imagine preventing.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful song. Enjoy.