It wasn’t me! Cookie Jar – Jack Johnson

It seems to be one of the most archaic behavior patterns of human history to point the finger at others: “It wasn’t me, it was Eva, the woman you gave to me”, says Adam when confronted by God for picking the fruit in paradise. “It wasn’t me”, says Eva, “the serpent gave it to me!”  Why is it so difficult to admit to mistakes and wrongdoing: Yes, it’s my fault, I did it?

When I think about Jack Johnson pictures of sun, sea and surf come to my mind – I don’t really expect very deep and meaningful messages – but, hey, looking more closely at his lyrics proved me wrong: he has got something to say!

In the innocent sounding song “Cookie Jar” (you can read the lyrics here)  he deals with exactly the above mentioned question: who is to blame?

While the era of the silent movie cast a spell on him – “It was magic at first, when they spoke without sound”- today’s TV scares him: „But now this world is gonna hurt, you better turn that thing down, turn it down.“

What follows is a sequence of scenes illustrating the question: Who is responsible – who is to blame?

Well it wasn’t me”, says the boy with the gun, “sure I pulled the trigger but it needed to be done”. The young gunman sees himself as a victim of his own socialization and upbringing: “life’s been killin’ me ever since it begun, you can’t blame me ’cause I’m too young.”

The next in line are the parents: Did they make mistakes? Did they contribute to the final drama? „I didn’t teach him to pull the trigger of the gun. It’s the killing on his TV screen.
You can’t blame me, it’s those images he sees”, the gunman’s father replies. The media, the movies he watches, the games he plays, they corrupted him, and they are to blame!

Approached on the subject, the media man defends himself: “I just point my camera what the people wanna see.“ Is that so? Music and film industry dismiss the argument by pointing out that “…it’s only entertainment and as anyone can see it’s smoke machines and make-up, man, you can’t fool me.

The state of facts certainly isn’t always clear and easy, especially in the case of a shooting rampage. Not as simple as the title might suggest: Who took the last cookie from the jar? There are often many factors contributing to a disaster like this.

But there is something shady about it if there are always others to blame, don’t you think so? It would be helpful to admit: „It was you, it was me, it was every man. We all got the blood on our hands.” What goes around, comes around. “We only receive what we demand and if we want hell then hell is what we’ll have.”

You can’t rally against nuclear power without looking at the energy consumption of your own lifestyle, for example. We are all much more involved than we can imagine or want to admit.

Maybe it would not only be more honest but also relieving and unburdening to admit from time to time: Yes, it was me, I am responsible. And besides, only then we can change things to the better… Let’s try it!


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