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September 10, 1998: The Year in Review

Metal band blamed in teen suicide

FARMINGTON, Minn — Jeffrey Macnie’s body was laid to rest yesterday, but the controversy surrounding the 13-year-old’s suicide is just beginning. The teen’s death has revived an age-old debate in this rural Midwestern community: Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art or can a really skilled parrot imitate both?

When Macnie was found dead in his bedroom, the heavy-metal band Dead Killers was playing on repeat on the boy’s stereo. Macnie’s family and friends are pointing their fingers at the popular band, in particular its lead singer and lyricist Terrence Black.

"That man — rather, that disgusting thing — killed my son!" screamed Macnie’s mother Anne, adding quietly, "Hey, you got a cigarette?"

Anne Macnie and others are particularly upset over the Dead Killers song "Kid, Go Kill Yourself," whose lyrics seem to suggest suicide as an option for pathetic adolescent boys.

The song’s chorus offers this advice:

If your life ain’t swell
It’s time for Hell
If your parents have you pissed
Then, young fella, slit your wrist
Hey kid, go kill yourself.

Perhaps even more eerie is the song’s third verse, which appears to be speaking directly to Jeffrey Macnie.

Are you out there, Jeffrey Macnie?
Yeah, you with all the acne
Your life is really hackneyed
No one likes thee
Even ugly Emmy Lou
Won’t go out with you
We know you’re blue
Don’t just sit and stew
Commit suicide in your bedroom in Farmington, Minnesota while your alcoholic mother is gambling away your allowance at the local casino.

Indeed, Anne Macnie was at the Revenge-on-the-White-Man Casino on the evening of her son’s tragedy.

"My son’s tragedy?" shrieks Macnie. "Are you kidding me? I was working a royal flush when I was called away from the table to hear the news!"

Meanwhile, leading members of the Farmington community, including bookie and porn shop owner Russ Topperton, are pushing for a townwide ban on all heavy-metal albums.

"We cannot have our children listening to this filth," argued Topperton at an emergency town council meeting. "Otherwise, we’ll lose more young children like Jeffrey Macnie with outstanding debts and overdue videos to return. If anyone knows where Rear Action Part 5 is, please give me a call."

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