When the Christchurch mosque shootings unfolded we were driving to New Plymouth, to Womad. We turned off the radio and put on a CD.
There were occasional views of the mountain and I remembered driving through this same South Taranaki landscape as the Aramoana shootings were happening, in 1990. "It sounds like a nutcase has flipped out," I said, at the time, answering questions coming from the children in the back seat.
Needless to say the Christchurch killings impacted on Womad. Police were there with pistols on their hips, which is unusual for a peace, love and music festival. People were saying that this was our September 11.
"When the sky is the darkest, the moon is the brightest," Las Cafeteras, a Latino group from East Los Angeles said, as they acknowledged Christchurch.
Many of those killed in the mosques were immigrants and Las Cafeteras stayed with the theme of being an immigrant. "If you're going fast, go alone; if you're going far, take your family", they sang.
My parents went both fast and far, and we kids grew up, apart from a few flying visits, without uncles and aunts, cousins and grandparents. Many New Zealanders share the immigrant's experience.
I bought a Las Cafeteras T-shirt which read "Yo no creo en fronteras", (I don't believe in borders) and I spoke to Daniel, their lead guitarist, who was of American Indian and Spanish descent. His roots were in the Mojave desert tribe east of Los Angeles, he said, but he had family south of the border too, dating back to before there was a border.
A decade ago my travel companion and I had approached the US/Mexico border from the south. Earlier in the trip, at an anti-racism concert in Grenada, in Spain, I had bought a T-shirt, which said, in Spanish: "Racism - bridges or walls?". Whenever I wore that T-shirt in Mexico it got a lot of attention but I was advised not to wear it when crossing the border into the United States.
The alleged killer in Christchurch, it appears, was motivated by racism, and there is a certain irony in a school drop-out allegedly murdering doctors, engineers and academics in the name of white supremacy.
One is tempted to find an explanation; someone to blame for enabling this situation. What had inflamed these racist tendencies?
Being a child from a failed marriage looking for a group to belong to is a common pattern with young men joining extremist groups, whether white supremacist or Isis, the psychologists tell us.
This is a western way of looking at things. In China, a murderer such as this would get a very quick trial, be driven through town on the back of a truck for all to see, before getting a bullet in the back of the head; no psychologists involved. China has very little gun crime.
The gun culture emanating from the USA, normalised in countless Hollywood narratives; the American National Rifle Association (NRA), which will interfere in another country's gun laws - as it did in Australia after the Port Arthur shooting; the vested interests in the arms industry; these are also culpable - but personally I blame Mark Zuckerberg.
The delusional Australian from Grafton, New South Wales accused of the mosque killings, had belonged to white supremacist groups on Facebook where US President Donald Trump was held up as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose". He caused an internet sensation by livestreaming his rampage through the mosque, also on Facebook. All this activity benefited Zuckerberg's business.
New Zealand internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is currently facing extradition to the US for allowing his platform, with or without his knowledge or consent, to be used by others to distribute copyrighted Hollywood content.
Following the Christchurch shootings, Zuckerberg should be charged with allowing his platform, with or without his knowledge or consent, to be used to groom a dim-witted white supremacist to commit mass murder, and to publicise it.
The next time Trump rings, Jacinda Ardern should tell him that we are not giving up Dotcom until we have Zuckerberg in Paremoremo.