Wednesday, April 01, 2009
"Don't drink the Kool-Aid"
I got a question from somebody in Houston about what is meant by "don't drink the Kool-Aid." This expression has become part of our regular speak now, so I thought I'd help such wayward folks along.
It origins are from a horrible, whacked-out religious mission that committed suicide in 1978 by drinking poisoned grape Kool-Aid, something that was premeditated by an odd fellow and wacko kook named Jim Jones when in a country called Guyana. But after a few decades, it took on a very different meaning.
This is not exactly correct from what I can tell, since The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was published in 1968 by a guy named Thomas Wolfe. If you drank that stuff ou were high for about half a day or more, would listen to the Grateful Dead all the time, and would contemplate your navel a real lot. It meant stoned-to-the-bone.
In modern times, people who were around President Bush #43 were said to have "drank the Kool-Aid" when doing the crazy things they did. At some point, Enron executives were known to have taken long drinks of the stuff. More recently, when handing out bennies to General Motors and Chrysler, or fixing the banking system, some pundits accused President Obama of "drinking the Kool-Aid." What on Earth did they mean?
Basically the term means to agree to some powerful status quo instead of thinking for yourself, and blindly following the leaders and making horrendous mistakes. I'm talking big mistakes, like the financial "experts" who got us in the worst recession since the Great Depression: they drank the Kool-Aid. The term doesn't mean that you're impaired, stoned, or dead anymore (funny sentence!). It merely means that you have no judgment and you messed up by trusting the authorities.