Sadly, “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression that came about after the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, when 900 members of the People’s Temple, directed by cult leader Jim Jones, drank poison-laced Kool-Aid in one of the largest mass-suicides on record.
Now, 40 years later, we seem to be revisiting that tragedy with a different flavor of Kool-Aid — a political suicide by members of a certain unnamed party who are blindly following their dementia-addled, corrupt, treasonous, bigoted, sexist, racist leader into certain oblivion.
We don’t need to name names. We all know who we’re talking about. And we could endlessly speculate why they’re doing it. Is greed and lust for power so strong that it can override all rational thought, compassion, and common sense? Or are there bribes and payoffs we don’t even know about yet?
The clever animated video above, featuring a skull mug with a bubbling green beverage, can be a perfectly playful, festive, whimsical way to observe this year’s Halloween season. But as with everything in life, there’s both a good side and a bad side.
The good side, obviously, is the entertainment value and macabre delight many receive by partaking in our quaint American custom of trick-or-treating. Through ghoulish costumes, creatively spooky food and beverage offerings, and frighteningly fun festivities, we symbolically laugh in the face of death. Of course, we don’t deny our human mortality. But we often employ traditions like these to help us cope with the ever-present reality that we never know when our own time will be up. So, we figure, it’s best to enjoy life while we can!
The bad side? Dredging up the memory of Jim Jones, we’re reminded that all it takes is a single warped individual who can suddenly and unexpectedly turn the world upside down. Adolph Hitler was another monstrous example. Their ability to distort the truth, and make their followers believe anything they say, can be a weapon with horrific, unimaginable consequences.
So this year, think twice about the symbolic Kool-Aid we’re being fed by a political establishment that doesn’t have our best interests at heart. We don’t have to follow them like lemmings over the cliff. We have the power in ourselves to overcome the hatred, prejudice, and fear confronting us at every turn.
Love your neighbor. Welcome the stranger. And drink deeply of human kindness… not the bitterness and toxic evil that far too many rabble-rousers are peddling these days.
As Americans, we’re better than that!
Credits: Dia de los Muertos skull mug design by Nancy Priest. Video special effects magic by Tom Nalesnik.