Thursday, June 01, 2006

word of the day: drink the Kool-Aid

Drink The Kool-Aid is a rather common American slang phrase.
Those who drink the Kool-Aid exhibit unswerving loyalty to and belief in their leaders.
This figurative use has been around since at least 1987.

Kool-Aid is a brand name for a soft drink mix that is popular among American children,
but the allusion is actually a much darker one. In 1978, Jim Jones, the leader of the People's
Temple, a San Francisco cult that had recently moved to the jungles of Guyana, ordered his
people to commit suicide. 914 cult members died, including 276 children and Jones himself.
Most killed themselves by drinking a grape drink laced with cyanide and sedatives. (It may
not have actually been Kool-Aid brand, but as the most popular brand it was the name that
stuck in the public consciousness.)
Most of those who refused to commit suicide were executed, either shot or killed with lethal
injection. Hence, to drink the Kool-Aid is to show cult-like devotion to one's leaders.

Now, all bow down to PG.


TrappedInColorado said...

Bowing and offering my cup to be filled with your own flavor of kool aid.. if you know what I mean.

Party Girl said...

I like your ways. I like your thinking.

Dagny said...

*sigh* Jackie Speier, one of the few survivors of Jonestown, is on the ballot for the primary in California.

I dunno. I've always been able to make jokes about Coca Cola with Twinkies, but not about Kool Aid.

Joefish said...

What kind of additives can we look forward to in your kool aid?

Party Girl said...

Trapped: Ah, thanks for submitting to the all powerful.
...and I always know what you mean.

Dagny: Really? That's a little wild to think about. I would love to know what some of the ad campaigns have to say about that.

Joe: Just a healthy dose of PG mixed in. Add water and stir.