Friday, January 02, 2009

Kool-Aid Street

The National Conference of Editorial Writers has come up with a list of cliches that are currently plaguing our culture. I have two entries of my own to add.

From Wall Street to Main Street: Phrase spoken by someone who has little or no knowledge of either street, but has a great deal of experience on pundit street.

You drank the Kool-Aid:
Term used by intellectually cornered conservative (usually one who is old enough to remember the 1978 Jonestown Massacre) during a charged political or cultural conversation. Following is an example of said usage.

Conservative: "This crisis is aaaaaaall in the lap of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Other: "But what about the slow erosion of Glass-Steagall? What about the Securities and Exchange Commission slashing up the net capital rule in 2004?"

Conservative (after a moment of nonplussed eye-blinking): "I can see you drank the Kool-Aid."


Anonymous said...

...and I was having a pretty good day...
That frkin Kool Aid comment HAS been around since Jonestown. However, in the context you described during the last election cycle the people using it lit up with a smug sense that they were in on some sort of secret.
Had they been old enough to understand what went on at Jonestown they would have also lived through Reagan and Bush 1 and would have known better than to support the GOP.


Erin O'Brien said...

I've gotten that stupid-ass Kool-Aid comment at least twice. Once in an online discussion about me wherein I was not officially present and last night to my face.

What tools.

Kirk Jusko said...

I don't know much about Wall Street or Main Street, but if this recession/depression keeps on, we're all going to end up on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams!

I've never understood the "drank the Kool-aid" cliche, at least not when it's used in the past tense. It's used as a put-down, to imply that someone you disagree with is delusional, except that at Jonestown the Kool-aid didn't make the people delusional, it made them DEAD! They may have been delusional to drink it in the first place (or merely gullible; those poor folks might have thought it was just another practice run.) If you must use a cliche, stick with "What have you been smoking?" It makes more sense.

Haik Bedrosian said...

I thought "drinking the cool aid" came from The Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test (1968) by Tom Wolfe.

Anonymous said...

That's funny. I've been telling conservatives to stop drinking the Kool-Aid for years now.


Fucking Kool-Aid drinkers!

The Fool said...

And for those of us who are old enough to remember the electric Kool-Aid acid tests it just leaves us nostalgic and non-plussed (The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...). Pass the Kool-Aid, Ken...


Kirk Jusko said...

Yeah, that's right, the acid test!

Tom Wolfe, incidentally, wrote BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES.


Zen Wizard said...

"Throw X under a bus"--Translation, "I am too hip and Rock & Roll to say 'throw him to the wolves,' so I will use this other cool phrase I heard..."

"Lipstick on a pig"--"I'm droppin' G's and drawlin' up here usin' country metaphors, to show you all that I am not some high falutin' Beltway elitist, and I will be votin' fer yer pork barrel Farm Bill of 2009, no matter how much pork is in that sumbitch..."

"At the end of the day"--"All the other panelists have used some egghead analysis, complicated mathematical formulas, and some fancy terms and Eastern European names you don't understand so aren't you lucky that we will end this discussion with my pithy analysis that you Shop Class retards can understand because I won't use too many big words?"

Anonymous said...

I used to drink Kool-Aid as a kid. In the Army we used to get small pouches of it in our MREs, and some guys would put it in their canteens. Mostly these days, though, I drink water.


Erin O'Brien said...

Hm. I think the "drank the Kool-Aid" thing is a Jamestown reference. Translation: you moronic brainwashed lacky, you'll do anything the blueblue libs tell you to do and now you're gonna die! hahaHA!

I could be wrong tho. Dunno. It's two thirty in the morning. Is anything right?

Harry Finch said...

Jonestown. Not the Merry Pranksters.

Disappointed to see pain at the pump failed to make the list.

Adding God bless America at the end of every political speech has annoyed me for years. Not because I wish God would overlook or damn America, but because it's been said so many times that whatever meaning it once possessed has been sucked out. It's just something you're supposed to say when you're an American politician.

Ms OB, I think you should run an Invent New Cliches Competition. I propose Altoids for breakfast. As in "That [blog] comment was so stupid, you must have eaten Altoids for breakfast." Not so great, but it's a start.

Anonymous said...

"At the end of the day"--"All the other panelists have used some egghead analysis, complicated mathematical formulas, and some fancy terms and Eastern European names you don't understand so aren't you lucky that we will end this discussion with my pithy analysis that you Shop Class retards can understand because I won't use too many big words.

Kudos Mr. Wizard! lmao

I got one thats folksy and also mentions a pig. Prolly been around a couple hundred years. "Drunk as a pig in a peach orchard." As I understand it the pigs would eat the old peaches which had fermented on the ground and get drunk.
I have been drunk and been called "Swine", maybe that's the connection.
Kool Aid = Jonestown, not Electric.
Saw an interview with Wolfe in which he denied ever using drugs of any sort when hanging with the Pranksters. Said he was a nerdy guy wearing a tie.


Kirk Jusko said...

"God bless, America" as a cliche made me think of "Holy Land" as a cliche.

If God created the world, than shouldn't the whole planet be holy? Why just that little plot of land? If we dropped "Holy Land" from all of our vocabularies, if it just was "Ordinary Land, no better or worse than anywhere else," maybe people would stop fighting over it.

I can hear it now (please forgive that cliche). Someone out there is saying "It's called the Holy Land because everything that happens in the Bible takes place there." Well, if that's the standard you're going to use, the UNITED STATES is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. Good reason for us to stay out of it.

Erin O'Brien said...

I'll show you some holy land, baby.

Kirk Jusko said...


That might just be worth spending 40 years wandering in the wilderness!

Mad Jack the Rabbit Eating Maniac of Old Brightling in Sussex said...

You know, in Europe they don't have Kool-Aid, so no one on that entire continent has ever drunk a single drop of that foul elixir. Ever.

Interestingly, with current exchange rates, one Euro is now worth about 20 million, billion, trillion, dollars.

Could this be a mere coincidence?


Nonetheless, I suggest that from now on when someone tells you that "You drank the Kool Aid" you should respond by saying: "No, I am French, and so I have been quaffing fermented frog ooze"

At the very least, it should confuse them, which would give you a few moments with which to escape...