The Longest Now


Drinking the Kool-Aid (sic)
Tuesday August 10th 2010, 1:34 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,poetic justice,Too weird for fiction,Uncategorized,wikipedia

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, they say — commonly remembered as a reference to the final drinks of most victims of the Jonestown massacre. At the time the phrase was coined,Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was also popular, and in the context of  60s hippie culture, “drinking the kool-aid” could also mean taking LSD.

Early reports about the compound referred to “cool aid(sic) packets”.  Since then, Kraft Foods and others have maintained that it was an urban legend that they all drank Kool-Aid, and that it was Flavor Aid instead – a misunderstanding thanks to the genericization of “cool aid” as a term.

Enter YouTube, Wikipedia, and the open web.  After decades of casual debate, we can now resolve half of the mystery: they certainly had both powdered drinks at Jonestown, and we have a handy link to the 9 seconds of a newsreel that shows it first-hand.  Whether the final drink was from one set of packets or the other, this handily settles the question of whether they had Kool Aid on site.  It’s the first time I’ve seen a few seconds of video effectively used as a moving-image citation!  Note to Readers: you can also embed YouTube videos and tell them where to start playback.

Hat-tip to brassratgirl for helping me towards enlightenment on the issue.


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