Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joseph O. Patton: Notes on drinking the Kool-Aid

  The strangest things creep through your mind when you’re just kicking back on the porch in the Alabama heat, watching a squirrel trying to get a nut and a golfer on the edge of your yard slinging angry redneck curses at the 16th tee.

  For whatever reason, I was nudged into childhood reminisces - most likely due to the oppressive temperature, possibly even heat stroke - and I thought longingly of Kool-Aid. But not the sugary, powdered goodness that accompanied many youthful activities, but politically-speaking how conservatives have circled the wagons - at least in terms of political discourse - and dismiss everything individuals have to say that may even carry the slightest taste of praise or approval for anything President Obama has said or done, by condescendingly screeching, “You’re drinking the Kool-Aid!” Of course these are the same sheep-like souls who will hastily redraw their maps should Glenn Beck tell them the world is flat, but….

  This oft-repeated slice of irreverent insult of course refers to the infamous cult leader Jim Jones, who suckered his followers - numbering nearly 1,000 - into committing mass suicide via drinks laced with cyanide. Granted, they were drinking Flavor-Aid spiked with cyanide, not Kool-Aid, but as we know too well, conservatives seldom value accuracy and sure as hell won’t allow facts to get in their way.

  Nonetheless, they parrot this obnoxious, condescending line whenever someone dares to do anything short of zealously condemning every shred of verbiage or action that emanates from Barack Obama. The topic doesn’t matter, the merit of the argument doesn’t matter, the rationale doesn’t matter… you can simply pull their string - or simply mutter the name ‘Obama’ - and you’ll hear the same tiresome refrain: “You’re drinking the Kool-Aid!” Often it’s accompanied by a frenzied whirlwind of expletives and random veins popping out on their body, but everything’s more convincing when coupled with silly theatrics, right?

  On the surface, “You’re drinking the Kool-Aid!” is essentially just an open-handed insult, insisting that the target of such a claim is gullible, easily led, naïve. But the truth is, those making the claim have little - if anything - of substance to offer in response to what you‘ve said. They’ll never make such an admission, but it means they cannot fashion an intelligent refutation of whatever argument you’ve made. It means they can’t hang; they have no rebuttal or tangible response… and yet, they’re not mature enough to admit defeat or even simply acknowledge that you’ve made a valid point. It’s the equivalent of a bratty little kid - who when caught in a lie or when they cannot muster a solid response - chimes out in a petty, self-absorbed, dismissive voice: “Whatever!” as they clumsily plunk their hands down on their hips, pout and make an ungodly, sour-ass face. They’re incapable of responding in an intelligent manner but they’re too damn petty to say so and insist on having the last word… even if they make an insufferable ass of themselves by doing so.

  So to all those relentlessly persecuted for daring to disagree with a conservative and to those who have weathered the wrath of being accused of dipping into the Kool-Aid: Keep drinking… quitters never win anyway. Cheers, y’all!

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

No comments:

Post a Comment