|MY NEIGHBOR VENDOR, CAROLYN|
|MY FRIEND, ROD|
Kool-Aid today is in direct reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the group leader, convinced his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Kook-Aid laced with potassium cyanide, at least that’s how the story goes. In what is now commonly called “the Jonestown Massacre,” 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the Kool-Aid and died.
Now Drinking the Kool-Aid is an urban expression that refers to any person or group who goes along with an idea because of peer pressure. Drinking the Kool-Aid has mostly a pejorative connotation, as it will perhaps (or perhaps not) in this blog entry.
Currently I’m considering quenching my thirst for dollars by drinking the Kool-Aid; more specifically, surrendering to the notion of drawing mutt mugs (see my blog entry, DRAW DOGS: I’M A BOWSKER! June 22, 2014).
Factoid: I’m a street busker. I love drawing people’s portraits outside in the sunshine on windless days. Dogs, I loathe to draw because they squirm too much.
Factoid: In winter I’m an indoor-market busker. Drawing live people inside is a joy but sketching animate canines inside or outside is a chore.
Factoid: Lately I’ve had this epiphany -- there is mucho dollars in pooch drawing, some big bucks in those barks. And so drinking the Kool-Aid is proof I can be bought. If the masters provide the pictures I will draw their dogs for a substantial sum. Typically I charge ten dollars for a person, a ten minute quick-draw portrait. However; for a pup portrait, because I’m drawing from a picture and likely to draw it at home, I will charge $25.00 (though I still will commit only ten minutes for the quick-draw).
Such self-negotiations and rationalizations prove that I can be bought. Drinking the Kool-Aid, in mercenary manner, I shall attempt to chew on the bones of the mongrel market. But alas upon reflection, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid elsewhere too.
Adhering to any social convention is drinking the Kool-Aid. Everything from a hug or a handshake, aloha or adios, and adhering to professional and vocational and vocational etiquette is, too, wittingly sipping the Kool-Aid.
We are sipping Kool-Aid in the Western mainstream when we are settling down (colloquial expression), starting a family, embarking upon a career, adopting middle-class values, and embracing middle-class misadventures. Natured or nurtured, we are ever submitting to drinking the Kool-Aid in our commitment to evolutionary and social fashion.
Typically, if we want to live our lives forward and live a good and honest life, we need to be sipping the Kool-Aid. Fundamental to live a life that is lived forward, we need at least a formal education and recreational exercise as a base for a life well spent. To continue the species we need to procreate, and to procreate we need to recreate. As a collective our species is amaranthine – as individuals we are finite.
Yada yada. Is that all there is?
Comparison is the thief of joy (Theodore Roosevelt).
A Kool-Aid life is a life of social comparison, a life of following and keeping up with the peers.
However, every now and then there is yearning for more. Every now and then we crave a lifestyle beyond that we are currently living. And that existential yen is the consequence of existential dread -- is that all there is.
Ah … existential dread. We are all on a life continuum of feeling insecure, envious, and discontented, some of us more so than others.
And to liberate ourselves from the Kool-Aid libation, to exit ourselves from garrets dark and drear, we do have the power of escape into existential enlightenment. To liberate ourselves from middle-class confinements, we have to imagine the life we want and then initiate the action to make it happen.
Unfortunately, those same feelings of insecurity and envy and discontent from which we long to break, will have to be fully experienced and shattered enough to break the chains of life Kool-Aid addictions. And I do not mean in Heavy Harry fashion.
(Remember the Heavy-Harrys? Those “movin’ and groovin’ and being really, really, heavy” characters of the late 60’s and early 70’s? The guys who thought they were so cool but were mocked by those that really were cool?
Admittedly, drinking the Kool-Aid is the necessary quench for some economic and social thirsts in everyone’s life. But once you’ve had enough chow-down on the main courses, and after you have had a million after-dinner burps, then it is time for that sweet, sweet dessert -- your ice-cream dream.
My dream is to be a planetary busker --
I’m already licking my ice-cream!
Those marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:
|STARTING TO DRAW RILEY|