We need to be willing to commit ritualized suicide…


Now that I have your attention, I wanted to share something that I found more disturbing than the Promethean guys in orange spandex bodysuits. It was a quote that I heard not once, but on twiceat the ISTE conference:

“We need to be willing to drink the koolaid” –presenter appearing on a video feed at ISTE

You might have used this quote yourself in trying to extol others to join the bandwagon of ed tech (or some other innovation). There is a school in my area that that has used this phrase to exhort teachers to “get with the program” on the school reform being implemented. People seemed to have completely forgotten the original context of the phrase and have decided that drinking koolaid is a good thing.

I find this puzzling, but unsurprising in a culture that practices unintentional irony on a periodic basis, but it’s disturbing nonetheless as my husband grew up with folks ¬†who were members of the Peoples Temple, and participated (willingly or not) in the ritualized suicide that coined this phrase. I like koolaid and have used it to color home-made playdough (it gives it a great scent), and if no other choices are available at a party, I will drink it. But please do not ask me, or others in my presence, to take a metaphorical drink of koolaid, as I’m likely to give a negative response.

Some other phrases suitable for this use:
You need to be willing to dive in
You need to get outside your comfort zone
You need to commit yourself…
…heart and soul
…with blood, sweat, and tears
You need to take the risk

2 Comments to

“We need to be willing to commit ritualized suicide…”

  1. June 30th, 2012 at 10:47 am      Reply Lee Kolbert Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve always felt that way about “Drinking the Koolaid.” I’ve mostly heard it referred to in a pejorative way (which is how it should stay), but lately I’ve also heard people use it as a “join us” type of suggestion. “Drinking the Koolaid” refers to the fact that if you do, you will be met with dire results. Not a good thing. Thanks again.

  2. July 7th, 2012 at 3:40 pm      Reply teesra Says:

    Found this so interesting!

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