How deep? Well, by the time the punchbowl was drained, all of us were more than ready to solve all the most pressing problems of the world...and beyond!
Nowadays, in your amazing 21st century world, you have an even more astounding selection of beverages available to accomplish the same purpose. Some even promise not to add an ounce of weight to your waistline. I certainly could have used that back in the 1700s!
But I digress. My main topic today is actually not punch nor intoxicating beverages nor even drinking. It’s the misappropriation of this delightful social custom for sinister purposes.
What prompted this discussion was the onset of your quaint season of #Halloween. In my day, we had a different holiday called #GuyFawkes Day — Halloween hadn’t yet become popular in the colonies.
I’ve noticed that along with all the costumes and revelry one sees every Halloween, there is also a whole plethora of symbolic accessories and accoutrements. Including, of course, magic potions… and, unfortunately, their evil twin, poison elixirs. In fact, I’m told, there was even a tragic incident in your history about 40 years ago, when a religious cult leader in a place called #Jonestown had his followers drink a “Kool-Aid” punch laced with poison in one of the most horrific acts of mass suicide ever.
That incident also introduced a new phrase into the language — “drinking the Kool-Aid” now means to imbibe of a particular political philosophy so completely that one will voluntarily follow an evil leader right off a cliff, if so requested, out of unthinking loyalty… or sheer insanity. The end result is the same: death, just like with the proverbial lemmings plunging to their oblivion.
We seem to be facing that very real possibility today, as our nation teeters on the brink of crisis and catastrophe, due to a certain political party that seems to be taking us down the road of treason, corruption, and heartless elimination of many of the civilized programs you modern folks take for granted, like Social Security, Medicare, freedom of speech, environmental protection, a sensible and caring immigration policy, etc.
Ben's Election Day advice
So my advice to you, my readers, is this: think carefully about your choices this coming Election Day. Are you about to down a pint of poison, in blind adherence to party loyalty?
If it were me (sadly, as a time traveling Founding Father, I’m not eligible to vote… my credentials from the 1700s wouldn’t be recognized here in the 21st century), I’d prefer the alternative: a wonderful magic potion especially concocted to return us to the ideals of freedom, justice, compassion, and equality for all, which are the foundation of our democracy.
Happy Halloween, my friends! And may you make the right choice on #ElectionDay!
Your humble servant,
Día de los Muertos skull mug design by Nancy Priest / @NancySan12 Instagram
Video special effects magic: And The Word Spread / Boston