In honor of Kool-Aid Day, I thought I would share a silly photoshoot I did, that actually resulted in a helicopter hovering above me trying to figure out what the hell I was doing, while potentially offering some unsolicited advice, as is all advice on the internet.
The idea of not drinking the Kool-Aid comes from a very dark history, but has essentially been watered down into the concept of not NOT thinking for yourself. To make sure you’re not taking someone else’s words as gospel without doing your own critical thinking. To not blindly follow any leader. To always question the status quo.
And in a totally hypocritical move, I’m going to give you 5 ways you can NOT drink the Kool-Aid.
5 Ways To Not Drink The Kool-Aid
1. Number one, and most importantly — question everything. Including everything you hear from me and everything in this post. Just because you enjoy someone’s presence, essence, spirit, vibe, or whatever doesn’t mean that their entire lifestyle suits yours.
2. Challenge authority. I’m talking about parents, role models, cops, politicians, doctors, everything. Not every answer needs to be the final one. Advocate for yourself and for the collective. We can always do better.
3. Stop feeling like you are required to quit your day job because more people in this generation have than ever before. There is NOTHING wrong with getting a paycheck from someone else. We need people to do jobs or society wouldn’t function. You can be fully satisfied and grateful for your life while working for someone else. It’s all about balance and perspective. That said, if you do want to quit your job, fucking do it (with a plan and savings account). Just don’t do it because you think that’s the new cool thing.
4. Don’t allow the subcultures you’re interested in to dictate your music, fashion, travel, etc. choices or labels you identify with. You can be Pagan without identifying as a witch. You can be Punk without wearing patches on your jacket. You can be Queer without hanging a rainbow flag from your door. You can be a Burner without ever going to Burning Man or liking EDM. You can be spiritual without wearing all white. There is no uniform for a person or qualifications for enjoying a part of life. Like what you like and ignore the rest.
5. Don’t let anyone make you feel badly for enjoying something. There are no “guilty pleasures”. If you like chocolate, eat it. If you like celebrity gossip, read it (with perspective, I caution you just a little haha, there’s a bit of propaganda in there trying to make you feel badly about who you are just FYI). If you like Backstreet Boys, crank it up. If your favorite painting by Van Gogh is Starry Night, claim it with pride. If you like pink wine and can’t tell the difference between boxed and “fancy”, by the $10 box of White Zin. Who gives a shit if people think what you like is “Basic”? Maybe some things are so widely enjoyed because they’re awesome. Except like.. Creed. Hahahahahhaah. Just kidding if you like Creed. I think.
Photo: Maura Housley