What a silly week it’s been. North Korea wants a nuclear war, bird flu is on the rise, and French “scientists” are telling young women to throw their bras in the garbage. No wonder Margaret Thatcher decided to pass away! But the two most alarming stories of the week came from the world of popular culture. First, the Kool-Aid Man has been given a CGI makeover and a new personality, and I feel like I’ve lost an old friend. And secondly, country singer Kid Rock raised eyebrows when he announced he was embarrassed to be a Republican. Your funeral, GOP! Let’s analyze these two stories and see which one wins this week’s Culture War!
The Kool-Aid Man
Since the mid-’70s, the Kool-Aid Man has delighted millions by breaking through walls and offering his blood to thirsty children. Usually, this kind of behavior would get you locked up in a psychiatric prison, but the Kool-Aid Man got away with it because his blood was delicious and his positive, “Oh yeah!” attitude was infectious. The only blemish on his record was his ill-advised participation in the Jonestown Massacre. And that’s why I was horrified when the Kraft Foods Group announced they were giving him a glitzy new look to coincide with the launch of the drink’s new liquid mix.
According to Erica Rendall, senior brand manager at Kraft, the Kool-Aid Man needed a tune-up because “he really didn’t have a developed personality.” Oh, really, Ms. Rendall? You found this oversized, child-loving simpleton with roid rage boring, did you? What did you want him to be? A shirtless Ryan Gosling type you could fantasize about? Or a proud and dignified butler, like Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey? Neither. Turns out, Kraft has reimagined the Kool-Aid Man as—get this—a celebrity trying to show the world he’s just a normal guy. Yawn. If that’s the kind of Kool-Aid Man we’re stuck with, I hope North Korea wipes us out ASAP.
Shame isn’t an emotion one usually associates with Kid Rock. I assumed he couldn’t feel shame; otherwise he’d be hurling himself off buildings and out windows in an attempt to make amends with the universe. Imagine my surprise, then, when he told Rolling Stone he was embarrassed to be a Republican.
The next question is, “Why would a musician of Kid Rock’s caliber feel embarrassed to be associated with such an amazing political party? Does he perhaps disagree with the GOP on guns, homosexuality, immigration, or reproductive rights?” Nope. He’s embarrassed because Republican-sponsored laws are causing high concert ticket prices—the blight of our times. So, listen up, the Republicans: if you want to win it in 2016 and protect Kid Rock from feeling bad about himself, make concert tickets cheaper. History is watching, guys.
The proud winner of this week’s Culture War is… the Kool-Aid Man. But not the new, airbrushed, castrated one—I’m talking about the old, raucous, and earthy Kool-Aid Man. The one with the devil-may-care attitude, the limited vocabulary, and no respect for private property. We don’t want our Kool-Aid man to be a normal guy with an “aw shucks” demeanour; we want him to be an unpredictable ne’er-do-well who lives only to keep children hydrated. So, please join me in boycotting all Kraft products until we get the real Kool-Aid Man back. Together we can make a difference.