17 Months And Counting

This blog written by Jeff Brailey was downloaded on 13 October 2018 from http://novemberghosts.blogspot.com/2007/05/17-months-and-counting.html.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

17 Months and Counting

With the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre still more than 17 months away, the events of November 18, 1978, in that American enclave in Guyana, still conjure up references even today. It only takes a trip through Googleland to find citations referring to the mass murder/suicide three decades ago.

An Ontario Canada punk/thrash band, whose members no doubt weren’t even born yet at the time of the massacre, has named its latest album for it. “Radar Hate drink the Kool-Aid and record Jonestown” shout out the headlines at Canada’s ChartAttack.com website [Editor’s note: The URL with this website was no longer functional in 2018].

Of course, the alternative rock band Brian Jonestown Massacrehas been around for nearly two decades. It has kept the name Jonestown alive as much as any other entity.

Documentarian Stanley Nelson’s Jonestown: The Life and Death of the People’s Temple, debuted on PBS in April and is slated to make the rounds in the country’s art cinemas during the time leading up to the 30th anniversary of the massacre.

Another bizarre indication that Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple and Jonestown are as popular as ever are the “Jim Jones” ringtones for sale on the Internet. Why anyone would want a cell phone that plays the last words of a cult leader urging his members to kill themselves is beyond me.

Then there is Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. This parody of a journalist not only uses “Kool-Aid drinker,” as a term for people he disagrees with, whenever he says it, the cute little Kool-Aid icon comes on the screen. I can’t imagine why Kraft Foods allows him to get away with this trademark infringement, especially when this disparaging of the beverage is not at all accurate. The actual powder used to create the potion that the residents of Jonestown partook of was Flav-Or-Ade, a product made in the United Kingdom.

I suppose we may as well get used to more tasteless marketing of Jim Jones and Jonestown memorabilia the closer we get to the 30th anniversary. Already on this blog we have warned readers about fake Jim Jones trinkets being touted on e-bay.

The worst that will happen in these coming days will be the misrepresentation of what really happened in Jonestown on November 18, 1978. One inaccurate reporter at the Chico (CA) Enterprise Record, wrote an article comparing the event to the Buddhist monks in Vietnam who set themselves afire to protest an unjust war. That comparison would have been valid had Jones self-immolated himself and not forced his followers to kill their offspring and themselves.

Jones was just another mass murderer who managed to kill, what at the time was the largest number of victims of a mass murder. In 2000, his 914 deaths were surpassed by a cult leader who managed to kill 1500 of his followers. Let’s hope there is not some other warped cultist waiting to break that record.