Saturday, March 26, 2016

Just Serve The Coffee

Starbucks, run by CEO Howard Schultz, has taken out a full-page ad in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  It's a call for the "common bonds that hold us together" including "compassion," "belief in service" and "a willingness to unite despite our differences." Furthermore, we should "pause and reflect" and "go beyond the hatred and vitriol."

Though the message claims to be non-partisan, many see it as an attack on Donald Trump.  Either way, I don't care.  We don't need the guy who sells coffee to tell us what to think.  You want to help?  Cut a buck per cup. (I don't go to Starbucks, so I have no idea if they serve good coffee--I assume they must have a product people want since they're so widespread.)

Even better is the "choice" the ad says we have to make.  There's a list of presumably good and bad things. For instance, division versus unity, or limits versus opportunity.  Some of the words in opposition are interesting:

Isolation versus community.  I like community, but the real question should be is it voluntary.  The last thing I want is community forced on me.  A lot of the time, I choose to be alone.

Ego versus humility.  This from a guy who sells a cup of joe and thinks he knows how the world should work.

Bystander versus upstander.  Upstander is a neologism we can all do without.

Exclusion versus inclusion.  Sounds good, if "inclusion" hadn't become a code word for excluding everyone who doesn't toe the line.

Partisanship versus leadership.  Why are these in opposition?  You can be a leader and a partisan at the same time--in fact, that's usually how it works.

Nostalgia versus vision.  I've got nothing against vision, but this seems to be knocking nostalgia.  Nostalgia isn't bad unless you overdo it, but almost anything is bad if you overdo it.

And here are two words I would have liked to see on the good side, but aren't to be found anywhere--freedom and individuality.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed-pfft on commercial speech.

5:32 AM, March 26, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

People are free to speak--the question, as always, is should we listen.

10:47 AM, March 26, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

When I was living in Seattle, someone discovered that Howard Schultz' house, which shared a border with a public park, had actually encroached onto the park's land.

Some people saw that as theft. But maybe it was just community over isolation, or inclusion over exclusion? Why should the park be isolated from Schultz' house and excluded from his domain?

4:46 PM, March 26, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

How does Howard Schultz find time to draw Peanuts, be secretary of state AND serve coffee to tens of millions?

6:12 PM, March 26, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Schultz house was a case of limits versus opportunity. Though I wonder if anyone has ever been put off by the limits on his house (like locks) preventing them from discovering what kind of opportunities lay inside.

8:10 PM, March 26, 2016  

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