I think I have some things figured out, finally. People are bored with their lives and have nothing to do. So, they invent things to protest. No, I am not talking about those of us who protest for civil rights, protest for environmental safeguards and controls, protest against robbing people of their healthcare, for those and more are valid issues. I am speaking of people who protest the colour of the cup in which their coffee is served. An excerpt from an article in a 10 November 2016 Vox article:
In a world filled with many items, there is none more divisive right now than the 2015 Red Starbucks Cup™. In certain pockets of the US, it speaks to something larger than the vessel from which we drink our hot, caffeinated beverages. To some, the naked red cup, unadorned with symbols like holly or snowflakes, is an affront against the Christian faith, a cut against Christianity.
Americans fighting over what is printed on a coffee cup designed by a billion-dollar company to promote conformity sounds like cold German satire: While the world rages on and problems like starvation, a massive refugee crisis, and homelessness remain unfixed, people in America — including an American presidential candidate — are arguing over a red beverage container.
But there’s nothing satirical about this. The conflict over this dumb cup is so passionate that the original version of a viral “Starbucks’ War on Christmas” video has more than 14 million views. It’s also an unflinchingly real slice of American internet culture and the outrage machine that fuels it.
The movement to protest the plain red cup that replaced the past years’ traditional holiday-themed cups was started by one man named Joshua Feuerstein. Feuerstein made a video claiming that there is a “war on Christmas,” and that each year during the holidays, Christians are persecuted by companies. The video went viral and in the first five days, received over 14 million views. Point #1 in my argument that people have nothing to do.
Feuerstein claimed that Starbucks was shredding Christmas and that employees were not allowed to say “Merry Christmas”, both of which proved untrue, but when did people like him ever let silly things like truth or facts get in their way? And the lemmings, those 14 million who wasted time watching the video, didn’t care about facts either, but blindly believed what Feuerstein said. And thus began the Red Cup Controversy which occupied media space and a good bit of the empty space in some people’s minds during November and December of 2015-2016. And when then candidate Trump heard the news, of course he had to add his two-cents worth:
“Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care. If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you.”
Eh, Donald, what if I prefer to say “Happy Chanukah” or “Joyous Kwanzaa”? Or just “Hey there”. But back to Starbucks.
As far as I can tell from looking at their past ten years Profit & Loss statements, the ridiculous fiasco did not cost them business, as they have seen a steady increase in both revenue and profit margin, fortunately.
Which brings us to this year and the purpose of this post. I wish to commend Starbucks for its 2017 holiday cup, announced yesterday, which will feature same-sex and mixed race couples. Starbucks released a 30-second video to launch their new cup …
This is not the first time that Starbucks has taken a courageous stand for the LGBT community. In 2015, Chairman & CEO Howard Schultz publicly supported the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. When a stockholder at a shareholders’ annual meeting stated his view that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage, Schultz responded: “Not every decision is an economic decision. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company.” I could just hug this man … we need more like him both in business and in government.
Back in September, I criticized Starbucks for not giving free coffee on National Coffee Day. I now rescind that criticism, for they have more than redeemed themselves in my book.
And now, folks, wait for it … wait for the outrage that, unless I miss my guess, will begin in 10 … 9 … 8 … and will be given attention by the media and by everyone else and will turn into yet another big brouhaha. As for me, as long as the coffee is good, hot, and they remember my extra shot of espresso, I’m happy to ignore the ruckus.
As for those bigots who will cry and yell … get a life. There are so many more important things to worry about than the cup your coffee is served in. Might I remind you to be thankful that you can afford that $5 cup of coffee, for many around the world cannot even afford $5 worth of food a day. Grow up, step out of your own skin for a change.