November 23, 2015
Starbucks. The people purveying expensive, addictive, and delicious coffee find themselves the center of a free advertising campaign – I mean controversy. Why? Their cups.
In previous years, Starbucks decorated their cardboard with such winter themes as snowflakes or snowmen. This year, the company stated their plain, red cups provided canvases for their guests to create their own seasonal memories.
A pastor somewhere released a video complaining about the company’s stance against its employees wishing “Merry Christmas” or other such phrases. So he “tricked” the employees by stating his name was, indeed, Merry Christmas, thereby forcing the baristas to call out the banned phrase. This man proudly made a video asking his fellow outraged Americans to do the same. This brought about a discussion of the cup itself. Plain red instead of seasonable? Unacceptable, many declared, even though Starbucks lines its counters and builds displays of season-specific coffees, tree ornaments, and the like. Obviously, it is a war against the holiday.
Meanwhile, people starve in our streets. Whole countries haven’t safe water supplies. Natural disasters level areas. Isis carries out atrocities throughout the world.
Somehow, the decorations on a coffee cup seem insignificant when facing the true problems of the world, but then again, perhaps that is the crux of the situation. Our world frightens us, and it is easier to be outraged by something insignificant than focus our attention on seemingly insurmountable issues.
Perhaps if enough people set aside silliness and contemplated real-world matters, we could better humanity. I am at home, not at a coffee shop. So, I sip a bit of Red Bush from my china Tinkerbell tea cup, pray for peace, and ponder the overwhelming.
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