- I’m hooked on Starbucks, although only moderately so. I hold my consumption of their House Blend to once a week, most of the time. (While in Memphis the week after Christmas, I’ll admit I drank it daily because an outlet was nearby; it nearly ruined my appreciation of the Ritazza joe they sell in the canteen down in the basement here at work, which normally I love.) It would be so much nicer if I gave my custom to some nice, local coffee house, but I leave that to my kids. They’re into that "Friends" kind of scene. To me, coffee’s not a social thing. I duck in, get it and go — unless I’m at a bookstore, in which case I quietly browse while drinking it. For this reason, I think it’s great that Starbucks is moving toward drive-thru. I can hardly wait for them to do that here — preferably on MY side of the river.
- I find those little philosophical musings they print on the side of their cups, under the heading "The Way I See It," irritatingly trite and inane. Fortunately, they’re usually covered by the brown insulating sleeve. But I sometimes peel that off (I put a lot of sugar in it, which makes anything that spills over the side quite sticky) and read the musings anyway. I don’t know why. Morbid curiosity, perhaps. Or maybe sneering at these banal observations makes me feel better about drinking the coffee. I don’t know.
Here’s an example, dubbed "The Way I See It #61:"
Imagine we are all the same. Imagine we agree about politics, religion and morality. Imagine we like the same types of music, art, food and coffee. Imagine we all look alike. Sound boring? Differences need not divide us. Embrace diversity. Dignity is everyone’s human right.
This is the considered opinion of one Bill Brummel (Beau‘s great-great-great grandson, perhaps?), identified thusly: "Documentary filmmaker. His programs focus on human rights issues."
Is there anything wrong with anything he said? No. But does it provoke thought? No. In fact, by the time he got to the bumper-sticker sentiment, "Embrace diversity," my brain had nearly shut down, grande coffee notwithstanding. Talk about boring.
Variety is the spice of life, and so on. We all agree on that. But when I see something this mind-numbingly obvious represented as profundity worthy of mass reproduction, I find I want to argue with it. I want to say something like, "You know, it would be great if we’d go ahead and all agree on morality. If there were fewer people out there disagreeing with the consensus on morality, we’d have lot a less rape, murder and child molesting going on. There would still be some of those things, of course, because it is tragically human to do things we know is wrong. What’s really unbearably outrageous is people doing things that we all pretty much know are wrong and defending them as being OK, and condemning those who would censure them as narrow-minded. Such people’s battle cry is "WHOSE morality?,’ as though there were no absolutes, when there are. Seriously, can’t you think of ANYTHING that is just plain wrong, no matter who says it’s right? What do you have to say about that, Mr. ‘Imagine there’s no heaven?’ How about the crimes I mentioned above? Couldn’t you draw the line at child abuse? And if you could, wouldn’t you have to admit that there IS legitimacy to drawing lines, meaning that diversity of thought and attitudes is NOT always good? Huh?"
OK, so maybe that wouldn’t fit on the cup. But I think it would be more worth the ink.