To catch up to the story about folks angered by Starbucks’s 2015 new paper cup, I read this story — and it was a fluke that it was on Fox News. I just wanted to understand what was causing the controversy. I found two quotes that were interesting here. Firstly:
"Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays," Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks’ vice president of design, said in a statement. "We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it."
I know Mr. Fields is spinning here, but isn’t it odd that if it is true, that Starbucks IS a sanctuary *during the holidays*, that other factors in our culture are necessitating the seeking of such sanctuary during this time of year? And that it isn’t available in say…an actual sanctuary? I guess, if you did, you’d be even MORE angry about the cup size. Those communion thimbles can barely contain half a shot of espresso.
I’m pretty doubtful "simplicity" and "quietness" aren’t values found elsewhere in St. Starbucks. I mean, though we’re used to it now, placing an order can require an advanced degree. But as far as religious experiences go, it does sound like speaking in tongues to the uninitiated few left on the planet.
And as much as they’ve improved their brewing technology, those machines the baristas pilot still crank out the decibels. So much so, you can barely hear the streaming music for CD’s they no longer sell. "Simple and quiet" are not virtues of Starbucks. I don’t go there for that, nor does a red paper cup communicate that to me. And a design change by marketing mean anything beyond the superficial.
So…In addition to the outrage/oversensitivity perpetual-chip-on-our-shoulders era in which we find ourselves, this corroborates another recent hypothesis I think could be interesting to talk about:
HOLIDAY WORSHIP IS A REAL AND UNSUSTAINABLE TREND IN OUR PRESENT CULTURE.
It’s also quite peculiar. The days that are intended to signify historically significant events in our collective human histories (albeit mostly the Judeo-Christian sect) have in and of themselves become the focal point. What they represent is lost in a fog of dry ice, corn stalks, fake snow, or pastel crepe paper, depending on the time of year.
I mean…am I wrong about this? Not only does Mr. Fields’s comment above tilt that way, look at the other quote I found entertaining:
An article posted to Breitbart London even called the plain red cups part of the “War on Christmas.”
“This is a denial of historical reality and the great Christian heritage behind the American Dream that has so benefitted Starbucks," wrote Andrea Williams of the U.K.’s Christian Concern.
Of course, most of MY friends won’t be so susceptible to "Holidolatry". Of course not!
But I actually had a dream recently, I was in Target and it was July. They were swapping the "Back to School" campaign and merch for "Happy Holidays!" signs, toys, decoratoins, and apparel. In the dream I walked up to the manager, and pointed dramatically at the displays while wild and wide-eyed, seethed, "THIS. IS. BUUUULLLLLSHHHIIIITTTT!!!!
I woke up laughing. But here’s another thing also worth a chuckle. Any group getting "literally" nutso about xmas when "literally" there is consensus that Jesus’s birth wouldn’t have occurred in our December. That’s another discussion, certainly, and a not-so interesting one at that. It’s a nutso one, and I take blame-slash-credit for steering us there.
But if Holidolatry is rampant in our Western culture, and it is — there isn’t a month in the calendar when you can’t swing a Frozen DVD without hitting a polyester yard inflatable commemorating some sacred animal, gourd, or seasonal character. I’ve seen giant bats, functioning snow globes, cartoonish pilgrims, easter bunnies, reindeer, and even the grim reaper.
Holidolatry. It’s what’s we’re getting for Christmas.