Friday, November 4, 2016

The Unity Cup?

Just in time for the election, there's a new controversy brewing at Starbucks. The purveyor of overpriced, and over roasted coffee unveiled a new container called the Unity Cup.

The cup features a hundred different people drawn in a continuous pen and ink style without lifting the pen, illustrating how connected we all are, I suppose. I haven't examined the cup with a magnifying glass, so maybe there's some sort of satanic symbol hidden in all of the humanity. Otherwise, it's hard to understand the insane uproar that has greeted this cup on social media. Boycotts have been organized. Starbucks has been accused of liberal bias and trying to brainwash voters on the eve of the election. Wait,. . .what???

"During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other," offered CEO Howard Schultz in way of explanation. Sounds reasonable to me.

Ok, I get the fact that Schultz is a big liberal and supporter of Democratic candidates. But, it's his company, and he can promote whatever he wants to promote. Now, if he introduced a cup with VOTE Hillary emblazoned across the thing and her picture smiling back at me, yeah, that would probably give me yet another reason never to enter a Starbucks. But, here's the thing. . .I'm a capitalist, and as such, I'm a big fan of the whole free exchange thing, whereby I don't want anyone or anything to interfere with my ability to exchange my money for your product. So for me, boycotts seem like stupid and ineffective annoyances. People who organize them seem small and overly strident for my taste. It's a form of group-think. If you disagree with "X" you can't buy "Y" or you must not really disagree with "X." Listen, nobody is going to pressure me to buy or not buy anything based on politics! Are you kidding me? Do you boycott people realize how ridiculous you sound, and how hypocritical? "Let's boycott Starbucks because their cup is liberal," says the angry lady as she pulls into the Citgo station to buy gas. . .a Venezuelan company, then whips out her Chinese made cell phone to Google the closest ABC store so she can buy a fifth of Russian vodka. Please.

No, I will not be purchasing any coffee from Starbucks in these subversive cups. But not because of some paranoid craziness that assumes that everything in the world is about politics. I will not be buying coffee from Starbucks for purely market based reasons. . .their coffee stinks.