Starbucks holiday cup
Starbucks Venti coffee cop

Oh, for crying out loud!

| The front page of the Washington Post website today carried two headlines to strike fear into the heart of any sensible person.

Washington Post Starbucks headline, 11/12/2015 (Note: wrong illustration)
Washington Post Dunkin headline, 11/12/2015

The world is going to Hell in a handbasket, and the Washington Post chooses to highlight two articles about disposable coffee cups! To make bad matters even worse, they didn't even use a picture of the current Starbucks cup!

I was so disgruntled by this act of crass tabloidism that I went to Starbucks (I don't really like Starbucks coffee, so I rarely go) for the express purpose of getting one of the supposedly un-Christmasy cups! So there!

The cup is actually rather nice. It is a solid red with no graphics except the Starbucks logo (and we all know that's secretly witchcraft!), but the red is a subtle gradient from brighter red at the top to deeper red at the bottom. That's not easy to do, and I can imagine that Starbucks spent a bundle getting the new cups printed up.

Colbert prototype
Stephen Colbert prototype

In his own inimitable fashion, Stephen Colbert showed the absurdity of the whole kerfuffle by offering his own prototype for a Starbucks cup (left).

As for the Washington Post, it is quickly becoming an unSerious paper. Since it was bought by Jeff Bezos, gazillionnaire owner of Amazon, the online edition has undergone a makeover, mostly for the good. But content wise, the emphasis is on visuals and not on journalism. The two articles about holiday season coffee cups stand as perfect illustrations of my point. Bezos undoubtedly wants to wring every cent of profit from the paper that he can, appealing to what is commercial rather than what is important. Its future seems to be a combination of Fox News and The Inquirer.

And the coffee cup wars are not limited to WaPo. The Donald is taking up arms in the battle. He boasts that "If I become president, we're all going to be saying, 'Merry Christmas' again. That I can tell you" (FoxNews, Nov 10, 2015).

Maybe he'll issue an edict because he seems to think that's the way things work:

By Executive Order, I, The Omnipotent Donald, do hereby order that all business and government employees shall address customers and colleagues with 'Merry Christmas' beginning on Black Friday and ending on Three Kings Day. It is further ordered that anyone to whom 'Merry Christmas' is addressed shall respond, 'And a very Merry Christmas to you, sir (or madam, as appropriate)'.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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