December 27, 2012

"Isn’t there something creepy about Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz having... 'asked his Washington-area employees to write "Come Together" on each customer cup today, tomorrow and Friday, as a gesture to urge leaders to resolve the fiscal cliff'?"

Asks Mickey Kaus.
Did Schultz take a poll of his employees–sorry, “partners,” he calls them–before ordering pressuring asking them to join in this lobbying effort? What if he were, say, the CEO of Chick-fil-A and he “asked” his “partners” to write “Preserve the Family” on the outside of cups and containers?

I’m not saying what Schultz did is or should be illegal, certainly not in a Citizen’s United world. If he wants to run a hybrid coffee-shop-political-organization, that’s fine with me. But maybe he should have made that clear to his workers when they signed up.
What troubles me about the slogan "Come Together" is that it's a pretty obvious reference to the Beatles song that begins with Lennon saying "shoot me" over and over. Given the recent massacre — and the fact that Lennon himself was shot to death — it's not good resonance.

As for an employer telling employees what to say to customers, I've got no legalistic problem with that. The first job I ever had was as a waitress, and I was required to greet the customers with the lengthy "Hello, my name is Ann, and I will be your waitress tonight." How do you give that wooden line a good reading?

I'd much rather say "Come Together," especially if I was serving muddy water, brewed with a mojo filter.

77 comments:

chickelit said...

"Come Together," as Limbaugh noted, has an orgiastic connotation as well.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's creepy in the way that Jennifer Aniston's boss was creepy in Office Space.

Watched this flick on Netflix over the weekend. Good flick. A Mike Judge production. He's the King of the Hill and Idiocracy guy.

Aniston was working as a waitress in some cheesy franchise restaurant, and her boss kept badgering her about wearing more "flair" (cheerful buttons on her suspenders) to show how much she liked her shitty job.

Enforced cheerfulness and/or earnestness is always creepy. And, there are people who don't want our polls to "come together," including me. When they come together, all sorts of bad shit usually happens!

Is the era of feminist workaholic hysteria coming to an end?

SteveR said...

"muddy water, brewed with a mojo filter" I can handle, just no toejam football

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

SteveR

Auggh! You beat me to it by a matter of minutes!

Tom said...

SteveR

Auggh! You beat me to it by a matter of minutes!

rehajm said...

Is there latitude with the spelling?

Craig said...

And the Sonics boom became distant Thunder.

kentuckyliz said...

I wouldn't automatically get the meaning unprompted. And once explained to me, I would start to school them on how their god Obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff for political purposes, so get ready. In fact, I probably can't afford to tip you because my taxes are going up next paycheck.

AprilApple said...

I think there is something creepy about all these large corporations that support democrats hiding money in the Caymans while the rest of us are looking down the barrel of the return of Clinton era tax hikes.

AprilApple said...

DC needs more tax payer bailout money for their waste and fraud and Facebook Shifted $700 Million to Cayman Islands in 'Double Irish' Tax Reduction Strategy

tomaig said...

Did you use your monkey finger to brew that?

AprilApple said...

I think Starbucks coffee tastes terrible. I only drink it if there are no other options available.

Archilochus said...

Come together to do what, exactly? Broker a "pragmatic" compromise that will sate the Left's thirst for blue blood and protect the Republicans so eager to preserve current rates for the 99%. Meanwhile, the great compromisers like Schultz and his ilk will brand as wild-eyed ideologues the few, but hardy band who won't settle for cosmetic changes to revenue rates and certainly won't fuel the Marxian rhetoric. Let Zero and Orange Tears cut their back room debt deal in private, thank you.

"Come together." It's just another way of saying, "Pipe down, Hobbits! The adults are compromising here."

Quayle said...

You have to admit, Starbucks has been pretty successful selling you coffee and an ethereal sense of superiority and community for $5.

Their cost for the coffee is significantly less than $5.

Their cost for the ether is zero.

It isn't even real ether.

McTriumph said...

Just another reason not to walk into the Starbucks three blocks from my home.

Shouting Thomas said...

I think Starbucks coffee tastes terrible.

Yes, they burn the friggin' coffee. Don't know how they do it.

Panera has much better coffee and great pastries, unlike the cardboard imitation of pastries Starbucks sells.

AprilApple said...

"Come together" is impossible with Harry's Reid's lock-step puppet on a sting group think good doggie senate.

kentuckyliz said...

The blonde roasts are tolerable. Willow is the African one and it is quite nice. Veranda is sharper. There was a nice Three Region Blend 2012 (labeled like a wine bottle) and it was yummy but a short run. I should have stocked up.

Matthew Sablan said...

Is this meant to encourage the Senate to take up bills the House sent them, or is it meant to give Obama more things than he got for free?

Lem said...

Lets come together bow our heads and prey.

You usually expect something to happen after that.

A checkered flag or a first round bell...

Somebody going off a cliff?

Hey... have you ever seen curling?

Don't knock it until you try it... thats my motto.

Strelnikov said...

Well, you could have sung the line.

AprilApple said...

Woof

Freder Frederson said...

Yet if a union published something like this, Althouse would be apoplectic.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I prefer gas station coffee anyway

MarkD said...

Don't they have to write it in Italian?

Dunkin Donuts has better coffee without the pretense.

Shouting Thomas said...

Dunkin Donuts has better coffee without the pretense.

Coffee served in a styrofoam container is godawful. The styrofoam melts into the coffee. If I drink Dunkin Donuts coffee, I order the small cup, because it is made of paper.

Yet if a union published something like this, Althouse would be apoplectic.

Althouse has exhibited apoplexy only once that I can remember, and that was yesterday on the subject of gay marriage. Get out there and organize for gay marriage, or you're a bad person!

Archilochus said...

A speech that would never be made today:

"Mr. President [to George Washington]

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-"

phx said...

What troubles me about the slogan "Come Together" is that it's a pretty obvious reference to the Beatles song that begins with Lennon saying "shoot me" over and over.

Are you kidding? Paul is dead.

MadisonMan said...

You have to admit, Starbucks has been pretty successful selling you coffee and an ethereal sense of superiority and community for $5.

Does coffee at Starbucks really cost $5? Not here in Madison -- it might be $2.50 for a large. I've never seen a $5 coffee anywhere, come to think of it.

It's probably $5 if you get a caramel macchiatto, or whatever, but that's not really coffee, now, is it?

Michael K said...

" Blogger Freder Frederson said...

Yet if a union published something like this, Althouse would be apoplectic."

You mean like writing phony excuse slips for absent teachers during a union rally ?

edutcher said...

Reminds me of the idiots writing the lyrics to "Imagine" on sidewalks when we went after the Tahleebahn.

Besides, his Messiah wants to go over.

JohnBoy said...

"Come Together" is about jacking off. You can even hear Lennon groaning orgasmically towards the end of the song.

Jacking off is what Obama and Congress have been doing since the election. So, it's pretty appropriate.

jr565 said...

I always thought the song Come Together was about a gang bang (he got feet down below his knees, got to be good looking cause he's so har to see - big dick, screwing so many people at once that you can't even see him).

Is that what he means by Come Together? just please don't come together in the coffee..

EMD said...

At least Starbucks gives you burnt water in return for your dues.

gerry said...

especially if I was serving muddy water, brewed with a mojo filter.

Isn't muddy water bourbon?

EMD said...

Starbucks has always been a quasi-political business.

Nonapod said...

Of course he has the right to run his business as he sees fit, just as customers can choose not to patronize his establishments (or even organize a boycott), and employees can choose not to work there too. But I agree that the phrase "Come Together" has some slightly unsavory meanings that most people might not want in or around their coffee.

AJ Lynch said...

Howard Schultz would make a great crony capitalist- are we sure the fed govt does not give money to Starbucks via some boondoggle fed spending program?

Aridog said...

Does coffee at Starbucks really cost $5? Not here in Madison -- it might be $2.50 for a large

Never ceases to amaze me how alleged coffee drinkers and aficionados will pay $2.50 or so for a cup of coffee they have to walk some distance to get and wait in line.

I live in an Arabic neighborhood. We have things called roastery shops where one can buy near perfect Italian dark roast and Supremo light roast blends, ground or whole bean. Cost for coffee at home just as you wake up is about $0.50 per large cup if made rather strong. The two of us go through about 1.5 pounds per week, bought freshly roasted within 2-3 days max.

I carry my own ground coffee when traveling ... I can get about 10+ days out of a single pound of 70% dark Italian/30% light Supremo blend.

I cannot imagine paying $2.00 plus per cup for any coffee in a place where they make it by the gallon.

Pogo said...

Gee, what could possibly go wrong when you politicize your business?

Well, it means I no longer go there. And I won't be the only one. Good luck, Mr. Schultz. I'm sure you will do just fine without my few cents, since I only ever use Starbucks when I travel.

I just find it curious how, like CNN, supposedly savvy businessmen can piss on the brand they fought so hard to create.

Nathan Alexander said...

It is perfectly fine to politicize your business as long as it is aligned with the "correct" political stances.

The intolerant Liberals will excoriate you and try to drive you out of business if you dare to ignore their political fetishes.

EDH said...

"Come on my tits..."

You see, it all depends on how you say it: softly, affectionately and matter of fact.

Amber: Come on my tits if you can, OK?

Just pull it out and do it on my stomach and my tits.

Dirk: Yeah. No problem.

cubanbob said...

Great way to piss someone off and lose a tip. It's not like Starbucks pays that great.

I like the fiscal cliff. I think everyone should get screwed good and hard on taxes and not just me.

creeley23 said...

What troubles me about the slogan "Come Together" is that it's a pretty obvious reference to the Beatles song that begins with Lennon saying "shoot me" over and over.

Which few people hear because they don't listen to lyrics and it's so buried in the mix that most people just hear "Shoop" if they notice anything at all. So I question the resonance.

But it is a weird, unsettling song without a doubt. It started as a campaign song for Timothy Leary's aborted run for governor of California.

I used to wonder about the unpleasant lyrics. The best explanation I ran across was that it was Lennon's nasty-jokey song about the Beatles themselves -- George, Ringo, John, and Paul in that order -- with a sardonic reference to the Beatles' disunity at the time and no doubt some sex thrown as well.

"Come Together" is a creepy idea for the Starbucks guy.

purplepenquin said...

"Come Together" is about jacking off.
~~~
I always thought the song Come Together was about a gang bang


Heh

I also thought it had a dirty meaning until I read Timothy Leary's autobiography, which explains the inspiration for the song.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Given that probably 90% of Starbucks customers are liberal, tassel toed, latte sipping, urbanites (most sane Conservatives don't spend 8 bucks for a cup of coffee) the message is basically preaching to the choir.

What a bunch of maroons, as Bugs would say.

joe said...



"Hello, my name is Ann, and I will be your waitress tonight"

When I lean over I'll watch your
line of sight.

Later on I know your wife and you will fight.

The SOS is the best
and it's served with a low cut dress.

A quarter and two penny
What kind of tip is this?
When you get older sis
When you get older
And then you'll get pissed.




EMD said...

Looks like tax increases are bad for Starbucks.

jr565 said...

Nathan Alexander wrote:
It is perfectly fine to politicize your business as long as it is aligned with the "correct" political stances.

The intolerant Liberals will excoriate you and try to drive you out of business if you dare to ignore their political fetishes.

so screw it. Republicans should start boycotting Starbucks the same way libs boycotted chic a fila. Why not?
Punish Starbucks CEO for being such a lefty douche.
Besides, their coffee sucks anyway.

I Callahan said...

Yet if a union published something like this, Althouse would be apoplectic.

A link to a prior post by our hostess where this happened?

Didn't think so.

Sam L. said...

Ain't NUTHIN better than a mojo filter! My mojo works its little butt off for me.

If'n I liked coffee, I still wouldn't buy it from a company named for a whale-killer!

Triangle Man said...

The Beatles? I think it is a pretty obvious reference to the Aerosmith cover of "Come Together". The superior version.

Triangle Man said...

I am willing to agree with DBQ in this case, that there will be a preponderance of latte sippers among Starbucks patrons.

Sigivald said...

I've heard "Come Together" about a million times, and I had no idea that Lennon was (supposedly?) saying "Shoot me".

Shounds more like "Shoop".

And nothing on the Internet seems to suggest anyone else thinks it's "shoot me".

Source, please?

creeley23 said...

Sigvald: You don't seem to have looked very hard.

In the intro, Lennon says "shoot me" which is accompanied by his handclaps and McCartney's heavy bass riff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Together

The Beatles were amazing at catchy sonic effects like that.

Inga said...

Guilty as charged, hazelnut sugar free whole milk latte for me.

Inga said...

It all comes together so nicely. Yum.

Michael Haz said...

I brew my own coffee at home for about half-a-buck per cup, tops. No one with bad grooming or pierced ears sells it to me, although some mornings the woman who brings it to me while I am in the shower is not clothed.

A second cup goes with me to work. Why one would buy coffee from Starbucks is a mystery to me, although I do see a lot of younger people studying at the Starbucks in the mall near where I live.

The Starbucks CEO would do better to focus on increasing the share value of his company's stock rather than having cute sayings written onto coffee cups, as this chart shows.

TennLion said...

How do you give that wooden line a good reading?

With a wiggle in the hips and shoulders!

Freeman Hunt said...

Creepy? I wouldn't find it creepy. "Come together," doesn't sound partisan. It would just be one of those normal, vaguely annoying things one is asked to do at that type of job.

creeley23 said...

I stick with Twinings Earl Grey which I buy in bulk with an Amazon subscription. Costs about $.08 a mug.

Alex said...

Come Together is a great song, I wonder what Lennon would think about this.

DADvocate said...

Starbucks allows concealed carry in its restaurants. I guess that's creepy to some. As far as The Beatles go, they inspired the Manson family to some pretty gruesome murders. Beatles albums should be restricted.

creeley23 said...

In the intro, Lennon says "shoot me" which is accompanied by his handclaps and McCartney's heavy bass riff.

A year or so ago I was curious about that opening "Shoop-doobidy-doobidy-doobidy" effect and wiki wasn't nearly so helpful.

So I guess those percussive thuds on top of the bass line aren't Ringo, but John clapping then George Martin twiddling the knobs and squeezing out all the treble and mid-range.

chrisnavin.com said...

Well, he's from Seattle.

That explains it.

ALP said...

RE: expensive coffee.

We buy whole beans at Costco and have an espresso machine. Our daily lattes are as cheap as you can get. We are very committed to 6 cups a day per recent research that finds that amount of caffeine in coffee may prevent Alzheimer's.

However, I now appreciate how much time goes into making espresso vs. using a French press - including cleaning all the little bits of the machine. I thought I'd be even less inclined to pay $3 for a latte big enough to make it worth my time. But to my surprise, I am more willing to pay that on occasion - I am paying the $3 for SOMEONE ELSE to grind the beans to a fine grind (we use a vintage manual grinder at home), to fiddle around with the tamper, to clean the steam nozzle, etc....

I opt for French press at home half the time as espresso is a HASSLE.

Rick67 said...

"Hello, my name is Rick, and *I* never asked for the anal probe".

Although one is tempted to try:

"Hello, my name is Rick, and I never *asked* for the anal probe".

Craig said...

It's a low budget ad campaign. He just wants people to drink more coffee flavored milk.

phx said...

I've heard "Come Together" about a million times, and I had no idea that Lennon was (supposedly?) saying "Shoot me".

Shounds more like "Shoop".

And nothing on the Internet seems to suggest anyone else thinks it's "shoot me".

Source, please?


Because wikipedia sez so.

Well I've been wrong before in my Beatles trivia, but no way Jose I'm buying this happy horsesh*t.

phx said...

They did however sing "tit tit tit tit tit tit tit tit" behind John's vocals in "Girl."

creeley23 said...

Well I've been wrong before in my Beatles trivia, but no way Jose I'm buying this happy horsesh*t.

phx: Well, you're wrong again. Here's one of the sound engineers on Abbey Road:

On the finished record you can really only hear the word 'shoot'. The bass guitar note falls where the 'me' is.

Geoff Emerick
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn


You're welcome.

phx said...

creeley23: I need more persuasive evidence.

phx said...

Well I don't know. Maybe.

betamax3000 said...

Imagine no John Lennon; it's easy if you try.

Tired of John Lennon. Tired. Replaced his talent with banal sloganeering, mastering the narcissistic Tweet years before the technology. Power to the People, right on. Imagine no possessions while I play my elegant white grand piano in my tastefully elegant white high-ceilinged room in my elaborate English country mansion, etc etc. Let my assistant fetch you tea and take your shoes, white carpet you know.

Take his greatest peace antics (bagism, bed-ins, billboards, you pick) and * imagine * the thirty-something yelp from Green Day doing those exact. same. things. With the exact. same. sincerity.

Why the cringe? Or, worse: why no cringe?

Don't misunderstand: he was great at something peppy, something happy, something up-tempo. Something snappy. Can do without the peace lament crap.

To paraphrase Lennon's own seasonal song: Merry Xmas school shootings are over (if you want it). See? All better.

Kirk Parker said...

Tom,

"Auggh"

I can feel your disease.

rhhardin said...

Wm. Kerrigan suggests embracing PC

A trucker looks at the waitress, likes what he sees, leans over the counter and asks, "How long have you been a server, honey?"