The Synod's Deep Depravity Revealed

Ridiculous Headline of The (Previous) Week

Starbucks Reveals Holday [sic] 2023 Menu and Cups

Last week I had to choose between this one and the one about racist birds. Unlike that one, this one is merely ridiculous. Or maybe not. The position of Starbucks in American culture is creepy to say the least. And I really don't like the thing we now call Holiday

I was sorry to hear recently that a Starbucks may be opening here. It's likely to displace several locally-owned coffee shops. 

Also, I don't like their coffee.


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The "holiday" thing is everywhere now. Back a few years ago conservatives were ridiculed for saying there was a "war against Christmas," but guess what? They seem to have been right, at least in the sense of the word, anyways.

The answer to this, of course, is to keep on using the word regardless.

Anyone with eyes and ears can see that the word "Christmas" has pretty much been excised from the public vocabulary regarding this time of year. Not a war exactly but a very obviously intentional change in customs. But in my experience at least there has been a lessening of the sense that it's just very bad manners to say "Merry Christmas." For a while, maybe ten years ago, I got the sense that a lot of people were very consciously policing themselves, saying "Happy Holidays" with a slight sense of strain, or something. I don't get that feeling so much now. But then that was on a college campus, and I'm not there anymore.

The actual event of a restaurant fitting its offerings to the time of year is dog-bites-man news. What's ridiculous is the fact that there's a news article about this to receive the headline, and I agree that it reflects the creepy status of Starbucks. I'm told that there is an active secondary market for certain limited-issue Starbuck cups. Apparently people post pictures on FB of prized cups they have succeeded in buying at inflated prices.

"What's ridiculous is the fact that there's a news article about this..."

Right. Granted, it's a site called, and it's pretty much all fluff. Still...the disposable utensils of a franchise coffee shop don't even rise to the level of a comic book.

That "active secondary market" sounds well beyond ridiculous, if they're talking about paper cups. I mean, not the ceramic or whatever cups meant to be permanent.

I think that Starbuck's practice of over-roasting their coffee has effected a change in a lot of people's palates. You get accustomed to that charred taste and then the "normal" roasted coffees don't do it for you anymore. It's kind of the same thing as people getting so used to high hops IPA's that they don't like less hoppy, more balanced beers anymore. I have several friends like that.

But there is a weird vibe around Starbuck's devotees. I've seen people with blogs/websites who rate every single new blend of coffee that comes out, and they look forward to them with the anticipation of a music fan waiting for his favorite band's new album. Very strange.

"I've seen people with blogs/websites who rate every single new blend of coffee that comes out..." That could potentially be funny. But probably not.

I'm a black coffee drinker, so I really dislike Starbucks. Maybe they make it really harsh so those elaborate concoctions that are half milk and flavorings will still have some coffee flavor. I rarely go to Starbucks except when travelling, and in that case I sometimes get one of those quasi-milkshake things. Kind of enjoyable once in a while but not coffee. I'm usually sick of it by the time I'm near the end.

Today I saw on odd twist on the "holiday" thing: my bank has posted signs on the door giving customers a "Friendly Reminder that we will be closed on Thursday November 23rd for the holiday." Is Thanksgiving now also not to be named?

I'll try to be generous and suppose that that was just hasty and careless. But if it's a pattern... :-0

" In our ongoing efforts to foster a more equitable and inclusive community, we believe it is crucial to be considerate of how we decorate public spaces during this season.

To that end, we kindly ask that departments refrain from using religious decorations or solely associated with Christmas (such as red and green colors) when decorating public spaces within city buildings. "

About ten years ago or so I was greatly pleased by the Nordstrom department store chain stating that in honor of Thanksgiving they would not decorate for Christmas until after the November holiday. Not sure if they stuck with that, and if they did, for how long, given the pressure from the rest of the retail industry. The department store where I generally shop, Boscov's, had Christmas stuff out before Halloween this year, which I find appalling. What's depressing about that is that they are one of the last independently owned department store chains in the country, and at one point not too long ago they were family owned and operated, and fairly traditional as a result.

I think I mentioned this before, but one of the weirdest things I saw this year was people putting up their Christmas decorations before they had taken their Halloween decorations down. So for a few days in some yards you had ghosts and skeletons rubbing elbows with Santa and snowmen. Very bizarre.

I saw some of that Christmas-before-Halloween stuff here, too, in the grocery store, which is about the only place I've been in recent weeks. It wasn't obtrusive, almost like they were trying to sneak it in. I'm pretty sure there were some "holiday" themed tv commercials during football games, too. But of course within a week after Halloween it was all over the place.

That story I linked to above really demonstrates how the logic of "inclusion" inevitably implies some corresponding exclusions.

If I worked for that Wisconsin city, I'd be very tempted to decorate my area with messianic prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures.

I once had a very uncomfortable experience at a holiday/Christmas party at the office where I worked. One of my co-workers and her husband said they'd provide some musical entertainment. They sang nothing but religious Christmas carols. Most of the people at the party were from Asian countries and several others were Jewish. I'm pretty sure there were only a very few believing Christians there.

Anyway, everyone but the entertainers was stone silent throughout. Kind of wish the office administrator had written a note like that one by the lady in Wisconsin.

To the extent of forbidding even things that aren't even Christian, but just traditionally associated with Christmas? Like "snow people" and the colors red and green? One of the worst features of all this is the way it drives common sense and consideration for others out the window. The couple was inconsiderate and insensitive. But I don't think suppressing everything traditionally associated with Christmas around a holiday season that would not exist without Christmas is a good solution.

Multiculturalism is pretty much a contradiction in terms.

Oh, I agree that the Wisconsin note was nutty in saying stuff like the red and green colors weren't allowed. Like you said, a lack of common sense. But some kind of basic guidance may be necessary in some situations.

Fair enough.

I'm a little puzzled as to why the Asians would be offended, though, if indeed they were. Considering the long history of Christian mistreatment of Jews, a cold response from Jews is understandable. But why Asians? Christmas carols are a pretty deeply embedded part of American culture. Seems odd to object to it. I assume the musician couple were not openly proselytizing--that would be way out of bounds, of course.

Ultimately, if no common culture can be assumed, you just have a big empty space.

Some of those Asians were Muslim, so they probably weren't all that thrilled either.

I don't know if anyone else thought the singers were proselytizing, but it sure did look that way to me. All I know is that I couldn't wait for their act to finish, kept hoping they'd just thrown in "Deck the Halls", or something, but no, they didn't.

Ah--when you said Asians I was thinking what we used to call the Far East. I'm often momentarily confused by the term "Asian" when watching British tv. In that context it usually means Indian/Pakistani.

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