Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I'm a Veteran of Red Cups

I am outraged by Starbucks. I can’t believe their marketing department didn’t make the cups red earlier.

Since I own mutual funds, I probably own some stock in Starbucks. At least, I assume I do. Since I want to retire someday, I want to see the stocks I own go up in value. Attracting people to your business usually makes your stock go up. (As long as they’re not looters). Therefore, I want as many legitimate customers as possible attracted to Starbucks, as well as all the other companies I allegedly own stock in.

Red cups have been attracting people for decades. How is Starbucks just catching on to that? I’m not sure about red paper cups like Starbucks has, but red Solo plastic cups bring people like moths to a flame. In college, you couldn’t keep me away from a place that had a sleeve of red Solo cups. Duh.

Apparently, though, I’m in the minority of people who are thrilled with Starbucks’ new red cup. I guess it used to have holiday designs on it or something? I have no idea, since I don’t drink coffee, and if I did, I wouldn’t drive somewhere to buy it for six dollars a cup from a “barista” with a pierced forehead and the audacity to have a tip jar. (But for those of you who do, please continue to do so, as long as I actually own stock in Starbucks... I should check that.)

At least one person somewhere -- either a customer, a shrewd Starbucks marketing genius, or a reporter – was “outraged” by Starbucks’ “war on Christmas” when the red cups without snowflakes were revealed. The internet has since exploded with outrage, and outrage against the outrage. The internet is fun.

Here’s the thing, America – you’re free. And especially today -- on Veterans Day – it’s very important to keep that in mind.

Starbucks is free to make their cup any color or colors they choose.

You are free to not like it.

They are free to put any or no designs on their cups.

You are free to go on the internet and complain about it. Even to be outraged by it.

The other Americans on the internet are free to be outraged by your outrage, and also to call you a snot-nosed whiny little yahoo.

You are free to be outraged by their outrage to your outrage.

You are free to maybe switch to decaf if you’re the type of person who’s prone to being outraged by things like the designs and colors of cups.

You are free to celebrate Christmas.

You are also free to celebrate Arbor Day, Kwanzaa, and Pan American Aviation Day if you want to.

You’re also free to not celebrate any of those holidays.

You’re free to buy coffee from anywhere they sell it.

There’s really no end to it. You are free to buy a clip-in man bun, which they apparently sell now.

And we, as Americans, are free to mercilessly ridicule buyers of clip-in man buns, as they so obviously deserve.

And as far as Starbucks goes, I’m free to tell you that if you were actually offended in some way by the cup decoration choices at a drink and cake chain, you should probably take up some sort of hobby that puts some meaning in your life.

We’re all free. Where did we get all this amazing freedom? It was brought to you (and bought for you, in many cases) by veterans.

So this Veterans Day, you red cup haters can be thankful for the freedom to take your mocha-frappa-latte business to Tully’s, or Peet’s, or Dutch Brothers, or Seattle’s Best, or straight to Juan Valdez if you can catch up to his mule.

And you remaining Starbucks customers can be thankful the red cup haters won’t be clogging up the line.

But above all else, don’t forget to be thankful for our veterans. If you see one, stop them and let them know you are one grateful, freedom-loving S.O.B. Maybe even buy them a coffee.

I’ll be thankful for veterans, and for red Solo cups.

And the freedom to (possibly) own stock in a company that charges you people six bucks for a red cup of something that you could make at home for six cents.

God bless America.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2015 Marc Schmatjen

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  1. Thanks, Ellie. I'm raising my red Solo cup to you for reading!

  2. As a veteran, I am proud to have served a country which allows each of us to be free to pursue happiness - whichever form that takes. However, I agree that if you're outraged over red cups, 1) you should find a hobby, and 2) I'd advise you don't take firearms into establishments which fuel your rage (I really didn't follow the logic trail of 2nd Amendment rights and red cups--perhaps I'm the moron...).

  3. Two things I'm sure of: There are plenty of morons involved in the red cup thing, and you are not one of them. Thanks for your service!

  4. Be really free is one of the hardest thing to do. Many people just go find some new prison walls to put around their mind and thoughts. And they will be the first to tell you what you should not do. World is too big, possibilities are too numerous. It takes a lot of courage to think outside of the box (or of the red cup), and a lot of courage to risk your life for freedom. In France we don't celebrate veterans, but the end of WW1, aka the world worst war ever. Thank you american veterans for helping my grandparents survive.

  5. America's Greatest Generation. My wife's grandfather is among them, still going strong at 97 years old.