|My photo of singers outside the first Starbucks, Pike Place Mkt.|
Purchasing my favorite excellently-blended grande Americano inside, however, isn't such an easy question anymore. Oh yeah, I've got my special registered Hawaii-design Starbucks card, loaded so I earn their rewards. But I'm getting word from the right and the left that perhaps using it at the coffee stand ubiquitous on nearly every corner might carry some not-so-approved connotations.
|Cochineal beetle pieces. MMMM-mmmm!|
Then I got an email saying Starbucks is pouring millions of dollars into the initiative to redefine marriage, on the ballot here in Washington State this November. I happen to hold with the traditional Torah view that the entire purpose of marriage is to synchronize the complementary differences between male and female, and to best encourage that each child can be raised by his biological mother and father together. Love's a crazy-wonderful thing, and if two men or women want to affirm their commitment and spend their lives together, great; I just don't think government should shift the focus of the institution from children-with-parents societal stability to elevating individuals' feelings. If men and women are truly interchangeable, as re-defining marriage suggests, then family law can no longer privilege biological connection over emotional claims on a child. The overwhelming data showing children do best when raised by their two biological parents won't mean much in practice after that.
I'm not into boycotts, but it seems that vegans, vegetarians, foes of advertising deception and traditional marriage boosters are coming together in a moment of joint Starbucks wrath. Perhaps to counter this, I just got an email from the company inviting me to a local benefit concert featuring two indie bands. Sounds like fun. Too bad it's on Shabbat.
|Strawberries-&-Creme ingredients: not kosher|
So I'm hoping that once again, Starbucks will choose to placate all and regain its position as favored caffeine station. To paraphrase Kermit, it's not easy vending bean, and it's reassuring that the marketplace is a reliable source of feedback for businesses. I like to see retailers do well, and I'm eager to once again proudly take my politically correct friends to that first Pike Place landmark.