In a front-page piece in Sunday's Arts section titled "The Starbucks (cough) Aesthetic",
New York Times writer Susan Dominus swallowed gobs of Frappuccino foam in the process of fellating SBUX to an impressive length and girth of over 2300 words. I'm not here to debate the taste of their government contractor-priced coffee (sucks). But, when the word "aesthetic" (aka "brand" aka "bullshit") is printed about the offerings of a chain of 12,500 cookie-cutter coffee shops without even a cinnamon sprinkle of irony, my off day has become a work day. Who the fuck do they think they're kidding? Oh, that's right. Millions of you lemmings proudly plod around with what CEO Howard Schultz calls the Starbucks "halo." Jesus.
OK. Let's examine this brewing aesthetic. Last year, Starbucks began printing "The Way I See It" pearls of wisdom on their cups to, as it says on their site, spark conversation "in the tradition of coffeehouses everywhere." (Though less "everywhere" every year, as they've put hundreds of traditional coffeehouses out of business.) Blurbs from gurus like Heart's Nancy Wilson ("History without war—a good plan for the future."), Moby, and James "Vacuum" Dyson are being used.
Last month, SB finger-snapped their way into NYC with their "nomadic interactive coffeehouse" Starbucks salon. That's rich, huh? A company with over $6 billion in annual revenue getting all Beat Generation counterculture on our asses.
And, here's a pull-quote from Sunday's article by Nikkole Denson, 36, Starbucks director of business management, in charge of negotiating film and book selections, talking about the generic crap she selects to be sold in-store: "Starbucks is all about community and inspiration...", but "not racy or dark..."
Staid white people, savor your new self-appointed Cultural Arbiter.
Starbucks displays their billboard aesthetic by talking about "backyards" at the corner of Houston & Lafayette in downtown NYC.
94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a Big Fat Lie. Advertising copywriter copyranter brings you instances of Ad Lies and the Lying Liars who sell them.