Today, in a letter posted on the company's website, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that D.C.-area Starbucks employees will be writing "Come Together" on customers' cups, encouraging Republicans and Democrats to "come together" on a budget deal that would avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." In the spirit of a free and open debate, we have a different proposal, which we're outlining here in an open letter.
Dear Starbucks employees,
There are moments in your lives when you have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change — not just in the lives of the customers and communities you serve every day, but in our country.
In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, you have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly hilarious topic.
As many of you know, your CEO Howard Schultz, believes that "the national debt" is a "tremendously important, time-sensitive issue." He encourages you to learn more about the "impending crisis" from the corporate-funded, CEO-friendly group Fix the Debt, which advocates for lower corporate tax rates and cuts to social services but refuses to take a stand on raising taxes on the rich.
Schultz has asked you to write "Come Together" on coffee cups, because he is under the impression that the reason the debt hasn't been "fixed" to his satisfaction is mutual intractability on the part of the United States' two major political parties, and not that one of those parties is composed largely of incoherent millennialist right-wing paranoiacs.
But rather than be bystanders to your boss' naïve vision of political process, you have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use your company's scale for good.
This week through December 28, I ask Starbucks employees in the Washington D.C. area to draw dicks on customers' cups.
It's a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of your partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing crude drawings of a penis and balls, one cup at a time.
A drawing of a penis is an expression of the eye-roll that's core to the holiday season, to our country's heritage, and to the Starbucks experience. This effort is also being amplified by commenters at AOL and Patch, who are joining us in sharing vulgar and rudimentary expressions of distaste, dislike and boredom.
My hope is that this simple message will serve as a holiday reminder from Starbucks of how annoying rich CEOs are, every season of the year.
I wish you the warmest holiday wishes and a very happy New Year.