Sunday, May 24, 2009

If A Starbucks Falls In The Forest...


I'm hesitant to call this one of the stupidest articles I've ever read, but only because it's in The Wall Street Journal and because I've been known to miss the point from time to time. (Yes, the alpaca incident...again.) But I've read this one twice and it still seems utterly ridiculous and completely baseless. It's what led me to say "Et tu, Wall Street Journal? Et tu?"

The article is about a man named Rafael Antonio Lozano Jr who prefers to go by an alternate name, Winter.
He changed his name because he didn't want his credit history confused with his father's even though Winter says that his "...dad's credit history is fine." Uh-huh. Yeah, at this point, I'm not so much concerned about your father as I am about you there, Moonbeam. Your father and your mother both seem to be perfectly normal people. I base that on the fact that they refuse to call him "Winter." (Because if someone is going to change their given name to something that is absolutely ridiculous, especially when it has nothing to do with their given name, don't expect family members to go along with the little quirk! We don't like it! And we will call you John the name you were given!) As far as his "quest", which I will describe below, goes, his mother Georgia Lozano states, "My husband and I feel it's a waste of time." I'm inclined to agree with her. At the very least, I'm perfectly willing to state that I think it's misguided at best.

What's the guy's time waster? Well, the guy likes coffee and the guy likes Starbucks. Back in 1997, when there were only 1,400 stores (that means there was just a Starbucks on every other corner), Winter decided that he was going to visit every Starbucks in the world. Aim high. I'm sure both Georgia and Rafael Sr. were just beaming with pride when you made that announcement. Probably even moreso by 2004 when there were over 8,500 Starbucks stores out there.

Now I expected the article to be about this quest and about the different Starbucks that he had already visited and how many were left on his list. But no. That's not it. Here's what the article summarizes as his problem: "A man on a mission to visit every Starbucks in the world has a problem: Starbucks Corp. is closing scores of stores he has yet to visit." ::: blink ::: ::: blink ::: Are you with me?

Starbucks is closing stores that he hasn't visited yet?! SO WHAT?! It's not like he's missing out on anything! If his "goal" is to visit "every Starbucks in the world" and a particular Starbucks is closed, well then, it's no longer a Starbucks now, is it? NO! It isn't! So if he learns that a particular Starbucks is going to be closing it's doors forever, he should just cross that one off of his list, right?! Yes! He SHOULD. He DOESN'T, but he should! No, instead he seems to freak out and buy a plane ticket to wherever it is that he has to get to before it closes! Which seems completely pointless to me.

Look, I know there's supposed to be a recession going on, but it seems to be a poorly organized recession run by people unclear on the concept. I'm not saying that Starbucks isn't needing to close some stores, but I would have said that BEFORE the alleged recession was in full swing. There was (and in most places, still IS) a Starbucks on every damned corner. (Here, not too far from my walled off compound where I've stockpiled food and ammunition after seeking refuge from the rest of society, there's a Starbucks next to a grocery store. And inside the grocery store? That's right! A Starbucks. They are literally not more than 50 yards from each other and that's stretching it.) And even during the midst of alleged recession, I'm still WAITING IN LINE for the coffee I ordered. But I digress.

According to the Coffee Crusader, "If the store closed before I visited, I would lose another piece of my soul." Really? Your soul? How big is your soul, sir? They've announced over 900 closures. That's a big ass soul you must have there. What are some other fascinating facts about you and your personal life? Anything else as odd as a human soul that is dependent upon the sustenance of Starbucks locations in order to not crumble bit by little, soulful bit?

Depends on what we're considering "odd" to be. "Winter is single and has no kids. When he's not on the road working on software contract jobs, playing in Scrabble tournaments or visiting Starbucks, he lives with his parents in Houston, where he stores his collection of 10,000 super-hero comic books." Huh. Yeah, that sounds about right. That bit of information from the Water is Wet Department. So! Who here is shocked that he's not married and has no children? Show of hands. Anyone? No one? OK, then. Moving on!....

So what am I missing? Not the Starbucks that have already closed, that's for sure! However, I am realizing that I might be more bothered by the fact that Snowflake said that he loses part of his soul when a Starbucks closes before he gets there than I am bothered by the fact that the article completely ignores that when a Starbucks closes and ceases to be a Starbucks forever more, it's not a Starbucks and he DOESN'T have to visit it to fulfill some notion that he came up with almost 12 years ago in an effort to cement himself into Americana lore as 'Quirky Starbucks Guy'! (Whew! Would have had to take another breath if that screed went much longer.)

Dude, it's either time for you to get back to your parents basement and your stacks of Marvel comics or it's time for you to get out of your parents basement and try going somewhere other than a Starbucks. Look around. Live a little. Venture out beyond the world of the coffee bean and the drinks with made up names for the various sizes! Flap your wings and fly, boy! Fly! Fly! Flap those wings! I said FLAP 'EM!


And could the editors over there at the ol' WSJ please try and refrain from publishing articles which take a pointless topic and attempt to make it appear as if it has a point to it? Newspapers have enough problems right now as it is trying to keep revenue flowing in from advertisers. Don't compound the matter and make it worse by giving the green light for stories about nothing.

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1 comment:

grannyann said...

I guess I don't see his reasoning either. Sounds like that is his excuse for not getting a job. His folks need to tell him to go live with Starbucks if he loves them so much.