I give Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz two points for trying to do something noble, but take away four for being needlessly, cluelessly chuckle-headed about it. Which, if our National Conversation About Race were scored like a hockey game, might be meaningful. But not to worry: the chin-deep river of combustible shit that is our National Conversation About Race is no better or worse for wear for his efforts.
As we predicted on last week's podcast, Starbucks' "Race Together" campaign had the life-cycle of a mayfly and we are returned now to status quo ante because of the mighty feedback loop of the marketplace, coupled with almost uniformly negative press and a solid beat down on social media. Because everyone from CNN to Rolling Stone to the Detroit Free Free to the WSJ to LinkedIn to wanted to count coup on this.
Which is all well and good and we shall leave it at that.
Except I cannot choose but wonder what would happen if the same, broad swath of national media were suddenly freed from the cloven corporate pine (within which rift, imprisoned, they do painfully remain) to tackle actual problems with the same verve and speed with which the went after a corporate boo-boo?
What kind of wild, lovely, fire-breathing thing would they set loose if -- even for just a day or two out of the year -- it were suddenly OK for those same media outlets to call liars "liars" and mercilessly mock the dozens of toxic, institutional Conservative scams and bigotries which are killing this country and which are each 1,000 times more destructive and ridiculous than Starbucks' sweet, misguided attempt to turn waiting on line for a cuppa joe into a Three Dog Night tailgate party:
*Yeah the title doesn't make a lot of sense, but as a recovering "Lost"-ian, I could not resist.