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The Holy Recycled Chalice
October 25, 2005 11:50 PM   Subscribe

The Starbucks Cup. An icon of taste and excess. On one hand, it's honored by the National Recycling Coalition for adding post-consumer recycled content (wow, 10%!). On the other hand, it's announced that the cups will soon feature religious nuggets from Rick Warren, author of the Purpose-Driven Publishing Empire. What gives?
posted by billder (68 comments total)

 
Why the hell not.

Wisdom is where you find it.

Just because something is so chokingly (politically) dominant in our society doesn't mean we progressive types have to fight it at every turn.

Granted, the Purpose-Driven stuff is targetted toward fundies, but hey, they deserve to be sold to just like the rest of us.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:10 AM on October 26, 2005


I wonder if the god stuff will be on the cups in Canada.
posted by blacklite at 12:13 AM on October 26, 2005


Of related interest : How the Starbucks siren became less naughty.
posted by dhruva at 12:22 AM on October 26, 2005


For the second series they should put Will Oldham quotes on the cups: God is what I make of him.
posted by dobbs at 12:26 AM on October 26, 2005


Or: "My only regret about selling out is that I repressed it for so long."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:32 AM on October 26, 2005


previously
posted by scheptech at 12:32 AM on October 26, 2005


AgendaFilter?
posted by Pseudonumb at 12:57 AM on October 26, 2005


What's your point Pseudonumb?
posted by bouncebounce at 2:11 AM on October 26, 2005



Was there a post here previously about Starbucks cups containing pro-homosexual nuggets?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:22 AM on October 26, 2005


Thanks scheptech. But technically I think you meant previously.

So what gives with that, too, billder?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:31 AM on October 26, 2005


Are In-N-Out burgers any less delicious because they have actual Bible verses on the packaging?
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:31 AM on October 26, 2005


Mmm, sacralicious.

Starbucks puts quotes on their cups. It puts all sorts of quotes; one of them is Warren's and its not exactly an offensive one. I prefer homo nuggets.
posted by mek at 2:43 AM on October 26, 2005


Here's the interesting story:

"Starbucks has shown incredible perseverance and leadership in working with its suppliers, Solo Cup Company, Mead-Westvaco and Mississippi River Corporation, to develop a paper coffee cup that contains 10% post-consumer recycled paper - a first for this industry. Now that Starbucks has successfully navigated the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process, other companies can benefit from the same technology,” says Krebs.

Ummm? So nobody's ever put out a recycled cup before because nobody's managed to get FDA approval for it? Another thing we have to thank the federal government for, I suppose.
posted by mek at 2:48 AM on October 26, 2005


mek: Starbucks and the Mississippi River Corp sought out FDA approval voluntarily. There was no requirement to do so.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:59 AM on October 26, 2005


"You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense." is the quote in question.

It's the kind of non-specific, vague quote that's perfect for that type of application. People who believe it will be reinforced in their beliefs (and "validated" by Starbucks); people who disagree won't really notice it; people in the middle will consider it (or not), and that'll be that.

It's not polarizing (as the gay quote apparently was), and it's not pushing one religion over another. It's far from a Christian-specific message. Your coins have "God" on them as well. Big deal.
posted by Alt F4 at 3:01 AM on October 26, 2005


It's the kind of non-specific, vague quote that's perfect for that type of application.

I'm not sure about that - I'd certainly be pretty shocked to get a cup with Godvertising on it, but then I suppose that sort of thing is very unusual in the UK, as compared to the US. (Come to think of it, I'd be more surprised to find this sort of thing in Starbucks than elsewhere - their whole marketing is based around faintly desperate attempts to be, in marketing speak, hip, cosmopolitan, aspirational, urban etc. which doesn't exactly fit with folksy quotations about Jesus.)

See also: The Starbucks Challenge, which aims to test the company's commitment to supplying fair trade coffee.
posted by jack_mo at 3:35 AM on October 26, 2005


Whatever happened to the seperation of church and stimulate?
posted by srboisvert at 3:37 AM on October 26, 2005


Your coins have "God" on them as well. Big deal.

But could you imagine the deal that would be made if the following appeared:

You were not made by God, God does not exist. You were born and you will die. Live for your life now and not for the gamble of an afterlife. Until you understand that, life will never make sense."

Yet it's really no different.
posted by twistedonion at 4:03 AM on October 26, 2005


oops, wrong quote from Alt F4. should have been:

It's the kind of non-specific, vague quote that's perfect for that type of application.
posted by twistedonion at 4:05 AM on October 26, 2005


You were not made by God, God does not exist. You were born and you will die. Live for your life now and not for the gamble of an afterlife. Until you understand that, life will never make sense.

Words to live by.
posted by disgruntled at 4:40 AM on October 26, 2005


I prefer my coffee breaks to be strictly secular, thank you very much. Keep those prayer cups out of the UK!
posted by londonmark at 5:11 AM on October 26, 2005


10% - woooooo!

The canteen where I work (big financial co.) is introducing 60-day biodegradable 'plastic' cups & containers made from corn starch. 10% PCW, even in a paper container, seems pitiful. Are things really that slow over there?
posted by i_cola at 5:39 AM on October 26, 2005


Why does everyone hate the cups?
posted by Balisong at 5:50 AM on October 26, 2005


You know, the only thing specifically "starbucks" about the first link is actually the cap... lots of places are doing the "cardboard cup with a sleeve" thing nowadays.

Personally I can't function without my two mug-fulls of Starbucks coffee every morning, although making it at home has hugely boosted the economic feasibility of this habit in the long term.
posted by clevershark at 5:52 AM on October 26, 2005


That paltry 10% may represent an annual purchase of 40 billion metric tons of recycled goop. Given the number of people that swill lattes.
posted by nervousfritz at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2005


Screw the cups. I hate Charbucks because they don't know how to make a good shot of espresso (the foundation of all the rest). Their "baristas" know how to push a button and that's about it. Starbucks popularized espresso drinks, but if you know anything about good coffee/espresso you've probably learned to go elsewhere.

Starbucks is to good espresso as AOL is to good ISPs.
posted by spock at 6:33 AM on October 26, 2005


I prefer homo nuggets.

Well, you may want to skip the dippin' sauce.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 AM on October 26, 2005


Hey guys! I hate Starbucks and religion! Aren't I edgy and hip?
posted by keswick at 8:27 AM on October 26, 2005


Will the coffee remain secular?
posted by grimcity at 8:29 AM on October 26, 2005


"It's these cans! He HATES THESE CANS!"
posted by stenseng at 8:30 AM on October 26, 2005


Maybe one day they'll put Jack Handy quotes on their cups... "I wish outer space guys would conquer the Earth and make people their pets, because I'd like to have one of those little beds with my name on it."
posted by blue_beetle at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2005


I only want to be exposed to statements I agree with! I think other people should only read statements I agree with!
posted by pardonyou? at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2005


You were not made by God, God does not exist. You were born and you will die. Live for your life now and not for the gamble of an afterlife. Until you understand that, life will never make sense.

Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?
posted by genevieve at 8:42 AM on October 26, 2005


Spock, because Starbucks popularized espresso drinks, I have five espresso stands in my neighbourhood. Because of Starbucks, when I travel in the US, I can find strong coffee almost anywhere. I rarely drink Starbucks, but I appreciate them for that.

Besides, they're named after Dana Scully. How cool is that?
posted by faceonmars at 8:42 AM on October 26, 2005


Heh! I was just writing about the uneasy allience between capitalism and religion. There is a lot of Christian money out there and it is tempting to cater to those with a taste for Jesus. But there is a danger in getting too dependent on this source of cash-- today's Christians are much more likely to flex their political muscles.

American Girl, a company that manufactures wholesome dolls with ties to historical eras, got rich and powerful with the help of the home-schooling crowd. Now that same crowd wants some say in how American Girl donates to charity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:43 AM on October 26, 2005


Why is everyone so mad about the cups?
posted by odinsdream at 8:49 AM on October 26, 2005


"Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?"

No, I'd prefer that the weak and stupid graze upon the green, green grass of banality and stay out of my way. I have no problem with spirituality but it isn't something you find on a Dixie cup.
posted by 2sheets at 8:56 AM on October 26, 2005


Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?

Would love to!

Why can't we live our lives knowing that this is it? What is there to fear from that?

Belief in God does not equal morality if that is what you suggest.
posted by twistedonion at 8:57 AM on October 26, 2005


Have I mentioned how fuckin' edgy you are, 2sheets? Do you wear black and smoke cloves? Because that would almost be too edgy!
posted by keswick at 9:02 AM on October 26, 2005


Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?

You betcha. I suspect there wouldn't be any suicide bombers, after all, they believe in God and the afterlife.
posted by disgruntled at 9:35 AM on October 26, 2005


Post-consumer paper is pretty crap material. Most stuff made of recycled paper doesn't use post-consumer for a significant percent.
posted by smackfu at 9:38 AM on October 26, 2005


I thought that Starbucks had started the "thoughts on a cup" thing to promote conversation... it appears they've succeeded, though perhaps not in the context they'd originally planned.

As for recycling, take it one better: bring your *own* cup (an insulated tumbler is nice) or (gasp!) enjoy your coffee beverage in a nice ceramic mug in the shop.

There's your community for ya.
posted by deCadmus at 9:43 AM on October 26, 2005


W4SVWJD?


"Starbucks is to good espresso as AOL is to good ISPs."
posted by spock at 6:33 AM PST on October 26 [!]


Agreed. I prefer my home brew.
*goes back to the tight shakes*



"It's these cans! He HATES THESE CANS!"
posted by stenseng at 8:30 AM PST on October 26 [!]


This is the kind of spontaneous publicity Starbucks needs. Their name in print. That really makes a coffee shop. Things are going to start happening to them now.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:47 AM on October 26, 2005


Blah blah, who cares? The quotes on the Starbucks cups are often better than the product in them, and have a pretty wide variety. There's even one from David Cross mocking anyone looking for real meaning in a quote on the side of a Starbucks cup.

chances are you are scared of fictions.
chances are you are only fleetingly happy.
chances are you know much less than you think you do.
chances are you feel a little guilty
chances are you want people to lie to you.
perhaps the answer lies on the side of a coffee cup.
you are lost.”
posted by phearlez at 10:17 AM on October 26, 2005


keswick's so goth he shits bats.
posted by queen zixi at 10:25 AM on October 26, 2005


As for recycling, take it one better: bring your *own* cup (an insulated tumbler is nice)

If you do this at starbucks, you get ten cents off your purchase.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2005


Besides, they're named after Dana Scully. How cool is that?
posted by faceonmars at 8:42 AM PST on October 26
What do you mean? The company is named after Starbuck, a character from Moby Dick.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:33 AM on October 26, 2005


Just because something is so chokingly (politically) dominant in our society doesn't mean we progressive types have to fight it at every turn.

Oh.. no ? I tought those trying to escape chonkingly stuff were known as "smart" or "with a damn clue" not necessarily "progressive"- Oh wait, this pagan pseudochristianity is hip ? Allow me to introduce you to Buddy Jesus , marketing meet more marketing.


they deserve to be sold to just like the rest of us
Yeah certainly. I have a problem with "throw this cup on a heathen librul if you love Jesus" kind of stuff but I guess and hope they'll limit themselves to "if you don't drink here you hate Jesus" kind of subvertisement.

ALT F4: Validation is just one phenomenon, another is repetition and avaibility/access is an important precondition .

What's the point of writing "in god we trust" on the notes, if not that of printing a message on billion of piece of papers you'll handle every day ? Sooner or later everybody does examine the note and sees this "god" thing is an
all the notes so it's probably important maybe ? Or maybe the gubment is very christian and lovely ?

Just the fact that it doesn't bother you because it doesn't dramatically influence you doesn't make anything less dangerous...and believing in illusions sometime is dangeours, imho.
posted by elpapacito at 10:34 AM on October 26, 2005


Of related interest : How the Starbucks siren became less naughty.

dhruva; that's fascinating!
posted by odinsdream at 10:41 AM on October 26, 2005


Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?

It wouldn't be much different.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on October 26, 2005


genevieve: Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?

Yes, yes, us non-believers will just murder, steal, and fornicate without the threat of hell.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:55 AM on October 26, 2005


Secret Life of Gravy writes "There is a lot of Christian money out there and it is tempting to cater to those with a taste for Jesus."

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've come up with an idea, and since I'm too lazy to go through with it, I guess I'll share it with you all. You know how whenever there's a slow news week, Time and Newsweek will put Jesus on their covers? I wonder if it would be possible to start a mainstream magazine that has a picture of Jesus on its cover every week. I honestly think such a thing would sell like hotcakes.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:11 AM on October 26, 2005


robot: it frightens me you may be right about that..but not because there's Jebus on the cover..because some people buy by cover.
posted by elpapacito at 11:15 AM on October 26, 2005


Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?

I know this has kind of been beaten to death, but I really feel the burning need to add my 1.5 cents.

As a lifelong atheist it's never ceased to astound me how hard it is for people who were raised with religion to get morality. Personally, it's religious people's morality that scare the shit out of me.

See, growing up, the kids that did all the worst shit in my town were either really, really disenfranchised, or catholic. The catholics, see got to ask god for forgiveness at the same time they were poking their finger in the eye of all the repressiveness in their home lives. Okay, so bad apples and all that, right?

Well my point here is that whenever I've screwed something up or made a bad decision, I've had to seek forgiveness from the people it affected. And I have to tell you, that's a lot more work and hardship than an imaginary superhero in the sky.

My stepfather is a public defender and for years and years he only did murder cases. He told me once that around 70-80 percent of his clients were religious. Didn't stop them from getting themselves into court on a murder charge. Not to say that they were all guilty, but even if they weren't, most of them were in a pretty bad state to get to that point. He also told me that they often talked about this duality between their 'bad selves' and thier 'good selves.'

For the rest of us, there's not devils or angels whispering in our ears, there's just us and the decisions we make, good and bad. And if they're bad one, then we have to work that shit out. No help from the unnameable.


Oh and also, Starbucks tastes like fried crap. Find a real coffee shop. They dark roast their beans and then let them sit in warehouses for months. That's the kiss of death to flavor and caffeine.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:18 PM on October 26, 2005


Oh boy. The "purpose driven life" . I study "purpose driven" Christians ( not all or even most by a long shot but they're working on that ) and their "purpose" is to take over the US government to impose Biblical law.

Many genocidal tyrants through history have been quite "purpose driven".

______________

lumpenprole - atheists have close to the lowest divorce rates of any "religion".

Ditto for crime rates overall.
posted by troutfishing at 12:24 PM on October 26, 2005


And for the record, I probably won't care that much about one or two quotes on cups. Religious quotes on all cups would bother me a bit, but it's not like I'm a Starbucks regular.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:40 PM on October 26, 2005


keswick's so goth he shits bats.

that is incorrect.

i am so bats i shit goths.
posted by keswick at 1:13 PM on October 26, 2005


Not that I needed another reason to avoid Starbucks but putting God-talk on their cups isn't helping me overcome my dislike very quickly.

Now, if they put on religious quotations from all religions, that would be an entirely different animal altogether and I'd be applauding their forward thinkingness. But this isn't forward thinking, its just another way to squeeze a buck out of a cup.
posted by fenriq at 1:26 PM on October 26, 2005


Well, it sure as hell has squeezed the Starbucks out of MY cup.

Not

a penny

ever

again.

_______

Hear that, Starbucks ?
posted by troutfishing at 3:51 PM on October 26, 2005


He's probably published more books in the last 5 years than James Joyce did in his career. A chemical high and religious mumbo-jumbo, give the people what the want.
posted by my sock puppet account at 4:09 PM on October 26, 2005


Do you wear black and smoke cloves?

Ooh, ooh, and read Camus and drink vermouth? Like you were seventeen? That would be a scream.
posted by ludwig_van at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2005


I read an article about this somewhere last week, one that had more background than this NYT article. Warren had noticed the secular quotes on Starbucks's cups and he approached them about adding some religious content. Starbucks apparently thought it was a reasonable idea.

Rarely drink coffee myself, and certainly not that horrible burnt stuff they serve at Starbucks.
posted by neuron at 5:12 PM on October 26, 2005


(Instead of "horrible", should have said "godawful".)
posted by neuron at 5:13 PM on October 26, 2005


nobody reads the quotes, they get covered up by the sleeve.
posted by bam at 9:54 PM on October 26, 2005


genevieve writes "Do you reeeeally want to see what the world would be like if everyone believed that?"

It'd sure cut down on the number of morons that think they'll get 70 virgins in the afterlife if they'll just blow themselves up in a busy cafe.
posted by clevershark at 10:36 PM on October 26, 2005


Thanks for clearing that up, ILT.

On the topic of Starbucks' espresso, its certainly rather foul. However, I appreciate them proliferating a consistent drip coffee product, as I'm pretty picky about that and they're usually very good compared to... well, pretty much anywhere else you'll run into. Across the entire UBC campus, for example, the coffee is unbelievably bad. Did-you-brew-this-yesterday? bad.
posted by mek at 12:11 AM on October 27, 2005


The great thing is, since I was not made by God, I can sue for false claims in advertising.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:25 AM on October 27, 2005


Pretty_Generic :

Are not secular-humanist death-robot zombies of God ?
posted by troutfishing at 11:21 PM on October 27, 2005


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