[Brewed by See-Dubya]
Coffee makes people uptight. I said as much here last June, and since then more evidence has come in that Starbucks makes people grumpy. Even really nice people.
Now, by way of Michael Bates, comes word that Starbucks is making more people grumpy. There’s a little mom&pop coffee shop in Tulsa called the “Double Shot“, and they’re getting hassled over the name. Seems Starbucks’ lawyers think they own the rights to the word “Double Shot”, which is funny because the only context I hear it in is “double shot of Glenfiddich, please!” (Which in Starbucks-speak would be a “venti” Glenfiddich.)
Anyway, yeah, cease and desist orders and whiny lawyers and the Double Shot people are telling Starbucks to put it in their frappucino and froth it. In fact they’re playing it up to the hilt and getting all kinds of free publicity out of Starbucks’ heavy-handed trigger-happy legal department. Hey, look, they’ve started a blog! and look, they just got a free commercial out of me!
I bring this up both to tweak Starbucks for being humorless pronks and also to point out that lawyers sometimes sit around with nothing to do and decide to make trouble to prove that they’re worth the salaries they pull down. With intellectual property stuff like this, they have a semi-legitimate concern that they could lose the exclusive rights to their property if they don’t enforce it (this is assuming that they actually owned it in the first place, which in this case I’m pretty sure they didn’t.) But in any big company, Legal ought to always sit down with Marketing and explain exactly what they’re going to do and why they want to do it. Hopefully some of the Creative types could have explained to them that their suit was counterproductive and would tend to make the Corporation look like bullies, and just invite more infringement along with the ridicule. So if you’re in Tulsa, go check out the Double Shot. And if you’re in California, go to Peets‘.
GODAWFUL LATE UPDATE: Starbucks makes Lyin’ Joe Wilson get cranky, and say all kinds of stupid things about other people’s private lives. Wuzzadem has an example.
Michelle Malkin discusses last night’s excellent South Park episode regarding Mohammed cartoons. I already mentioned this in a comment, here, but thought I’d give it its own post.
At one point, there is a town meeting at which citizens discuss how to deal with the fact that “Family Guy” plans to show Mohammed depicted in a cartoon. One citizen proposes that, during the airing of the show, everyone in the town bury their heads in the sand — literally — to demonstrate to Muslims that the citizens of the town are not watching the episode. Michelle quotes another citizen’s stirring response:
Freedom of speech is at stake here, don’t you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Mohammed and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want. Look people, it’s been really easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades, we haven’t had to risk anything to defend it, but those times will come. And one of those times is right now. And if we aren’t willing to risk what we have, then we just believe in free speech, but we don’t defend it.
Michelle doesn’t tell you what comes next: someone else replies: “I like the sand idea.” And that’s what they all decide to go with.
L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik calls me dishonest in the latest post on his L.A. Times-sponsored-blog (all emphasis mine):
How can you tell when a conservative blogger is unwilling to address an issue honestly? When he tortures your words into something you haven’t written, and then critiques the imaginary result. The propagandist Patrick Frey, or “Patterico,” a serial builder of straw men in this vein, tried it again recently with a column I wrote on Costa Mesa’s would-be immigration policy. He writes that my column
demonizes a pilot program in Costa Mesa designed to check the immigration status of suspects in violent crimes. Hiltzik denounces the entire concept as demagoguery. But what is demagogic about an effort to deport violent illegals?
As a digest of my column, this rates a “D.”
According to Hiltzik, his post and column in no way suggested that the Costa Mesa program is demagoguery. Nothing could be further from the truth! Why, only a “propagandist” and “serial builder of straw men” could possibly make such an outrageous accusation!
Where did I get the crazy idea that Hiltzik was denouncing the program as demagoguery? Why, from Hiltzik’s earlier post, which said:
This is what happens when confusion and paralysis at the federal level produce a gaping vacuum in federal policy: The vacuum gets filled by demagogues, large and petty alike. And that brings us to the City of Costa Mesa.
Who’s being dishonest here?
You be the judge..
P.S. At least he didn’t analogize me to a “Stalinist” this time. That’s an improvement . . . right?
P.P.S. Note the difference between me and the professional journalist: my initial post criticized Hiltzik’s column without calling him names.
[Warning: there are certain to be spoilers in the post and comments, for the one person out there who hasn’t read this book.]
So, I finished the Da Vinci Code. My question for Christians who have read it: didn’t you find it the least bit, as Homer Simpson would say, sacrilicious?
I remember a huge uproar when “The Last Temptation of Christ” came out. Boycotts, picket lines, and violence. It seems to me that there is plenty in this book equally at odds with the traditional view of Jesus. The book even cites the movie as a specific instance of the Mary Magdalene/Grail tale. Yet I don’t recall similar outrage over the book. What gives?
Then again, maybe there was outrage, and I just averted my eyes. Because I didn’t want to know the slightest thing about it, I have avoided all news about the book since I first heard about it.
Anyway, what do the Christians among you think about this book and the things it says? Do you just appreciate it as a good yarn and not get too wound up about the sacrilege? Were you outraged by it? Or what?
See Dubya? Can we hear from you? How about Brotherico?
P.S. And are widespread protests a phenomenon relating more to movies and not to books? Will we see them in May when the movie comes out?
UPDATE: This is an interesting article on the subject. It casts doubt on much of the basis of the novel.
[Posted by Xrlq]
Read more about it here (h/t: Uncly-Wuncly).
[A post by See Dubya]
Who do you think wrote these words?
Thou art so gentle, true and kind,
So loving, thou dear Saviour of sinners!
Appease my longing,
Let my soul and my thoughts rest in thy love
And remain forever with thee.
Hint: they were originally in German, and it’s not Bach, and it’s not Hitler. (more…)
[A poste by ye olde See-Dubyae]
[LANGUAGE ALERT: Grimrott says the s-word quite audibly when his knee blows out.]
It won’t have quite the same romance when you tell your kids why Daddy’s walking funny: no, son, it’s not an old war injury, nor an old football injury but an old LARP (Live Action Role Playing, i.e. Dungeons & Dragons play-acting) injury.
Oh, wait, tell your kids? That would imply physical contact with a woman at some point, involving something other than a foam-padded fauchard-fork. Never mind.
Technically, it’s not exactly LARPing, but a violent offshoot called “Belegarth“, named, of course, for the wise old sorcerer in David Eddings’ Belgariad.
UPDATE: Nope, wait, my multiply-layered fact checker tells me that’s not right and I just made that up and it’s actually “Belgarath”. One of them is, and the other is Belegarth. Whatever. There are many videos at that site of college students whomping each other with foam broadswords, set to heavy-metal music.