Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today in Extraordinarily Odd

Yesterday, every Starbucks in the country shut down between 5:30 and 9pm so they could train their staff. Howard Schultz, the head honcho of Starbucks said this about the plan: “We will close all of our U.S. company-operated stores to teach, educate and share our love of coffee, and the art of espresso. And in doing so, we will begin to elevate the Starbucks Experience for our customers. We are passionate about our coffee. And we will revisit our standards of quality that are the foundation for the trust that our customers have in our coffee and in all of us.” Right. Total crap. Starbucks is a cult. I went in there the other day eating Pinkberry yoghurt and the inane, prozac pepped up freak behind the counter said, “HA! You’re supposed to only order Starbucks…HA!” and I looked at her like, what the fuck is wrong with you? I said, “Well, gee – I mean, this is frozen yoghurt so if you wanna start selling that then maybe I’ll consider it but do you realise what you sound like?” So, now – I really am interested to go in and see what they actually learned during that nationwide PR stunt. I mean, they have already managed to hire a bunch of perky young kids without hiring one depressed art student so, now that they’ve flushed out the unmarketable darkness what else is there? Starbucks is just like North Korea. [source]

This isn’t really that odd in a “zany” way, but I’m just fascinated by the New York Philharmonic going to North Korea as a diplomatic statement. The Times almost seems to be hamming it up with the coverage of what went on with observations like:
“In another room, a girl in braces searched for mathematical formulas while listening to perky Korean orchestral numbers with earphones plugged into the computer. She tersely answered questions, squeezing her hands and seeming nervous.”
And my personal favourite:
“He said he was a university student studying electrical engineering. Asked to describe his life, he said, “I am very happy.” The interpreter then added for him, “The Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, looks after our lives.”
Frankly, I really see only a marginal difference between North Korea and Starbucks. Everyone is smiling out of crippling fear [source]

Britain's Prince Charles has banned the use of foie gras at his official residences for "personal reasons", a royal official told AFP Wednesday. It would seem that the reason behind his banning foie gras would be that it’s generally considered an inhumane food and I would have thought that would be easy enough to explain rather than using the illusive phrase “for personal reasons”. Seeing as he hasn’t gone on to explain it any further I’m left to speculate about what is really going on in with Prince Charles and the first thing that comes to mind is that he gets dreadful dreadful gastrointestinal problems from eating it. I’m talking about a combination of crippling diarrhea, anti-social levels of gas and mind altering cramps. I mean, it makes sense that the Prince of Wales would want to avoid those three things because I just can’t imagine how appropriate it would be to sit there on official duty and relentlessly shit your pants when you’re the heir to the throne. I mean, unless he was at some kind of German event or a Farty Party. In those cases it would be fine.[source]

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