Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- ‘How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks’

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Source:Politico Magazine– Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Source:The Daily Review 

I’m not interested in Howard Schultz’s so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it’s a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they’re not actually speaking to anyone or don’t have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven’t seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it’s Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it’s not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it’s not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they’re ways of living. It’s a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. “Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they’re in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are.” Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we’ve been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I’ll let be the judge.

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Source:60 Minutes: Scott Pelley- Howard Schultz: When He Was Starbuck’s Star– Howard Schultz, before he was a narcissistic wannabe politician
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Newsweek: Katie Couric- Sarah Palin’s: Five Biggest Gaffes

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Source:MSN– The photo says everything

Source:The Daily Review

Similar to Michele Bachmann who said things like America should be less socialist like China, ( an actual Michele Bachmann quote ) it’s hard to pick the five biggest gaffes that Sarah Palin has ever given. To use a sports analogy, she really is the classic case of not ready for prime time. It would be like a high baseball player even a star who gets drafted by an MLB club and is promoted to the Major Leagues the day he graduates from high school.

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Source:Ranker– Bill O’Reilly, trying to help our Sarah Palin in 2010

Before Senator John McCain ( may he always rest in piece ) nominated her for Vice President when he ran for President in 2008, she was a mayor of a very small town in Alaska and Governor of Alaska for a 18 months. And before that she worked for a very small paper in Alaska. That’s a huge leap to take coming from that rural, small town background into a race for the most important office not just in America, but in the world when you’re talking about the President of the United States. Ten years ago, she wasn’t ready for the spotlight and ten years later, she still isn’t and probably no longer wants it given how quiet she’s been even with her dream candidate Donald Trump ( another political reality TV star ) as President.

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Source:Ranker– Governor Sarah Palin in 2008

But if Newsweek can put together the five biggest gaffes that Sarah Palin has ever given, I can certainly comment on some of them.

Sarah Palin: “I can see Russia from my backyard.”

When she said that to Katie Couric who was then the anchor of the CBS Evening News back in 2008, Katie asked her something like what makes qualified to handle foreign policy and what experience to you have there. With Governor Palin saying that she can see Russia from her backyard. Which would be like me saying I’m qualified to do home construction because I can see a lot other homes in my neighborhood. Or saying I know my next door neighbors very well, simply because live next door to them. Governor Palin, obviously wasn’t prepared for that question by her staff or she ignored their advice.

Governor Sarah Palin, getting caught looking at the palm of her hands for answers like a high school sophomore gets caught cheating on a test that he didn’t study for and looked at a cheat sheet. Again, where is the preparation that could come from having a staff who at the very least is smart enough to know that their candidate needs to know what she’s talking about before she gives an interview, but also know their candidate well enough to know that she actually might be dumb and immature enough to try to pull a stupid play like that.

Calling Joe Biden, who was her opponent for the Vice Presidency old in 2008, sort of speaks for itself. Especially since her running mate John McCain ( again, always rest in peace ) was not just 72 at the time, but 6 years older than Senator Biden. Perhaps Governor Palin, hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting the man who appointed her to be his Vice President, before she called Senator Biden old. I doubt that, but I just thought I would throw that out.

Sarah Palin, represents to me at least the classic case of not ready for prime time when it comes to American politics. She should’ve never been in that position in the first place. She was the classic Hail Mary pick by a presidential candidate in John McCain ( once again, always rest in peace ) who was not just losing the election to Barack Obama, but was probably going to lose anyway and perhaps figured if he was going to lose the election he would go out with all his bullets being shot ( except for birtherism ) and nominate a VP candidate that the Far-Right of the Republican Party would approve of.

Newsweek: Katie Couric- Sarah Palin’s: Five Biggest Gaffes

CBS News: Baseball Great Yogi Berra Dead at 90: An icon of Sports and Quotes

Captain Quote Master
Captain Quote Master

Source: CBS News: Baseball Great Yogi Berra Dead 90: An icon of Sports and Quotes

I think it would be fairly easy just to write a piece about Yogi Berra featuring a lot of his great one-liners. But we’re talking about one of the top 3-5 catchers in the history of Major League Baseball. And yes he was a great comedian, but how many catchers do you know of that were great behind the plate who also have a career 285 bating average with 358 home runs and 1430 RBI. At least statistically we’re talking about a better hitting catcher than Johnny Bench who is still the best all around catcher of all-time. Yogi is at least the best all around catcher pre-Johnny Bench who came up with the Cincinnati Reds in 1967.

As far as his humor I love people who put things in a very direct way telling it exactly how it is and using humor with it. Especially when they’re not making fun of someone, or some group of people. Who can say ironic things and stuff that they know can’t be true, but do it so well and intentionally that you have to laugh at it. Like the Yogi line about baseball being 90% half mental. Well anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics knows that can’t be true. But he was so clever about how he said that, that you had to laugh at that. Or saying obvious things, but doing it with perfect timing that again you have to laugh. “When you come to a fork in road, take it.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” Which of course sounds like Captain Obvious under attack and everyone must duck, or get hit in the head with useless information that they’ve known since they were born. But if you’re not someone who tends to be very good about knowing your surroundings and tend to miss things that are right in front of you, that little piece of obvious information can help you. And tell you to pay attention so you don’t miss what is going on right in front of you.

“It aint over till it’s over.” Good message for players who are down a lot in a game, but still have time to turn it around. And instead of thinking, “damn we suck! We’re not only going to get blown out, but we might not bother to score!” You would have Yogi saying something like, “relax, I know its 6-0, but its only the 3rd inning. Besides I got a guy in there who can actually pitch now. So just relax and play the game right and we’ll get back in it.” Telling his players there’s a reason why a World Series is seven games and games themselves are nine innings, because you don’t win those things early on.

Yogi Berra, again one of the top 3-5 catchers of all-time, but similar to Billy Martin and Phil Rizzuto if he wasn’t playing and managing baseball, he could have been a great comedian and talk show host as well. Because of his ability to put things exactly as they are with a little touch of great wit. Which is what great one-liners are. The ability to use common sense to make fun of life and even people in life. The ability to state the obvious without someone saying,”no shit Einstein! You got any other brand new discoveries you would like to share with us?” And because of that and I think especially the humor he’s going to be missed for a long time.

CBS News: 60 Minutes Mike Wallace- Interviewing The King of Late Night Johnny Carson, in 1979

The King of Late Night
Source: CBS News– The King of Late-Night Johnny Carson

Source: The Daily Review

The perfect interviewer Mike Wallace interviewing the perfect late show talk show host Johnny Carson in 1979. I can’t think of a better combination here other than maybe Mike Wallace interviewing Cary Grant, or someone like that. I believe Johnny answered the Mike Wallace question of why don’t you take on serious topics. By saying that is not what he does. He’s a comedian and his job was to entertain people and make them laugh. He wasn’t Phil Donahue on the air hosting national town hall everyday. His job was literally make fun of what is going on in the world and have fun with it. He did do political satire and would make fun of what is going on in the news and public officials when they screw up. But again doing it in a humorous way.

Carson, was a comedian first and talk show host second. And what he would do with his talk format would be to question other comedians and entertainers, because again his job was to entertain people. Not to inform then on what is going on in the Middle East, or why stocks on Wall Street are down. And he would even interview politicians and other public officials, but generally those people would have good if not great sense of humor’s as well. People like Ron Reagan, Bob Dole, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and they would make fun of politics together and perhaps of each other. I believe Carson was interested in politics and current affairs a lot which is why he did read and watch a lot of news, but he wasn’t going to use his show simply cover the issues of the day. But to make fun of what is going on in the world.
CBS News: 60 Minutes- Mike Wallace: Interviewing Johnny Carson, in 1979