Why some people should need a license to "drive" on the information highway — RANT

Once again the “Starbucks Hates Our Military” stupidity has landed in my mailbox. And once again, I have responded to it in the most definitive manner I could muster. And once again, feeling compelled to respond to yet another nasty, unfounded and destructive urban legend has thoroughly pissed me off….. so I’m going to post my rant-in-response here…. and from now on I’ll just reference the link. This response may have been about a specific urban legend, but the sentiment holds true for ALL of them.

So here goes:

Okay …..


This is FALSE! Please send it back to the originator with “reply to all” — let’s put a stop to this BULLSHIT!Not only should Starbucks NOT be boycotted for their actions post-9/11, they should get our business whenever possible…..And here’s why:

1. http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/starbucks.asp

and personally, I’m getting to a point where anyone who forwards crap like this on without even bothering to do a 2-second snopes check first (http://www.snopes.com/) is going on my permanent “Moron List” of people to never trust as dealing in facts, and to always suspect have no idea what the hell they’re talking about…… and who don’t even care if they know, as long as they’re talking.

2. I was still living in NYC on 9/11 — 2 blocks from the Armory on 26th Street — you know, the one where the families of those lost came to give DNA samples in order to try to match remains to their loved ones. I was a volunteer at that Armory for several days, and frequented a nearby Starbucks (12 hours on your feet is tiring, 12 hours on your feet with a bad back is exhausting — Starbucks caffeine infusions kept me going). I was in that store sometimes 3 times in a single day, getting not just coffee, but espresso drinks — not ONCE would they allow me to pay for my coffee while I was volunteering. If you had a volunteer ribbon on, your money was no good. And I TRIED to insist on paying for my coffee (I was not comfortable receiving personal gain — even in the form of free coffee — from the events of 9/11. It made me VERY uncomfortable). But they would not take my money. After a day or so I started removing my ribbon before going in….. it didn’t work….. they remembered me from the previous couple of rounds and STILL wouldn’t take my money for coffee…. they once let me actually BUY a muffin….. but the coffee was free for the duration of the Armory being in use for that. After a while the Armory functions were transferred to a pier on the West-Side and the volunteer functions were taken over by the Red Cross, but while it was just us locals doing what we could, and hitting that Starbucks, my coffee money was no good.

I make it a point to find a Starbucks wherever I go, and buy from them when I can. They’re a good company, they treat their employees well and fairly (which is all too uncommon these days), they’ve sent a lot of coffee to our troops (regardless of the misinformation contained in the e-mail to which I am responding), and they were incredibly supportive and giving in the wake of 9/11.

I know the following is not the most rational response, but this Starbucks crap keeps landing in my mailbox, and quite frankly it’s gotten to a level where it pisses me off. So anyone who passes this along, without so much as the slightest bit of concern regarding factuality (which is demonstrated by the mere fact that they passed it on — if they’d checked on it, they’d know it’s false and therefore would not (unless they’re a complete nutcase) send it on) — can basically kiss my cyber ass.

Going to ANY of the myriad Urban Legends debunking sites out there, typing in “Starbucks” and seeing what comes back, takes about 10 seconds — 10 freaking seconds….. and yet most people don’t bother to validate crap like this before they pass it on….. urban legend, after urban legend, after urban legend keeps cycling around as “fact” long after it’s be debunking repeatedly by multiple investigators — why? Because the internet has done something very dangerous — it’s allowed people to pass their knee-jerk reactions on to hundreds of others with a single mouse-click and without bothering to take a deep breath and THINK before doing so. I love the internet, it’s a wonderful resource, unfortunately it allows lies, misinformation and outright bullshit to be propagated as fact far more easily that it should be. And it allows the intellectually lazy to just keep passing the garbage on ad nauseum.

Soooooo — if you’re too freaking lazy to check on it before passing it along — then PLEASE be too freaking lazy to pass it on. Because the rest of us don’t need this crap landing in our mailboxes over, and over, and over, and over, and over……


And now for the more rational response — Here are some Urban Legends debunking sites:

About Urban Legends

There are many others too, but these 2 seem to be the most complete. I tend to use snopes the most — because it’s extremely rare that they haven’t invesigated something that one of the other sites has. There’s just no excuse for passing this kind of thing along without doing a quick check first to see if it has any validity.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. PlacidAir
    Aug 23, 2005 @ 15:06:19

    All SPAM found on my blogs will be immediately deleted.


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