Thursday, May 15, 2008

Resisting "Slutbucks"

Apparently a fringy conservative Christian group dubbing themselves Le Resistance (that's right, they named themselves after the anti-Nazi French resistance group from WWII -- what is it with the Christian right making every "evil" akin to Nazis?) based in San Diego is boycotting Starbuck's new logo that features a bare-breasted two-tailed siren spreading her, um, fins. Interestingly enough, they're also trying to peg themselves as an anti-corporate and anti-consumerist group, even using a parody logo with the words "Consumer Whore." The press release quoted Mark Dice, founder of the group saying the new image "has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute." Dice, a rather shadowy figure who also goes by the name John Conner, has worked with the group on other issues like boycotting a Jessica Simpson video.

I think the main problem is not that Starbucks' new logo features breasts and a rather spread-eagled bare-breasted mermaid, but rather that the new logo is far less iconic than the old one and they'll lose their brand identity -- something that has been happening for a long time anyway thanks to their declining quality and rising prices. Furthermore, Starbucks coffee just isn't that good and only a fraction of their coffee is fair trade.

There are a lot of reasons to dislike Starbucks, but the fact of the matter is that this logo war is more about the fact that the group is uncomfortable with women's breasts than it is about consumerism. It's a convenient cover, but I'd venture to guess that the group's anti-consumerism doesn't extend much beyond coffee. And if they're really advocating modesty and decency, then surely they'd be opposed to slinging around words like "slut" and "whore." Unfortunately, that's the exact language they use.

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